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Home Schooling Nine to Twelve Year Olds and Socialization
When homeschooling a nine-to-twelve-year-old, there’s a lot of pressure from peer pressure. Note that not all children experience this pressure to be with their peers and to please them, while distancing themselves from their parents. These tweens still need a lot of attention, eye contact, positive reinforcement and praise, personal communication and good interaction with their parents. Believe it or not, children this age still enjoy being read to. Continue to have positive attitudes towards learning; focus on making learning interesting and engaging. Be sure to use positive constructive criticism with as little academic pressure as possible. Focus on providing a safe and secure learning environment that fosters love, acceptance, and tranquility. This will, over time, increase their feelings of self-worth and help them understand where their values lie.
In this tender age of hormones, mixed emotions, changing feelings, group planning is suggested in the curriculum. Tweens prefer to learn skills that have a reason or purpose in real life. For example, instead of offering busy work in language arts, ask your child to write a letter to a manufacturing company regarding a defective household product. Not only will this make the child feel important, but the learning task would be a much needed skill in real life. When learning math, use real-life examples with money and budgeting, maybe even balancing a checkbook. Use charts and graphs to set goals with earned money and savings. Reading about science from a textbook is one way to learn the subject, but doing experiments or identifying specimens in nature is much more engaging. Daily and weekly chores are necessary to learn responsibility and accountability as an integral part of the family.
Always remember to model what you want to teach. Learn new topics together. Dissecting a lobster for science, working on the family budget together, etc. Homeschooling allows parents to design a curriculum that benefits their children. Find out where your pre-teen’s strengths and weaknesses are and plan your curriculum around that.
Home education and socialization:
When parents talk about homeschooling their children, the most common concern is socialization. Parents worry that their children will not learn to adapt to social situations. Unless the homeschooling parent chooses to completely isolate their children from the outside world, this is impossible. In fact, children who are homeschooled have more interaction with people of all ages, not just their own age group. The average homeschooled child attends more educational outings during the year than the non-homeschooled child. In addition, homeschooled children have more opportunities for extracurricular activities, such as music lessons, sports, and hobbies.
Homeschoolers are equally comfortable with younger children, peers, and adults of all ages. Homeschooled children have daily social interactions with family, neighborhood, and community. Because of this, studies have shown that homeschooled children have higher self-esteem. Children who go to school do not experience real-world situations, while homeschoolers are definitely more prepared for the real world.
The type of socialization experienced in schools is often negative. Large school environments harbor conformity, teasing, bullying, challenging behavior, popularity contests, and competition. It’s no wonder that homeschooled kids have higher self-esteem; children at home are learning kindness, patience, sharing, respect and understanding. These homeschooled children are not exposed to peer influences that foster peer dependency. Peer-dependent children show diminished positive socialization, such as self-esteem, confidence, reverence for their parents, and trust in peers. Although homeschooled children may play with other children in the neighborhood and experience this dependency on peers, strong morals and values are being taught at home that override these negative experiences.
Homeschooled children learn to listen to their own instincts and let that guide them in making their own decisions. Conforming to a social peer group that does not value individuality does not encourage independent thinking, which is necessary for a successful life.
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