Every homeschooler has been questioned about the Big “S” … the socialization question. How will our poor homeschooled children ever become properly socialized? A single room with a single adult supervising 20 to 30 same-aged children is assumed to be the proper milieu for learning good social interaction skills.
Five-year-old Alex Barton might have a slightly different take on this concept. Alex is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism that causes eccentric behavior. But his kindergarten teacher thought it would be a good idea to make Alex the butt of a Survivor-type episode in the classroom, asking each of his classmates to publicly state what they disliked about the boy. As if that were not enough, at the end of this exercise, said teacher led the children in voting Alex out of the classroom. Alex spent the rest of the day in the nurse’s office. His mother has not returned him to school; but every morning since, when she drops off her older children at school, Alex is reduced to screaming hysteria though he stays inside the car.
I can’t help wondering, when public school fans are touting the virtues of institutional socialization to me: would they prefer their own child to be on the giving or receiving end of such an exercise?