This is definitely a hot topic among parents today. Do our kids need socialization from child care centers and special schools or can they learn the needed social skills at home?
I have six pint-sized treasures that the Lord has blessed me with over the past 11 years. Four of my children have been home-schooled their entire life and two of them are still toddlers and stay at home with me, their full-time mom.
Before I became a mom, I knew I wanted to home-school and I knew I wanted to stay at home with my children. Why would I want someone else savoring those memories of my baby’s first word, first laugh or fist step? No, I wanted to experience all those new milestones and joys with my little ones.
As my little ones began to grow, well-meaning people came to me and asked,
“Don’t you think Joshua should spend a little time in day-care for some socialization? You don’t want him to grow up acting backwards.”
I kindly responded with something like this:
“Joshua is one of the happiest babies I know. He hardly ever cries, enjoys playing with kids at church and loves his family. I think he enjoys being at home with me and I enjoy being at home with him!”
Another mom mentioned to me while we were on a play-date together the following:
“My friends are really pressuring me to try to put my two kids in daycare once or twice a week so they can get to know other kids. What do you think, Alison?”
First of all, your kids need YOU, the mother. They need their father too, but they need a constant presence to guide, take care of and love them throughout the day. Daddies have to work outside the home to provide for the family, so naturally the mother would be the one to offer this care at home.
I have worked at several day-care centers before I got married. Some were more upscale and some were in poorer neighborhoods. In all of these child centers and day-cares, one thing stuck out about 75% of the kids. They were hungry for love and attention. Day care workers, child care centers, and school teachers do not have the natural love that you have for your child. Some of them are caring and kind, but some are only trying to get a paycheck. I know. I worked in many of them.
However, God has given you a natural, innate love for your offspring. A love that wants the best for your child. A love that desires your child to be healthy and happy.
If you are concerned about socialization issues, consider this:
Do you go to church? If you attend on a regular basis, your kids are undoubtedly interacting, socializing and having fun with the other kids that attend.
Do you have any friends that have children? Try to meet up once a week together for outings or just play time and snacks at each other’s homes.
There are many home-school programs across America. Some are more active than others. Some are just getting together once or twice a month for a field trip while others meet weekly and share academic responsibilities. Ask around and see what is available in your neck of the woods.
Remember that your child is a blessing from the Lord and it is our job as their parents to be a good steward of these gifts. One day we will be required to give an account to God for how we treated these gifts.
Don’t give in to peer pressure to “socialize” your child. By staying home with your kids, you are providing them an environment where they are learning about God, loving their family and being loved by their family. This is the best learning environment for children. Your child is socializing–and he is socializing with the ones that love him most in this world!