Sunday, May 20, 2012

What the heck is socialization?

We took Jack out of school. That's what we did and that's what we told our friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, everyone who would listen, even Jack's doctors.

His pediatrician thought it a good idea.

Most everyone else asked:

What about socialization? Won't Jack miss that? Won't Jack miss being socialized? School allows kids to be socialized. If Jack's not in school, how will he get socialized?

So I ask back: What is socialization?

Is this socialization:

Getting up at seven to be in school by eight.
Crossing the street with a crossing guard telling the kids, "Hurry children. You don't want to be late. Move along. The cars are waiting."

The children getting into their seats with hands folded on their desks before the first bell.

The teacher addressing the class, "Quiet children. Look at me."
Later, the teacher reminds the kids, "No talking, children."
Then, at the 50 minute bell, "OK, everyone put away this book and get out that book. ... In silence, please."

At the lunch bell (how Pavlovian, the bells) teacher says to class: Let's walk quietly to the cafeteria. And remember, the quietest table at lunch gets to go out to play first

At recess the yard duty adult (a volunteer parent or another teacher) keeps the kids in control: No running. Stop playing, that game it's too rough. Don't kick the ball. Don't throw the ball. No yelling. Don't play with the sand, gravel, rocks, wood chips or anything. You might hurt yourself or, even worse, someone else. Quiet, please.

In the afternoon, a trip to the library is the class walking in silence, in single file. The teacher saying, "When you hear me snap my fingers, look at me, stop what you're doing, remain quiet. No reading out loud."

At the three o'clock bell teacher dismisses the students one at a time. The quietest first. The "best behaved" first.

And at home, "OK, Jack. Time to do your homework."

Then later, "Let's try to get you to bed a little earlier this evening. It's a school night, you know."

Then, even later. Jack's dad says to Jack's mom. "You notice how quiet Jack is. I hope he's OK."

So the answer to:

If Jack's not in school, how will he ever become socialized?


Socialization happening in school is a myth!


And the fallout from perpetuating the myth is


to our kids, ourselves, our society.


1 comment:

  1. one of my daughters IEP goals involves social skills. we just received her progress report and she is Below Level in social skills. as her parent, i'm not worried about how well she socializes with her school classmates. as her parent, i'm very worried about the school educating her. and she's only in kindergarten! when did the focus shift from ABC/123 to social skills? isn't the learning more important than the playing?