Thursday, 31 July 2014

Extra Curricular Activities

When the topic of 'socialisation' rears its head in relation to home-education, I am always a little perplexed as to why people think the only place children socialise is in school.
Kiddo is learning the art of being a sociable little person, through living in the real world and interacting with people (of all ages) on a daily basis, both first hand and through observing me (Hubby, Grandparents etc) interacting with other social beings, ie other folk.
Kiddo gets plenty of opportunity to 'socialise' and make friends, through play dates and regular (weekly) meet ups with fellow home-educating families, friends and  family. Then there are errands to be run, shops to shop in, drs appointments to attend, postman delivering his parcels (generally for next door and we take them in), neighbours met in the close, the gardeners fortnightly visit to 'maintain' the communal green, etc. Plus there are opportunities for extra curricular activities. Who doesn't love a dance class or sports lesson?
So far, our attempts at such classes have not been terribly successful. Generally due to Kiddo either not 'feeling' the topic, or preferring to freestyle.  When he tried Tae-kwon-do. instead of standing on the small yellow circle to practice kicks, he preferred to toss his in the air, pretending it was a pancake. He had zero desire for tae-kwon-do, it was me who thought he might enjoy it. I know a few people who's kids love it.  We also tried gymnastics (which he did like) but he didn't like moving between the different activities, especially when he was focussed on the trampoline or the beam.  He now has his name down for a place (for a trial) at enjoy-a-ball to see if that is any more successful.
What we are discovering, is that Kiddo doesn't like large groups, and doesn't like pressure to perform or restrictions in what he enjoys.
Where does this come from?  Well, my mum came across some of my old photos from the early 1980's, when I attended ballet and tap class. It looked like a thoroughly enjoyable experience for my 4 year old self
I actually remember being at the front of the stage for the finale of the dancing display (from which, this photo was taken), spotting my Gran in the front row of the audience and bursting into tears, having to be escorted off the stage. The following year must have been better as at 5, I was happy to pose
At 6 I tried majorettes. My memory only recalls 1 class, but according to my mother, I went for a few months until the teacher took her aside and recommended that she shouldn't waste her money any more, as I was not very co-ordinated!!! The cheek. I am very co-ordinated and can shake my thing on the dancefloor like nobody's business, thank you very much!
By around 1988/89 I had long gave up on the ballet and tap, my energies had moved on to acrobatics and I absolutely LOVED this 'outfit'

There is hope yet that Kiddo will find an activity that he enjoys and lets him express himself freely, but at only 4 years old, I'm not worried about the desperate need of society to make sure he is 'socialised'. 
In the mean time, we will carry on going about our business, living our (social) life.


  1. Totally agree with this. The twins are highly social but that's simply because they have two big sisters who have led the way. Both older girls hated forced situations and were much happier pottering along beside me until they were much older - about seven for daughter 2 and ten for daughter 1. I've always just let them tell me when they're ready for more social interaction - and believe me, Kiddo will. Personally I think one of the great things about home ed is that each child is given the space to develop at exactly their own pace - they will demand what they need as they need it.

    I just spent today with the four year olds as the other two were at a friends house they met at ballet class: lots of water fights, trampolining, loom bands etc Enjoy the peace while you have it!

    Love those pictures of you!

  2. The pictures made me laugh, it felt rude not to share them ;p
    The focus on socialising is intense, and it would seem, an alien concept, to want to spend time with my young son and to involve him in our lives.
    Ahh, loom bands :) reminds me of all the time and energy I used to put into knotting and making embroidery thread friendship bracelets.


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