This one was asked in a large, international, radical/whole-life unschooling group:
Q. (my partner) thinks my kids are suffering socially.... ...My partner seems to think they need to socialize with friends a few hours every DAY.
What does this look like in your family?A. My kids go through phases. Sometimes they really want to be with other kids, sometimes they'd rather stay home. We're lucky enough to have a park a block away and a school playground half a block away, as well as a town nice enough to walk around in, so my kids have never had a shortage of neighborhood contacts - they just prefer their homeschool friends. :)
We've also set up homeschool park day, soccer, baseball & kickball "teams" (just enough kids to have 2 teams to play against each other), Nerf battles, pot lucks, Field Day, etc. More often, my kids are asking me not to plan stuff, rather than saying they miss their friends. :)
The thing is (and this took me a long time to absorb), our childhoods were our own. Our kids will *never* have the same childhood that we had - and that's okay. Even if we set up house in the same location, even if we put them in school, even if we took the same vacations & sent them to the same camps. One, we're all different and get different things out of the same situation; Two, it is a different era - they have a different (however slight) society to grow up in, different technology, different t.v. shows, different music - and different *parents*. :)
Most people don't look back on their childhoods with regret about things they missed out on (unless they were in a seriously extreme situation), and most people remember (different) things fondly and generally remember a happy childhood - our kids will, too. Their childhood is their own and they will carry it in a special place in their hearts, no matter how different it may be from our own.
~ De Smith