The social factor
SUMMIT COUNTY – “Socialization is the question that, when homeschoolers are asked, we just roll our eyes,” said Lisa George, leader of Christian Home Educators of the Rockies (CHER), a Christian homeschooling network in and around Summit County.George, her husband and her three adolescent children live on their guest ranch north of Kremmling, where she has been homeschooling for five years.
George and many other homeschoolers roll their eyes at the “socialization” question because it is often the very reason they opted to homeschool in the first place.”Our daughter had five delinquent boys in her class. Their job was to make the teacher cry. We became convinced she was not going to get the education she deserved in that setting,” George said.When her children attended Kremmling’s public schools, George “spent a good part of the time at home desocializing: “You might have said that on the playground, but that’s not how you speak in this house.'”
Ann Hunsinger of Wildernest, who homeschools her three elementary-aged children, is happy to set her family up as the social foundation for her children.”I believe the family is the best social unit,” Hunsinger said. “So many families are not functioning well because families spend so little time together. Family is where you learn to interact, and homeschooling really helps them learn how to build better, stronger personal relationships.”
And most homeschool children do interact with their peers through nonschool activities like athletics or through organized homeschool networks. Each of the 24 families in CHER is responsible for organizing an activity for the rest of the children in the network. Trips to the zoo, science fairs, book clubs and sledding parties bring children and parents together from their respective kitchens.- Julie Sutor
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