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But What About Socialization!?!

**I’m reposting this blog post since it is one that so often I am called back to. Will people ever stop asking about homeschoolers and socialization??**

Of course this is the most common comment that we get when people find out that we homeschool.  If it isn’t spoken, then it is often implied, “Oh! You home school!” the brow gives a slight crinkle and a momentary look of incredulity passes over those eyes that once shared camaraderie.

Sometimes I feel defiant, others resigned.  Mostly I smile and laugh and just explain that yes we do like spending time together and that we often spend far too much time playing with friends of all ages – after all, our schooling is done earlier than their child’s is and we don’t have homework in the evening.

I was thinking recently about how we started into this journey of homeschooling, how Mama thought it a good idea but Daddy was unsure.  So Mama, being the scholar that she was set up a research project, reading, weighing the pros and cons and presenting them to her man, trying to be objective.  Eventually this lead to a round of interviews (read: dinner parties) with homeschoolers and public school teachers and parents who had made a variety of educational choices for their children.

The clincher for us?  One evening, over a dinner party with one of the subjects of our many case studies my hubby says, “So what about socialization?”  Gales of laughter from the other Papa.  “Do you really think that going to school ensures that kids will be well socialized?”  Light bulb!  We had this conversation in the temporal shadow of the horrific events of Columbine High School.  Of course, the events at Columbine weren’t typical of schools at all but what was typical?  Bullying, behavioural problems that plague the staff and leave many students heavily drugged, many students leaving the education system unprepared for life, cultural values being taught that often conflicted with our own family values.  No, we wouldn’t miss the socialization that schools promised.

So then I start to think… what exactly is socialization?  Is it being able to act properly in a social setting?  Having “social graces”?  Being able to interact with others in a “normal” way?  Is it spending lots of time with friends instead of just family?

Well, scholar Mama goes back to the dictionary.  “Webster’s College Dictionary says, socialization is a continuing process whereby an individual learns and assimilates the values and behaviour patterns appropriate to his or her culture and social position…..”

Hmm, maybe we need to question the need for socialization….  Do we want our kids to learn and to assimilate the values of our culture, a culture that values financial success over compassion, a culture that denies the involvement of the Creator in the cosmos?  Do I trust popular culture to tell my family the best way to act in a situation, to behave around others?  Maybe socialization isn’t a goal for our abundant life education after all.  Maybe we should be assimilating a different set of values.  Not values that come from the homeschooling lifestyle but values that come from living life according to the Word.  That’s countercultural.  Maybe we need to counter-socialize (or be anti-social?): to live a life that acts in light of eternity rather than in light of our cultures latest fads.

Do we need to homeschool in order to properly overcome the socialization monster?  No.  But it’s nice to be able to “socialize” during all that extra time that we have when school ends by lunch and the evenings are for relaxing instead of homework.

Wishing you a counter-social week.

Blessings,

Cori

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Homeschool Picture Days: OCTOBER 1ST OR 11TH! Book now!

homeschool picture day

Homeschool Portraits are being offered again this year by the super talented and professional Crystal Hounsome of Crystal Xpressions on October 1st in Bradford  and October 11th near Thornton, Ontario.

 

Don’t miss out! This is the 10th year she has offered portraits at a discounted rate to homeschoolers and she usually books up quickly! Crystal Hounsome is a homeschooling mother of ten who is also a professional photographer. For more than 20 years she has been doing wedding, family, baby, maternity, engagement and school photos as well as other professional shoots. You can take a glimpse of her portfolio on Facebook at Crystal Xpressions Photography.

 

This year’s deal: $50 per child to a maximum of $120 per family, which includes 3(!) poses of each child as well as a complimentary group shot of your children. You will receive your photos in high resolution digital format and can make as many prints as you want from that digital copy. You will also have the option to purchase prints at an additional cost. An example of this year’s background will be sent to you a week before your portrait session. (Please contact Crystal at wchounsome@yahoo.ca if you would prefer to book an outdoor family session on a different day.)

 

Please email : Cori at cori@mapletreepublications.ca to book on October 1st

or Crystal at wchounsome@yahoo.ca to book on October 11th.

 

Looking forward to this event once again!

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Free Bible League Planners!

Many of Maple Tree’s local friends know that we order in Student Connection Planners every summer as a service to our local community. The Bible League offers these day planners that are a wonderful resource for scheduling and planning, using for journaling or spelling lists, or whatever suits. There are three different versions available and they all have Bible reading plan options if you’d like to use those as well. While they will still be available at cost, this year, we are providing them for FREE to our customers as a way to say thanks and to encourage you as you enjoy the summer break and prepare for another school year to come.
 
 
If you’d like TO CLAIM YOUR FREE PLANNER, please choose from the three Bible League Planner 2018-2019 Elementaryoptions below and add your choice as a note on your online (www.mapletreepublications.ca) order or pick up in store. (We will add one free planner for every $50 spent while supplies last!):
 
 
– The Elementary Planner is 8.5×11” and is geared to K-2
 
– The Full-Sized Planner is also 8.5×11” and is geared to grades 3-5
 
– The Compact Planner is half the size of the others and is generally the same format as the full-sized but is marketed to grades 6-12
 
 
(While these are the grades that they are produced for they are really all quite interchangeable except for a couple of study notes sheets in the back and so you can choose whichever format most suits you.)
 
 
To take a closer look at the planners, please check here: https://bibleleague.ca/shop/
 
 
We will, of course still be providing the planners at cost for those who do not need to place an order! They are $4.29 + GST = $4.50 for Elementary or Full-Sized Planners and $3.29 + GST = $3.45 for the Compact Planner
 
 
If you’d like me to get some in stock for you, please send me your name and email address and how many of each you would like ASAP.  (Planners that don’t accompany an order are for pick-up only will be at our home based store in Bradford in late July.)
 
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Free Newby Seminars for the Summer of 2016!

Hey Folks,

Once again this year, as the homeschooling movement in Canada continues to grow I am partnering with other homeschooling veterans to bring you a series of free open forum evenings to look into the world of homeschooling.  Henry and Corrinna Kiezebrink, and Dione Rogers and I have lived the highs and lows of this experience and are excited to chat with you in our homes about the adventure.  The workshops will be offered in  July and August in our homes in Bradford, Barrie, and Stouffville.  

Whether you have made a firm decision or are still investigating yo20160607_123501ur options, whether you are doing this based on a conviction you have or because the ability to school in a different way just seems to fit for your family, please feel free to come for a visit. These are interactive (question and answer style) small group workshops
. If you, or someone you know, are interested in coming please RSVP directly to me at cori@mapletreepublications.ca as soon as possible as attendance is limited to 15 people (since we do have a very cozy space to meet) and the evenings usually do fill up.

Continue reading Free Newby Seminars for the Summer of 2016!

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A New Season…

It is so exciting to see spring unfolding once again and so early this year!  As usual, we are excited to be out in the yard cleaning up and dreaming of things to come, preparing gardens, tidying out the garage (let me tell you: that’s a messy job this year!) and starting little seedlings.  I am not nearly so much a gardening expert as I am an aficionado, a fan, a devotee to mucking in the dirt with hopes that something yummy might spring from it.  Really I am still that kid that makes mud pies and dreams of them really being tasty treats.

In addition to these signs of spring you can also be sure to find me playing with stacks of boxes and leafing through countless books as this is also the beginning of “Conference Season”.  Maple Tree will be at several conferences and sales over the next several months and I will also have the funky privilege of chatting with many of you as I teach several seminars at these gatherings and as I visit in our little corner of the exhibit hall.  

Continue reading A New Season…