It never fails that I’m asked this question — how is Tiny Smalls with people? I wonder if people think that I keep Tiny Smalls locked in a room doing worksheets with little to no contact with other children. She’s not an alien or a side-show curiosity. She’s around people ALL the time.
As a parent, I’ve had her out and about since she was itty bitty. Her first trip to the mall was @ 8 days old. It was more or less a ploy to get me out of the house and she slept the whole time, but she was still out. Her first subway ride was at 6 weeks — she was wide-eyed and alert for that — and we began baby Spanish group before she was a year old. All that hand clapping, story listening and maraca playing probably helped her with people skills in some way.
But here’s the deal, if you raise your child to know how to behave appropriately in different situations AND model that behavior for them, then they’ll be alright regardless if they are home schooled, attend public or private school. Tiny Smalls is around other people all the time — from her after school program, to her dance, choir, piano and art classes to her physical and occupational therapists — mo’ people, mo’ people. And let’s not forget, we live in NY. We have to negotiate public transportation and crowded sidewalks on the daily and this gives Tiny Smalls an added layer of literacy. She is also skilled at busting out the subway map and showing me where we are, where we need to go and how to get there.
I really think the “socialization” question is really a couched “Who do you think you are trying to educate your child outside of the system” question. By nature of being humans, we are social creatures and anyone who has met Tiny Smalls knows that her abilities to navigate the world around her and exchange with the folks in it are on point. Do I think it’s a fair question? Not really. But do I answer nicely? All the time.