I’m eventually going to write a book (or at least a chapter of one) taking apart, limb by limb, the current idea of “socialization” as defined by making our children spend all day with 30 other kids their age and 1 adult chaperone 5 days per week. Where we got the absurdist notion that this was the proper way to acculturate our children to life in society I still am not sure. I hope to be able to share that in the chapter (or book)…
Today, instead, I want to share with you some sweetness that, at least visually, describes one of our alternatives to “proper socialization”. We call it play group. It’s been going on since Echo was a wee one. Before that, we did daycare out of our home, not only as a way to be able to stay home, but also for the social benefits.
Here’s a teeny portion of how it looked last Monday, when play group came to our house:
The kids all decided they wanted to rake leaves (that had been buried under snow all winter…) into a pile. So although, it looks like Autumn, this is really our first Spring play group outside.
And once the pile was built (such as it was), it was time for some jumping. Then, on to more exciting and less industrious endeavors…
like covering each other completely in dirty old leaves.
Bella came down from tree-climbing to help bury Echo.
Then got buried herself.
After all the excitement of watching her sister and friends playing in the leaves…
Baby Olive had to take a quick “break”.
The kids all get together at least once a week for play group, and often more. And the moms (and me when I am available) move with and orbit the kids, while both groups are talking, and playing. Occasionally, there’s a “situation” or a negotiation that is necessary, and we help the kids work it out together. By arranging this, and our lives to accommodate it, we offer the kids hours of time together each week, and more importantly, in an environment and under such conditions that the parents are there to assist at a moment’s notice – even helping to clarify what one kid said to the other if need be. This way, our kids get to work on interacting with other kids their ages (in addition to other people not the exact same ages), with us there to model and adjust interactions as necessary. And all of us socializing/”socializing” in the way nature intended.