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Geoff Botkin: Do children need socialization?

7 comments | 12:04 am | top |
by Geoffrey Botkin
(An excerpt from his book The Great Escape)


American parents used to think something called age-segregated socialization was as important for a child as trips to the dentist. Socialization does have a profound influence on the child, but that influence is normally more harmful than helpful. The idea originated with a few radical 19th century educators who were self-professed socialists. They advocated public school socialization as the means by which to reduce an average child's rugged individuality, creativity and intellectual curiosity, so that adult compliance with change in society is easily achieved.
Of course, most parents are not worrying about the finer points of mass social engineering or the real intentions of John Dewey. They simply want their child to learn how to be popular and happy and comfortable among his peers. If a child is deprived of the regimented socialization of the public school environment, will he grow up to resemble a social freak, a nerd, or an egghead?
Homeschoolers have provided the answer. The evidence shows that when social graces, resourcefulness, personal confidence, and leadership abilities are measured, homeschooled youth turn out superior to their peers from school. Superior is not my word, but the word of the experts who have learned that socialization is merely a fancy term that describes how children become like one another, dependent on one another, dependent on a collective society and mentally and emotionally compliant. This kind of socialization is not good. It should be regarded as the threat that it is. It should be a very uncomfortable concept to parents who know what happens on today's school buses, in today's locker rooms, in today's restrooms, and on today's classroom TV sets. 
But, parents may ask, isn't it necessary to prepare a child for the real world? Of course it is. But it is not necessary to surrender a child to this world to prepare him to endure it. Homeschooled children know plenty about the real world. Many of them are learning that today's collapsed civilization is unacceptable. They are learning that it should be changed, and that it can be changed. 


It appears that the homeschooled children who grow up in family cultures, rather than anti-family cultures, are learning the leadership skills and acquiring the vision to renew American civilization along traditional lines. Family life is the real world, and the reason so many young families and marriages are failing is because our over-taxed, public school-dependent culture created dysfunctional families whose members rarely interacted with one another as they were growing up.


Blogger AgapeTheologian said...


I just want to reply to your comment...I didn't mean for my webpost to come across as feelings or the only way to worship is in the physical matter. But, for me, I've never felt like I was praising God so much as I was at the conference. It would have been a sin for me to not raise my hands at certain parts because I knew the Spirit was working and telling me lift my hands. However, people who don't raise their hands are giving God the same amount of glory as people who did raise their hands.

Both types of worship has to be directed towards God and Him alone. You can't just merely be singing the words, but pondering on them!

I hope this clears it up a bit!

12:13 am, June 03, 2007 
Blogger von said...

Got here from the rebelution, post:

Was interested in what you said about youth groups. Have you read the vision forum stuff on family integraged churches?

And interested that your 'pastor' left, leaving you with 'no elders or deacons'. What happened to the plurality of elders and deacons?

8:04 pm, June 06, 2007 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Hi Von! Thanks for dropping by.

I'm 20 now, and have had very minimal involvement with youth groups. Dad especially has disapproved of them, and increasingly, I find myself skeptical of the concept. The idea of age segregation, and (usually), the young leading the young; youth-pastors, I don't see these concepts as being necessarily Biblical.

Re: the state of our Church. Our pastor was tending towards heavy shepherding, and leadership was really a one-man-band. No one (4 possible candidates) was prepared to go into eldership with him, and looking back at the array of issues, I can understand why.

Plurality is most important, and so I am saying that we should wait until we get a pastor, and then appoint at least two elders, to work with him. One elder/pastor is obviously no good, two isn't good either; it is good to have that third man who can help bring balance.

12:09 am, June 07, 2007 
Blogger von said...

Ah. Now I would argue that, Biblically, there is no justification for 'calling a pastor'... ie asking someone from outside of your church to come in and help lead it.

Elders should be raised up from inside the church; and THEY should pastor it.

6:02 am, June 07, 2007 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Ah. It would be good to have some of the men become elders. But I can't see that happening, as there is only one man who could really become an elder.

We're talking about a church with 25 members, including one family with 8 members.

When we call a pastor, we are getting a man (and his family) to join the Church, and then immediately after this, he will assume the responsibility of a pastor.

And how often does a church find itself with no pastor and no elders? Admittedly there is one retired elder, who is bedridden and thus never able to attend Church.

Technically, we are not even a church. It's an unusual situation.

We generally have three visiting pastors (laymen) per month...

What's the Biblical argument against a church calling a pastor from outside the Church?

8:46 am, June 07, 2007 
Blogger Nathan Sinclair said...

umm. this is following the post, haha
anyways, about youth groups, family intergrated churhcs etc. I think a good youth group- God focused, is great, and an encouraging place for peeps to hang out and get encouragement.
about Family intergrated churches a few things worry me- it seems to assume that people always go to church with their family- and it doesn't cater for anyone else. But the church should be our family... and people have different needs/issues at different times of their lives- anyways, that'll be my beef from what i've heard about that kinda church-
And Andy, I tried to post a response on your other post (about guns) but it doesn't work... I pretty much said something about the ludicris (i can't spell) difference in doctor related and gun deaths- it's as if I said this:

only 15 people a year die from murders related to P use by the muderer, and thousands of people do drugs. But hundreds die in car accidents- therefore cars are more dangerous- that's B***S*** man

11:25 am, June 16, 2007 
Blogger Andy Moore said...


Yep, Churches should definitely be there for the whole community. It's not just for whole families to attend!

My preference would be that families attend church together (within reason - take you for example mate). So, while the children are living at home, I think it's best for the whole family to head along to Church together.

Youth-groups. My reasons for being skeptical/disliking them. The first is purely pragmatic: I haven't come across a good one myself yet. Secondly, I think the whole issue of age-segregation is a new thing, and not a good thing.

Re: your last paragraph.... Mate, I don't in any way advocate drugs. Drugs are almost certainly more harmful than cars. But I was talking before about guns, which is a different thing altogether.

11:06 pm, June 16, 2007 

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