The whole “socialization” issue is a sore topic among homeschoolers. We know that our kids are socialized, and people who encounter homeschooled kids know it too. But there are still those who still just don’t get it. I had one such encounter recently, and out of it came a better understanding of some or the perils that accompany socialization. Let me enlighten you.
My perfectly healthy nine year old came home from ballet one Thursday evening with a headache. I thought little of it as she’d worked pretty hard and hadn’t taken advantage of the water break offered. I gave her Tylenol and she seemed fine when she went to bed.
Midnight….yes, midnight, the bane of a Mom’s existence. That line where a Mom crosses from blissful sleep into full blown majorly sick child mode. HIGH fever, sick headache…nothing else just those two symptoms. After an hour of intervention the child is back to a fitful sleep, and Mom is semi-asleep listening for any sound that might indicate distress.
10:00am and the afore mentioned child is still sleeping. This is good, we hope. That hope is short lived as said child wakes up with an excruciating headache and a high fever. We head to the doctor. This is where the socialization issue comes into play, ahem.
After the general admittance procedures the doctor comes in and I once again relay the child’s only two symptoms of headache and fever. The doctor thinks it’s strep (what, with no sore throat?) This educated person then asks the nine year old “Is strep throat going around your school?” “No ma’am, I’m homeschooled”…and here we go.
“Have you knowingly had her around anyone who is sick?” “No.”
“Well if she IS homeschooled how would she have picked up strep?”
I resisted the urge to choke the life out of her with her own stethoscope, and replied as politely as I could; “She’s in ballet four days a week, church two days a week and there’s this crazy thing called a park that has OTHER KIDS”. She scowled at me as she stomped out of the exam room.
The nurse who came in to do the throat swab was very nice. He said he’d already had to check his own son for strep THREE TIMES this school year. Ya’ll, school started in late August…it’s only mid October. THREE TIMES in approximately six weeks. Two out of those three times his son DID have strep. Now there’s something they don’t mention when they start talking “socialization”, now do they?
What are the chances that in this small town someone from ballet, church or the park goes to school with the nurses’ son? Pretty.darn.good. Do doctors ask those parents “did you knowingly have your child around someone who was sick?” Doubtful. It just goes to show, even the most educated people can be totally ignorant.
In addition to a positive strep test, here’s what socialization earned us this week. Thanks, thanks a lot.