On building relationships and the homeschooled child
On a recent post on socialization, Kymberlyn of Education Junction left a thoughtful response outlining her personal concern regarding this issue.

I have posed the socialization question, but maybe my choice of words were not fitting. I do not have concerns about my children being polite or conversing with others, etc. My concern has always been about their ability to have a group of close friends....

...I know the work we are doing at home is well worth it. I just don't ever want to see my son on the outside looking in.

"Socialization" may be the wrong word, but Kymberlyn's concern is genuine and worthy of consideration. How important are these daily, casual interactions in the process of developing friendships?
I just don't ever want to see my son on the outside looking in.
This sentence is actually what brought this comment into a post. Because it so clearly describes my public school experience (at least through elementary and middle school). I was on the outside looking in. I was on the periphery of social interactions. I still remember quite vividly the most devastating words spoken to my fragile psyche:
I thought I told you I would only by your friend if you didn't talk to her anymore.
Her being me of course. I'll spare you further details, but some of you may note that I have generally spoken positively of my own public school experience in other entries. I liked school. I did even then. But it took me until the eighth grade to stop blaming those around me for my social situation and realize that "victimhood" is a choice. And it was a choice I was making on a daily basis.

There are pros and cons to "building relationships with schoolmates on a daily basis." To build meaningful relationships, a child does need regular interactions and shared experiences. But school is not the only context where this is possible simply because it was the norm for most of us. School can potentially be a hinderance to some who are not ready or do not yet have the skills to navigate the social situations presented at school on their own.

Social children will tend to seek out social situations and make friends wherever they go. Given a little nourishment, some of these early friendships may blossom into something quite fruitful. Other children may require a bit of prompting and may be more like me...quiet and reserved with a tendency to opt out of social situations. You will find both extremes and everything in between in public schools, in homeschools and even within a single family. Within the family, however, we have the unique ability to give each of our children the opportunities and encouragement they need to be successful in their social interactions and in their ability to develop relationships.