A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crazy, Un-socialized Homeschool Family and Proud of it

One of the first question you get asked as a homeschooling parent is, "So, How do your children get socialized?"or " Wont they be weird if they aren't around children their own age?"
I have always had patience with this question, as many people do not know or understand what goes into homeschooling a child. At first, I struggled to answer these questions or statements in a way that proved them otherwise.
Something my father always taught me was to be strong enough to defend yourself and your beliefs. To have a full understanding of why you believe what you believe and how to express it in a knowledgeable and fearless manor. Though I am sure he was referring to my faith, I am taking full advantage of the advice. Having that in mind I sat down with a pen and my notepad in efforts to remind myself of the positives of homeschooling and the benefits of socialization that a homeschooling child receives over public school students. If I gave you my whole list, you'd get tired of reading. So in effort not to be used as a method of sleep medication, I am listing the ones I feel that are the most noticeable reasons to me. :)

*My children participate in community sports(soccer, football, and basketball), their own grade level in a co-op, separate and combined clubs and church functions. Actually, they participate in more than most public school children because we have all day for activities and do not have to squeeze activities into a time period 4 hours between school ending and bed.They are not stuck in a house all day, deprived from life kids.
*No way in public school would you see a 3rd grader helping a preschooler do a game, learn a lesson, do a project or offer to keep one entertained while mom does a chore. And not often in home school do you see a 3rd grader who thinks its 'uncool' to be around kids of a lower grade.
*Bullying isn't part of our school routine. It, beyond the shadow of a doubt, isn't going to make my children socially inept to do with out it.
* My kids learn about airplanes and how to fly model airplanes from the old Vietnam Vet who lives alone. At the same time getting a history lesson from someone who lived it.
* My children learn gardening and how to get more suckers out of the girls at the bank from the elderly couple across the street. And how to make homemade chicken noodle soup to take to them when they are ill.
* My kids don't worry about wearing the perfect thing or trying to impress the popular clique. They are able to focus on their studies because who cares what their siblings think, right. They are not constantly confronted with on-going school based socialization, peer pressure and standardization.
* My kids do go beyond the kitchen table and into their community. They gain experience from opportunities like reading to younger kids at the local library, volunteering at a local nursing home, or handing out blankets and speaking to a homeless child or family.

What people fail to see is that children being around kids their own age all day, everyday is okay, but it is the experience with people of all other ages that will help them to grow in understanding of people as a whole. A child will not always be around their 'age group' for the rest of their life. Once they reach college and head into the workforce they will come in contact with people in all age groups, people from different 'times'. I have confidence that my children will be able to walk out in the world and not only be able to be able to fit in with their age group, but will be able to understand, interact, and handle situations with people, in general, no matter what age or year they graduated. I have had the joy of hearing the conversations my 9 year old has with our elderly neighbors or the folks at the nursing home. He is able to walk into situation and know how to have a proper dialect with any age group. You just cant learn that sitting in a room with 20-30 other kids of the same age. I might add that public school they get in trouble when they 'socialize' in class, so I in guess they do some double duty during their 20 minutes of recess. :)

Are my children odd? Yes, by the standardization of the non-homeschooling community. Yes, in a sense that they do not comply with the social mediocrity that is expected of them. Personally, I feel that is something to be proud of. They stand out because they are different from the norms of society. They have an individuality that has not become processed by social expectation, but by their own will to be who they are and who God wants them to be. If that is considered to be un-socialized, then watch out, we are a crazy, un-socialized, homeschool family and proud of it. Get over it! I am glad my children can be different from everyone else!


  1. Thanks for linking up to TTM! I look forward to following you!

    It is so true...homeschool kids play with kids of all ages. My girls (who were in school for 5 years) almost seem relieved to be able to do this. I think the school kids would love to have friends that are different ages, but are soo afraid of being made fun of for having younger friends, helping younger kids, etc. And yet, when you think about it? What are NECESSARY skills in society? learning to help someone, learning to teach someone...it does not matter what industry you get into, you will be asked at some point in your life to help someone who doesn't know how to do something learn how to do it. Why not have kids having experience with this?

    I guess it is odd that my girls don't worry about or care about what is cool or in fashion or what the "in crowd" is doing...and I am sure there are those that find fault with that...but I would rather them do what is right for them then be forced to conform.

  2. Thanks for linking up with us today! Wow - I can really relate to your kids not wanting to wear the same thing, etc... my daughter is so non conformist and is proud of it. I think if she were in school things would be lots harder for her.

  3. So many excellent points!! It's everyone else who is crazy, not us homeschoolers ;) They just don't know what they're missing!