Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Homeschool Myth - Homeschooled Kids are Weird and Can't Relate to Others

I recently had a discussion about homeschooling and the children it produces. It seems that everyone knows someone who was homeschooled and they are the weirdest person they ever met and having a terrible time communicating with others.

No one ever talks about the people they meet that have the same issues yet were public schooled. I dare say there are more of these people out there than the entire population of homeschoolers.

There are weird people everywhere. There are terrible communicators everywhere - who are not weird by the way, they just have a hard time communicating. Perhaps if they are sitting in the neighbor's yard wearing a swim cap and pretending to grill out in the middle of January that would be weird, but I recently threatened to do this and I am a product of the public school system. Ahem.

The great thing about homeschooling is that kids are not forced to be around kids their age, all day, everyday, with limited interaction with those other than their peers.  I have a daughter in public school and she is *obsessed* with fitting in. My homeschoolers, not so much. They are free from the bondage that a large group of their peers will place them in. They don't have to please a bunch of other 9 and 10 year olds to not get made fun of and to fit in. They don't have to change the way the dress, eat, or talk. They are not compelled to fit into a man made mold and instead are free to fit into the mold God gave them. They are free to be them.

They can also relate to kids older and younger than they are. They can have conversations with adults. My 6 year old was at swim class waiting for her older siblings to be done with their practices. I watched her approach an adult woman and carry on quite the conversation. She came to me about 10 minutes later and happily exclaimed, "Mommy! I met a grown up and she is nice." She was thrilled to have made a new friend. I spoke very briefly with the woman afterwards and she complimented Rebekah's manner and cuteness. (She is stinking adorable, if I do say so myself.)
Rebekah was not intimidated or frightened by this adult. She approached her. She learned about life and people in this short conversation. She was not constrained by needing to look "cool" or by the need to please the kids that were there at swim with her.

My kids don't know a ton about pop culture, and maybe that's weird to some, but I am glad. I am glad I don't have to explain certain song lyrics, for a while I did not have to explain twerking - until my public schooler forced me to.  I don't have to explain BDSM to them like I had to with my public schooler (Thank you for nothing 50 Shades of Grey). I am glad I don't have to explain a lot of things and my kids can stay kids for just a while longer.

If any of that is weird and makes them unable to relate to others, then frankly, I will take it.

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Luke Holzmann said...

Right on. I've discussed similar things with people -- like the time I was at the pool:

I love how, after a few moments of discussion odd people everywhere, the tone shifts toward a more positive one. [smile] We homeschoolers may be strange, like people you find anywhere.


Karl said...

A couple months ago I observed my 8 year-old son try to strike up a conversation with a 12 year-old, who didn't respond except with a look like, "You are so weird. Don't you know kids your age don't talk to kids my age?"

It made me wonder how many encounters people have had with homeschooled kids where they didn't realize that objectively, the homeschooled kid was actually the better socially-adjusted one.