Sunday, June 14, 2009

Home schoolers are SO weird!

When Tim and I first started discussing the possibility of home schooling our children we tried to weigh the pros and cons very carefully. Our children's education is something that we feel is important and we wanted to do what was best for them, and for us. The pros were many, more time together as a family, the ability to provide them with a truly Catholic education at a fraction of the cost of parochial schools, control over what and who they would be exposed to, lots of amazing opportunities to learn things hands on in the real world, etc.... The cons were fewer in number but we still wanted to take them into consideration. I would get no break, the curriculum choices were overwhelming and intimidating, and...well... home school kids always seemed a little weird.
We felt we had valid concerns about moving forward with home education. We just couldn’t ignore that age old home school protest- the kids will not be socialized. They will turn out socially backward, unable to interact appropriately with their peers, unable to form normal friendships and healthy relationships outside of their own family. In fact, we talked about home schooling for several years before we finally discerned that God was calling us to it. Despite our worries about socialization we started researching curriculum, talking to families from our church who we knew home schooled, and planning to turn our spare bedroom into a classroom. We would take the good with the bad and try out this whole idea of educating our children right in our own home.
So, as we begin our 5th year of home schooling, I find myself reflecting on our first impressions of it. Are our kids weird? Well....the reality is they are unusual when compared to their “normal school” peers.
Our oldest daughter, who is the only one of our children ever blessed with the opportunity to experience “regular” school when she was in kindergarten, is now ten and a half years old. She really is different than most 5th graders we know. For example, she will not wear pants or shorts. Everyday, by her choice, not mine, she wears either a skirt or dress. Our daughter would choose to live in the 1800's if given the opportunity. She is much more interested in history than in pop culture. In fact, recently I overheard a conversation she was having with one of her friends who attends the local Catholic school about how our daughter doesn’t know of any celebrity “guys”. Her friend was incredulous. Our fifth grader would choose to read a book rather than watch the Disney Channel or flip through a teen magazine. I'm not sure any of this is because she is home schooled but she is very much her own person and does not just do what everyone else is doing because every one else is doing it.
Our oldest son, at the age of 7 1/2, is very much a typical little boy. He loves baseball and always has his ball glove and baseball cap on. He enjoys playing outside, climbing trees and trying out stunts on his bicycle. He looks for every opportunity to be the center of attention and every opportunity to avoid his schoolwork. Despite this, he recently overheard Tim and I discussing the request of a friend to help them out on a Friday morning during our normal school time. I was telling Tim that while I really wanted to be there for our friend I worried about letting too much get in the way of school. Our son interrupted the conversation with a solution. "We could just take Friday off and then do all our work on Sat., couldn't we?" he suggested. Now if that doesn't speak to the benefits of home schooling, I'm not sure what does! did seem a little odd coming from a third grade boy!
Our first grader is a beautiful little girl, very expressive and out-going. She still loves school and can not wait to pull out the manipulatives for her math work and then cuddle on the couch to read Amelia Bedelia with mommy. She has asked to go to a "real" school so she can be around other kids all day long. I can't help but wonder, how long she would really enjoy the long days at a desk when she is used to a couple of hours of hands-on learning and the rest of the day playing with her little brother?
So, in answer to my own question, yes, our children are weird. Now, our kids are a part of those home schoolers I used to see at the park when I'd take them as little toddlers. The strange kids who were all playing together and making sure every one was included. Our kids are the ones who leave the house in prairie dresses and bonnets, without any fear of rejection or ridicule. Our kids think learning is so much a part of life that it can be done on weekends. So maybe home schoolers are a little weird! But, they are happy, they are healthy, and they are real. I guess we can live with weird!
Now, I am just left to ponder........ are they unsocialized?.........(for my answer to that question see


  1. I am a homeschooler, and realize that homeschooling may or may not be the best option. a reason some parennts take their kids outt of school is because of bullying, but the 'homeschooler steryotype' hurts just as much. many manny times have i been asked things like, "do you have tv? do you have running water? you're a homeschooler...... so you are smarter thann me, right?" one boy actually refused to talk to a family member because we were homeschooled. Some homeschoolers are wierd. but so are school kids. i know more weird public school kids thann homeschoolers. and this is after being in Softbball for two years, ski club, the golf team, and more. It's just that they are "normal." i am constantly being watched, and because we are religious annd homeschooled, people think that we are AMISH or something!!!!! :D we have email, facebook, twitter, annd yes, TV!
    -homeschool not-an-outcast:)))

  2. whoops! its me again. i meant to say that i am constanntly being watched and judged byy the PUBLIC SCHOOL kids:) and another typo: they are "normal" just because they go to school.



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