Thursday, June 24, 2010


My daughter and I were having a little talk the other night.  I am not sure how the subject came up but we were discussing our choice to home school and how she felt about it.   She admitted to me that sometimes she does think it would be fun to go to a “regular” school, “but Mommy,” she said, “ I am different than other girls my age.  I don’t think I would fit in.”
    I smiled at her statement and tried to explain to her that everyone is different.  But, at “regular” school  kids often try to be just like one another, liking the same things and having the same interests as everyone around them, just so they can fit in.  I told her about my own experience in middle school.  How I never felt like I really fit in, but I kept trying to be just like the other kids.  I told her how I tried so hard to like all the things the other kids seemed to like and that whenever I felt different or had different interests I thought there was something wrong with me.  It was no wonder I felt that way, because even though I tried so very hard to fit in, I was still teased all the time.  I was teased because I loved to read and always had my nose in a book.  I was teased because my hair was coarse and curly and everyone else’s was straight and soft.   I was teased because I was shy and quiet.  I am sure my experiences of feeling different and worrying constantly about fitting in in “regular” school was not at all unique. 
    My daughter was right, different isn’t very accepted in “regular” school and I was very impressed with her insightful observation.  At her young age, she was able to see that she is who she is and that she is not just like every other child her age.  She was wise enough to note that that might not be valued in a “regular” school but it didn’t make her want to change.  It did not make her feel like she needs to change.  I was once again reminded of why Tim and I have chosen to home school.  It certainly is not a solution to all the social difficulties in the world but home schooling has allowed my children to be different, without fear of rejection from the world.  I tried to tell my daughter how proud I am of her, and her brothers and sisters, because they are so good at being themselves.  In truth, I  suspect my children are really not as different as they may feel, but they are just blessed enough to not be afraid to be themselves.   And, that is a blessing I wish all children had.   



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