Are we really hermits that don’t know how to function in society? Is our education just as good or better than public or private school systems? Do you HAVE to be super smart in order to homeschool your kids?
Find all of this out and more on THIS WEEK’S PROGRAM OF: “Imagination VS Reality- Homeschool Edition!”
Now that the exciting intro is over, I want to go over a few things really quickly.
This particular post is mainly directed at people that don’t have a clue of what homeschooling is truly like. (Unless you’re here to silently judge me… Or find a support group. If you’re the awesome people looking to scream “YES- I THOUGHT WE WERE THE ONLY ONES THAT KNEW THIS AND FELT THIS WAY!” then please feel free to share your personal homeschool experiences below. Because it’s different for every person, and the more that chime in, the more people who are genuinely interested can get a better feel for our community)
Also, this post is written BY a homeschooled kid. You see a lot of moms that are posting to help other parents interested in homeschooling (which is AWESOME, by the way). But I also see a lot of people going, “Okay. But what are the KIDS thinking?”
This is my viewpoint in a sea of opinions, unless otherwise stated. Every situation will be different, and in no way do you have to take my word as gospel.
Okie dokie. ONTO THE POST!
Common Questions From The Parents.
Question 1: “Just how smart do you have to be to homeschool your kids?”
“Parents have to be ridiculously talented with the I.Q. of Einstein to teach your kids.”
I’ve actually heard this said before, more or less.
And you know what I say to this?
The real question SHOULD be “Just how qualified are public and private school teachers to teach my precious children?”
Everyone that has gone to school can probably tell you a story about an awful teacher that they had. Either their egos got in the way, they fly off in a blind rage if your kid doesn’t get a concept, they’re a danger because they’re lecherous or violent, or they just SUCK at teaching.
In most cases, no one knows your kid better than you. You understand how they learn, you know what they like and dislike, and you can give them the tailored education that they need. You don’t need to be a brainiac to teach. And in some US states, you don’t even need a high school diploma.
There’s no shortage of resources with tutors and with the creation of the internet.
As long as you have the personality, mindset, and time to do it- you CAN homeschool your kid. They won’t suffer academically for it as we’ll see in the next question.
Question 2: “How do the homeschoolers do in comparison against private and public schoolers?”
Homeschoolers laugh at faulty claims that paint them as idiots. We let our GEDs, ACTs, SATs, and GPA scores do the talking for us.
Here’s some stats discussing how homeschooled kids do in college compared to other students, and this article discusses how homeschooled kids generally function in life– discussing topics like socialization and how they function as adults.
And to be fair, here’s an article that you can read about homeschool statistic records. If I’m going to be bringing up all of the wonderful things about homeschoolers, I’m going to do my due dilligance to bring up some faux pas as well.
And yes. There will be a few kids that may not be the best at a certain subject. (like me… I’M LOOKING AT YOU, MATH.) But at least you can teach them the concepts or give them the tools to excel in every other area of their life.
Question 3: “What about socialization?”
“Poor homeschooled kids. They’ll never know what it’s like to see the sun.”
When, really- in reality- we go on vacations during school hours, you can’t find us during co-op days, the afternoons are booked because of sports practice, and good luck trying to schedule a weekend with us that hasn’t already been penciled in with another event.
To give you an idea, I’ve asked a few of my homeschool friends what they think about this socialization stereotype.
I am definitely an introvert and hate being the person to make the first move on a conversation/friendship. But if I’m at a table with other people who share similar things with me and if we’re introduced to each other, I’m definitely comfortable with carrying on conversations.
And my brother who’s closest to my age has no problem getting out there and engaging people in a big game or conversation.
Honestly, I don’t think being homeschooled has anything to do with how well you socialize; that all depends on your personality and age. And I’ve been to homeschool co-ops, and they all seemed to socialize fine with each other.
As far as socializing goes, I didn’t have much practice holding good conversations, but I was generally polite to people.
One time I was on a co-op field trip to an observatory with middle school kids, and the man who ran the place came to us at the end and said we were the best behaved group he ever had.
Between co-ops, events, and a big church youth group, we were plenty socialized. My siblings, especially my brother, are better at human interaction than I am. People can rarely tell we were home schooled and no one believes our brother was. He is excellent with people.
Homeschoolers tend to mix with a wider range of age groups than public school kids, who mostly interact strictly with kids their age. To me, in some ways, that makes us better equipped for the real world, or at least needing less time to adjust.
Also, with such a flexible study style, we have opportunities for more activities. I have friends who grew up traveling with re-enactment groups and made lasting friendships through those.
I haven’t learned to be very sociable, and it takes a lot of effort to seem at-ease around anyone but my family and very closest friends; even if I enjoy spending time with a particular person, I am often still uncomfortable socializing with them.
This, however, is a personality thing. My brother, who was raised in the exact same setting as I was, is amazingly well-socialized and is remarkably friendly.
The difference is that I shun society while he thrives on it. It’s our own choice.
- I was in 4-H, and was the President of my club, did lots of volunteer work, and participated in fairs. I got Superior at my state fair.
- I babysat for a co-op on Mondays and got paid.
- I worked in my church nursery weekly on Sunday nights.
- In the summer of 2017, I helped run a soccer camp with my 4-H group. We partnered with a church, and I designed the camp logo with the graphic designer of the church.
- I am involved in a church youth group, and do lots of volunteer work with them.
- I was in a speech club.
- I was in a science club competing with public schools.
These are some of the things that I was involved in over the years as a homeschooler. I don’t think socialization is an issue, here.
I used to be painfully shy when I was younger, but I still loved it when people came up to me to talk.
Then my youth group happened.
I started to step out of my comfort zone more and more as the situation called for it, and before I knew it, I became a part of my youth group leadership team and I was our head announcer for upcoming events.
It took quite a bit of time. And I had to do some of that announcing while I was afraid and my heart was pounding in my chest. But once I got comfortable, social anxiety was a thing of the past. And I’m not sure if it would’ve been the exact same outcome if I was public or private schooled.
“Friends isn’t really the socialization worry that I have for them. What about preparing them for REAL life? Will they be strong enough to power through future problems?”
If they are anywhere near as busy as most homeschooling families are, the kids will naturally learn how to solve a few problems through their experiences. You don’t necessarily have to send them to public or private school to toughen up- unless you really DO think that they would benefit from being partially or fully in the school system.
Most of it depends on their own personalities and the values you teach them.
You can turn a lot of bad situations into great learning moments for your kids. And most of life is basically a huge learning experience- so if you can at least help them develop a love for learning, there’s a lot that they can overcome. A love of learning isn’t something that a lot of government funded schools prioritize, and I think a lot of kids suffer for it.
Question 4: “So what IS homeschooling, exactly?”
There have been so many sub-genres and branches of homeschooling that’s been developed to the point where it’s being used as a general term for “an unconventional way to educate.”
Homeschool, unschool, road school, online course school, half school, charter school, my-tutor-is-my-school; there are so many options that it might make your head spin. And any one of them might work for you. Because it ultimately boils down to: What works best for your family?
One of the biggest pros to switching to homeschool is that your schedule is flexible and the way you decide to teach isn’t set in stone. Run with that. You’re definitely learn some interesting things about your kids and yourself along the way.
Question 5: “Will my kids hate me for taking them away from the pros of the school experience?”
This can’t be answered as a “one answer fits all circumstances.”
You can easily find stories of homeschool kids that hated everything there was about homeschooling- but in the same breath, you’ll find kids that’ll swear that it saved their life or their character. This is where personalities become a HUGE variable on whether or not they will enjoy themselves.
This is not to say that everything will be easy-breezy if you do have a child that’s best suited to homeschooling.
You will have tears. There will be disagreements. And there might be a few hardships- no matter which kid you’re teaching.
But it will be worth it.
And that’s where you have to ask yourself as a parent, “Is being a friend to my kid more important, or is doing the right thing more important?”
And this isn’t to say that you’ll always be at odds’ end with each other. Parents have reported feeling closer with their kid after homeschooling. I personally feel closer with my parents. But do yourself a favor, and don’t walk into this thinking “This is going to be really easy!”
Common Questions From The Kids.
Question 1: “So, you just sit at home doing nothing?”
It all depends on the mood of the day and how relaxed your parents are.
ONE thing you can depend on is that you will have cram days, you’ll have days where you “observe how the plants grow” when you go on walks or car trips, and then there will be days where everyone is brain dead.
And on those days, your teacher will decide that no one has officially recognized “Zombie day” on the calendar yet, so you take the day off.
Like I was saying earlier- one of the bonuses of homeschooling is a flexible schedule.
Question 2: “Is all schoolwork homework?”
Ha! Look at you being cute with the joke that every homeschooler has heard at least once in their lifetime!
And to answer the question…
Yes AND no.
Question 3: “Do you wish you ever went to a regular school?”
Personally? No. I think it would’ve ruined me. I don’t have the mental wiring suited for the typical school system- and when I was young, I was really worried about what other people thought. On top of always being a chubby kid, I think it would’ve been a recipe for disaster.
I can’t speak for all of my fellow homeschoolers, though.
Question 4: “How do you find people to date?”
The same way you do. By talking to people with the same interests as you.
I know, I know-
It’s absolutely crazy! But some of us actually do come out of our hovels to swap cave stories, and we end up finding significant others that way.
Question 5: “What about college?”
you mean expensive job training roulette?
I think I saw somewhere on one of the links that I provided in the parent question section said something about homeschoolers ending up going to college more than other schoolers.
But I think it’s more of a personal decision.
I know that there are teens like me that are feverishly bent on going to college, but as for me, I don’t really care to go. It’s never been one of those things that’s weighed heavily on my heart.
Why go when you can Leech Off Your Parents™?
Question 6: “What’s it like being homeschooled and awkward?”
What’s it like being public schooled and awkward? You’re just living your life.
Well, actually… lemme amend that.
For one, just about all of us joke about being awkward hermits even though most of us aren’t. But when we actually do something awkward, we feel each other’s pain and pat each other on the back.
It’s the best support group. EVER.
So what’s your personal opinion on homeschooling? Has it changed since you’ve read the post? Or how about my fellow homeschoolers out there? What do you feel about this article? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
As always, thank you for reading~