Skip to comments.Will Your Kids Grow Up to Be Weird If You Homeschool Them?
Posted on 07/11/2013 8:27:58 AM PDT by Sopater
Yes, definitely. But hear me out.
Every homeschooling parent knows about the S wordsocialization. Weve all had conversations with concerned relatives who wonder if our kids are being properly socialized. Read any article about homeschooling in a mainstream media source and inevitably, the comments section will fill up with concerns about it. Never mind that we also talk about socializing puppies or that its something we do at after-work Happy Hours, and that children who are caught socializing too much in school are reprimanded. People who dont know anything about the homeschooling family down the street have grave concerns about whether those children are being properly socialized.
By socialization, many of these folks are really wondering if the kids will grow up to be weird or odd somehow. There are two basic assumptionsfalse assumptionsthat people make when considering homeschoolers and the threat of weird personalities that arise because of a lack of socialization.
The first assumption is that anyone can adequately define weird.
If you were the homecoming queen who was named Miss Congeniality in your high school yearbook and went on to have a daughter who followed in your footsteps, you will have a very specific image in your mind of how a normal high school kid should look and act. Likewise, if you were the gym rat who majored in football.
On the other hand, if you were the shy, shaggy-haired boy who eschewed grooming and spent your high school lunch hour playing Dungeons and Dragons, your categories for weird and normal will skew a little differently than Joe Footballs categories. Beauty and normal are in the eye of the beholder. And contrary to the persistent Duggar-style stereotype, homeschoolers come in all shapes, sizes, and personality types. There are the jocks, the hipsters, the computer geeks, and the goth kids (although you will find plenty who actually are just like the Duggars).
The second assumption is that homeschooling causes children to become odd or socially awkward. Most critics who make that assumption or hurl the accusation dont know (or ignore) the growing body of research to the contrary demonstrating that homeschooled children grow up to be normal, well-adjusted adults. Far from being socially isolated, the average homeschooled child participates in 5.2 activities outside the home every week.
While there are plenty of homeschooled kids who seem odd by homecoming queen standards, there are plenty of kids in public school who also fit that category. On what shall we blame their awkward behavior? How do we explain so many students who dont fit in at school and struggle at the margins of social acceptance? Bullies pounce on every aberration of what is considered acceptable behavior by the in crowd and weird kids who dont conform are kicked to the curb. Many families whose children are victims of school bullying actually turn to homeschooling to protect their kids from the violence and emotional harm they experienced in school.
Ultimately, weird people exist in every walk of life, regardless of the childs educational background. My personal (admittedly anecdotal) theory is that children generally turn out to be a lot like their parents, regardless of whether or not they attended school. The offspring of geeky parents who revel in marathon sci-fi movie weekends and go all out for Renaissance fairs complete with custom made costumes are going to produce children who have similar interests. Public school probably cannot cure the children coming from that level of ingrained geek culture at home. Parents who live for sports and start their kids in soccer and t-ball at age 4, spending their evenings and weekends shuttling the kiddos from one practice to another, are generally (not always, but generally) going to have children who enjoy and participate in sports as they get older, regardless of their schooling choices.
So will your kids grow up to be weird if you homeschool them? Yes, definitely. Someone right now, this very minute thinks you are weird because you are not like them. And someone will think your children are weird for the same reason. But the way you choose to educate them will not be the cause.
We home-schooled our eight long before it was cool or acceptable - starting in ‘82.
All are stellar in their fields, noted for maturity and hard work, good character. And their ability to deal with others in both the business and social realm. Oldest got 4 degrees at one time (5 yr. full ride), Summa Cum Laude.....
Yeah, socialization is a real problem.......they are all anti-socialists....
When homeschooling opponents say “weird” they mean “out of touch with the latest progressive social orthodoxies.”
Socialization = Indoctrination, in today’s school system.
We home schooled (she did go to public high school for 3 years). 9 years out of college she has better social skills than most people of any age. And her societal “survival skills” are way above most people’s. Matter of fact, regarding the aforementioned skills, she was ahead of most adults at age 16 when she left home for college.
She’s better educated and (gasp) has superior reasoning ability and (double gasp) thinks for herself. When she and I disagree, it’s very tough for me to win the discussion. Yet if I clearly do, she will concede graciously.
Congrats. These liberals don’t understand education starts and foremost, at home. One of our new employees was home-schooled.
For “socialization”, he just joined the neighborhood sports teams. When the other kids asked him which school he went to and he replied, their answer was mostly “Cool! At least you don’t have show up at school like we do.”
A very accomplished teacher in the family tells me that the biggest problem he’s seen in homeschooled kids over the years is that they don’t deal well with deadlines.
Presumably because Mom will always let you slide on a deadline. Aside from that he’s been very impressed.
Early socialization is important. If it weren’t for preschool, where would kids learn to bite, scratch, and pull hair?
Our kids understand deadlines - put away your clothes before suppertime or no dessert!
Public school “social activities”:
- Sex/sharing STD’s
- Disrespecting authority
- Destruction of property
Now, how many of these would happen when homeschooling? Yeah...public schools, what could possibly go wrong? What amazes me is that I know parents that make this “socializing” argument. A kid *can* do well in public school but it is still mostly influenced by parents. Kids don’t care if the parents don’t, if the kids and parents don’t care then why would a teacher? Now realize why some schools should just be shutdown, they’re a waste of everyone’s time and money.
Other interaction activities:
- All sports (soccer, baseball, etc.)
- Scouting (yeah yeah)
- Work (!)
- Martial arts
There are some people that seem to think that these should be secondary to the first list. Amazing.
Our youngest was home schooled for a couple of years and then went to a private Christian school. He just graduated from NIU with a degree in Electrical Engineering. (Summa Cum Laude also). He got a really good job 2 weeks before he graduated.
I concur on the deadlines. The other is that none of them know how to stand in lines like good little sheep.
I am a homeschool dad of 4, Scoutmaster to a whole slew of homeschooled kids, coach on a robotics team that is home, private and public schooled.
EXACTLY! We homeschooled our daughter from second grade through high school. During that time she was involved in our church, dance classes, and was on FR as “Cowgirlcutie” during her high school years. She has since graduated from Baylor University on the Dean’s List, married a bio-chemist, and now does a lot of charity work with kids. If more kids were “weird” like her, the world would be a MUCH better place.
My seven grandchildren are definitely âweirdâ All of the 6 that has either graduated or still going had/have 4.0 GPA. The all go to church regularly, don’t do drugs make agood living even while still in school. Not one penny to pay back in student loans.......
Oh no! They’ll grow up to be ‘weird’. AKA - they’ll have moral standards.
You can’t! I copyrighted it 25 years ago.
Oh alright. I guess you can...
If parents do all that they get arrested and charged with child abuse. If some punks do it in highschool everyone (who wasn’t homeschooled) says it was a valuable growing up experience and the victim is a better person for it.
I can’t say I have every met anyone I thought was ‘good with deadlines.’ Particularly authors and engineers.
That is the observation I kept hearing about my (now adult) son - at things like scouts, he was the only one there that was comfortable talking with the adults. He would interact with anyone, from infant to older adult, with equal ease. It always freaked out the adults to all of the sudden realize that they were conversing normally with a young teen.
What’s weird about Tim Tebow?
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