A few days ago we had some company over for supper, including one gentleman who is a public school teacher. He mentioned that sometimes he hears kids at school saying, “Homeschoolers are weird.”
I can’t speak for all homeschoolers, but I’m going to step up and represent my breed for a moment. The breed of homeschoolers to which I belong are the hardcore, Christian, disciplined, large-familied, socialized ones.
GASP! Did I just say socialized? You mean, there are actual socialized homeschoolers? Ones that don’t sit in a room all day staring at the teacher and working out of text books while not allowed to talk or interact with other kids except for designated times, such as in between classes?
Ahem, excuse me, that was my snark showing.
But yes, there are socialized homeschoolers. As a matter of fact, I’ve never met or heard of an UN-socialized homeschooler. Let’s compare here for a moment. Public schooled children are herded from room to room nearly all day, squeezed into stereotypical molds and labeled ‘Special needs’ if they don’t fit, and forced to “socialize” with kids only their own age or not more than a year or two different. Homeschooled children do not stay home all day, every day. We go shopping with our parents and siblings. We help out at non-profit fundraisers and church programs. We go to the park, visit family and elderly friends. I do realize that many public schooled children have these opportunities as well, but they are hampered by having to go to school from 9am to 3pm each day.
Instead of being confined to learning within the four walls of a room, homeschoolers make the whole world their classroom. I do understand that that is a rather clichéd phrase, but it’s true. To borrow Mark Twain’s quip: We don’t let school interfere with our education. So what if we don’t end up finishing the assigned math chapter for a specific day. The toilet broke and the whole family got to watch the plumber fix it and they learned how plumbing works and how a toilet flushes. A sibling found a strange looking bug in the backyard. Google search to the rescue! Instant science lesson for all.
Yes, we do homework in our pajamas. Yes, we drive fifteen seater vans. Yes, we have “snotty nosed toddlers”. But guess what?
We’re proud of it.
We’re proud of every. single. weird. thing. we. do. We wouldn’t change our ways for the world. Because our ‘weird’ is not strange.
We’re just different, and different is good. We can’t all be the same, or the world would be boring. Each of us have our own unique niche to fill, and nobody but you can fill yours.