I see it almost everyday on social media. If you are a homeschooling parent then I’m sure you have seen it just as much as I have. It probably gets under your skin just as much as it does mine, because you realize how completely ignorant and hateful it is.
“Every homeschooled kid I’ve ever known was weird and awkward.”
There’s also this gem:
“What about socialization?”
We’ve all heard it. We’ve all read it. Deep down we’ve all wanted to break it down to the homeschool haters and give them a reality check. Some of us have tirelessly tried to reason with them. Others either want to avoid the conflict altogether or just can’t seem to find the right words to express their thoughts.
I myself have been sitting on this post for months trying to phrase it in exactly the right way to truly express what I feel when I hear people say these things. Today I finally found the right words.
Fitting the Mold
I went to public school my entire school life. Kindergarten to high school graduation. I can’t even tell you how many kids I went to school with who others considered to be “weird” or “awkward”. Honestly as I look back, most these so-called “weirdo’s” were actually some of the happiest kids I knew as well. They were so comfortable in their own skin and truly enjoyed immersing themselves in their hobbies. You know how it goes though, since the self-proclaimed “cool kids” thought they were too good and above everything, then that must be the law of the hallways.
What’s the point I’m trying to make here? Public school kids are just as capable of being “weird” and “awkward” as homeschool kids.
Here’s the real issue at hand though. These days you hear so many people encouraging individuality. Phrases like “Be Yourself” and “Don’t worry about what other’s think of you” can be heard or read online every single day. But really what people are saying is “Be Yourself” as long as it fits inside the box of what society has deemed as “normal”. If you dare try to break the mold and think outside the box, you’re ridiculed for not fitting in. This is why bullying is such a problem. You just can’t win.
Every homeschooled kid (and public school kid!) you’ve ever known probably just didn’t care if they “fit the mold”. They were probably too busy focusing on their individuality. Just because these kids are interested in things that the rest of society doesn’t consider “normal” doesn’t make them weird. Just because someone likes something that you do not like doesn’t make you more “normal” than they are.
The Great Socialization Debate
Homeschooled kids are actually pretty social for the most part. In fact, they may even be more social in some aspects than those who go to public school. Homeschooled kids learn how to interact with adults every single day, and other kids who are all different ages. They aren’t just sitting in a boxed up room with 20+ other kids the same age all day every day. They are getting a variety of interactions with people of all ages almost on a regular basis, so when they grow up and have to “enter the real world” they know how to handle it, and they know how to handle people, because they’ve been raised in the real world.
If you’ve ever interacted with a homeschooled kid (or again, a public schooled kid) who didn’t look you in the eye or talk to you, that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to socialize or that they haven’t had enough human interaction with the outside world. Maybe it means they just don’t want to talk to you. Maybe you make them feel uncomfortable. Maybe they feel like you’re just going to judge them for the things they enjoy or want to talk about, so they don’t feel like wasting their energy on your negativity. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re just shy. Since when is being shy a bad thing?
It All Comes Down to This
If you are one of those who are claiming that homeschooled kids are weird or unsocialized, or if you’re telling your spouse or friends that you won’t dare homeschool your kids because you’re afraid they’re going to turn out to be awkward, then you are part of the bullying problem in this world. You are crushing individuality by assuming that all people and children should meet your specific requirements of what it takes to be “normal”.
Since when were you crowned as the all knowing being who determines what is cool or acceptable in society? Since when are you today’s ultimate trendsetter?
My advice to you is this: Get over yourself, and quick picking on homeschooled kids and their parents.
You are no more normal than the quiet kid hanging out in the shadows. You have absolutely no say in what is “cool”, “normal”, or “acceptable” behavior in this world. Quit being a bully to the homeschooling community, and in society in general.
This post is part of the iHomeschool Network Link-Up: Things No One Tells You About Homeschooling. Click on the image below to see the other posts included in this link up (Beginning March 28, 2016)!
What do you think about this article? Would you agree or disagree with my thoughts?