Stigmas About Homeschooling That Need To Stop
This one is probably my biggest pet peeve. Most people I meet have no idea that I was homeschooled and are very surprised to learn so.
‘But you’re so comfortable about people... I mean, you’re not awkward at all!’
Just because we are homeschooled, doesn’t mean we are outcasts. I know it’s a crazy thought, but we do have families. Not just whomever is doing the actual teaching, but aunts, uncles, cousins etc. We also have neighbors and not all homeschoolers are doomsday preppers who live in the middle of nowhere.
Kids are amazingly adept. Socialization can be learned from any interaction with another human being; it does NOT have to only be learned from people around your own age.
I actually have an easier time in society than most people I know, as I learned to interact with people of all ages and walks of life. In public school you are put into a room with all kids of about the same age, same learning abilities, etc. I never had that holding me back. I learned to speak to adults, people the same age, and people younger than me. I have never felt uncomfortable or out of place with people of different ages.
Another question I’ve gotten multiple times, is, "Well, how did you know you were being taught what you need to know?"
Really? How does a public school know what we need to know? It’s not too hard. History, English, science, math and social civics are the basics. That’s pretty much it, and you can buy a book on any subject in the world.
From there it was actually easier for me. Once the basics were covered I was able to learn what I was really interested in. No cookie cutter style education for me. Once basic science was over, if I wanted to delve further into, say, geology, I did! And once I was tired of it, I moved on. I wasn’t required to study it for a certain amount of time, because if I lost interest, I obviously wouldn’t make a career out of it, so why waste time on it?
If you still aren’t sure, there are always tests you can take to make sure you are at least on the right path. You can download curriculum for your area, as well as many programs, and there are communities you can join online. If you still aren’t comfortable, there are correspondence schools you can enroll in to finish your schooling and get a physical diploma.
Live your life
The third and final question I have gotten many times is, "Do you ever feel like you missed out?"
Missed out on what exactly? I obviously never went to high school, but from what I have heard it sounds awful, like a social experiment gone wrong. Hundreds of kids around the same age, dealing with hormones, teenage angst and trying to find out who they really are, all the while trying to deal with each other, worrying about their grades, their future and where they may go to college. No thanks.
I never had to deal with ‘cliques’, concerns about being popular or being bullied. I just grew up being me. I don’t know if I would have been popular, or the class clown or the geek. And I am not concerned about it because I was never forced to conform to society. I am just me, no labels and no need for one.
Keep in mind, homeschooling simply isn’t for everyone. Some kids will feel the need, or want for more structure. Many will enjoy being in a crowd, and want to be in a class with multiple people. There is nothing wrong with that!! But there is nothing wrong with not wanting that, either.
If you’re thinking about homeschooling, or are currently doing so, and are concerned about any of these things, stop worrying. I have dealt with these stigmas my whole life, and honestly, feel that I am better for having had to.