Why do people tend to jump to the conclusion that homeschooled children will grow up to be anti-social freaks? Here’s my response to that assumption.
I enjoyed your essay. Hearing of the query about socialization always give me pause though: I have homeschooled my kids for, oh, a long time; my eldest is 23, and I homeschooled him all the way through – anyhow, I don’t think I have *ever* gotten the socialization question. Isn’t that funny? What I do get, and have always gotten, is questions about academics: how will they learn such and such, how can you teach so and so, but what about college, surely they’ll be behind academically? &c. There hasn’t been a subject yet that I haven’t been able to teach my kids, and my eldest is in college and doing very well …
Socialization – meaning, being an active, normative member of society? – hasn’t ever been a problem for us …. The US public school version of socializing seems so artificial: across time and cultures humans have managed to rear their young (and educate the too) without such a system
Wow, you’ve never gotten that question? I’d say 4 out of 5 people ask it reflexively when I first say “we’re going to homeschool.”
Not so many ask me about academics, probably because they know my teaching background and assume that means I am “qualified.” (Which is a whole different matter–parents need not be trained teachers to homeschool, but I am happy to get past that concern without having to argue about it, so whatever.)
I have gotten a few intelligent questions about curriculum, mostly from other teachers who are curious to know if I am “using” anything. (So far, I’m not–I’m following the kids’ needs in a Montessori style and referring casually to the state standards to see what the public school expects them to learn at this age.)
No, never. Strange, no?! It may be at least partially due to us living in a town which has long had a homeschooling population (I first heard of homeschooling when I was 11, back in the 70s). Though I’m just as glad, frankly; the queries about academics can be tiring enough, simply because there is (nearly) always an edge to the question, a challenge, an almost angry quality to it, a “how could you possibly do as well as” element.
Things have changed a lot since my eldest was young, in terms of the various curricular options that are available, and I’ve appreciated that for my younger kids (ages 10 & 13). I haven’t ever gone with a full grade-level packaged curriculum, but we’ve gotten some things (such as our Latin books) from a curriculum company. I love the flexibility of homeschooling, and am grateful to live in a state in which it isn’t necessary to turn in a curriculum for approval and/or a portfolio as proof of studies accomplished.
We might do that Latin program too, one of these days–the one in the back of Classical Homeschooling–but at the moment, we’re good.
I know what you mean about the critical tone, though! People are so suspicious about it. It just goes to show you how ingrained the idea of school is. But looking at the outcomes–homeschooled kids do as well or (usually) better than schooled ones.
We just have to fill out a form promising to teach all the required subject areas–not how we’ll teach them.
Yes, I think (if I’m remembering correctly) that our states are amongst the simplest, legally, in which to homeschool. We have to agree to provide x number of hours of sequential instruction in six subject areas …
We are very much liking the Latin programs from Memoria Press. I meant to begin the children three years ago, with Prima Latina, but then my health interferred, and we stuck with the core subjects until I was back on my feet (metaphorically speaking).
Yes, the research now coming out does show that homeschoolers are doing better, academically, than traditionally schooled peers. Anecdotally, every college professor of my son’s who has mentioned the subject (which is most of them) has said that their homeschooled students do better and seem better prepared for college … I want to be careful not to sound prideful here, but it *is* reassuring!
Well, there’s a fine line between prideful and appropriately proud. You can lay claim to being proud, I think! I only hope we do as well and it works as well for our kids.
Oh, that’s really sweet of you to say. I am indeed very proud of him. I think I was meaning more of the collective pride of homeschooling parents – which can happen, I’ve heard it (both in face to face conversations, and online), the “*our* children have recieved a superior education” sort of attitude which is important to guard against, I feel …
I hope you guys have a really wonderful first year! It’s an exciting new beginning
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