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Are Homeschooled Children Weird?

Boys ages 6-12 eagerly asking firefighters questions.

Let’s face it… many people think children who are homeschooled are weird.

Have you ever heard a 12yr old have a twenty minute conversation with an adult about Amelia Earhart?  What about an 8yr old who can’t stop talking about the vampire squid in great detail?  Would you consider these children weird, or simply passionate about their interests?

First, let’s think about what weird really means.  Weird: Of a strikingly odd or unusual character; strange, bizarre

Next, a lot of parents who choose to homeschool are weird themselves.  Many of these parents were kids who didn’t quite fit in at school.  Whether academically, peer-wise, or both, these weird parents have made a well-thought-out decision to not inflict “traditional school” on their children.

Lastly, who exactly are we comparing homeschooled children with when we determine if they are weird or not?  The public and private school children who spend 7+ hours a day with peers of their own age, most of which time is spent sitting in a desk?  Well, if that’s the case let’s shed a little light on the social differences of the average homeschooled child.

One Fraser Institute study says children educated at home are happier and more social than those in traditional schools.  The study also says the average home educated child participates in a range of activities with other children outside of the family.  A whopping 98% of homeschooled children are involved in two or more extracurricular activities each week, such as music, art, sports, field trips, etc.  The hours spent exploring and having fun while learning just can’t compare to the hours sitting in a desk.

Friends come in all ages and sizes.

Children of all ages can be friends.

The homeschooled children I’ve been around get along really well with people of all ages, not just children close to their age.  I’ve seen middle schoolers willingly taking care of their toddler-age younger siblings in front of their peers.  I’ve heard a 7yr old and 12 yr old enjoying a lengthy discussion about lego design without any derogatory comments or meanness due to age-difference.  There have also been times when a homeschooled child strikes up a casual conversation with a store employee.  Often the parent has to rescue the employee from the conversation, explaining to the child that the employee has a job to do and can’t stop to chat whenever he/she wants.

If all of these behaviors cause homeschooled children to seem weird, then I guess our children will grow up weird.  If not being weird requires hours of peer pressure to comform to the “norm” then we choose to pass.

Our children meet and make new friends regularly.  Some of the children they play with have special needs.  They may talk a little funny, walk a bit differently, or act-out at times, but I’ve found that most homeschooled children are nice and simply go with it.  Our 8yr old son has a phrase he says sometimes, “That’s just the way he is, but I like playing with him anyway.  He’s really cool!”  If only all children had this outlook on children that looked, or acted a bit different.

-Written by a weird homeschooling mom  😉

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Why Do People Underestimate Children?

Parents, teachers and the general public are constantly underestimating the intelligence of children.  Children’s brains are like sponges absorbing information from everywhere and everything.

Here are the 3 main areas where I feel that parents are really letting their children down:

#1  Not Giving Children Enough ResponsibilityHanging on vine

Children as young as 2 years old can be taught to do a simple task around the house 1-2 times a week.  With each birthday that passes increase the responsibility a bit more.  For example, a 2-3 year old could dust with a feather duster or be responsible for using a Swiffer cloth on the kitchen floor.  (Yes, you are welcome to do it again after them, but wait until they are asleep so they don’t SEE you do it and feel as if what they did wasn’t good enough).

Elementary age children can empty the bathroom trash can when they are smaller and then graduate to emptying out all the trash cans.  Save your back and let your child empty the dishwasher for you.  Our 6 year old enjoys his task of unloading the dishwasher.  He puts away what he can reach and stacks the out of reach items on the counter where I can put them away later.

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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in My Thoughts on Homeschooling

 

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