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.
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 😉