I really don’t worry at all that home-schooled children will be “awkward” or “unsocialized.” I don’t really think a school building is necessary to have lots of social interaction. But, even if the child does wind up a little awkward, heck, I am absolutely raising an awkward kiddo and I adore the tar out that amazing child.
I admit I do occasionally worry that their education might suffer if I see horrible grammar or glaring errors from the one doing the educating. But, in fairness, I’ve seen some positively atrocious mistakes from public and private school teachers too. So that one’s kind of a wash.
I don’t worry about mixing grade levels or the interruptions of life or that testing benchmarks won’t be met.
Quite frankly, it’s not really my place to worry about anything when it comes to homeschooling.
If I worry about anything, it’s not any of the things that homeschoolers seem to think. At least, it’s not what they’re forever trying to defend. If I worry about anything, it is this:
I worry that, through word and attitude, some people are teaching their children a terrible kind of intolerance.
It is scary, and heartbreaking, to me to read clever, pithy status updates on Facebook about how inferior public-schooled children are in every way. I read lofty quotes from conservative leaders (not quoted Scripture, mind you) published and “liked” that proclaim it sinful (yes, sinful!) for parents to send their children “into the world” to be educated. While to imply homeschooling is bad would be a travesty, it seems permissible to suggest that parents who choose a different form of education are, at BEST, unenlightened.
Saying, “well, we can’t really BLAME you for being a lost, godless heathen since you didn’t know any better” is not tolerance. It’s not kindness. It’s not giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
Truth? There are times when I may think a child would be better off NOT being educated at home. I can’t help it. I’m human and I have my opinions. You do too. And that’s great! But there is a HUGE difference in thinking, “Hmm… I think I’d handle that differently” and saying, “You’re inferior and you’re unable to see the clear Truth as we have.”
It is MEAN and UNCALLED FOR when people suggest that homeschoolers are raising social misfits. I believe this and you will never hear me say such a thing. However, I must ask you… which is worse? To be called awkward or to be called godless?
There’s just no reason for the judgment and intolerance… from either side.
I welcome your opinions! I have some very good friends and readers who I know think, at the very least, that my firstborn (who is “severely gifted”) would benefit from being taught at home. I respect what they have to say on the matter, even when I don’t agree. Many of them have graciously put up with me as I’ve told the story of his development and, while they may still think I should homeschool, they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the programming that is happening at our public school.
When we get so defensive, we can become like that child on the playground, fingers in ears, yelling, “la la la la la… I can’t hear you!!!” And, honestly, that helps no one.
How we choose to educate our children is a very important one. It can be a reflection of our family’s priorities and values. Let’s just make sure that one of those values doesn’t become an intolerance for those who might, in good faith and with a loving heart, make different choices.