After a recent Facebook post by a friend and homeschooling mom about a comment she had heard recently stating that home-schooled children are ‘weird’, I felt the need to voice my own uneducated opinion.
Although I’ll admit that I have had my share of experiences with ‘weird’ home-schooled kids, particularly in rural areas where it is easier for children to remain isolated from other people, I have also had an abundance of contact with ‘weird’ public schooled kids, and just as many home-schooled kids who had no defining characteristics that set them apart from their public schooled peers. From my observations, it was less the method of schooling that affected the child’s ability to socialize and more the amount of time each child spends cooped up in their rooms or basements away from other people.
In response to my friend’s post, another friend suggested that home-schooled kids are ‘weird’ because they do not have the same pressure to conform that publicly schooled children have (in the ways of social behaviors this may be considered a necessary skill, while in the area of a child’s talents and interests it creates the possibility of repression). As a girl who was publicly schooled as a child, I recognize that my views and interests were shaped a lot by my peers in school. There were things that were considered ‘cool’ when it came to clothing, activities and even who you were friends with, and there were things that were ‘uncool’. To allow yourself to be labelled with something ‘uncool’ is opening yourself up to be ostracized and ridiculed, and maybe even to lose your friends. This is a scary thing for a child, and most will bend to this pressure to fit in. I admit that in a lot of ways, I altered who I was and what I might rather be doing out of fear. I wonder to this day what sort of person I might be, what I might be interested in and even what type of clothing I might buy, if I had not been brainwashed to care about what the general public would think of me. This is a curse that many home-schooled kids seem to be able to avoid.
I recently read the Wikipedia article on Homeschooling, and skimmed through some of the comments made in reference to research that has been done on home-schooled children recently. It basically stated that recently, home-schooled students had been found to perform better on standardized tests than their public-schooled peers. Another interesting point made was that the gaps between minorities and genders were much less prevalent in home-schooled students.
Might I suggest that a child’s ‘strangeness’ has nothing to do with how they are schooled, but rather how they are parented? These studies might also suggest that academic achievement also is not affected by the method of learning, but rather more to do with how invested a parent is in their child’s learning. For example, a parent who is wanting to teach their child at home is likely going to be more involved in their child’s learning and development. It stands to reason that a child who has invested parents is more likely to succeed than a child who is left alone. Any child who spends the majority of their days in their bedroom in front of a computer monitor is more likely to be socially awkward than a child who spends much of their free time outdoors playing with other children – regardless of whether their ‘at school’ time is spent in or out of the home.
One advantage of home-schooling is that it typically takes less time in a day than public-schooled children spend in school, and so they have more time available for ‘playing’, which seems to be something we are sadly getting increasingly too busy for.
Grab My Button
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.pinkbears.ca" title="On Pink Bears and Pacifiers"><img src="http://www.pinkbears.ca/images/grab-my-button.png" alt="On Pink Bears and Pacifiers" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
- Making annual vacations a priority! Written by Jessica on Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:17 Daddy-Daughter and Mommy-Daughter "Date" Days
- Why did they give you an episiotomy and use a… Written by Jessica on Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:14 Clara's Birth Story
- That looks like a tonne of work! Written by Jessica on Sunday, 14 October 2012 21:12 Pregnancy Update - 38 Weeks...
- I know! I had 'cramps' with Clara, and they didn't… Written by Samantha on Friday, 12 October 2012 23:12 Pregnancy Journal
- I know the doctors tell you that you will sometimes… Written by Caylie on Friday, 12 October 2012 15:41 Pregnancy Journal
Popular Blog Posts
My Growing Toddler
10 Favourite Movie/TV Characters
The Many Uses of a Household Binder...
Mother's Day Weekend