You’ve heard about those people who homeschool their children…the ones who keep their children locked up in the basement at all hours of the day, removed from the dangers of other people and radical thoughts. You can tell these kids from the normal ones, the ones who attend public school, be their great lack of social skills, inability to work with people unlike themselves, and long jean skirts. The pale skin from lack of sunlight is another dead give-away.
We are homeschoolers. In fact, we are unschoolers. Over the years we have met a lot of homeschooling families, and yet, I’ve yet to meet the stereotypical homeschooling family. Even in the Bible Belt, where we are currently located, with the great amount of religious homeschoolers (not to be confused with homeschoolers who are religious), I have yet to meet the stereotypical unsocialized homeschooler. I’m sure there are some out there, somewhere, just as there are many unsocialized public schooled children. I just haven’t met them yet.
And yet, for some reason, this myth continues to crop up. Most recently, it was given as a reason to utilize public school on a local AP board. Some of the parents wanted their children to socialize with others, to be exposed to different ethnicities and beliefs, and to learn how to deal with the world around them. Apparently, their solution is to box a bunch of 5 year olds from their neighborhood, a mostly homogenous make-up of white, middle class, Christian children up in a classroom with a single adult to oversee the scenario.
Public school is a valid option and is what works well for many families, but let’s be honest. If your reason for sending your child to school is so that s/he will experience the real world, you are misguided. The real world has a mix of religious and political beliefs. It has a mix of cultures and ethnicities. It has a mix of ages. No where else in the real world will you find 30 people working in the same room soley because their age and neighborhood dictates it.
My kids, while admittedly pale and freckled due to genetics, live in the real world everyday. They talk to people regardless of age, as age is not a defining factor to them. They have experiences with people of different beliefs and thoughts. They learn from others who have previous experience in various topics. When it comes to learning about how to behave in society, they aren’t learning from 30 other kids who have no more experience than they have.