Are Home Schooled Kids Socially Awkward? Do They Live in a Bubble?

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I am often asked if I feel that home schooled kids are “socially awkward”. In addition, a few months ago, I received this great question from a reader, Jill:

I’m debating homeschooling. My fiance’s biggest worry is that public school, for all its downsides, allows for something homeschooling does not – ample exposure to people who may not look, think, behave, or live like you. In other words, he sees homeschooling as keeping one’s child in a bubble, away from ideas and people who have a lifestyle the parents don’t agree with.

I would love a post/discussion on how true or untrue this perception is. How do homeschooling parents teach their kids to interact with others – other kids, grown-ups, other cultures, other faiths, etc. How do you prepare your child for life in the “real world” where not everyone’s cultures/values/faith/etc. matches what goes on in their own home.

These discussions are so helpful, by the way – I’m gaining great insight!

I love Jill’s thoughts and appreciate that she shared her concern.  How wise of her to give such good consideration to parenting her kids, instead of just jumping into what sounds good at the moment.

When we first decided to home school our kids (when our oldest was beginning Kindergarten 11 years ago), many asked us, “But what about their social skills?” 

It’s a valid concern. All parents want their kids to be able to grow up to be “normal”, productive adults who know how to handle real world, real life problems and situations.

So first, let me say this, which is my answer to the question, “Are home schooled kids socially awkward?”

I have known some home schooled kids who are socially awkward.  I have also known some public school kids who are socially awkward. I have known some private school kids who are socially awkward. I have known grown adults who are socially awkward. I have had coworkers who are socially awkward. I have gone to church with people who are socially awkward. I have stood in line at the grocery store with people who are socially awkward. I have had lovely conversations with people who are socially awkward.

Some people are just socially awkward. Sometimes I am socially awkward.  Sometimes all of us are socially awkward. 

And after a while, reading the word awkward over and over again just becomes awkward.

So my point is:  home school does not create a socially awkward student or adult, any more or less than public school or private school. That statement, in my opinion, is a fact. (Ha, I made myself giggle when I first wrote that sentence, which I have to admit, feels a tad bit…socially awkward.)  ;)

What about the question of home schooled kids living in a bubble?  I think this is a great question that Jill asks.  Home schooling does keep a child from some experiences that they may otherwise have if they were in a school environment. So, is this wise? Is it providing your kids with the ability to get along in the “real world” some day?

I can’t speak for all home school families – although I do think I speak for many. In our experience, we have found that while in some ways we are protecting them – in many ways we are actually preparing them. Preparing them for the “real world”. Providing experiences for them that will teach them how to deal with the elderly, the handicapped, the foreign, the younger, the older, those that look different, those that sound different, those who don’t believe in Jesus.  Our kids’ experiences just look different than they look for those who are in a schoolroom setting.

Our kids get an incredible amount of rich social interaction with all varieties of people when we go to church; when we participate in various ministries; when we invite people to our home; when they take part in many various home school and community activities and sports; when they do odd jobs for others with their dad; when they go to the bank or store or library or post office…the list is endless really.

Am I afraid my kids don’t get enough social interaction or that they live in a bubble? Absolutely not. On the contrary, I am grateful for the vast opportunities they have to develop social skills while they interact frequently with people of all varieties of ages, abilities, disabilities, and seasons in life. And I’ve gotta say – there are days I wish my kids’ social lives would slow down just a little bit so that we could get something done at home!

The real world involves all kinds of opportunities to learn and grow that a school classroom can’t always provide. And admittedly, the school classroom provides some cool things that we can’t provide at home. But we’re okay with that. No school – home, public, or private can do all and be all and provide all. 

But above all, no matter how you school your kids, the main goal should be to teach them to be servants of God.   And hey, guess what? I’ve known home schoolers who are wonderful servants. I’ve also known public school kids who are wonderful servants. I’ve known private school kids who are wonderful servants…

They all have great parents. I bet you’re one of them. :)

I am always prayerful and careful when writing a post like this. I would deeply appreciate it if you take the same kind of care as you leave a comment. There will be no kid or parent bashing allowed – whether it is related to home, public, or private school. Keep your comments kind and positive – anything less would just be downright socially awkward.  :)

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Comments

  1. Jaclyn says

    Laura-

    Great post! I am 30 and a home school graduate. I never went to public school. I smile kindly when people ask me this type of question or say a comment about home schooled kids and then say, “Well, except for you, Jaclyn.” Ha!

    My husband is a pastor and we oversee the Jr. High ministry at our church- about 120 students. You are right when you say that there are awkward kids in each category.

    The thing I find most puzzling about this question is that it assumes that public school provides well balanced socialization. Since when is spending all day with the same age group socialization? Sounds like a cage! :-)

    My family, like your family, was involved in many activities, church, etc. that gave me a very large circle of people that I interacted with on a regular basis. I was around old, young, rich, poor, homosexuals, gang members, drug addicts, conservatives, liberals, white, black, Asian- you name it! I was taught to kindly and politely interact with all peoples. My parents did a wonderful job of teach us that the world is more than the little, yes, bubble, we live in as a child.

    We even see this in our youth group. The home schooled kids are usually the more friendly, welcoming, confident and servant-like students. The majority of the public and private school students are in the corners with the, you guessed it- SAME group of people. :-) Not really socialization in my opinion!

    A bubble is a good thing. The world is full of people who are not as interested in your child’s well being as you are. The schools are not filled with people who love Christ. We talk with parents of Jr. High students over and over again who wonder why their children are starting to abandon their faith. The children sit in a Godless classroom for more hours in a week than they are taught by parents and are receiving the world’s philosophies on a spoon.

    Home school children are less likely, according to statistics, to walk away from their faith. If you are interested in a great book, Ken Ham wrote Already Gone. My husband read it this summer and has been recommending it to everyone!

    I pray God gives you all wisdom as you make a very serious decision! Pray about it! Seek God’s Word and trust Him!

    (Oh, and we have 2 children (so far) who are 2 and 1. We have started a little school and I LOVE watching them learn!!!)

    Blessings,
    Jaclyn

    [Reply]

    Anne Marie Reply:

    Jaclyn,

    You may not realize how negative this post comes across. We are raising our family in a Christian home and we are sending our children to private school. They are doing fantastic in school – they are learning a great deal and experience so many great things. There are some negatives – but there are some negatives in home schooling and private schooling as well. I think home educating is a great choice for families that can do this. But blanket statements like – “the home schooled kids are more friendly, welcoming, confident….” are very negative towards those that go to public school. Telling us how big of a mistake we are making by putting them in a Godless setting, being spoon fed their education…comes across as very arrogant. You dont know all the reasons behind a decision to send children to school – it is not because we care less than you, it is not becasue we are naive to the ways of the world, it is not because we value our faith less. We send our kids to school and we work and pray very hard along with our children and they are thriving. Homeschooling is not a guarantee that your children will turn out just like you planned….. Please support those of us who make a different choice than you – I wholeheartedly support you and your decision. 2What is going on in the hearts and homes of people matters more than how you get your education. I admire those that do have the patience and dedication to home educate – some of us choose to go to public school. My children are 15, 12 and 11 and they are thriving – in church, at home and at school. We are fortunate to know many families that home educate – it is a great choice and experience for them and we applaud them for it. Please afford us the same.

    Anne Marie

    [Reply]

    Anne Marie Reply:

    They are in public school – not private.** Auto correct baffled me again.

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    Carrie Reply:

    A good rule of thumb is to “refuse to be offended”. We Christians have too much criticism coming from the World to be so critical of each other. They lady who was homeschooled herself is just giving her opinion of the situation she is in. I’m sure it was in no way meant to make you feel guilty for the decisions you have made only to encourage others who are considering homeschooling and are concerned about this factor.

    Kristy Reply:

    Couldn’t agree more Jaclyn! I’m also confused as to Anne Marie’s problem with your post. She’s defending homeschooling. My choice to homeschool is not my condemnation of yours not to homeschool.

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  2. Samantha says

    I love this! My husband and I are planning on homeschooling our daughter and son and we get mixed reviews from family and friends. This helps with answering some of thru questions/concerns :) thank you!

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  3. says

    A young friend was homeshcooled. She then went to the local private college to become a teaacher. She practice taught in a school with a lot of what they call high risk kids. She graduated midyear and went to the opposite coast of the country to substitute teach in inner city schools. While she was being homeschooled they had hosted an exchange student from China. She went to China to teach English as a second language and also evangelize as she is a Christian. She says it just happened to be near the town the exchange student was from. Result: they are married, he is now a Christian, and they are both here as he can become an American citizen, but she can’t become Chinese. Some bubble.

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    Jamie Reply:

    LOL Mary your post made me smile :)

    This has been our experience and our number one reason why we want to
    HS our children is we don’t want them to be in the bubble that we
    consider a traditional school setting to be LOL.

    You only get a few short years with your children and I WANT that time!

    God bless /

    [Reply]

  4. says

    Oh, how I agree with everything that you’ve shared in this article! I was a shy public schooler who had few friends. I did have friends, but not many. I think people only knew me in my schools because I was an identical twin and was an “oddity”. Ha! :)

    I taught in the public school system for five years before I married my husband. I lived and taught in a small community, out in the countryside. There were a ton of socially awkward students that went through my classroom over those five years. The teachers did their best to try to teach social skills, but it would have been far easier if the children were learning how to interact properly from their own parents. It takes so much more time as a teacher to attempt to teach this!

    We’ve homeschooled for 15 years now, since our oldest was born. We’re friends with over 100 homeschooled students in our community where we now live, and while there are a very few who are socially awkward, the rest of them have no problem being placed into a group of new people and making a friend. Okay – well, I would take some of that back. If you place most homeschooled students into a room by themselves, and then bring in 30 students their ages, who have been public- or private-schooled, the homeschooler may feel socially awkward and may not always be accepted by the public- and private-schooled students.

    But if you do the same thing with a homeschooled student, and instead bring in 30 HOMESCHOOLED students their ages, even if none of the homeschoolers know each other, you’ll see them making new friends and NOT being socially awkward at all! :)

    When people ask the social skills question, my main thought is, “What exactly are you meaning when you say the term, ‘social skills’?”

    I’ve found that most people, when they ask the social skills question, are just wanting to know, “If your child was enrolled in the school down the street, would no one pay him any attention because he might be different in some way? And would he be one of the most popular students?”

    The real questions to be asking are this, in my opinion:

    “When your child is placed into a room of strangers, can he make a new friend? Does he enjoy being around young children, older children/teens, adults, elderly? Is he prepared and comfortable with going to group gatherings and being friendly and open to making new acquaintances?”

    Because I’ve found that as a homeschooling parent, the world of honest and pure friendships was opened up to me when we began to homeschool! I have many friends who deeply love me, and the feeling is mutual. But among women who don’t homeschool, there seems to be a disconnect there – and always has, long before I even began homeschooling or was even a parent. And I was public schooled and shouldn’t have had a problem with social skills, right? :)

    [Reply]

  5. says

    I love this post! We, fortunately, even have a 4th alternative here. It’s called hybrid schooling. K-4th grade goes to our school 2 days a week and 5-12th grade goes to our school 3 days a week. This allows for us to be involved with our children’s schooling but not have the responsibility of lesson planning, grading, and the teaching of new concepts (which has become significantly harder with my 7th grader). I love my Mondays and Wednesdays with my girls and they absolutely love it as well.

    I truly believe that we need to be actively involved in our children’s lives and education. They are only young once. My oldest turns 13 this weekend and I can hardly believe it! I don’t want to miss doing life with them.

    [Reply]

    Anitra Reply:

    I wish we had that alternative here! I have my oldest in private school for pre-K (and will again for kindergarten, at least) because, honestly, she drives me crazy if she is always home with me. She’s in school so that I am not the only one constantly re-inforcing sharing, how to act when you’re not getting your own way, how to deal with boredom, and to help her get lots of physical activity.

    I have no worries about her academic skills (she’s already reading at 4 years old), but I don’t feel equipped to handle her social maturing and Biblical education by myself.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    Anitra look for HS co-ops in your area, we have a ton here and live in
    a semi-rural area of MD.

    [Reply]

    PJ Reply:

    Anitra,

    It is hard to find this type of schooling right now. But I really believe you are going to start seeing them spring up all over the place. Our school is steadily increasing each year as the word gets out. :-) Just keep being the great mom that you are and ask the Lord to show you how He wants you to handle their education. That’s the best way!

    [Reply]

    Anitra Reply:

    Thanks for the encouragement, PJ! My husband and I pray about this a lot, keeping in mind that schooling can look different for each child and each year.

    Georgia Reply:

    PJ what state do you live in? Did I understand you correctly… you homeschool a few days of the
    week and your kids go t school the other days? Is his a special agreement between a homeschool group and the school system? It sound neat and I am interested in learning more about this model.

    [Reply]

    PJ Reply:

    Hi Georgia!

    I live in Georgia :-) This made me laugh!! Yes, you did understand me correctly. We attend an actual school of 183 kids k-12th grade. It’s fully accredited, has extracurricular activities, certified teachers, and is set up just like a private Christian school. The only difference is that I oversee my children’s work on the off days and then they turn it in when they go back to school. We say it’s the best of both worlds. If you want to email me, I will sent you our school’s website or answer any additional questions you may have. Enjoy your day!!

    [Reply]

    Georgia Reply:

    PJ,
    This is a wonderful set up!!! How fortunate that you can take part in such a unique program. I would love to be able to read up on how they put this together. Is there a website for this. thanks so much!
    PS: I had to chuckle too! Glad Georgia is doing something good!

    [Reply]

    PJ Reply:

    Georgia – here is my email address:

    pjscott777@gmail.com

    You can email me and I will send you the website etc.

    Thanks!
    PJ

  6. Julie says

    I agree that some people are socially awkward no matter how they’ve been schooled. Our concern was more related to how our child would interact with his peers. Chatting politely with a grocery store cashier is a little different from developing friendships with kids your own age.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    Is this the same Julie that asked the original question?

    In our area, Western MD, we have homeschool Co-ops and the hs kids play
    organized sports/do extracurricular activities in the public and private school systems. We also attend
    a church that has a vibrant, Biblically sound, children’s program year-round
    2-3x/week. This has put our fears to rest about having children that are
    ‘weird’.

    Although I would say this, I would rather have a child that is
    considered ‘weird’ by the world but was living for Christ than a child that
    was one of the crowd and living for themselves.

    It’s definitely something we wrestled with and that is the conclusion we
    came to.

    A good place to start is the local HS Co-ops, I just googled mine and found 5.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    Duh it was a JILL that asked the original question LOL

    [Reply]

  7. Amanda says

    We get comments about others( mainly family members) concern that our sons will be socially awkward. I think a lot of it is because they assume we are in our house alone all day everyday. But there are field trips and errands and as long as the parents encourage interaction with other children and adults I see no reason why a homeschooled child would have less social skills than a public or private schooled child. Some of it could be personality as well. My oldest, 5, is a very talkative child. He talks to anyone and has conversations with adults while we’re out. On occasion, he’s taken it upon himself to approach librarians and ask for help finding things he wants at the library with absolutely no prompting from me. ( he only told me he needed to ask a question). I think this I one of the biggest misconceptions regarding homeschool because others are not aware of all of the group activities( co-ops, sports, clubs) that are available to homeschool families.

    [Reply]

  8. Marilyn K says

    I am just beginning the homeschool journey at this point and I still have much to learn. However, I want to make a comment about social interaction. I believe that one of the big problems in society is the breakdown of the family. I feel that our society has placed social interaction with peers – friendships – at such a high priority that kids learn to put those relationships at a higher level of importance than relationships with parents and siblings. Kids think being with friends is ultimate and being with family is a drag. I believe it is much more important for a child to develop an understanding that the nuclear family needs to be the backbone of society and that peer friendships need to take the backseat in life. When they grow up, instead of wanting to just “hang out” and get stuck in an extended adolescence, afraid of being a “boring adult” they will love the possibility of forming their own family and creating a thriving little church in their home. I pray God will give you wisdom and peace in your decision making process!

    [Reply]

    Marcee Reply:

    AMEN!!!!

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    Sarah Reply:

    So true!!

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    Jamie Reply:

    I agree completely!

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    karli Reply:

    that was wonderful!!!! never thought of it just that way before-thanks!

    [Reply]

  9. Tiffani says

    I also believe it’s important for parents contemplating this choice to think about high school. My husband teaches high school and we have witnessed several times a home schooled students trying to jump into public school as a freshmen. They really struggle. That’s not an argument against home schooling… I just think, if you start, you need to be prepared to keep them home through graduation. It seems to me that home school is becoming a fad and some are jumping on board without thinking long term.

    [Reply]

    Mara Reply:

    OR, you can transition them earlier. I was taught in a private,
    1 room schoolhouse situation (with 10-14 kids total in grades K-6), and
    while I did superbly well in math, reading, and English, I was suspicious
    that our science and history curriculum wasn’t up to par with public
    school standards, and since I had to transfer to somewhere after 6th grade
    anyways, I asked my parents if I go to public school starting in 6th grade
    rather than 7th, since that would give me one year in elementary school
    to adjust (socially as well, it IS different interacting with all peers or a
    a mix of ages) before entering middle school. Turns out, my assessment was mostly
    right; though I did well in history I was terribly behind in science and
    it took me through middle school to kind of “catch up” and become comfortable
    with where I was at. Because of that 3 year adjustment period FIRST, I was
    then in the 90th+ percentile for high school science and then I graduated
    with a degree in physics in college. ;) I should note though, then when I
    transitioned in 6th grade, I WAS 1-2 years ahead in math and didn’t have to
    pay attention in math class until high school.

    [Reply]

    Kika Reply:

    My son jumped into highschool last year after having been homeschooled since Kindergarten and had no problems. He is an honor student and has made good friends and enjoys his experience. One BIG thing that helped him, though, was joining the basketball team. It gave him an immediate “in” of sorts – a place to fit while he got used to the school and an opportunity to build some friendships quite quickly.

    [Reply]

    Kika Reply:

    Oh, one more thing. My husband is a middle-school teacher and would disagree about junior high/middle school being a good time to transition. The kids have formed tight ‘cliques’ and it can be very hard to break into these groups of kids who’ve known each other for years. In addition, it seems that by highschool our kids have strong identities – they know who they are and where they are heading so moving to public school at that age seems right. They are not likely to be pushed around or swayed by peer culture.

    [Reply]

  10. Jenika says

    One could argue that children that exposed to mostly other children their own age, all day, could be “socially awkward.” I see great benefit in my children learning to play with children younger than themselves. When our family goes out, on a “field trip” our smaller group makes it easier for my children to interact with the group guide, or other people who work there. They aren’t afraid to ask questions…peer pressure to “act cool” just isn’t there.

    Having said that, I do feel as a homeschooling mother, that I do need to make an effort to keep the kids engaged. Getting the said exposure sometimes is an added effort. With a new baby, I felt the need to just lock the door and stay inside reading to my children. However, my nine year old needs to PLAY, and sometimes I want him with other children beside his siblings (that have to love him despite his sometimes disagreeable attitude!). I want him to work through the trials and tribulations of friendships.

    Social interaction is not hard to ensure with a bit of added effort. It’s good for mama too!

    [Reply]

  11. Laura Green says

    Great post, Laura. I am a 34 year old homeschooled graduate (whose parents homeschooled when it was still relatively “weird”) and really appreciate the diversity it availed me in my interactions will all kinds of people, not solely my own peer group. Jill, teach your kids your standards and values and expose them to as many different types of people that you can.

    [Reply]

  12. says

    I really love the way you explained it. Much more eloquently than I could have. I have been homeschooling my twins since the 4th grade (they are now in 7th) and I have noticed that they are much kinder, friendlier and welcoming than their friends that still go to their old private school. They aren’t so focused on what they are wearing, how their hair or makeup looks, who likes who, etc. I love the way they interact with people who are older than they are. They listen to them (and learn!)and enjoy spending their time with them whereas their “friends” are bored and can’t wait to get back people their own age because “old people aren’t any fun”. (Yes, I actually heard them say that!) My kids have even shown an interest in mission work and have both joined groups at our church to further that interest. Kids who are homeschooled are normal. It just depends on what you are judging “normal” by.

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  13. says

    Yes I am sheltering my daughter. I am sheltering her from learning how cruel children can be when someone looks different or dresses different while teaching her how to look past appearances in others. I am sheltering her from bullies. I am sheltering her from negative peer pressure until she is old enough and secure enough in her own beliefs and self worth to stand up for herself. My daughter is very social and had friends that she plays with. Ibelieve that protecting and sheltering my daughtet from ad many evils as possible while teaching het to be a strong and confident and loving Christian IS my job as her parent.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I second this, Linda! When you have little seedlings that you are nurturing, you don’t throw them out into the “elements” at once. You protect them until they are hardy enough to take the “real world”. I look at homeschooling as sort of a greenhouse, where our little seedlings are becoming big and strong. We are “hardening them off” a little at a time. We are instilling God’s values into their little hearts so that they can enter the world with more confidence in who they are and what they believe. Incidentally, I find that homeschooled children generally have better social skills simply because they are not so immersed in their own peer group all day. They are better at accepting and interacting with different age groups and walks of life. My elderly relatives were amazed at how much my children engaged with them during a recent visit. They were not sighing and acting bored or texting their friends the whole time. Instead, they were very involved in conversation and showed a genuine interest in others.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    Well said Linda!

    [Reply]

  14. Britny says

    Awesome discussion! I homeschooled for half a year and we realized it did not fit for our family. We talked, I prayed, we thought and looked over finances and decided to enroll our boys in the Catholic school close to our home. It’s a sacrifice that works for us. :) It takes all sorts! (By the by anyone know what movie that’s from?) ;)

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  15. Jennifer S. says

    We have eight children six of whom are currently being homeschooled. Just being in a large family teaches children a lot about getting along with different ages. None of our children have issues with interacting with anyone from babies to seniors. I love to watch them in action when we go to church. I think so much of it has to do with our attitude and the opportunities we provide our children for learning not only the three R’s but also how to treat others.

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  16. Becky says

    Laura Said: “And I’ve gotta say – there are days I wish my kids’ social lives would slow down just a little bit so that we could get something done at home!”

    Oh my gosh, this is the ‘truest’ thing I’ve ever read! We call those days ‘car-schooling days’ and frankly, we have way too many of them. :)

    [Reply]

  17. Terri-Ann Gawthroupe says

    PJ – Hybrid schooling sounds amazing! Ever since my oldest started school (he’s in grade 2 now) I have wished I could send him to school for 3 hours in the morning and have him home in the afternoons. I had no idea that kind of arrangement existed! If you don’t mind answering, where do you live? Is this exclusive to your school/school board/state/country? (I’m in Ontario, Canada).

    Laura – have you heard of this? This actually seems like the answer I have been looking and praying for for a long time. If anyone out there has anymore information on this, I would LOVE to hear it.

    (jgawthroupe@rogers.com)

    [Reply]

    PJ Reply:

    Hi Terri-Ann!

    I sent you an email with some information for you on hybrid schooling. Thanks so much for asking! I love talking about it. :-) Enjoy your day!!

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    There is a University Model school in our area that does that type of schedule. Google University Model schools and
    you should find a website that lists all of them across the country.

    We are doing virtual public school with my daughter starting next school year. She will be in 5th grade. I may
    start my now 1st grader at some point if it turns out to be what we prefer. It’s public school, but it’s done at home
    both online with teachers in a virtual classroom and on their own. More self directed starting at 4th grade.

    Linda

    [Reply]

  18. Dawn says

    My children are homeschooled after spending 3 years in the public school system. There are several things I have noticed: the first is that they have some friends that attend the public school, and it seems they are much more concerned with who likes them, what they wear, what everyone thinks of them. My girls are developing their personality and styles with my less influence of other kids. They are quite satisfied being themselves. Second thing is I definately can agree with the statement about lets be less social so we can stay home!! We attend a co-op, my kids are in 4-h, They all do some sort of music. My oldest is taking part in state contests this weekend with her orchestra. My older two volunteer at the local library, and get rave reviews. My 14 year old is planning on going to Haiti this summer. Both my girls have gone through babysitting classes. My older daughter has a couple families that she babysits for and she also “babysits” for an eighty-something year old lady when the family she lives with has to be gone. In other words my kids are very socialized, just not in the way that they are sitting all day, being made to raise their hand to speak and having to ask permission to go to the restroom. Last time I checked my husband or I neither one had to any of these things in the “real” world!! Oh, right now I have 7 (4 friends) kids in my house from 1 1/2 to 14 and they are all interacting with eachother.
    But above all, pray about what God would have you to do with your childrens education!! Follow his direction!!!

    [Reply]

  19. Kevin Lewis says

    When I was in college I saw a freshman who was home-schooled. It was obvious she was socially awkward. She was quiet, reserved, and naive. And in 6 months, she socialized just like everyone else. You would never have known she was home-schooled. I went to a private academy from 4-8th grade. I was the only one in my grade. My best friend was the only one in his grade. We socialized well together but when I went to 9th grade at High School, the kids I knew back in 2nd and 3rd grade were there. Some ignored me, some talked to me and some bullied and badgered me. We socialized but I didn’t like it at all!

    Then we moved to another state and I got socialized! I was ignored for the most part except for the guys at my woodshop table who loved to bully me. I knew how to get along with older people – my teachers loved me – and younger people – younger students appreciated my interest in helping them – but struggled mostly with kids my own age. I didn’t appreciate them, where they were at intellectually or morally, and they didn’t appreciate me. My first friend grew to a social group of friends he was connected with. And then another friends grew to another social group of friends. Soon I was friends with a wide range of people even my own age.

    Now that I’m out of High School and College, I rarely have friends my own age. I rarely even see people the same age that I am. And I socialize fine.

    I appreciate the honesty to say that every school develops socially awkward people – shy, reserved, adjusting to please peers, loud, rude, unloving and unloved. But to base education, development and mental, emotional and spiritual formation on socializing is a weak argument. People catch up as they grow up if they have relationships. I know 50 year old men who act like teenagers and they went to public school. They socialized well but still didn’t mature to socialize better as they aged.

    We home-school because we feel we can educate out kids well in less time because there is less socializing and less social problems. We still deal with bullying (leave your brother alone!) and awkwardness (they are kids after all) but they are growing just fine. And when we send our son to his Music class at the local elementary school – you should see the kids who are excited to see him. He’s doing just fine!

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    This was very interesting to read Kevin, I agree completely about socialization
    not being the primary reason for the decision of how to educate and definitely about knowing adults that act like children!

    [Reply]

  20. Sheri says

    My family travels quite a bit, and here’s an observation I have made. Whenever we are in a new town, new hotel, new swimming pool or library or playground…what have you, my kids are eager to approach other children of all ages and backgrounds to introduce themselves and ask to play. I have noticed more and more (my girls are 6 and 7 now) that children outside their immediate age group are unwilling to interact. I believe (just my opinion here) this is a result of the almost strictly lateral peer interaction kids get in public school. It’s just not cool in school to play with younger kids, and if you’re the younger kid you learn pretty quickly to avoid the older kids. I remember this well from my own public school days. Not knocking public school, but it IS different for homeschooled kids in lots of ways that can be very positive.

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  21. says

    Another benefit to homeschooling is as children meet and see people who are different from them they learn from their parents how to respond, interact and help. When children are playing by themselves and see someone who is different often they laugh at the differences instead of being taught that often being different is OK.

    Just a thought I had as I read the reader’s question. :-)

    [Reply]

  22. Leah K says

    Thank you for your prayerful answer on this question. I was home schooled and I get asked that questions a lot. In fact, I was 20 when I graduated from University. I graduated 1 1/2 years early because I started taking college classes when I was in HS because I was home schooled. I started teaching at a public school the year after I graduated because that is where I felt God calling me to be. I worked with inner city kids and I loved them very much. I was a young teacher with lots of new ideas and a lot of passion. There were teachers that didn’t like me probably because I was young and in love with my job. I was approached in the halls one day by a teacher. She was getting on my case about something that she didn’t like about me and how I ran my classroom because my kids loved coming to school. She then said to me that she found out I was home schooled and that explained a lot to her about how I act. She said that it made since to her that I would be socially awkward because I was home schooled. This came from a woman who needed a lot of love. She was a lone and sad. The next year at the same school she came to school intoxicated. I had been haunted by what she told me in the hall that day because I was young and thought there might be something wrong with me, but when God started to open my eyes to see that this woman needed prayer, I realized I was not socially awkward. God showed me how to pray for that woman and that there wasn’t anything wrong with me or how I acted. It was more the love and passion I had for my job that people thought was weird. I am ok with that because I taught because that is what I was called to do and God lead me to that school to be a witness. It is different and that’s what people see as socially awkward until they can actually take a look at their own heart.

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    Leah these were beautiful words for the Lord:
    “God showed me how to pray for that woman and that there wasn’t
    anything wrong with me or how I acted. It was more the love and passion I had for my job that people thought was weird. I am ok with that because I taught because that is what I was called to do and God lead me to that school to be a witness. It is different and that’s what people see as socially awkward until they can actually take a look at their own heart.”
    Amen sister in Christ!

    [Reply]

  23. Rhonda says

    ANYONE who thinks that homeschooled kids are not socialized,needs to come follow us for one week!!! I would be willing to bet that my children get way more socialization than public or private schooled kids. Not with just kids in their own grade, either.

    [Reply]

  24. Dione says

    Laura,
    You stated this wonderfully. I have been homeschooling my children for 12 years now, my oldest did go to a private school for the first 4 years, and I have seen all sides of this. All I can say is that if you have prayed about your choice your children will be blessed by your choice and will grow in their walk with God. I would never go back to were we were before but God has different plans for each of us. You need to follow his plan for your family. I have very strong children who are praised by their employers for their wonderful values and work ethic. I believe homeschooling helped to instill these values, however, I believe a faithful parent who is led by the Lord can instill these same values in any situation.

    [Reply]

  25. Kendra says

    Great post and comments! I am very interested in what curriculum(s) everyone uses and what sold you on that particular one.

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    Hi Kendra,

    This question is like that can you open that’s really a trick and those springy snakes jump out! You know that one? Every parent is different and every child is different and so curriculum choice is as varied as thumbprints out there. I highly recommend reading the beginning of Cathy Duffy’s 100 Best Picks for help with learning styles. I can tell you for me that I’m a Charlotte Mason loving mom but with kids that are all over the place. I love most things from Simply Charlotte Mason and I use Math U See because it’s hands on and finally explained a bunch of math concepts to me and I got a minor in math in college. The other place to look for favorites is in Practical Homeschooling Magazine. She does a favorites contest every year so you can see what is popular. But homeschooling can be trendy, too. AND we’re coming up on homeschool conference season so you might want to check out your local one. They you can see people present on different homeschool styles. Hope that helps. Oh, and I love Apologia Science.

    [Reply]

    Kendra Reply:

    Thank you for your reply. I am only familiar with two homeschool options – A.C.E. and A Beka but I know there are so many more.

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    I always recommend a book called So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel. It’s cheesy but has a chapter for the different styles. I have dabbled in all the styles until bit by bit found things that worked for our family!! It’s an adventure :)

    Audrey Reply:

    I agree with others, this will look different for every family. The only one I can recommend from experience (my daughter is in kindergarten) is Saxon math. We LOVE it!! Sometimes we do four lessons a day just because we can. That is the only thing we’ve found that we love. But again…. Take my advice with a grain of salt, since it’s different with every family (and even child!) And my oldest is only in kindergarten!

    My mentor loves My Father’s World. She has been using it for 6 years now. After sitting in on their homeschooling for a couple months, I plan on trying MFW out when my oldest is older also. It’s great for teaching multiple grades at once, too.

    Again, grain of salt. :)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Hi Kendra —
    I am more of a “read the book and take a test” person, so for my family (so far we have used grades Prek – 6th grade and many of the supplements), I chose Rod & Staff curriculum. They do not have an “official” web-site, but I know I have found some vendors on-line with descriptions. I have previewed and used many other curricula, and there are a lot of good choices. Rainbow Resources has a 2 inch catalog full of everything you can think of with good descriptions. The only subject I veer off with is Math. We use Singapore Math (U.S.) and my boys have loved “Life of Fred” for pre-algebra and up.

    [Reply]

  26. nancyt says

    I find it very interesting after all these years that homeschooling is popular that people are still on the socialization/in a bubble thing. What do kids learn in public school. 1. being bullied, 2. Anti God 3. cussing 4. sex 5. drugs 6. being smart is uncool. 7. peer dependency. 8. did I say anti God. all subjects as the public school system says are neutral. There is no neutral, you are either for God or you are not. no middle ground. On the other hand. Homeschool kids.
    1. not bullied, 2. Learn all about God. 3. no cussing. 4. no sex except in the bounds of marriage. 5. no drugs except when you are sick. 7. able to communicate with all ages of people with no problem. 8. History – HIS Story, Science – Creation. and on and on I could go. It is proven statistically that Children are more well rounded. Better Educated than the public school system.

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  27. says

    I LOVE THIS POST! :o)

    I am the mother of 8 children and I can honestly say that we have tried it all! We have sent our children to public school, to a private Christian school, and we have home schooled. Based on my experience (which included one of our children going through the journey of leukemia), I think that the best advice I can give a mother/couple thinking about homeschooling is,…. pray about it. Remember, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens….”. Let God lead you through your seasons of life and let Him guide you in your decisions. Every child is different and has different needs, … pray about it. :o)

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  28. Kris Mays says

    You are so right about this, Laura. With parents like my husband and I, our kids can’t help but be social butterflies (we are both very social and socially involved).

    Homeschooling has afforded them an opportunity to be exposed to more than just their own age group all day and that has been invaluable to their social education.

    And, like you, I wish my kids were less social and at home MORE. But they have good people in their lives and mentors beyond my husband and I that God has put in their lives through the opportunities they have because we homeschool.

    Yes, it is possible to raise well adjusted and Godly kids who attend school outside home. I just think it’s harder to do it. I have many friends, including our pastor’s family, who have done a great job at it. I know I couldn’t Homeschooling is the right choice for our family.

    [Reply]

  29. says

    Laura, great response to the original question!

    To reader Jill of the original question: All types of schooling choices have pros and cons. It helps me to put things in writing when making big decisions like this. I make 2 columns for pros and cons. Then see and star the ones that have more weight or are more important. Then pray.

    Honestly, the socialization aspect was never even a consideration against homeschooling for me. I worked in PS for 10 years before homeschooling (and have now homeschooled 12) and it was one of the reasons that were pro for us to homeschool. So – some aspects are just a matter of how you look at it :).

    Regarding socialization of homeschoolers: If you ever feel that your children need more interaction with others outside of your home there are tons and tons of different opportunities to seek out for different types of interaction. We have done enrichment classes, 4-H, park days, 4-H, classes with groups like Biology labs, 4-H, church activities, sports, oh, and have I mentioned 4-H?? Lol.

    I feel that through the years they have had just enough exposure and dealings with difficult people to learn how to handle themselves, but not so much that it squelches their spirit and changes who they are. Make sense?

    Once they are close to college and you want to ‘transition’ them into the environment you can always do dual enrollment or whatever works for your family. Also, it’s not a “forever” decision. You can always make different choices according to your needs as time goes on – and even come back home if PS or private school is not working. It’s okay. Our reasons for homeschooling have evolved and changed so you may see that as well.

    Isn’t it wonderful that we HAVE the choice? I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to homeschool; and am glad for all of us to have the choice to school at home, private, or public schools.

    [Reply]

  30. sgs says

    After spending three years working as the assistant to the head of the EDCI (education and curriculum instruction) department at my local university, getting an insider’s bird’s eye view of what is being taught in masters classes to students who are seeking their teaching certification, I would never – NEVER – allow my children to attend public school.

    The entire focus is on social engineering …social justice … one of the books that was required reading was The Communist Manifesto. I was shocked. The thrust is purely political. I was privy to emails between professors talking openly about ‘a fresh new batch of young minds to corrupt’, with comments like ‘the movement proceeds apace’ …the drive is towards marxism (at best).

    There is a publication called “Rethinking Schools” that can be found as a teacher guide and ‘social instruction’ manual in every public school in the country. If you want to know more about the principles and methods being used in the furtherance of this social justice agenda, please do some digging on this publication.

    The place we see our society heading, deviancy defined way downward, coarse and morally-bankrupt behavior, is a direct result of the moral-relativism being taught in out schools. One of the primary messages (in homage to “diversity”) is that there is no true right or wrong, there is no good or bad.

    Schools are no longer about the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. They are about creating good little marxist children (yes, I have seen nearly this exact sentence in correspondence between professors). They are about social engineering.

    I believe most parents, if they were to spend a week sitting in the same classrooms their children do, would be shocked to know the political propaganda that their children are being exposed to on a daily basis in public schools. I did, and I was.

    [Reply]

    Beth Reply:

    We read Communist Manifesto this year with my 2 high schoolers as part of our government/citizenship studies. It was great to read and discuss together and I would highly recommend it to homeschooling families. What it says, explicitly, is truly an eye opener! My dc are more able to recognize Marxism and not buy into it because of reading his own words. We also read Animal Farm at that time. My husband is in higher ed and sees what you describe. It is truly difficult to be Christian plus conservative in higher ed education programs and face corporate bullying (my words – doesn’t that sound like a good coined phrase?)

    I will say, though, that there are many good, solid teachers in public schools that are not promoting that stuff. I like to think that I was one of them :). I had already decided at one point that if a certain book was adopted that I would refuse to use it. It wasn’t and I didn’t have to fight that fight (phew!). I only share that to show that there are many out there who actually want to protect your children from the social engineering and truly uphold the rights of the parents.

    Great commentary and thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  31. Erin says

    I think the social awkwardness claim is the biggest myth of homeschooling. I am always asked whether my kids play with kids “their own age” to which I have to say no(I have two kids with autism and so professionals ask this one). They are around kids of all ages and adults, too. My kids are constantly on the run(ages 17 down to 4) and we have to make a conscious effort to be home to homeschool. My oldest just started her first college class as a junior in high school. A LOT of the homeschoolers around here start attending college early to get dual credits. We have to be selective in the activities we choose because with 5 kids, it can get overwhelming and I love a snow day. That means it snowed enough that the roads are bad and I have an excuse to stay home!!

    And I remember at least three phonecalls from friends whose kids are in public school wanting my daughter to “hang out” with their daughters to “undo” what they had gotten in public school. I’m always baffled by that one, but my daughter is a role model and leader in our church and recognized for maturity and Godliness. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit not me.

    [Reply]

  32. Renee says

    I know the Lord is leading me to homeschooling my 2nd grader and kindergartner. My only concern is that we live in a town of 200 people and 30 minutes away from a medium sized city. any suggestions for socializing with other children?

    [Reply]

    Beth Reply:

    Renee, I’ve lived in a bigger city (80,000) that was directly connected to a huge metroplex and now live in a town that, well, we can’t really find it! We’re almost 20 minutes from a medium sized city as well.

    There are different cultures in different environments. Even in PS our children would have had very different experiences in these 2 towns. Your activities may look different than other families’ but will be enriching your children’s lives nonetheless.

    I’ll be redundant and mention 4-H again, lol. Especially in a rural environment where even though they may be doing a lot of activities at home (like animals or food projects or clothing/textiles) they still get group support and recognition. They can do group activities like club meetings, prepping for contests, or even singing Christmas Carols at retirement homes like we did with a 4-H club. I know your dc are young, but it’s something keep it in mind and for others in your situation in case it’s helpful.

    We try to group errands with homeschool activities. So, today we’ll go to park day in the bigger town, run to the post office, and do 4-H fundraising. That lowers the driving hours but we stay connected.
    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

    Renee Reply:

    Beth- Thanks for the wonderful ideas and inspirations!!

    [Reply]

    Jamie Reply:

    4H is great! Co-ops (start your own if you don’t have one),
    exchange students, depending on your state hs kids might be allowed to play
    organized sports/do extracuricular activites at the private/public schools, libraries have great programs, and finally church is the #1 place our children interact with other kids.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Hi Renee — You sound like me. We also live in a small “town” (not really a town at all) removed from the population center. My children (age 4 – 18) have been involved in Sunday School, Cadets, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, farmers’ market, and visiting at the local retirement home. They also play outside with children from these activities. We do not get involved with a co-op. And it is enough. School is for learning, and a social life is different for each family, regardless of how they “school.”

    [Reply]

  33. Brooke says

    Very well written Laura!
    Jill, I think it is so important to pray with your husband about your decision. Truly, I don’t be believe there is a right or wrong answer for this question about whether homeschooling is the right choice or not. Our first grader is in a public charter school. I have several friends near me who homeschool (or do a part homeschool/classroom setting) and at a time I did feel like maybe I’m doing the wrong thing by putting my daughter in public. However, my husband reminded me that God needs his children in all places. I have already seen my first grader learn/talk about “inappropriate” things BUT she stands up for what God says to her peers. You see, this can be done, like Laura said, with all the avenues outside the classroom, around the community or in the classroom.
    And, here’s another great thing to know too (I was taught this before my oldest started Kinder by a group of moms with older and graduated kids). It’s that even if you start one way of school, homeschooling for instance, you’re not stuck with it for life. You can change. Some kids I know and have heard have done home, public, private, etc… b/c some kids do better in a different setting than even their siblings.
    So pray about it, and see where God might be leading you and your husband in this area. And just know that your children can flourish and more importantly, be God’s witness on earth wherever they are. :)

    [Reply]

  34. Kika says

    I think there are some differences in behavior/mannerisms between public and homeschooled kids but there are great kids in all settings, with involved families. I grew up with 11 siblings; half of us attended the local schools while the second half were homeschooled. I highly doubt that today anyone could pick out differences in our schooling. My first two children were quite shy when young while my third is extremely social and chatty (all homeschooled) – I think the biggest factor is really personality. My son went to a local school last year and has excelled. He’s happy, I’m happy – but he is a strong person, not easily swayed and that helps because he does encounter all sorts of unlovely attitudes and behavior (to put it mildly)- and has also had some great teachers and made good friends. I feel like the protection our kids are afforded by homeschooling contributes enormously to their ability to become such strong, assured people. They simply haven’t had to battle negative peer culture or pressure for hours/day. They have, however, been very active in the community. My kids are involved in music, sports, they volunteer in various areas, etc. So they are not living in an isolated bubble. But they do have time to develop their own passions and just BE who they are.

    [Reply]

  35. Shelley says

    We began homeschooling our son in the 7th grade because we didn’t want him to go through the nasty things our daughter went through in private and public middle school and highschool. Although he was alone at home during the homeschooling, he was involved in the local homeschooling group, 4-H and church youth group for extra “socialization”. He has always done very well talking and relating to all age groups, whereas some of his cousins who went to public school won’t hardly speak to people older than they are. I was never sure of myself that I was teaching him enough during his homeschooling years, but not only was he awarded two nice scholarships for technical college and graduated with honors, he was often praised by his teachers for his good work ethic which many of the other students did not have. He is now 24, has a good career, is well-liked by many people, and has a strong faith. I am not saying that children cannot turn out well after attending public or private school (my daughter did), but parents have a harder job making sure that peer pressure and all the immoral junk that is forced upon our young nowdays doesn’t affect them negatively. Always pray about what God wants for your child and your family.

    [Reply]

  36. silverilex says

    Home schooled children are a cross section of society, just as children who go to learning establishments are a cross section of society. We have met a whole spectrum of home school families, whom have differing ideas regarding what’s an acceptable home education. There have been free-learning to strictly scheduled, awkward socially to the life of the party, learning slackers to dedicated students. Individuals with individual talents, characteristics, flaws and lives.

    [Reply]

  37. Christina says

    Thank you for this post, Laura!! My husband and I have been planning to homeschool our almost three year old. Most of our friends are beginning to enroll their children in preschool and its brought this topic to the forefront for us. In fact, we decided to check out the local Christian school’s open house just last night in order to “see what’s out there” and confirm our decision. Your post could not have been more timely!!! THANK YOU :-)

    [Reply]

  38. Dee says

    Great post! I was home schooled my entire life, only went to preschool. I agree that there are socially awkward people in all circles. I saw quite a few at the home schooling get togethers we went to. There were kids whose parents were scared of the “bad outside world” and wouldn’t let them near it. I remember when I was a teen, bringing a public school friend with me, and some of the parents treated her like a leper. I was lucky in that my parents allowed me freedom to be in lots of outside circles and meet all kinds of kids. We had lots of young people in the neighborhood that I hung out with, youth group at our huge church, and I got a job at the mall when I was 16. I didn’t have to care about cliques at school and had friend’s that were cheerleaders or band geeks. My husband was a big nerd that I probably wouldn’t have talked to had I gone to school with him, but I met him at my job!

    If a parent is worried about this aspect of home schooling then that’s a good thing. Maybe they’ll be more proactive in getting their child out there into the world.

    [Reply]

  39. Julie says

    I have a dear friend who was homeschooled. She self published and authored a book about her experience. It’s insightful, honest and a great read. It’s called Pajama School. Her name is Natalie Wickham. I’m pretty sure you can order it through Amazon. I’ll repost if that’s not true.

    [Reply]

  40. Melanie says

    Wow! Great post and great comments. All very thought provoking. My husband and I have been discussing homeschool for a while now. We have a 6 year old who is in kindergarten and a 4 year old. Have I prayed about whether or not we’re supposed to homeschool? Honestly, no. I think I’m afraid to go there yet! I have a full-time job and I work from home. My husband lost his job a few years ago and has said that he would be open to doing the homeschooling if we go that route. But I know me – I would want to be right in there with them, too! :) But an old high school friend of mine made a comment at a craft fair this summer when we were talking about the kids. She said that she was convicted by the verse about teaching your kids about the Lord when they go in and go out, etc. because if the kids are gone all day and in activities all night, when is there time to teach them about the things of God? Ouch! So after reading this post and some of the awesome things you all have had to say, perhaps it’s time for me to trust the Lord in this area and be open to wherever He leads… Although I’m 90% sure of what He’s going to tell us. In our situation, we’ve already had our son come home telling us that another student (and a boy at that) had taught him about french kissing. Plus in his pre-K, they watched a ton of movies – many of them I was appalled to find out about after the fact. Damage control can be hard! At any rate, I know there are valid arguments for any choice related to your kid’s education. Being a parent is certainly not easy, but wow – isn’t it worth it? Worth each and every hard decision and each sacrifice made. Lord, help us all to make the decision that YOU would have us make in regard to schooling our children!

    Great blog, by the way! I just found you in the last day or two and am loving it. Thanks for all you do! :)

    [Reply]

  41. Audrey says

    Excellent post! I was public schooled (I asked my mom to please homeschool me because I couldn’t take the bullying anymore, but she refused), and I am a little socially awkward. So is my sister. I do great with people my own age, not so much with others. I dislike that about myself. I’m now homeschooling my children (I’m a newbie… My oldest is 5), who so far have excellent social skills. I hope they continue to develop social skills as they get older! Just a thought: public school is the only place and time in a person’s life where they will be in a room full of students their age. For years on end. I don’t buy the argument that it prepares them for the real world. ;) But I do agree, socially awkward can come from anywhere.

    I like what someone said about the seedlings….. I always think of it like the military. You wouldn’t put a new recruit on the front lines. They go through lots of rigorous training first, and then they are put in real life situations. On the field is not a good place to learn to prepare for these things! I love the idea of preparing my children for the real world rather than just throwing them in it. Giving them the tools and skills necessary to handle people and situations that will come up in life first, so that by the time they graduate high school, they are prepared and can stand their ground. I don’t think a room full of first graders are the best people to be teaching my first grader about the world! :)

    [Reply]

  42. Dee Jarvis says

    Here is a link to an article posted on Crosswalk.com today. I think he poses some good questions to ask & consider. We homeschooled K-12 and, by God’s grace, have 2 sons who both received college scholarships, graduated w/honors, & are happy in their God-directed careers! They have friends & are active in their churches. The article is lengthy, but if you scroll to the bottom, he sums up his points. http://www.crosswalk.com/family/homeschool/high-school/the-socialization-deception.html

    [Reply]

  43. Laura says

    There are lots of good posts and perspectives here! Here is my two cents…ask God. Get down on your knees regularly and pray. God is a good Father and He will guide you. He will lead you down a different path than others. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You are unique; your child is unique. God created them and He knows them. Don’t be afraid of any options. Each one has its positive aspects. Listen to God. He won’t steer you wrong.

    Now, let’s all agree to put that “home schooled kids are not socialized” myth to bed. It’s ridiculous.

    With love, Laura
    -proud public school parent of a middle schooler who loves God, hanging out with his family, does not cuss and has a real servant heart.
    -proud parent of a child in a public elementary school who taught by an outstanding Christian teacher. Yes, there are Christians in public school. We always need more!

    [Reply]

    Emily Reply:

    Thank you for your words!

    [Reply]

  44. Jennifer says

    My children have gone to public school (my oldest before we moved here), private (my 3 middle children before we started to homeschool), homeschool (through grade 6) and public school again, – grade 7 and up. My oldest has graduated from high school. He was never homeschooled, and did like to give me some grief about his brothers “having to stay home.” Now when he comes home, he says, “Mom, you have to get Daniel (my one, naturally ‘awkward’ child) out of public school. It’s going to ruin him.” Knowing my children makes me believe he is correct. You see, God made Daniel this way – not “chatty” like his older brothers, not athletically gifted, but artistic and introverted. In public (and private, I’ve found) school that is not “cool.” Introverted athletes are ok. Socially gifted artists make it alright. But my son is comfortable being the sensitive giant, who wants to draw and compose music and not shoot lay-ups. He is in 6th grade at public school now, which was a difficult decision. I put him back a grade level so he could be in the correct age (another important thing at school) so he is far beyond his peers in size, academics and maturity. However, he has the social skills of Albert Einstein, and probably the same athletic skills. But he wanted so desperately to go to school. There are many hard decisions involved in parenting and schooling. I know it sounds very “non-social board” of me, but I sent my son to public school, because he wanted to go, and I know that elementary school is not a critical need of my children. Now I am considering taking him back home, so he can return to his own pace, in his own world. God tells us, though, that we are to be salt and light in the world, and Daniel’s gentle spirit is a gift to those around him – he is a helper and a friend to others; and he is a light for his faith. I am fortunate, though, in that in our rural district, with a personal knowledge of each teacher he will encounter and the values in our community, that he will be “safe” at school. However, if there was any knowledge that he would be bullied or ostracized for his differences, I’m sure my choice would be to bring him home. My older boys were so involved in sports that jr hi & high school were just the natural progression for us.

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  45. Angelia says

    I home schooled my oldest and even back then we had great resources here. Now there are home school academy that is through the state and you end up with the benefit of home school and children get teachers to answer those questions we are not good at. I also had him in a lot of community programs like helping with the Humane Society. In additions there were group meetings for socialization. I never felt it harmful and I feel it was just the opposite!

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  46. Anitra says

    My parents were not interested in homeschooling, so I went to private Christian schools for K-8, and public highschool. And, BOY was I socially awkward – around kids that were theoretically my “peers”. I did OK with younger kids and with adults (as an only child with older parents, I spent a LOT of time in adult gatherings of all sorts). Most of the homeschoolers I grew up with in my church were also pretty awkward… but most of the homeschoolers I know NOW are not. I think it’s because the kids I knew as a kid were being homeschooled because their parents were excessively sheltering them from the world (like, never allowing any individual activity outside of their family). The homeschoolers I know now spend lots of time outside of the shelter of their immediate family, they serve (both in the church and outside it), have lots of hobbies, and generally fit more “stuff” into their days than a public-school kid could.

    We are not currently “homeschooling” our children because I feel like I need support in dealing with issues of social maturity and discipline every day. My oldest is in pre-K at a local Christian school, and gets reinforcement there on how to love God, love others, and be less selfish in her actions.

    My husband wants to put her in public school by 2nd grade; I have mixed feelings about that, but we have a few years and will both keep praying about what is right for our family.

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  47. Sarah says

    Thank you, Laura for posting this. I’m taking it as a “God thing” because my husband & I have really been thinking about, talking, & praying about school options. We just don’t know what the Lord is leading us to right now. Currently our kids are in public school(2nd grade & K). My husband is a high school football coach, & until this year I was also a public school teacher. We have always felt like public school was our “place.” Most of his players don’t have stable homes & godly men to look up to. We’ve always felt like our family provided something they couldn’t get at home. It’s a definite calling to be a teacher/coach & we feel like that’s his calling. I do believe as parents, one of our main roles is to protect & maintain their innocence….teach the ways of God, & the values we believe. We work very hard at this even though they are gone during the day. I do believe they are little lights in a dark world, even at their age. My main question is…what about our calling to be lights & witnesses to a lost & dying world. I feel that if I homeschooled(& I really, truly feel like it might be where God is leading us), that I would mainly “socialize” & plan activities with like-minded people. What about the opportunities to be around others that need Jesus? I know homeschooling allows for so many opportunities to serve, & please know that I’m not suggesting that homeschoolers aren’t lights in a dark world. It’s a true, sincere concern I have and one of the “hold-ups” we have to knowing if it’s God’s will for us or not. On a different note, one main reason I really consider homeschooling is simply the value of education. I feel i could do a better job at reaching my children than the public school system can. That’s why I consider this post a “God thing”….the perfect topic to help us with current concerns we have right now. Thanks!!!

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    Laura Reply:

    God wil use you wherever He leads you. You will be a light in darkness as you live your life. We have had many opportunities to be lights in our public schools. I am very thankful for those opportunities and believe God put me here for a reason. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to be an example, to influence curriculum and to encourage others as a believing mom. One of the greatest privileges I have is to cover our schools in prayer. We have an enemy and he is out to kill, steal and destroy. I would ask all believing moms to cover their local schools in prayer, whether or not they attend them. “The prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” and I believe God can reach our youth through the power of prayer.

    Keep praying, and confidently take the next step on the path you believe God has you on. God sees your heart. If you are not on the right path, He will gently correct you.

    I mostly want to encourage the moms who feel like the public school is the place for them, but are afraid. I say that “greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world.” God will watch over your children. They (and you!) will have an opportunity to be a light in darkness. God will strengthen your faith and use you. They will leave school with an incredible testimony to God’s faithfulness. Of course, this could be true wherever they are educated!

    May God bless each of you as you prayerfully consider what path God has for your child.

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    Sarah Reply:

    Thanks for your encouragement! I also feel that prayer is one thing we all need to do for all of our schools!
    I also wanted to add that when I say I feel I can do better than the system, that doesn’t mean better than their individual teachers. We have been blessed with wonderful, christian women who love our children & love the Lord. Their hands are often “tied” with all the state requirements & expectations. I just want my kids to be reached & challenged at their level. My reasoning recently, for debating homeschool, has become more about education! Once again, it goes back to prayer & letting The One who knows all, guide us in all of our decisions! Thanks again!

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    Mary Brandon Reply:

    When my granddaughter was in high school, the junior varsity girl’s soccer coach homeschooled his kids. This is not either or.

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  48. Tara says

    I am a mom of 7, of which, 4 I homeschool (the other 3 are not of school age, yet). I didn’t read every post (so what I am about to say may have been addressed already) but I still want to encourage you in your concern and decision making for your little blessings!! I read a great deal of the comments and there are many great and valid points. However, the question concerning schooling for our kids, whether it’s homeschool, private school or public school should not be answered based on decisions concerning the ability of our children to socialize, quality of education, or any other issue. Our decision should be based on what God wants from our individual family. Not what society, our friends or our family say or think. Nor should it be based on (and this is big)…what we think! Where does God want your family. Advice from Christian blogs is so useful and I certainly listen to and ponder godly counsel but our decisions should be based on prayer, prayer and prayer.

    I was completely against homeschooling when we only had one young daughter. I have degrees in science and teaching and I thought homeschoolers were crazy. However, God had different plans for our family. I felt that loving nudge He often gives when He wants me to go in a different direction so I started asking, ok, God what do you want from us. Within 1 year, I was totally convinced that it was homeschooling (our oldest daughter was 4 by this time). My husband was not convinced and I did not push it, just prayed & waited, as patiently as I could :-), for God’s timing. The first day of Kindergarten for our oldest came and we all took her to school. The teacher was wonderful, the class was 11 kids and an aid. However, as we were leaving my husband said…”We are supposed to be homeschooling.” God not only showed me what he wanted, as I waited, He totally changed my husband’s heart. I took 2 weeks to prepare Kindergarten materials and started homeschooling. I was clueless but God has ever so lovingly put many seasoned homeschoolers in my path. :-)

    I was asked an unbelievable amount of times, “what happened, why did you pull her out?” The answer was simple…nothing happened at the school, this is just what God wanted.

    I pray He will be crystal clear with the schooling (and every) decision for your family! In the meantime, you are so smart to keep reading and asking advice…God will put the people in your path He wants there to help you along!

    Romans 8:28

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    Erin Reply:

    I totally agree. I have 5 kids (one on the way) and our oldest boys went to private school for a few years but God really laid it on my and my husband’s hearts to home school our kids. Why? At the time I wasn’t sure but we wanted to be obedient to His leading. And I can say it has been such a wonderful blessing to our home. Is every family called to home school? Every child? No but I do believe we need to be continually praying for God’s will in our home, schooling choices and in everything. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  49. The Original Jill says

    Laura – I’m the Jill that asked this question of you. I so honored that you hung onto my quesition for discussion. Since I originally asked the quesition, my fiance and I have since married and are already expecting our first in June! All of the insight in the comments today are so thought provoking so thank you to everyone who responded!

    My husband and I continue to pray and research about the best method for educating our future child. Most of all, I’m thankful that we live in an urban area with plenty of educational options – and I’m more thankful that I’ve found blogs like yours that create a platform for this kind of discussion!

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    Laura Reply:

    YAY!!!!!! It has been so long since you asked your question I was afraid you’d probably given up on me by now! So glad you stuck around. And congrats on your marriage and pregnancy. SO happy for you!!

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  50. The Original Jill says

    I’m the original Jill that asked the question. I really want to thank Laura for keeping my question in mind for discussion. Since asking it, my fiance and I have gotten married and are already expecting our first in June!

    The comments in this post are so insightful and thought provoking so thank you to everyone who responded. My husband and I continue to pray about the right method for our children and I continue to do a lot of research.

    I consider us blessed to live in an urban area with lots of options for educating our chidren. And, Laura, I’m especially grateful to bloggers like you who create a platform for these kinds of discussions!

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  51. Sonja says

    I want to comment about “living in a bubble.”I am in college now and I have never attended public school. (I was homeschooled briefly, but most of my schooling took place at a private Christian school.)Admittedly I lived in somewhat of a protective bubble, but I am SO THANKFUL for it. My environment was not perfect, but I feel like I didn’t have to deal with many of the social pressures or difficult choices that many students deal with, before I was ready.
    I think an unborn baby is a good analogy. It is in its mother’s womb for protection while it matures. When it is ready to face the world, the mother goes into labor. Sometimes, though, babies are born premature and that can be a little bit more dangerous. But, either way, in the end things usually turn out fine.

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  52. Tracie says

    I can’t tell you how many times I thought that homeschooling wasn’t for me (both before and after I answered God’s call to homeschool). I was a teacher before I had my babies, and planned on sending our kids to public school. Then God laid it on our hearts to send our daughter to a private school. Not even halfway through 1st grade, we were unsettled. Our once thriving, social butterfly was changing into a sad, sad little girl. There were a few different issues that we pinpointed and worked on, but during that time, God started showing us that homeschooling our kids was something that we were capable of doing, and that we should try it. Did we think homeschooling would solve all of our problems? No. But it was the answer God was giving us. Even though I had no idea what I was getting into (at the time our kids were 6, 3, and 5 months old), but even with all of the questions, I still felt a calmness about our decision.
    In my opinion, there must be one thing that we, as Christian parents, need to caution ourselves on (and I mean this in the most respectful way…)our children are growing and learning in their faith. They mess up, make mistakes, have bad days (and so do I!). I know that I would not put the responsibility of being a light in a dark place on my young ones. Am I striving for that? Yes. Do we find ways to serve in our communities? Yes. But they are with my husband and I, so that we can teach them…we can observe, comment, correct, praise, and call their attention to things. I would not expect my children to do that on their own on a daily basis (referring to a child in a school setting). Does the world need more “light”. Yes, that’s why I am doing what I do now(with God’s help), so that someday, I can send three bright, shining lights off into this world. :)

    [Reply]

    Tracie Reply:

    Sorry…I realized something may not be totally clear in my comment-I believe that God calls each and every person to educate their child in a certain way-home, public, private. I just think that if we are called to send our child to a public or private school, it would be a huge responsibility for that child to be the “light in a dark place”. It’s difficult for most adults who have a strong faith!

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    Laura Reply:

    One of my children wanted to give a Bible to a friend on the last day of school. This was in kindergarten. They were a little nervous but the friend accepted the Bible. My child was so happy to have shared the Bible. I just say this because God isn’t calling Kindergartners to defend the Bible to college students. God gives each of us opportunities to share our faith with others in an appropriate way. It was a little scary for them, but I am so glad they did that! I don’t know the impact this made on the other child, but it did help mine discover that they can trust and obey God.

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    Sarah Reply:

    I understand what you’re saying. I definitely don’t expect my children to be the perfect picture of Jesus. They do make mistakes. I make mistakes! They are with others who have no guidance at home. In public schools, it’s easy for them the “do what others are doing”, & often that’s not what we’re teaching at home. I agree. That is one of my questions/concerns with sending them out….they’re not prepared. They’re little, dim lights in a dark world. BUT, more & more, they are the only light many of their classmates see. Many of my friends, who I know seek the will of God, homeschool. They want their kids to learn from them before they “let them out” in this dark world. I completely understand! I do believe, as Christians, we all (should be) “homeschooling”. When we are at home, we teach the Word of God…..daily!! We try hard to fill them with the “knowledge” to help them as they are away from us. Most importantly, we cover them in prayer, and trust God to protect them & be with them daily.
    My husband & I are not certain yet of what God’s will is for us. We are seeking Him daily!! I’m not surw that He’s not leading g us to homeschool. I know there are so many benefits to it. I just don’t want to neglect our call to spread the message. We are in a position that allows (our family) to have access to many individuals that never see The Light! It’s hard for me to let that go, even if it will be “better” for our kids. The perfect will of God is the best place to be, even if it’s not the easiest. Its different for everyone. As long as we seek Him for all of our needs, He will reveal His plan.

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    Tracie Reply:

    When our daughter was ready to start kindergarten, we believe that God called us to put her in a private school. We knew that due to her extreme sensitivity, she would not do well in a public school setting. That, along with the state of the public school that she would go to, along with the small class size and wonderful kindergarten teacher all helped with our decision. However, God was preparing us for something else. When I look at my children, I know that they (just my kiddos)would not be able to handle the pressure of a school setting. Each one is a beautiful creature that has many gifts that I fear would not be nurtured in a school setting. My husband and I make sure that our children are around all types of other people in general. Homeschooling has the flexibility that allows us to take trips to the store, bank, and other errands where my children interact with everyone (seriously, they will discuss any topic with an absolute stranger). We go to the playground after school hours, they take swim lessons with other non-homeschooled The funny thing is, all of the kids get along wonderfully with everyone-they don’t question each other and why they are schooled at home or not. They just chat about Littlest Pets and Lalaloopsy dolls!
    My point is that God leads us all to different things, I am not questioning anyone’s decision to homeschool or not-I am sorry if anyone felt that way.

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  53. karli says

    hi, i would like to add something along the “its what God wanted” line… my husband and i firmly believe that it is our responsibility as parents to “train our children up in the way they should go so that they will not depart from it” (im sure i paraphrased that, but it is in the bible:) and we feel the best way is through homeschooling. we get to put God into our childs life in such a huge way that the public schools just don’t offer… we do not have the option of private schools in our area, however, i graduated from a private school so i am aware of their benefits, as well as their weaknesses. and even if we did have a private school we would still be homeschooling…public school is not an option b/c of the horrible state of the ones in our area. anyway, that last was a little off point-sorry.
    but anyway, we don’t want someone else-that we dont even get to choose (ie the teacher)- to have such a large influence on our child. we feel that is our responsibility and our job as the parents.
    there are many more reasons i support homeschooling but most (if not all) have been addressed in other comments. i did not see this particular perspective, but if someone else threw it out there, sorry to be repetitive:)
    there is a really good book called “the how and why of homeschooling”by ray e ballmann for anyone who is wanting to delve a little deeper into a christian perspective of homeschooling.

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  54. says

    Totally agree with all of this. This is why when people flip out about our child being homeschooled and so a social misfit…well…I know it isn’t true, but I am not going to sit there and argue with someone who is misinformed. It usually does no good to try and change their preconceived notions…funny how divisive homeschooling is!

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  55. Kristina says

    What I love about home educating is that you can and your family can create the world you want for your children to flourish and grow. It is so exciting! If you want your children to meet other people and get out, go out. Walk around the city, volunteer as a family, Vacation Bible School, camps, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, theatre the list is endless.
    Really sometimes I wish we could be in a bubble. When we visit our downtown we see homeless folks, drunks and a variety other interesting individuals. When we attend theatre we encounter a whole new variety. I love it.
    For some though I know that their family avoids downtown because of who hangs around. I don’t blame them. But it is a choice. Home educating gives you the choice.

    So are homeschool kids awkward? If it is who they are, yes. Is it homeschool, no. I can tell you that I have three children. Two that are outgoing and socially adept anywhere. My youngest is not awkward but he can not stand being around a lot of people. What is so cool is that he has had the opportunity to enter into the social world on his time schedule. Just so you know, he has gotten much better.

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  56. Lynette says

    We have had the opportunity now to experience first hand all three kinds of schooling options: home school, private school, and public school. One thing that I think is often overlooked in the decision, which may be the most important factor of all, is “how strong is our current family structure?” Is our marriage solid and thriving? Are we consistent with discipline? Are we living our faith, talking about the Word in all kinds of situations, not just during devotions or on Sunday?

    As I have watched all kinds of families make all kinds of school choices, those factors seem to have made much more impact on the character of the children than what school choice they have made. I have seen many families who have chosen to homeschool when the family structure was not sound with disastrous results. They thought it would be the answer, but instead it exacerbated the problems that were already present. On the other hand, I have watched as godly Christian parents consistently modeled their faith and their kids have thrived in a public school setting.

    If you are walking in the Spirit, letting the Word of God dwell in you richly and your home is “in order” then you will be able to either homeschool successfully OR perhaps use public school successfully.

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  57. sage_brush says

    Anyone who is burdened with the perceived idea of “socialization” being a part of education, please do me the honor of reading this article I wrote for another blog (before we had a big religion vs. salvation blow up)

    http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/hints-for-home-schoolers-socialization/

    Please, please, please don’t send your precious ones into the government school system. I say this as a veteran home school mom of over 25 years. This book is a great resource, full of statistics.

    Ephesians 6:4
    And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

    http://www.amazon.com/Harsh-Truth-About-Public-Schools/dp/1891375237

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  58. Connie says

    Great article Laura! I have 14 grandchildren and 6 of them are being home schooled. The things you point out in your article are so true. My home schooled grands are exposed to all sorts of people all the time and are very active and “normal” socially. My public schooled grands are the same way.

    It depends on the parents and what,where, when, and how often they want their children exposed to outside influences.

    I think home schooling affords families many opportunities that public school does not. My grands that are home schooled are always going on field trips. Sometimes in larger groups, sometimes just as a family and they learn so many interesting things and are very interested in all sorts of things. My public schooled grands are sometimes jealous of all the field trips and leaning experiences they have. We all get together very often and the older grands (home and public schooled) look out for and teach the younger ones. They are all very compassionate and loving kids and love to help and serve others.

    You get out of life’s experiences what you put into them. This goes for schooling also. We love being a part of our grand kids learning experiences also. Great fun! God bless all of you bringing up children today to learn to love the Lord and serve and help others.

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  59. says

    this post makes me so happy! i was homeschooled as a child (pre-k through graduation day!) and my husband was a public schooler (all the way through). we both loved the decisions our parents made with careful prayer. now we are homeschooling our 2 boys after our own careful prayer.

    we have come to understand that sometimes God will direct you in one way for a time and then direct you elsewhere at another time. so while we are homeschooling these 2 little guys for pre-k/kindergarten, that may change as they get older . and we are trying to be sensitive to the Holy Spirits leading in that.

    again, thanks for this post. it makes me so happy to read your careful and thoughtful response.

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  60. says

    Why is that the only concern people have when you say that you home school your children? So frustrating. We have home schooled our children since 1998 when our oldest was 4. He is now in college and doing great. I could not have said it any better. I totally agree – they can interact with anyone. Thanks for all you do.

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  61. Violet says

    Our son and daughter in law homeschooled atheir four children and I have to say they did a fantastic job. Their kids are outstandingly well adjusted, and seem so far ahead of their peers who attend public school. The two older boys did not attend public school until college, and want to go into engineering. The two girls are still in home school high school. They all love God, are bright, respectful, kind, and enthusiastic about everything they do. Their parents provided all sorts of field trips, and unique learning opportunities. I remember early on, seeing their “history time line”. It began with creation, and wound around different halls and rooms of the house, to current day, and as they studied things, they put them where they belonged on the time line. I think for all involved, children and parents, this has been a great experience.

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  62. Kirsten says

    We have transitioned the other way this year. My son, now 15, started public school for the first time in 8th grade, after homeschooling all his life.
    The most common complaint from Jon was “but they are all 8th graders in my class” and “I only have 8th graders in all my classes.” I loved the freedom that Jon had to experience social situations from pre-school through 7th grade with mixed ages in most of his classes, field trips and experiences. He is now thriving in 8th grade and looking forward to public high school. And hoping that he’ll be in classes with different ages again.

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  63. Rach says

    I love your humor, Laura!

    I was in public school most of my life, although I did also attend a private school for a year and home school for 2 years. My younger sister was in home school from 2nd-12th grade. I have always been more socially awkward than she is. She was born being friends with everyone–except for a few who were too snobby to enjoy her friendliness. Home school gave her the opportunity to learn figure skating, piano, violin, and voice. It gave her time to go skiing with Dad and shopping with Mom.

    I think public school stifled me. I was too concerned about what the other kids thought instead of getting positive and helpful feedback and affirmation from my parents.

    Now I’ve taught in all three situations: home, public, and private schools. I’m looking at different home school curricula to use with my children in the coming years. I love home school and can’t wait to instill knowledge, wisdom, confidence, and kindness in them. =)

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  64. Bonnie says

    Hi, I’m Bonnie and I’m now in my second semester of my freshman year of highschool. I have gone to private,catholic school from kindergarten through 8th grade and I can easily say that it was the worst experienceof my life. I was bullied from 3rd-8th non stop along with constantly being pulled into the ‘drama’ that went on. Note I was never a very socially person at school,but not because I couldn’t be, it was simply because I didn’t want to get involved. I was smarter than that. After out 2nd grade our class was already split into ‘cliques’ and I of course got addressed to the loser clique because I wasn’t sial with the girls in the popular clique. Also I really didn’t have more than 3 friends until 8th grade.. then I had 1. I always got picked on for standing up for the other kids being picked on. I stood up for anyone if I felt I needed to, but it only brought me trouble. (Remember this is a catholic school) After 8th grade I’d had enough, I was being called into the principal’s office 3 times everyday over a huge issue going on with our class. Everytime I would ask what it was that I was being called in there for, they had no specific answer and danced around the subject and continued to accused me of bullying another student which I personally hadn’t talked to in about 2 months.. I was tired of it and I broke down crying in the office and explained what was really going on with this issue and they said they couldn’t help nor could they fix what was going on..at graduation everyone was given some sort of scholarship except for 3 people:a boy who was nearly expelled the day before, my bestfriend being the first African American to graduate(the town is all white and many there were racist), and of course me. Thecouldn’t give me a reason. This year I switched to a public highschool and I love it yet I’ve found that I’m somewhat socially awkward due to this past 8th grade experience at my old school. I am not saying I don’t have friends, I have lots of friends because I talk to everyone I get a chance to. I just don’t have any close friends, and I don’t really trust anybody fully. Now yes I love public school even though there are pretty bad kids there and it gets crowded at times but I am considering homeschooling next year.. I’m scared I will go back to having no friends at all because I won’t be around people all the time. My reasoning for wanting to be homeschooled is that for the past 11 months I have gone through 6 months of mono, and I have been sick now from the beginning of September th several weird symptoms and no one has diagnosed for sure what it is yet. Also I am a dancer, it is all I do. Eat sleep dance school doctors. That’s my life. Being sick makes it really hard to keep up with dance but I manage, and it effects school. I’ve missed quite a few days due to doctor’s appointments. I hate missing school because people(including teachers) accuse me off pretending just to get out of school.. as I said before, I hate missing school, there’s no reason why I would ‘pretend to be sick’ for 5 months.. I feel if I were homeschooled I wouldn’t have to worry about absences or being accused of these things. Also I would have more time to dance and even do more. What does anyone here think? Do the advantages for me outweigh what my disadvantages would be? Please reply, thanks.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Sounds like home school may be a nice option for you and work very well for your schedule. Our family has loved the flexibility home schooling has provided us. What do your parents think about this option?

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  65. Charla says

    Thank you for posting this. Your words and advice are very much some of the same things I’ve said to many people in my path. I went to public school and now my husband and I have chosen to home school. It’s not for everybody but none of us really take the same path in life. Being led by God’s peace on how your children should be educated is the most important goal when considering your options. I appreciate your words and wisdom. Thanks for writing this! :)

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  66. Jay says

    Hi Bonnie

    I can empathise with how you are feeling at school as I had a similar expereince growing up. I also had health challenges and missed a lot of school when I was a teenager.

    I was homeschooled within the children’s hospital and temporarily at home. After a few weeks of homeschooling I returned to school on a part-time basis to gain confidence within a group of my peers.

    I always talked to my parents and teachers about what I felt was best for me at school. I was supported and listened to as they recognised when I needed to rest and take things at my pace after those talks. I also was given the freedom to choose which subjects I wanted to concentrate on learning.

    This happened over a period of two years as I got well. I found that relaxation was helpful in dealing with people in school. I had problems with teachers too – just be strong, talk to a trusted adult and they will support you. I constantly talked with my guidance teacher and mother when I had problems with the attitudes of teaching staff.

    I was taught meditation from my mum’s friend and I practiced it daily so I could deal with school. It helped me feel that I was in control of my thinking. I also practiced cognitive behavioural technique. I found emotional behavioural technique to be helpful also in helping me relax and have confidence in myself.

    You can find details of these techniques on the internet if you think they might help.

    I hope you find the best way of learning for you. Keep well and enjoy your dancing xx

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  67. Amy says

    Hi, I know that I am a little late (okay, a LOT late) but I just stumbled across this and I have to say THANK YOU for taking the time to write this article. My daughter is only a little over 2 and I desperately feel that homeschooling is best for my child. My husband agrees but was on the fence because of all the hype about homeschooled kids being socially awkward. My in-laws and everyone else on his side of the family are against it, but I’m standing firm… I like having a say in the quality of my child’s learning and as far as I know, there are many benefits from a child being homeschooled.

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  68. Benny Hill says

    I think the problem with the whole “homeschool and socialisation” argument is that no child is home schooled in the same way. Some will have regular exposure to other kids their age on a weekly basis, some won’t. Then those interactions themselves will differ. So home school proponents are doing nothing to actually help the debate, just talking about their experiences as though “home schooling” is one method that fits everyone who tries it, and in the same way. I fear a lot of kids aren’t socialising enough. Some of them probably are and that’s great, but I think this topic has been mowed over with blind passion for a chosen method of schooling a child and not thought of logically and scientifically.

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    Kristina Reply:

    Hi Benny~ I’m sure you knew you would get a response in disagreement. There is a study available at HSLDA.org.

    Have had an opportunity to work with hundreds of homeschool families and have found homeschool families to be guilty of over scheduling their lives in fear of not enough “socialization”. I have never worked with or met a family that chooses to hibernate.

    And you are right, homeschooling is not for everyone.

    [Reply]

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