Homeschoolers are brilliant, hard working, and mature. They always do well on standardized tests. They each play at least one musical instrument, beginning at the age of three. They can each speak at least two languages fluently. They always graduate early and become neurosurgeons at the age of 22. They always come from huge families.
Homeschoolers never get enough social interaction. They never have opportunities to participate in group projects or have class parties. They never eat Doritos.
I always cringe inside and I never feel like conversations like this build anyone up or glorify God. So can we stop with stereotypes and generalities already? Statements about what homeschooled kids always or never do is painful, ignorant, and downright silly. I’m not just talking about what those who “don’t get homeschooling” say. I’ve heard some of these statements from homeschooling families too.
Is it true that public schoolers always get into trouble, do drugs, disrespect their teachers, and slough off during high school? Of course not. Just like there are all varieties of students in the public school – ranging from scholarly to bully to godly to needy to athletic to healthy to highly intelligent to drama queen – so it is with homeschoolers.
Can I tell you a homeschooling truth? Some students are only “average” (which, for the record, is defined as normal, typical, and common – and therefore nothing to be ashamed of). Some of them struggle to read and write. Some knock the socks off the ACT and other standardized tests, but some do not. Some are musically inclined, while some are completely tone deaf. Some love learning foreign languages and some barely master speaking the English language using complete sentences. (Like, yeah. I know right? Totally.)
Homeschooling does not ensure that kids will grow up to follow the Lord. Public schooling does not turn out robots. Homeschooling does not make kids anti-social. Public schooling does not provide more opportunities. Raising kids, no matter how you choose to do it, takes work, patience, and an immense trust and reliance on God – the One who created all of us uniquely for His glory. I am raising four boys in the same house, feeding them the same food, passing down jeans from one boy to the next, reading them the same books, teaching them the same math, and talking the same talk daily to all of them at the same time. Would you believe that all four of them are all very different in their talents, interests, learning styles, and personalities? I’m fairly certain that none of them have any interest in becoming a French speaking, cello playing, neurosurgeon. Thankfully, I realize that this doesn’t mean I have failed as a homeschool mom. I see their God-given talents shining in other ways.
Homeschoolers, public schoolers, private schoolers, adults, children, men, and women are individuals with unique talents, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Each one of us is always never anything less than God created us to be. Let us never make a generalized statement that might belittle that truth.
P.S. I thought it may be of interest to note that last night, our family ate a meal with a group of homeschoolers. We all shared a bag of Doritos.