Photo take at our Homeschool Party a few years ago. I do not wear jumpers…and I wasn’t actually pregnant
Homeschoolers are sheltered.
Homeschoolers are unsocialized.
Homeschoolers will have trouble coping in the real world.
Tilly and her (homeschooled) cousin, Arianna
I am amazed that these stereotypes are still so pervasive in 2013. I mean, this isn’t 1982 with kids curtains drawn, sitting around the kitchen table, not going out during school hours, all the while hiding from the local truant officers. Haven’t enough homeschoolers come of age to prove these stereotypes wrong? Apparently not.
I get occasional comments on this blog about how (my version) of homeschooling is essentially “sheltering” my children from the “real world”. How it is doing them a great disservice.
We don’t own a TV *gasp*
(Okay, we own an actual TV, but it has no reception…it is used for watching DVDs)
We monitor that movie watching.
We put limits on their social media and technology.
I freely admit to wanting to shelter my children from:
The pressure of having to own the “right” clothes, pornography, bullying and abuse. Premarital sex and illegal drugs.
Some of the best teens you’ll ever meet: Judah, Adalia, Devon, Tilly and Kalina. While Devon’s not technically mine, I’m pretty sure I have joint custody…
I am also trying to raise children who are hard-working, honest and ambitious. Children who are compassionate and empathetic. Children who grow up, spread their wings and leave home. I want them to live happy, full lives where ever God and their dreams may lead them.
At age 15 Adalia spent the summer in Honduras with Teen Missions International.
At age 16 Adalia became a certified doula. She completed her doula training at Bastyr University at age 14. She’s been to a dozen births.
Judah spent his 16th birthday in Zambia. He spent his summer working eight-hour days building a bridge for the Zambian villagers. He earned much of the money for his trip doing yard work and painting apartments.
Judah and Enoch have hiked 50 miles with the Boy Scouts and Judah has traversed the Bowron Lakes.
Tilly spent two weeks in Columbia with her grandparents. Yes, she was with family, but she was also way off the beaten path…hanging out with former guerrillas.
No, I am not trying to shelter my children by homeschooling them. I homeschool them to give them more. To broaden their horizons. To help them see the world, not just their same-age peers. Can you do this without homeschooling? Of course you can, but it is more complicated. Tilly was able to take two weeks off of homeschooling by simply completing her assignments before she left.
Now that Adalia has a job (nanny) and is in school (community college) she no longer has the freedom to take on doula clients. And that’s fine, but I am so glad she had the opportunities she had when she was younger.
As I watched Enoch and Tilly at the craft fair this weekend I was once again struck in wonder at people considering homeschoolers “sheltered” and “unsocialized”. The stood proudly at their table. The were friendly and engaging to the people walking by. they answered their questions and made small talk. No awkwardness. Just real-life economics at work.
Yes, I’m confident my awkward, sheltered homeschoolers will do just fine.