When you homeschool, there are certain questions you repeatedly hear and a certain stigma you always live with. For instance, we get asked how we socialize our children. Those whose children are enrolled in a more traditional school setting do not ever get asked this question. It is assumed that public school kids are adequately socialized.
Another assumption is that homeschool kids are smarter, more polite, more advanced, and all around superior to public school children. This incorrect opinion means our homeschooled children are held to a higher standard and face a great deal of intrusive scrutiny.
The truth most be told: Homeschooling does not ensure exceptional kids!
I am here to tell you that just because you homeschool, you will not automatically have high performing, well-behaved children! The pressure on parents is already tremendous to produce the perfect kid (whatever perfect means). But when you homeschool, that pressure is multiplied because people expect your kids to be ahead of their peers.
We all know there are no guarantees in life and that people are who they are. While we can strive to create the right environment to raise our children, they ultimately grow up to make their own choices. And even before they grow up and become adults, they are kids, human kids, with their own minds, strengths, and weaknesses.
What Homeschool Does Do
So the question then becomes why homeschool? What does homeschooling do?
Homeschooling allows you to be the primary influence in their lives.
Homeschooling allows you to spend more time with your kids and as a family.
Homeschooling has proven to produce higher test scores. (However, as I said, that is not a guarantee.)
Homeschooling affords your kids the opportunity to work at their own pace and in their own way. This may mean working ahead or slowing down.
Homeschooling allows more time for exploring their own interests and passions.
While there are many benefits of homeschooling, it is unfair to assume that homeschooling ensures exceptional kids. People are people; kids are kids. All children are special to their parents and unique in their own way. That does not mean they have to reach or exceed some bar set by the world around us. We as a society need to take a step back and stop throwing people into boxes. Instead let's celebrate each and every person for who they are and where they are.
About the Author
Heidi Ciravola has been married to her husband for over seventeen years. Together they have three children with whom they began their homeschooling journey with in 2006 when their oldest was beginning second grade. Heidi is a mother, taxi service, and homeschool parent by day and an avid reader and homeschool blogger whenever there is time left over. You can visit Heidi at her blog Starts at Eight where she blogs about homeschool products and unit studies, homeschool organization and general tips, and homeschooling high school, as well as many book reviews, lists, and unit studies.