No, my homeschooled children are not normal. But it's not for the reasons you think.
One of the most disheartening assumptions about homeschoolers is that they are not normal. They are weird misfits.
What is normal anyways? What does normal look like? Does normal have brown hair and blue eyes? Does normal wear jeans and t-shirts? And why would being homeschooled exclude you from the normal label?
Socialization or Lack Thereof
The number one concern outsiders have about homeschooling is the socialization question. This concern ultimately leads to the assumption that our children are not social, are incapable of interacting with others, and are somehow bizarre freaks.
Here’s the thing—socialization does not have to happen within the four walls of a brick and mortar school. Interacting with people happens naturally, at the grocery store, at houses of worship, on the playground, in co-op classes, and in our neighborhoods.
When people inquire about such things, it leads to me reflect on my public school years. In my memory, there were kids in public school who were considered strange, outside of the mainstream—not normal, if you will. There were kids who were labeled as different, who were exceptionally quiet, who dressed differently, who had unusual hobbies, etc.
So how is it that although we see unique kids within public schools, people somehow label all homeschoolers as not normal? Well, I guess it is safe to say that homeschooling is not the mainstream thing to do (albeit it is becoming more and more popular each year). Therefore things that deviate from the usual are automatically not normal.
Why Homeschooled Children Are Not Normal
Want to know why homeschooled children are not normal? It is because they are individuals just like any individual in a public or private school, office or place of business, neighborhood or playground. People are different! Plain and simple.
If you have a child who leans toward the introverted side, she will lean that way no matter where she is schooled! You can do things to encourage more extroverted behaviors, but ultimately she is introverted. The same is true for kids who are social butterflies and totally off the walls energetic and outgoing. They will be that way within the four walls of a school, at home, at soccer, practice, or anywhere else, simply because that is who they are.
My point in all of this is to encourage you to ignore the concerns about so called abnormal homeschooled kids. Just because your kids are homeschooled does not mean they are not normal. They simply are who they are, like you and me—unique human beings who are going to be who they are despite their learning environment.