Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Kids Are Not Weird

The other night, after a seemingly extra stressful day (it probably wasn't extra stressful as much as my 4 or 5th stressful day in a row), I snuck out of the house on the pretense of needing to go to the store. Which I did. After I sat down in a restaurant and ate a meal. By myself. It was delicious!

Behind me was a table full of mothers.  Gabbing and having a great time. It was hard not to over hear their conversation.

"You know, Barb home schools her kids. Can you believe that?'
"That's crazy!  Why would someone do that to their children?"
"Her kids are going to be SO weird. They will miss out on all the social aspects of school!" 

I held my tongue. After all, I came for french fries with ranch peace and quiet. Not to get into a discussion on home schooling with strangers.

But, it did get me thinking.
When we first started talking about home schooling, our kids being "weird" was a concern.

I think we can all think of at least one home schooled kid that had pants up to his waist, pocket protectors and would rather debate politics than play on the play ground. But, I think, today, home schooling is different. At least, in our house it is.

My kids are smart but they are not nerds.  They would much (MUCH) rather play outside than discuss anything. They enjoy learning but I do not force a lesson out of every single thing we do.

As we sat in the dentist office yesterday, a mother came in with a young boy, probably 4-5, the age of my youngest.  The dentist my children see is a pediatric dentist and in the waiting room, there is a small playhouse for the kids to play in.
This mother proceeded to explain, to her 4-5 yr. old, how the house was built and some differences between a real house and a pretend house and how maybe this house could have been built in a different country and blah blah blah.
Me? I sat and read my magazine. My kids? They had their faces plastered against the windows, yelling "MOM!! HEY MOM!!!LOOK UP HERE!!! QUIT READING YOUR MAGAZINE AND LOOK AT ME!!!"
When we told family that we were going to home school, we were NOT met with support. Some were blatant about not supporting us, some kept their opinions to themselves but we could tell what they were thinking:

  • Our kids would not get a proper education. ---The schooling program we use actually tests the children's progress twice a year, officially.  Both Jayce and Josie (the ones being home schooled at this point) scored far above the state's standards. Of course, I personally believe the standards for the state are low. But, my point is, my kids are learning. Just as much, if not more, than public school children.
  • Our kids would not have a social life.---This one cracks me up. Seriously. At any given day, you could stop by my house and truthfully find at least one child that does not live here. Or, you would find one of my children missing as they are at some function that involves other people, which in fact would indicate a social life.  We sign our kids up for sports, they meet other kids. It is very rare that we go out in public and the kids NOT see someone they know. 
  • Our kids would be weird.---Okay. You got me on this one. My kids might be a tad...different. But not in a "nerdy" sort of way. They are weird because Jeven wears shorts and tank tops in the winter. They are weird because Jarrett does not like cheese. (that IS weird in our house). They are weird because Josie talks and sings to herself, all. the. time. They are weird because Jayce thinks he's not weird. 
This post is not, by any means, a "I hate public school and anyone that puts their children into public school"post. Every parent does what's best for their children. In our case, it's half at home with me, half in public school.
And, we believe it's working, for us. For now.

My children are not that kind of weird.


    1. My homeschooled kids are now 23 and 26. Both have college degrees and one is married with a daughter now. (my sweetie!) They are weird. Here's how:

      They did not party all through school (both high school and college)

      They actually did their college work on time and well

      They enjoy learning. One summer my son's friend found out my son was reading a book (he read all the time) and the friend said, "You're reading a book!!?? It's SUMMER vacation!" How sad that reading was seen to be something you are forced to do.

      Neither of my kids smoke, take drugs and only occasionally drink a little alcohol. (they are, of course, of age)

      We are not a religious family. My son is an atheist. They are good people because it's the way they want to be.

      We unschooled and were met with a lot of skepticism from family and friends. Well, it worked out just fine! :)

    2. I LOVE this post! I have friends who choose homeschooling, friends who choose public school, some who choose private school and then there's us with the Charter school somewhere in the middle. I completely agree that each family has different needs, and each child will learn better in different ways and in different settings - but no matter what, we need to be supporting each other, not judging each other! We're all doing the best we can with what we've got (for Pete's sake!) and it's hard enough to not feel guilty about every.single.decision without the constant judgement of others... (Sorry, tangent much?)

      Oh, and Josie singing all the time? I'm ALWAYS saying that Natalie thinks her life is a musical. CONSTANTLY SINGING.

      Loved the pictures, too. :)

    3. What kind of nut homeschools?
      How will your children learn to say no to drugs if they're not ever offered to them??

      My favorite was, "If you were more involved in your son's education you wouldn't HAVE to homeschool."

      Um. Okay.
      And I'm with you. Homeschooling worked for us. I think every family should evaluate their children and their needs on an individual basis and choose what works best. For some, that's traditional schooling, some private school, some homeschooled... whatever works.

      And my kids? They are not any more weird than I am.


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