Home Schooled Kids Are Awkward, Weird, and Lack Socialization! Right?

 

Hello again, readers!

After the overwhelming success of Rachel’s article last week, I feel it is appropriate to run one more of her articles this week. Who knows, this may be the start of something big. The Jagged Word, or 1517 the Legacy Project for that matter, are always looking for new writers. Rachel is incredibly talented, and her insights into the world of motherhood are honest, gritty, and centered on the Gospel of Christ. Please enjoy one more article from Mrs. Rachel Francisco.


I homeschool my children. The fact that I homeschool them lends itself to complete strangers telling me how much they worry about my children and their socialization. One of my favorite magnets hanging on our fridge shows a distressed mother holding her head in her hands, and exclaiming, “I forgot to socialize the kids!”

If socializing only means “to mix socially with others,” tell me how my children are not doing that on a daily basis? From the time they wake up until they go to sleep, they are dealing with other people and their varying personalities. They are listening to how adults dialogue, seeing the God-given vocations of father and mother, learning how to treat younger children, compete with and help siblings, and share in the joys and disappointments of others.

They know how to fold their own laundry, empty the dishwasher, clean a bathroom, mop a floor, scrub floorboards, dust the furniture, make their own food, and be somewhat self-sufficient. These are life skills that have been taught while they are homeschooled.

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They know how to handle babies, be respectful to adults, carry on a conversation, ask questions, learn new skills, be independent, do what is asked of them, gain a better understanding of their expectations in the family, and pitch in when needed. Again, skills learned while being at home full-time.

For us, homeschooling doesn’t mean we’re secluded or that we shelter our kids. It means they are learning subjects, necessary for life and the real world, at home. The neighbor children make their daily appearances; we take trips to parks and playgrounds, and the kiddos are involved with outside activities like Art, sports, co-op, and field trips.

Now, I’m going to let you in a little secret.  Homeschooling is not for everyone, and we haven’t always done it. I’ve taught in private and public schools. My favorite teacher, who also happens to be my mom, is a public school teacher. I have nothing against non-homeschoolers, and, here’s why: I don’t have enough time during the day to judge you for not homeschooling. I honestly couldn’t care less. You have to do what works for you and your family.

A quick history as to why this works for us. Six years ago, our little family moved to California. Our oldest, who struggles with change, was adjusting to a new little sister, new home, a new live-in house guest, and a new schedule.

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Sending him to a new school full-time would have crushed his little spirit. The mama bear and slight control freak in me did what had to be done – no matter the cost. We chose to homeschool and reassess after a year. Thankfully, we were in a position to do so. Every year of reassessing has brought us back to homeschooling — despite the chaos, interruptions, and frustration of years past.

I have to be honest. This homeschooling thing is as much for me as it is for them. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and the Lord has given me many opportunities to work on my many flaws and mold me into a better mother. You know those shortcomings that won’t get fixed until you’re in a situation that demands it? Yeah, I receive a daily dose of my failures. But, I also gain daily reminders of important aspects of life. Further, in Christ, He forgives me for my continuing failures. I am, after all, a sinner, and sinners always need God’s forgiveness given only on account of Christ.

Reminders that these messy, sometimes obnoxious, beings have been placed in my care by someone bigger than me. The gifts and talents God has given me can be used to serve and pass on to my children. Even though my munchkins haven’t perfected walking quietly in a straight line, they are learning. They are learning what it means to be a family, imperfections and all. I call that being pretty darn socialized.

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7 thoughts on “Home Schooled Kids Are Awkward, Weird, and Lack Socialization! Right?

  1. I’ve only seen one homeschooled kid, and she was definitely not well socialized.

    That said, I would have run away from home if my parents had tried it with me. School was a welcome relief from my weird home life.

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  2. I have mixed feelings. I went to public school and it was a disaster. I got into all kinds of trouble and developed all kinds of bad habits that I wish I did not have. I was kicked out of my home, kicked out of 3 schools, did a brief stint in juvenile hall, and then joined the Army at 17 to try to put it all past me. To this day, I can’t pass a background check to be a police officer or a fire fighter because of the stuff at did at age 15/16.

    On the other hand, I have some close friends who were home-schooled. They seem to begrudge their parent’s for that decision (they will actually say as much). They are socially a bit awkward, church was the center of so much that they did, that they feel like church was shoved down their throats, and they are a little bitter that they did not have opportunities to participate in the great sports programs offered in the public schools. Out of the 9 children in that family, most have explicitly stated that they will not home school their children because of the bad experiences they had.

    It seems like no matter which way you go, there are certain inherent pitfalls that you have to be careful to avoid. Christian school seems to be a good middle path, but the tuition costs can be expensive, and I’m sure there would be issues there as well.

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  3. I think homeschooling is fine for some youngsters, but not for all. As for the increasingly liberalized agenda and progressive values taught at public schools, and even….unfortunately…in some professing Christian schools, that is a topic by itself. I do think you can teach Christian values to your Children and still have them in public schools. Whether in public school, Christian school, or homeschool….there are no guarantees that a child will not have issues of one kind or another. From a socialization standpoint, it is important for children to develop, and homeschooling might limit this human need. Each child must be evaluated individually. I am a people person, and have been all of my life. I studied hard in school, worked part time after high school, and had a circle of close friends, and many acquaintances. I enjoyed many of my teachers, complained about some of them, learned social skills, and would never have like homeschooling. I needed to be out in the world, not living in an insulated environment.

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    1. Trust me John. My kids do not live in an insulated environment. The older one at 11 can deadlift 145#, safely fire and clean weapons, win mvp two years in a row on his football team, freedive/spearfish with his old man, and carry on conversations with active duty military personnel. And he’s the awkward one.

      My wife homeschools cuz we have no other responsible options. Private schools–even the ones that are supposed to serve the members of their denomination–are too costly, esp for the workers in that denomination (don’t get me started on this though). And the public ones in our area are pretty awful–basically underfunded, overcrowded day cares with a bit of crappy common core curriculum thrown in.

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      1. I am glad it works for you. In my view, as someone once said, “There are exceptions to every exception.”

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  4. Kids can be weird, awkward, and unsocialized whether they are homeschooled or go to public or private school. I always find it humorous when people judge homeschoolers based on that one person they knew who was homeschooled, but don’t judge public or private schoolers the same way. What about all those people you know who went to school who are not well socialized? 🙂

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  5. Schools and homeschools have awkward kids. School and homeschools have social butterflies. Schools and homeschools have kids who rebel against parents. Schools and homeschools have kids who obey authority. Neither schools nor homeschools can produce perfect kids — it’s about education, or at least it should be. Great article, Rachel.

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