Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Caution! Unsocialized Homeschooler on Board.

I like the title of this post because it makes me laugh every time.  I've seen many cars around Columbus with this as a bumper sticker and I know inside that car is some very socialized little people.  I know those kids are exposed to all sorts of children; vegans, hippies, atheists, Christians, two moms, two dads, etc.  If I wasn't weird about sticking things on my car...that bumper sticker would be a permanent attachment. 

I should probably not be writing this post right now because I am stirred up inside.  I know you should always be calm and mature when putting out your feelings and emotions....but.....not today.  These thoughts are so strong and on fire the only thing I know to do is write them down. 

Let me start off by saying my two oldest sons will attend public school for at least part, if not all, of this school year.  It was a very tough decision that my husband and I made but we finally left it up to the boys to decide.  It was no surprise that they chose public school because they keep being taught and told by others that it's "the normal" thing to do.  Well by golly, I'm OK not being normal.  I'm OK doing things outside the norm. 
I've always told my boys that I am not against public school and nor do I think kids that are homeschooled turn out better.  When we decided to homeschool in the past (and when we decide in the future) it's because it felt right for our family and the way we want to do things as a family.  
Are there some socially awkward homeschoolers? Yes.  Are there some socially awkward schooled children?  Yes
Are there some homeschoolers that fall through the educational cracks? Yes.  Are there some schooled children that fall through the cracks? Yes

Are there pros AND cons of homeschooling? Yes  ....are you getting my point?

Since we've told people about our decision to use the school system again, I get comments like "Oh good.  This will help....yadda yadda."  Or I get "I think it's for the best because.....yadda yadda yadda."  I know these folks mean well but it's not what I need to hear right now.  I am looking at this as a healthy break from homeschool and I want it to be a positive experience for my boys.  But when we decide to homeschool again, and we most likely will, I am going to know those people disapprove and think I am making the wrong decision.  You are all entitled to your opinions but those opinions, when told to me and my kids, show me that we won't have your support later on.   

I guess I just want people to know that homeschoolers don't always decide to homeschool because they have a beef with the school system.  We decide because it feels right and those feelings can't always be summed up in a list of reasons.  It's never public school vs. homeschool like some WWF showdown.  I see benefits and drawbacks to both sides of the ring. 

Is there a chance my kids won't experience a prom, a homecoming, mean lunch ladies or lockers? Sure.  Do those have to be the experiences that make a life fulfilled?  Just because those are our memories of childhood, do they have to be THE memories of every childhood?  Perhaps the memories we create for our children will be just as great. 

I leave you with this.  I recently saw a post from a homeschooled teenager.  http://yes-i-can-write.blogspot.com/2010/08/myth-of-social-awkwardness-among.html
This post made me smile.