We are NOTHING like ANY of the people who "represent" homeschoolers on Wife Swap.
My kids are not wild, unsocialized, unable to tolerate the real world, or excessively introverted.
I am not interested in isolating or brainwashing my boys.
Generally, people find us normal (most of the time) and are SHOCKED when I tell them we homeschool. Why is that?? Are homeschoolers really that weird?
My favorite reaction to the fact that we homeschool is this; some dear person will spend the better part of 10 minutes conversing with one of my kids. Dear person will then declare how pleasant the conversation was, how articulate my son is, how respectful and engaged he seemed in the conversation. The topic will fall to where the kids go to school. I announce that they are homeschooled. After a slightly shocked look flits across dear person's face, he/she will exclaim, "but, what about SOCIALIZATION??!" Ha ha. That's a good one. Because you know, only a peer group can socialize a child, right?? What am I, an alien? (if you know me in real life, don't answer that.......)
There are good homeschooled kids. There are bad ones. Same goes for public school kids, private school kids, and all of the parents that "go" with these kids.
I don't think that homeschooling is the Holy Grail, I just think that it works for my kids, for our family, and it's been a good experience for us. I think that if our life situation had been different, and my kids would have had to attend a traditional school, they would still very much be wonderful people. I realize that homeschooling isn't for everyone, nor should it be.
I am not offended or defensive when people are genuinely curious about the ins and outs of homeschooling. It seems understandable to me that people want to know how it works; if I'm accountable to someone, how I know what to teach. etc. I am also comfortable with the fact that not everyone agrees with homeschooling, and that some people think it is somehow putting my kids at a disadvantage. I disagree, but I have made these decisions for myself, and I don't feel insecure or threatened when others express their opinions.
I don't secretly look down on people who have kids in public school. My best friend has always had her kids in public school, and I have constantly admired how involved she is with her kids' education, and how much she is a part of what goes on, every day, in the details of their lives. I also love that she has encouraged me over the years about homeschooling, even though it's not her thing.
I don't educate my kids perfectly. I DO, however, care about their education, and I care about their development as human beings, who will one day live on their own in the world.
What I hope for the most is that my boys have discovered how to learn, how to love truth, how to seek answers. That it's OK if the conclusion they come to isn't the one listed in the "this is why such-and-such happened" section in the book. Or the one that *I* have come to. Or the one that all their friends have come to. I truly wish for them to be both critical thinkers, and humble. To me that means realizing they don't have all the answers, but NEITHER does everyone else.
I homeschool my kids. But it's not what you think.