Homeschooling is just a way of sheltering children.
Homeschoolers are unsocialized.
Homeschoolers will have trouble coping in the real world.
Tilly and her (homeschooled) cousin, Arianna
I am amazed that these stereotypes are still so pervasive in 2019. I mean, this isn’t 1982 with kids curtains drawn, sitting around the kitchen table, not going outside during school hours, all the while hiding from the local truant officers. Haven’t enough homeschoolers come of age to prove these stereotypes wrong? Apparently not.
I get occasional comments on this blog about how (my version) of homeschooling is essentially “sheltering” my children from the “real world” and how it is doing them a great disservice.
We monitor movie watching.
We use Circle with Disney and Apple Screentime to limit and monitor screen usage.
I freely admit to wanting to shelter my children from:
The pressure of having to own the “right” clothes, pornography, bullying and abuse.
I am also trying to raise children who are hard-working, honest and ambitious. Children who are compassionate and empathetic. Children who grow up, spread their wings and leave home. I want them to live happy, full lives where ever God and their dreams may lead them.
At age 15 Adalia spent the summer in Honduras with Teen Missions International.
At age 16 Adalia became a certified doula. She completed her doula training at Bastyr University at age 14. She’s been to a dozen births.
Judah spent his 16th birthday in Zambia. He spent his summer working eight-hour days building a bridge for the Zambian villagers. He earned much of the money for his trip doing yard work and painting apartments.
Judah and Enoch have hiked 50 miles with the Boy Scouts and Judah has traversed the Bowron Lakes.
Tilly spent two weeks in Columbia with her grandparents. Yes, she was with family, but she was also way off the beaten path…hanging out with former guerrillas.
She has also spent a summer in Malawi drilling wells, traveled to New Zealand and Australia at 18, and is now the married mother to a beautiful baby boy, Abel.
We sent Kalina, age 16, to New Zealand as an unaccompanied minor. At 16 she went to Peru and at 17 to Zambia. Nope, she’s definitely not sheltered.
No, I am not trying to shelter my children by homeschooling them. I homeschool them to give them more. To broaden their horizons. To help them see the world, not just their same-age peers. Can you do this without homeschooling? Of course you can, but it is more complicated.
Tilly was able to take two weeks off of homeschooling for her trip to Colombia of by simply completing her assignments before she left. She traveled to Texas with us to help with Apollo and kept up with schoolwork by bringing along her laptop.
As I watched Enoch and Tilly at the craft fair this weekend I was once again struck in wonder at people considering homeschoolers “sheltered” and “unsocialized”. The stood proudly at their table. The were friendly and engaging to the people walking by. they answered their questions and made small talk. No awkwardness. Just real-life economics at work.
Yes, I’m confident my awkward, sheltered homeschoolers will do just fine.