I am going to share with you some of the reasons that I have been told as to why parents say that they cannot homeschool their children. I will then share my feelings on that response. There are such a variety of reasons that I have heard, that I decided to do a series on it instead of one very long posting. (You can find part 1 here.)
Going along with the socialization myth, which I discussed last week, I also hear things like, "Homeschooling is just sheltering them from the 'real world.' Your children will not know what to do when they finally get there and out from under your roof. You are just doing this out of fear. Your children need to learn how to work with people who are not like themselves..."
What is the real world to any age student in public school? Their world is their school and their friends. They are at school more hours of a day than they are at home, and for more months out of a year than not. The "real world" of school begins early in the morning, includes the teaching of reading, writing, and 'rithmetic (and others), following the rules set by the teacher(s), recess, lunch, an occasional outing or activity, and then returning home. Our homeschool day also begins in the morning, teaching of all applicable subjects (according to age/grade level), rules for our home (including school time), recess, lunch, occasional outings or activities, and then settling down for the "end of the day" things (i.e. daddy returning home from work, dinner, bedtime, etc.). Our day really is not all that different from other students’ days. It is just done at home.
"Oh, but they don't get to interact with anyone outside of your family," I get as a rebuttal. There are LOTS of homeschool groups in just about every city, town, and/or county throughout the U.S. I have heard of rural groups that consist of only about 17 families and larger cities that have 200+ families in a group. The children are able to interact with other children their age, their parents, siblings, and any others that they may be in contact with throughout the day. We also go to the library often. My children talk with and interact with the librarians as well as the other children. They are also able to interact with others at church. There are times when we have been in a store or restaurant (in the "real world") where the children saw or heard something that they either had never heard of before or that they knew was "bad" or "wrong." They reacted exactly the way I hoped that they would in this "real world" setting. They talked to me about it. How many parents would LOVE for their children to talk to them about things that happened during the day that they were unsure of?
With friends and a baby shark at the pier...
I am not doing this out of fear. I am doing this to train up my children. Training doesn't end at 5 years of age when they go to Kindergarten, or at 6 for first grade, or even at 16. From whom do you want your children to get their training, teachers and other students that you know very little about? Even in smaller towns where "everybody knows everybody," you cannot know what your child will see and hear in any given day. With the best teachers, there are still unruly students.
My children know about how the "world" is, come to me for advice when encountering "unknowns," and react accordingly in public. Just because we are at home for school, doesn't mean that we never "go out" into the "real world."
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