I Was Homeschooled, and I wasn’t Normal…
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Since openly discussing our decision to homeschool our children, I have come to realize that people may not always be accepting of our choice. I have also discovered that I have a smidge of insecurity to what people’s reactions are going to be when we tell them. Sometimes we get a look of judgement or concern, and people have even said things like, “Don’t you want them to be NORMAL kids?” Or “The homeschooling families I’ve meant are just WEIRD….”
What many people do not know, is that I was homeschooled for eight years a child, and while sometimes it hurts when people make negative comments about the way I was raised, and now about the decision we have made for our children, I just have to remind myself that they may not understand, but that’s okay. I have to remind myself that I wasn’t “normal,” but it wasn’t a bad thing…
That’s right, I wasn’t a normal kid.
I didn’t spend five days a week at a desk with other kids around me. I didn’t go to recess every day, or spend an extra hour or two riding the bus, and I definitely didn’t have to worry about test scores. Basically, I didn’t have what in my opinion was equivalent to a full time job at the age of six. To some, I may have “missed out.”
Today, as a College-educated adult with children of my own, in my opinion, I was given the chance to learn at my own pace. I was taught to love learning. I was given the freedom to explore my interests as far as I could ever imagine. I was given the chance to form my own opinions about life, among other things, without the influence of my peers and others on my thoughts and decisions. In regards to the quality of my education, or whether I was “equal” to my peers, I would definitely say that I was. In subjects that I really enjoyed, I was grade levels ahead. I was given plenty of one-on-one attention, curriculum that catered to my specific styles of learning, and I also learned to love self-guided learning. If I had a question, I would find the answer. I was taught that learning is a continuing part of every day life, and something to be enjoyed.
I remember getting a microscope for Christmas as a child, and thinking that it was the most wonderful thing I could have ever asked for (My son uses that same microscope today to explore his most current interest, nature). Of course, some may think that’s a little unusual. So yeah, I’m not “normal,” and maybe I was a little “weird,” but that’s because as a child I didn’t care if my jeans were in style, and I couldn’t tell you the difference between The BackStreet Boys and NSYNC (clearly I was born in the 90’s). Those things weren’t important to me.
All I had to worry about was being a child, and that’s all a child should have to do.
So please, don’t judge a homeschooling family because their lifestyle is different from your own. I am not saying there is anything wrong with public education, or private school at all. What is good for one family may not be good for another. Homeschooling can be hard sometimes, and after making the decision to homeschool our son for his first year of kindergarten, I have seen quite a lot of judgement and concerned expressions aimed in the direction of our family. So yes, our children may end up a little “weird,” but that’s because they are being raised differently than what a typical child would be. That does not mean that it is a bad thing, and it certainly does not mean our children are missing out.