Why Are Homeschoolers Weird?
December 2, 2012 6 Comments
Here’s something I like to do: When I’m with a group of people discussing our childhoods, such as where we went to school, sports we played, etc., I’ll say something like “Did you know any weird homeschooled kids?”
People will often say some of the stereotypical things about homeschooled kids. Things like: they’re odd ducks and socially awkward; they make their own clothes and electricity. I’ll usually throw in a few wisecracks like “Oh, and they don’t bathe” or “they’re usually freaks!”.
Then, once everyone has poked fun at homeschoolers, I’ll say: “I was homeschooled.”
The awkwardness is pure awesome. But it’s true. My mom homeschooled me until the seventh grade.
Inevitably someone will say, “Oh. That.explains.a.lot.”
Wait a sec. What does that mean? I’m not offended, but over the years I’ve heard a number of commonly believed things about homeschoolers. Some are true, others are blatantly ignorant. Like anything, there are pros and cons.
I don’t know about other homeschoolers, but here are a few “pros” homeschooling gave me:
- The realization I could teach myself anything. I think this is the most important gift my childhood education gave me. This might be why I don’t understand what people mean when they say, “I don’t know how.” I have a hard time understanding how this is possible, especially with the accessability of information (have you heard? they have internet on computers now!).
- How to interact with adults. This came in handy years later as I made my way through my first few jobs, and while starting a company in my late teens and another in my early 20’s. I never really felt out of place (in fact, I usually felt more at home with older people).
- How (and why) to work at something I love. My first passion was music. It required hard work, dedication, and sacrifice — but I saw results. Being exposed to this cause-and-effect dynamic equipped me for the work required by entrepreneurship. In addition, I was blessed with the gift of learning that fulfillment can be found in doing something you love, despite the hard work.
Those are just a few of the things I believe to be true about my homeschooling experience. Each of these things have deeply impacted me. Now that my wife and I have a child of our own, we’ve discussed what kind of schooling experience we want to give our daughter, and whether homeschooling might be an option for us.
What about you? Do you think homeschoolers are weird? If so, why?