Who are Homeschoolers and What Makes Homeschooling Special?
These are some general thoughts about what homeschooling accomplishes instead of on a particular topic, some of this might repeat things I written about before so feel free to scan and read selectively.
Homeschooling shapes amazing young people who can think for their selves.
I have seen this not only in my three children but also repeatedly in other homeschoolers. It is interesting that very often my children or I have wound up talking to young people in a variety of settings and we’ve found many of those they are drawn toward are also homeschoolers. This has happened in shows my children have been involved in, when eating in restaurants we have met waitresses who were homeschooled or homeschool their children, at the library of course but also in other everyday places. These are kids with strong passions for all kinds of activities and not just there to go along, these are kids who love to dance, sing, act, play sports, volunteer for causes, start businesses, etc., etc. They of course have more time to spend on their interests compared to their friends who spend all day in classrooms and many evenings doing pointless homework.
They lead, they organize, they take risks and aren’t afraid of what others will think.
I am convinced that one of the biggest benefits to being a homeschooler is that you don’t think you have to do things just like everyone else. They don’t feel the need to wear the latest fashions, they wear clothes that are comfortable for them or express themselves. They don’t feel like they need to have a boyfriend/girlfriend just because their friends do and usually wait later to date and make better choices in whom and how. They make friends with whomever they want, not because they are cool or because they are a certain age or a certain sex or a certain something else that makes them “cool”. Do all these things apply to every homeschooler, of course not, they are who they are and there are probably some who are very much like your average school child, but spend some time talking to them and you might see the differences.
There is less learning burnout with Homeschoolers.
They aren’t bored with learning and life lessons. They aren’t tired of always being told what to do, how and when to do it. Those who choose to go to college tend to be more interested in being there to learn instead of loosing the point of higher learning while they explore new found freedom, like those who have been locked in classrooms for all of their childhood. They are also used to scheduling their own time, using their own skills and resources and find their way easier in the world of education or work where they need to be independent learners and thinkers.
We’ve all seen the news stories.
Yes, every time a young person does something really crazy or a family is doing some type of bizarre abuse of their children we are sure to find out the children were being homeschooled or so the media reports.. Homeschooling is not locking your children in rooms, not brainwashing your children, not an excuse to have them avoid learning and participate in cult like or other unusual activities. When those news stories are published that is what these families tend to be doing, not lovingly spending time with their children because they enjoy helping them learn in a supportive environment. True homeschooling families care deeply for their children and make decisions about the atmosphere where they will learn best and grow to their fullest potential. Sometimes that means they will use public, private, on-line or other schooling alternatives for parts of their education at different stages in their lives. Sometimes it means they will use more or less structure, often adapting that as they journey through the process and meeting the needs of different children differently. I try and generalize about the school system as a whole, it certainly has deficiencies and strengths, but I think it’s biggest weakness is that most public schools try to fit all students into one or two molds. Those that don’t fit whether they are “gifted”, slow learners, have disabilities or different in many of the other possible ways; they get less or nothing from the system. There are so many ways people can learn and if every child had ways that were geared to their abilities; whether they learn better from books, by doing, working with others, working alone with a teacher or computer, concentrating in one area at a time or many, doing creative activities or in a very structured environment just to name a few – then learning would flourish and all children would love learning!
There is actually a full web site dedicated to Famous People who were Homeschooled. Fun and always good information to have on hand for neigh sayers. http://www.famoushomeschoolers.net/