Posted 3 April 2022
Are Home-Schoolers Socially Awkward?
Busting Home-Schooling Myths
By Lizzie Young
MYTH: Home-schoolers are socially awkward.
TRUTH: THEY AREN’T!
9 years ago, my husband made the first mention of home-schooling our children, essentially stating that our kids would never go to a mainstream school. My instant reaction was NO!! I was NOT about to become a home-school mum!
I had every single argument prepared – I didn’t graduate school, I don’t know how to teach, and home-school kids are weird! My very patient, wise and discerning husband rebutted every remark I made, every time, with a simple “What has God called us to do?” If I could come up with a God-inspired response that supported my push not to home-school, he would listen; otherwise, we would home-school.
First off, being anti-social or experiencing a lack of social ability can exist in any environment, at any age, and in any school or social setting. It isn’t limited to, or prominent in, home-schoolers.
In fact, many successful people began their education with home-schooling.
- Thomas Edison
- Theodore Rosevelt
- Simone Biles
- Tim Tebow
- Venus and Serena Williams
- Justin Timberlake
- Blake Griffin
Just to name a few.
Ask yourself – why do kids need a mainstream school system to help them learn to be social? What aspect of learning social skills in a “normal” school environment can’t be found elsewhere?
Is it a classroom setting? Students learn better in a smaller and more intimate space where they’re not held back by the slowest learner in the classroom.
Is it recess and lunch? In an environment with an endless number of opportunities for un-monitored, back-alley conversations, there is an immediate open door to bullying, abuse, and exposure to profanity to drugs… I remember countless playground encounters in my own childhood that sadly cannot be undone.
Maybe it’s the chance to make good friends? What better place to do this than spaces and places where people meet with a common goal? Whether it’s a place of worship, a sports team or at a friend’s home. It is far easier to have a conversation with your child after they’ve seen or heard something they shouldn’t have, when you are their primary influence. Unfortunately, the more time we forfeit with our kids during the day, the less of an influence we are in their lives.
8 hours a day, 5 days a week is a lot of time to be freely given away.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that there is evil under every rock; nor am I saying that sheltering our children from the world is the only way to safeguard their future. What I am saying, however, is that there are far better and safer options to learning social skills than a school yard.
I’d much prefer if many of my child’s first encounters with hard topics happen in a place where we, as a family, can allow God to be the centre of how these topics unfold.
Home-schooling, by all means, may not be for everyone or every parent; but I’ll tell you what is – as parents, we are ALL called, destined, and designed to steward our children’s education. We are called to protect their innocence, and we are called to be their greatest physical influence on this earth. Too much of our kids’ lives have been entrusted to others, whether it’s in what they are learning, who they associate with, or what they’re exposed to. It is time we take back the reigns!