Most parents have thought very carefully about the social disadvantages of homeschooling before ever doing it.
As a site, we could have been very sarcastic in this article. We thought about telling how our children miss the joy of being bullied, the pleasures of teasing from other kids and the exposure to things that children should never have to see or experience (because we would not tolerate them for a single second as adults!)
But instead we want to share a story with you about why parents may want to consider the social disadvantages of regular schooling as far worse than most homeschoolers will ever experience.
One Family’s Story:
This mom gave us permission to share her story:
Our children were enrolled in a well-respected school. When our oldest daughter started 6th grade, we started to see changes in her. She is a very attractive and bright young lady and kids had started to make fun of her because of it. She would be harassed so much she would come home crying over the evil things that they would say and do to her every day.
She started dressing very plainly and pulling her hair back so she looked as plain as possible. She would only wear clothes that made her blend in. They had to look exactly like the brands and styles that everyone else was wearing. She looked worn out and tired every day.
Then she started getting headaches and other symptoms so bad that doctors ordered MRIs, CAT scans and blood tests because they were convinced that she had a serious health problem. She missed so much school that year and hated it so much, we decided that although the other children would stay in school, we would bring her home to homeschool to deal with her health and let her have a break from the harassment of the kids.
Fast-forward to the next school year—We started Switched on Schoolhouse at home and enrolled her in a few classes at a local homeschool group. WE WERE AMAZED at the changes in her!
Not only did she start excelling in school again, she also blossomed as a young woman!
Without the constant pressure to be like everyone else and the constant teasing of kids for being smart, she started believing in herself again. She started wearing things because SHE liked them and started making friends everywhere she went.
We went on a family vacation recently and she came back with emails from kids she befriended from all over the world.
Some people may think that homeschoolers do not have social skills, but I think my daughter’s social skills developed BECAUSE she homeschooled. It was the best decision we every made for her.
This mom’s story is not unique. While there may be some real disadvantages to homeschooling (you can read about those here,) generally, social skills are not one of them.
The Truth About Homeschooling and Social Skills
Homeschoolers tend to be more self-reliant, have higher self-esteem and make friends easier with people of all ages than their school-attending peers.
Ask most homeschool parents about their teenage kids and most will get teary at what wonderful children their kids are becoming. Can you say the same about the average teenager who attends school?
Don’t believe the myth about the social disadvantages of homeschooling. There are many ways to get your homeschool kids involved and active…all while providing them with a safe and nurturing environment to allow them to grow to be exactly who they are meant to become.