I was recently asked about homeschooling and social skills by someone who wasn’t familiar with homeschooling. Of course, the suggestion that a school shooting was perpetrated by a homeschooler was mentioned, lol. If you have been homeschooling awhile, I’m sure you have fielded the question many times.
It was in this exchange that I was able to share one of the great advantages I’ve seen with homeschooling. I’ve been around many homeschoolers over the years and had many opportunities to observe the social skills of these supposed misfits.
One thing stood out to me.
Homeschooled kids were more accepting of others.
I haven’t notice this phenomenon with groups of kids who were in schooled in a typical classroom environment. I worked in schools as a professional for years. Let’s just say that there is a reason why their are anti-bullying campaigns in schools.
I noticed that homeschooled kids tended to be more more accepting of kids with differences and didn’t have difficulty mixing with kids of different ages.
I think I know why too. A classroom environment where kids are segregated by age creates an artificial environment. Kids learn to associate only with those their own age. Sameness is cultivated. Kids who stand out for one reason or another are often not treated well. The impetus is for kids to try and “fit in” rather than for kids to accept the differences of others.
Homeschooling bypasses all of that. Martin Luther King Jr. had it right when he said that “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Schools aren’t getting it right in this department. Our society isn’t getting it right. Kids are judged all the time about what they wear, how they look, how they talk, how smart they are, how they walk, their age, their family’s income, the language they speak, the color of their skin, etc.
Homeschooling provides the opportunity for children to grow up living that dream.
With our society like it is, we need more of the social acceptance found in homeschoolers.