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My perceptions of HS'ed kids growing up is influencing my decision now...advice? - Page 2

post #21 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Friends are also probably why you also started hanging out with the punk crowd - to find acceptance and your own social milieu.
That was kinda my point. My own social milieu was so severely limited by being in school that I chose the druggies as friends because that's who I had access to. I didn't really have a whole heck of a lot in common with them, either, aside from the fact that none of us wanted to be in the hair-and-makeup crowd, but they were someone to hang out with.

A huge, major reason I want to homeschool my kids is so that they can carve their own niche, not jam themselves into someone else's. If my kids' niche is the dorky-hair, dorky-clothes, prefers-to-be-with-adults niche, that's completely cool with me, as long as it's what my kids want, not what they settle for. There's SO MUCH social pressure in school to find a "group" or a "clique," and ime that pressure was what made me find the druggies, not the sincere desire to hang out with druggie punks. I don't think kids need a group of friends to meet their social needs or be happy. I think they can have one or two special friends of any age and get what they need.

Namaste!
post #22 of 193
[QUOTE=2tadpoles]
I hope nobody takes this the wrong way, but I've noticed a definite difference in kids who are homeschooled for religious reasons vs. those who are homeschooled for other reasons. It's entirely possible that the kids in your church who were homeschooled were only allowed to socialize with other homeschooled children of their faith. [QUOTE]

This is what I was thinking, too. This was my experience from the hsers I knew growing up (including my own family of origin) and in the past 10 years.

Also, remember that some religious families are more concerned than others with "modest" clothing, especially for girls, and so they may appear this way to you even if they attended traditional school.
Although, I think even having attended a very fundamentalist religious school myself for several years, there is a huge difference between attending ANY school, and being isolated in a homeschool (and yes I understand that many parents do not isolate their children at home, just speaking from experience).

I also wonder if some homeschooled children are more mature for their age, and if that could be part of what you are seeing.

FWIW, I was a dork who attended both public and private schools...sometimes VERY out of place in private schools because of obvious differences in the clothing and other things my family was able to afford. So, I wonder if that plays into it as well. Some people sacrifice a whoe lot of $ to be at home, and just don't have a lot of extra.
post #23 of 193
Thread Starter 
This is such a great discussion and I am learning so much from reading about your experiences. Thank yu so much for sharing!

I had been wanting to post about this for a while but was worried it would come out wrong and I would hurt peoples feelings, which was not at all my intention.

I really appreciate the great replies!

Like OceanBaby, I am a bit into fashion, hair, makeup etc. My kids wear somewhat current trends and leave the house with matched clothing and combed styled hair most of the time...but the difference between now and high school is I do this for me now...not to impress anyone else. I feel good when I am put together, but I really don't care how others percieve me. In High school I cared way to much about my image.

I don't want my children to be uncomfortable in their own skin. I wantthem to have as many friends as they feel they need. Both my husband and I have always prefered to have a few very close friends as opposed to a multitude of aquaitances. In fact, my husband has had the same best friend for almost 30 years. They met when they were 2.

If my children want gobs of friends, I will support that. If they want to have one best friend, thats great too. I just want them to have the ability to decide that and feel comfortable enough to make the friends if they want them.

I don't want to limit them or define for them the way they should be, nor do I want others to do so.
post #24 of 193
You know, this is something I struggle with, too! The kids I knew the most who were homeschooled were done so for "religous" reasons, were totally backward socially, and frankly, the parents didn't teach them at all, so the kids were way behind as well. Later it was discovered that the dad was molesting the daughter, too! So, whenever I think of HSing, these kids immediately pop into my head. The son died of a drug overdose at age 20 or so, and I have no idea what happened to the daughter. Now, I know the family was disfunctional, and not a good representative of what HSing really is. So, I decided to go back thru my childhood and try to find others who may have been HSed. I remembered 2 kids in my HS who were HSed to 8th grade, and then put in HS (I attended a pretty good HS). Both of those kids were Dr.s kids, they were very normal. Infact, I had forgotten that they were HSed! They were always nice and friendly, very smart, not as into the "popular stuff" (neither was I), just normal teenagers!

For the record, we are undecided on HSing. My kids are both still really little (1 and almost 3) so we are taking our time and just seeing where we are in the next few years. My favorite aspects of HSing are letting your child lead, and encouraging their interests (can we say boring book reports? I loved to read but hated book reports). I also feel that schools do not encourage critical thinking skills, and they are very important to us as a family. Being able to see the big picture vs. knowing if the right answer is A, B, or C is alot more important IRL, IMO
post #25 of 193
You'll find dorky people everywhere

I agree with th eprevious poster who said that she is more afrai dof her children beingnormal

I don't think you have to be dorky when you are homeschooled. I think that there are alot of cliches(sp?) in public school. I knew homeschooled people and they were somewhat wholesome and dorky, but looking back, they were at the advantage point. They were better equiped to carry on conversations with adults, and weren't nessecarily caught up with all that goes on in public school. Dh has a friend who was homeschooled. He is a bit different, but it suits him. He is one of the only people I know who was homeschooled all the way and is a great example.

I just don't think children associating with just other children the majority of the time is wise. School or not.
post #26 of 193
[QUOTE=slightly crunchy][QUOTE=2tadpoles]
I hope nobody takes this the wrong way, but I've noticed a definite difference in kids who are homeschooled for religious reasons vs. those who are homeschooled for other reasons. It's entirely possible that the kids in your church who were homeschooled were only allowed to socialize with other homeschooled children of their faith.
Quote:

This is what I was thinking, too. This was my experience from the hsers I knew growing up (including my own family of origin) and in the past 10 years.

Also, remember that some religious families are more concerned than others with "modest" clothing, especially for girls, and so they may appear this way to you even if they attended traditional school.
Although, I think even having attended a very fundamentalist religious school myself for several years, there is a huge difference between attending ANY school, and being isolated in a homeschool (and yes I understand that many parents do not isolate their children at home, just speaking from experience).

I also wonder if some homeschooled children are more mature for their age, and if that could be part of what you are seeing.

FWIW, I was a dork who attended both public and private schools...sometimes VERY out of place in private schools because of obvious differences in the clothing and other things my family was able to afford. So, I wonder if that plays into it as well. Some people sacrifice a whoe lot of $ to be at home, and just don't have a lot of extra.
I agree that homechooled children act more mature. This has been my experience, and I think it is great. children don't nessecarily learn the correct way to interact by only being around other children who are only still learning themselves.

I wish I could go back sometimes and be homeschooled, but I don't think my parents would've doen a good job, seeing as how their priorities were pretty screwed up
post #27 of 193

to the OP:

it's ok, my kids *are* weird and dorky.

but so was i, all throughout school (PUBLIC school, mind). i tried desperately to fit in, instead of only being myself, and got hurt repeatedly for it (including getting beat up, getting into fights, consistently being teased and excluded).

my senior year in high school, i decided to say "F- it" and just be myself... i was still weird and dorky, but i ended up making lots of friends because i learned how to be comfortable with myself. now, at 23, i am better adjusted to the Real World than most other "kids" my age.

my kids may be weird and dorky, but they are also brilliant, self-motivated, curious, outgoing, friendly little people, and i don't think they'll have any problems making friends (as they've already shown that they can adapt quite well to whoever they meet).
post #28 of 193
oh! one more thing: i ended up finding a group of Weird And Dorky people to be friends with.... who all went to public school (all except one, that is... but granted he *is* the weirdest and dorkiest out of all of us... if we judge by his understanding of math alone... ).

post #29 of 193
I had the same perception of HS kids. Then, I met a bunch of them in my community. No doubt in my mind I want to HS our children. I do worry a bit b/c I am not as social as some people and don't want our daughters to be stifled b/c I am the 'teacher' of social interactions.
post #30 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna

Okay, that makes sense--but your family chose to be isolated and homeschooled you for that reason, you weren't isolated *because* you were homeschooled. Also, I hate to bring this up again, but y'all are saying "religious" like it's a bad thing or code for mouth-breathing flat-earther. We are what some would call "ultra-religious" homeschoolers and are pretty well adjusted (well maybe I'm not, but the rest of my family is).

Not a hostile question I promise: do you think you would have had such a positive experience at a conventional school, or would you have missed isolation? To me, being isolated is better than being ostracized, and much better than being harassed.

I really do mean all of this in a good way. This is giving me a much better perspective.
For me, I mean "religious" in the sense that my parents didn't even let us hang out with THEM - my parents were hardcore atheists and thought the church kids were a bad influence. Ha! Everyone was a bad influence - children who dressed "cool," children who listened to pop music, children who were religious, children who didn't dress "cool," almost everyone. Basically, they wanted us to be exposed to their POV only. As an adult, I've found that many religious families have been great friends and are very sweet.

No, I was ostracized and harrassed for my first two years of PS (middle school is not a great time to introduce the isolated HSer to PS), but I still had my one friend, who was funny and we knew we were better than all the other kids anyhow (and we were!). I still preferred it to isolation. Isolation for an innately social person is horrible. Having someone else who gets you and laughs at your dorky obscure jokes was much better.

With different parents who appreciated their child's need to get in the mix, I think the whole experience would have been much better. I'm not saying HSing created the bad experience; I'm saying bad HSing did it, with parents who didn't appreciate the social component.
post #31 of 193
Highwater pants. I buy too-big pants for my son (now 6) and he wears them until they're way too short. He doesn't care. If he did, we'd handle it differently. I LOVE that he has no concept of peer pressure (we don't watch tv either)! The word dorky isn't even in his vocabulary. I consider that a plus.

Its also important to remember a child's personality. My son is probably the most - if we MUST label - introverted child in our various homeschool groups. He has plenty of time to expand his boundaries between now and adulthood, and I think its important that he not be pushed into it.
post #32 of 193
My son is home from college on spring break, so I checked on this with him as a reality check, because I could only recall one boy who more or less fit into the category you've described - and one girl early one. He thought about it and added one boy to the iist, but he couldn' think of any others. Even those two boys were really smart and great people to know - it's just that they were different on the surface. And in both cases, the rest of their families were perfectly "normal" and very popular. Whoops! Gotta' run - we need to get out the door - but I'll try to say more later today. - Lillian
post #33 of 193
And there lies the irony. Highwater cords, tiny t-shirts, plastic frame glasses, and unruly hair are quite the thing among the hipsters in my town. I own some of these items myself, particularly the hair. Homeschooling is for hipsters. I should get that made in an olive green t-shirt.

However, if anyone starts wearing headgear as a fashion accessory...well, that's just going too far.
post #34 of 193
I agree that in every public, private, and homeschool environment there will be a few socially challenged kids (and adults.)

Recently, at our local homeschool park day, I noticed that there were maybe two or three children who may have fit that description, but there were also groups of very girly girls, faces all glittery and hair still done from their dance recital the evening before. There were a few more athletic, easygoing boys playing football.They were cute and happy, very social, just like any popular group in any other school, but you know what the difference was?

they didn't pick on, tease, badmouth, or ostracize the less social kids. I doubt we can say the same about the what goes on at recess at the local public/private schools.

I don't want my ds to be socially awkward, but more importantly, I don't want him to learn how to be a bully.
post #35 of 193
Just chiming in as another weird and dorky person/kid who went to 13 years of public school. I was also in Girl Scouts and had a very social and popular mother. Nothing she could do would make me into an extravert. I do think there were things she could have done to help me with the dork factor. But, in general, I am who I am and nothing could have majorly changed that. I don't believe we have much control over whether our kids will be awkward and dorky, whether they go to public school, private school or homeschool. We can project our expectations onto our children, but we can't live their lives; it's better to help them feel good about whoever they are and show them that we accept them. You can't save your kid from being a dork, nor can you make him/her popular. School choice has veyr little to do with it, IMHO. You have to let go of your hopes for your child being popular or whoever you were or wanted to be; it's largely out of our control. Just help your child find him/herself and show that you love whoever that person really is.
post #36 of 193
i think that hs is much different now and alot easier to find opportunities for kids to socialize. i didn't know any hs'd kids when i was growing up. my kids are homeschooled and don't seem weird or dorky as you describe, they get along well with people of all ages and mix in just fine in their activities with their peers. i have also found that homeschooled kids seem to do really well with kids of all ages. my kids have friends in ps and who hs and the hs'd kids seem "normal" enough to me, whatever that means

what i like is that my kids have the freedom to be who they are without pressure to conform. some of my 6 yr old dd's outfits are interesting to say the least but they are harmless and i know she'll grow out of it. more important than outfits tho, they can explore their innerselves in an atmosphere that is loving and supportive without fear of criticism or rejection from their peers that can cause lasting damage.
post #37 of 193
I had the same experience as the OP. What helped me a lot is looking at the people I know now as adults who were hs'd. All of them, without exception, are really neat, "normal" people who think outside the box and have really cool interests. I didn't know them as kids, so maybe they were dorky then (though I was the total social outcast at my large public school, so I probably would have liked them then). But they grew up, and they are neat people now, and I like them.

Also, my DD is currently in Catholic school (we're hs'ing next year). My sister is absolutely not sending her children to Catholic school because the kids she knew who went there were just too "sheltered"--in other words, they didn't know much about sex and didn't watch trashy TV (this is a bad thing why??? ). My personal general opinion of the public school kids I know (only the ones I know!) is that they are supposed to grow up *way* too early--boyfriends and skimpy clothes and being really super mean to each other starting in Kindergarten.

See...you can generalize about any group of kids...and some kids will fit that mold and some won't. You may as well do what you think is best for your own kids
post #38 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField
I don't believe we have much control over whether our kids will be awkward and dorky, whether they go to public school, private school or homeschool. We can project our expectations onto our children, but we can't live their lives; it's better to help them feel good about whoever they are and show them that we accept them. You can't save your kid from being a dork, nor can you make him/her popular. School choice has veyr little to do with it, IMHO. You have to let go of your hopes for your child being popular or whoever you were or wanted to be; it's largely out of our control. Just help your child find him/herself and show that you love whoever that person really is.
Kids who are supported in being themselves are a beautiful sight to behold, regardless of their social/intellectual orientation. Lillian
post #39 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandib50
...what i like is that my kids have the freedom to be who they are without pressure to conform.
And this is what I was thinking about when I had to run out the door earlier - that the very few kids I've seen who were socially challenged in one way or other did not have to suffer the same kind of ostracizing scrutiny they would have in a school setting. And that's really a beautiful thing. I've seen all sorts of personalities interact in ways that worked out comfortably even through a few strained situations, and I don't think that's something you could count on happening in school at all. I could get all misty thinking about this. It's ironic that homeschoolers get accused of isolating their kids from other types of people, because I've found just the opposite to be true - that homeschooled kids tend to see people as people rather than social types. Lillian
post #40 of 193
I'd like to say that I was weird and probably dorky in high school and I was public schooled for ALL of my education. My weirdness somehow turned cool when I was in college, though, and most people I meet say they adore me... so it's not like it's a HORRIBLE thing that will label and scar them for life if they are weird or dorky.

That aside... I think intelligence and quirks are often named the way you have described those HSed kids you observed. I, personally, would rather have a phenomenally intelligent child that is seen as sort of odd than a mediocre child who is "normal" iykwim.

I could have to do with the limited social opportunities the parents afforded their children. It can be really hard, from what I've read, to organize social activities for HSing kids when there are very few others around who also HS. I don't think that's a reason to put a kid in public school.

You can be an active mama and SEEK OUT those things that you believe your child needs! You could also ask certain people to be barometers of your kids weirdness... hahahaha... and let you know what they think. I wouldn't do this because I don't care because I KNOW that being wierd isn't bad in the long-run... but you could.

good luck. HSing is definitely a WONDERFUL method for educating our kids - and we get to protect them from the crazy kids in public school. (Of course, that's coming from my experience as a public school teacher! And I know not all public schooled kids are crazy... I was one.)
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