homeschooled kids are weird - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That is the extent of dh's argument for why the kids need to go to school. I too want the kids to go to school... but not til 3-5th grade-ish. I REALLY want to homeschool through 2nd grade... (and we'll see what happens after that)... Part of it is finances... I do eventually have to go back to work but we're going to have one more, and my oldest is set to start kindergarten next fall.

But, how do you argue with that?

I did join a homeschool coop - they have a 3-5 class. But, I don't think dh will ever be around it/them.

And... he's totally mainstream. He thinks its weird that when asked what he wanted for christmas, my oldest didnt have a real answer. Some of his wants: an elephant, a bell, a seal, a candy cane, etc... not a single BRANDED thing on the list. Ok, that is weird (to dh) but it makes a mama proud! He doesn't really want to talk about it - just "they're going to school, don't start" and he's done...

I've started sending him blurbs to read (he won't read books, but he'll skim online articles I send him - or I think he does) ... but I just can't figure out how to prove homeschooling won't turn our kids weird...
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#2 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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No offense to all the "weird" people out there, but "weird" kids come form "weird" families, public schooled, private schooled or homeschooled. That is really the end of the argument for me - cuz' I never met any weird kids while attending public school, right

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#3 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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Has he met any homeschooled kids or adults? Once I started being open about the fact that we were homeschooling I had several people pipe up "Oh, I was homeschooled" or "My brother is homeschooling now", etc. These are all normal, fascinating, well-spoken, social individuals - they just don't talk about their educational background much, and not until they are in a homeschool-friendly environment.
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#4 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I'd print things out to have around the house rather than sending him to online articles - they'd be much more likely to get picked up and skimmed or read when he's at leisure. And I'd work on developing your own comfort and articulation with the common arguments against homeschoolers. You could really benefit from two books in particular: Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense, by David Guterson, and Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education, by John Taylor Gatto. Guterson is now a bestselling novelist, but he wrote Family Matters when he was still a high school English teacher who was tired of the ongoing criticism he got from colleagues and others over the fact that he and his wife were homeschooling their children. Gatto was NY State Teacher of the Year before quitting because he couldn't support a system he no longer believed in - his book is quite powerful. And this link will lead you to a good thread that has links to a number of other good threads in which people here discuss their similar stories and successes, their tips, resource suggestions (Guterson and Gatto books are repeatedly recommended), and general support:
DH is *really* concerned about socialization

Be sure to print out this wonderful legal abstract that was published in the Widener Law Review: Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research - it's packed with the kind of thing you're looking for. The authors were careful to include only objective research and analysis rather than depending on opinions and anecdotes from homeschoolers.

And if you can befriend a few families from that co-op and get together with them for some a little bit of social time at your home, he'd have a chance to meet some other dads and children who are quite normal.

Best of luck! Lillian

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#5 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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i also strongly recommend The Well Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling - which is a really easy read and entirely about this issue. even if only you read it, you'll have more ammunition.

does he actually know any homeschooled children?
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#6 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Contact your local homeschool group and find a teenage girl or two that is homeschooled to hire as a babysitter for you. Then after a bit, ask him if he thinks that your hs'ed babysitter is weird................................. Honestly, the best way to do it is to get him around other hs'ed kids and let him see that they AREN'T weird, it worked for me with my hub when he was hesitant about hsing our girls.

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#7 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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I'd ask your dh to define "weird" and provide examples.

Another good book for you, imo, is "Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers."
http://www.amazon.com/Hold-Your-Kids...mm_pap_title_0

This isn't a book about homeschooling, but rather it's a book about what can happen to children who become peer oriented which is more visible in a school atmosphere and not with nice consequences.

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#8 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 03:03 PM
 
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And there aren't any weird schooled kids? Really? I'd say there are plenty.

To convince my husband to homeschool I told him that I had made the decision based on my research and if he wanted to send our kids to school he had to prove it was better (with research, not opinions).

He couldn't find anything that supported his stance (the standard, weird kids, socialization stuff) and ended up printing me out a great study (I think it's been posted her before) supporting homeschooling.

Needless to say, he is totally on board now.
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#9 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sarahlynne View Post
No offense to all the "weird" people out there, but "weird" kids come form "weird" families, public schooled, private schooled or homeschooled. That is really the end of the argument for me - cuz' I never met any weird kids while attending public school, right
Yep! And parents who were "weird" and had a miserable time in public school because of it are parents who are likely to consider homeschooling as an alternative for their own kids.

I can see two other issues your husband may be experiencing:

1. The Fundamentalist Christian homeschooler stereotype.

2. Kids who are "weird" are often kids who aren't being served well in one way or another by the public school system. Very gifted kids, kids with learning disabilities, kids with psych problems, or on the autism spectrum, that sort of thing. Because public schooling may be failing these kids, you're more likely to see their parents pull them out to homeschool. So, from that standpoint, there may be a higher proportion of "weird" kids being homeschooled. But that's a cause of homeschooling, not an effect of homeschooling.

(Also, there's not necessarily anything wrong with being "weird". Kids who are "weird" in public school often grow up, find their niche, and lead happy and rewarding lives.)

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#10 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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well, i'm weird. most of my friends are totally weird. we are all a product of public school, so i think his argument is null & void. as for homeschoolers, i have definitely met some very weird families. i literally had nothing in commom with them other than the fact that we both homeschooled. but in their defense, they probably thought i was strange too. ykwim? i think to simply claim, "homeschoolers are weird" is a "weird" (and rather weak) argument, lol. i mean really, what is that statement even based on? one family he met or one kid he knew growing up?

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#11 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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I am weird too. Public school grad, considered highly gifted. Painfully under served by the school system. I managed to have friends, but was never "popular". DH had similar problems at a private Catholic school, though he was an introvert and the teasing was worse than he'll ever admit to. We've both found our niches in life, but see no reason to put our kids through the pain of school in return for education that won't fit their needs. I would rather our kids learn how to make themselves happy in this life than just how to pretend to be happy living someone else's life.

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#12 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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This is my sister's argument as well. Her dd is excelling academically in school, but grows frustrated by the other kids in class who do not follow directions and cause so many disruptions. My sister could hs her, but is concerned that hs kids can be weird.

Funny she told me that because I hs my kids and she adores my kids, so whatever...

But I pointed out that we all knew weird kids in school too. And yes, hs kids do tend to be different from kids who go to school all day, but to us, that's a good thing
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#13 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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he's never met weird adults/children who were in public school? beacuse i sure have...

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#14 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Stereotypes exist for a reason. I've met plenty of weird homeschoolers.

But he needs to realize that they are weird b/c that's how they are and who they want to be...and homeschooling was just a choice on top of that.

Homeschooling didn't "make" them weird.

If it's a case of not wanting to be associated, then don't join a group or co-op.

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#15 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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Back when I was a kid in the early '70's, homeschooling wasn't a popular option (at least where I was raised). Those who did homeschool were very private and kept their children on a very tight leash as far as public exposure. And yes, many of those children turned out to be a bit unusual. I'll be that's where your DH is getting that homeschooled children are weird. However, things have evolved so much on that front! Today's homeschooled child interacts with their peers (who often are homeschooled as well, though not always), gets out of the house, has a choice of curriculum, and often many towns actually have activities for homeschooled children. I know our YMCA has classes and activities through the day that could only be for homeschoolers, and when I lived in FL there was a huge association for the homeschoolers with activities going on constantly as well as different sporting leagues. I'd start with trying to find out where the perception came from with your DH. If his only real exposure was similar to mine as a child, then it's more a matter of showing him what HSing is and isn't nowadays.
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#16 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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The homeschool kids I've met (my own included) are weird in the sense that they're not into impressing peers. I just finished "Deer Hunting with Jesus" and the author was pointing out how homogenized people are now. It really rang true to me.

I want my kids non-homogenized, thanks And it's true that weird kids come from weird families. It's just that the weirdos who homeschool are happy with themselves and their quirks. They don't need some peer group deciding what is enjoyable or not. When my daughter picks out clothes, she is picking out things she likes, not things that will impress her friends.

And Dumbing us Down is a great book to keep in the bathroom

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#17 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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And there aren't any weird schooled kids? Really? I'd say there are plenty.
Yep. I met a ton of kids when I home schooled my dd. Many of them were oddballs. One or two were on their way to being sociopaths. Ah... and before anyone flames me, I'm talking about a couple of kids who killed frogs and minnows while we studied the lake. Old enough to know that they were killing... and their mom didn't say one word to them. I and my dd were pretty horrified.
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#18 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 08:14 PM
 
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Stereotypes exist for a reason. I've met plenty of weird homeschoolers.

But he needs to realize that they are weird b/c that's how they are and who they want to be...and homeschooling was just a choice on top of that.

Homeschooling didn't "make" them weird.

If it's a case of not wanting to be associated, then don't join a group or co-op.
I think that homeschooling can remove the social pressure which teaches children how to act in a way that society expects. In the absence of that pressure, kids are often "weird".

I don't think this is a bad thing. But I've seen it over and over again.

Many of my friends had their kids in preschool and at some point decided to homeschool. Their kids did mostly become "weird" after they took them out of school. But, again, that's not a bad thing. However, to say that it doesn't happen is dishonest.
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#19 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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My husband had about the same reaction. He was tired of being the "wierd" family who coslept, had children who nursed a long time etc. But, after presenting the idea to him (and he totally freaked out & shut it down, which is really unusual for him), he did just what this poster suggested:

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Has he met any homeschooled kids or adults? Once I started being open about the fact that we were homeschooling I had several people pipe up "Oh, I was homeschooled" or "My brother is homeschooling now", etc. These are all normal, fascinating, well-spoken, social individuals - they just don't talk about their educational background much, and not until they are in a homeschool-friendly environment.
And he realized that he had been relying more on stereotypes than real life, and he changed his mind. He's thrilled we're homeschooling now.

That said, I think a lot of what other posters said about "wierd" rings true for our family as well - dd doesn't have that social pressure, and she is exposed to less commercial stuff.

Oh, and at five, my dd wanted a weedwhacker for Christmas. Um?? What??? But that's what she wanted, and my brother & his wife found a kids' weedwhacker for her with googles etc. It was hilarious.

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#20 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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Yep. I met a ton of kids when I home schooled my dd. Many of them were oddballs. One or two were on their way to being sociopaths. Ah... and before anyone flames me, I'm talking about a couple of kids who killed frogs and minnows while we studied the lake. Old enough to know that they were killing... and their mom didn't say one word to them. I and my dd were pretty horrified.
I'm not getting your point. The kids we know that are like what you describe are all public schooled - doesn't prove anything other than you will find all kinds of kids in all kinds of situations and that "weird" is not necessarily a function of the form of schooling - which is what the OP was asking about.

OP I agree with the suggestion to get to know some homeschooling parents/families and let your husband see what they are like IRL.

Good luck
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#21 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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This was actually one of the reasons I didn't ever want to homeschool my dd. I knew some children who were homeschooled and a few adults from big families who were homeschooled and they were very wierd. I only decided to homeschool her recently because public school just wasn't working out this year. I have since met many normal children who are homeschooled in the activities we have been attending for children who are homeschooled. I think that you really have to get him around a lot of homeschooled children so he can see that there are many different types of people who are homeschooled, some may be wierd but many are not.
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#22 of 87 Old 02-08-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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Heh. My boys were weird when they were in PS, and now they're still weird as homeschoolers. But I guess it depends on what is defined as weird. Not listening to the same music as the other kids? Not dressing the same way?

Actually, any other year, my 9 year old would be really weird because he's really into learning about greek gods. He's been that way for a while now. However, right now, it's cool to know them and talk about them because the Lightning Thief movie is going to be out soon.

And of course, there's always going to be a percentage of nut-balls no matter what the setting, homeschool, private, or public. But that's a completely different issue.

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#23 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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I can see two other issues your husband may be experiencing:

1. The Fundamentalist Christian homeschooler stereotype.
Although, of course, even that stereotype is unfair - it's preposterous to type all Fundamentalist Christian homeschoolers as "weird." - Lillian
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#24 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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Stereotypes exist for a reason. I've met plenty of weird homeschoolers.
I'm not meaning to be argumentative about this, but I'll have to note that I honestly can't think of many weird homeschoolers I've met at all, and I've met a lot of homeschoolers. I don't doubt people when they say they've met a lot of weird ones, but I think that's probably not a universal experience.

Weird, huh? - Lillian
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#25 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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There is a norm where I live that I am glad to be weird in contrast to.

My children are respectful, responsible, kind, they do not see race, religious or economic differences, they give freely and help often. They are funny, silly and bright. They LOVE to learn and have individual interests and pursuits. They are kind even to mean or arrogant people but know how to walk away from BS and/or stand up for others. I am really proud of my homeschooled children. My neighbors really like and enjoy them. Strangers compliment them all the time when we are out and about.

We are not afraid of school. We do not think school would ruin them. We just do not agree with the direction of education in our schools and so we have chosen to be 'weird' and offer them something we feel will better serve them for life and higher education.

OP - I think it is best for you to share your heart and ideas with your dh and invite him to tell you his. Talk more about it and see where the dialogue takes you. Good luck!
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#26 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sarahlynne View Post
No offense to all the "weird" people out there, but "weird" kids come form "weird" families, public schooled, private schooled or homeschooled. That is really the end of the argument for me - cuz' I never met any weird kids while attending public school, right
I think children are ultimately socialized within the family--there are many different types of families, some flow more easily with society's "norms" and others do not. I think it's all relative.

I can recall hanging out with a bunch of friends in college and a guy smarting off about hsers--going on and on about how anti-social they are, ect--and one of my friends busting out laughing, looking at me. He got all flustered and couldn't believe that I had been HSed.

My kids are HSed now. My ds doesn't like to perform in front of groups (at age 7) but other than that, he's pretty normal.

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#27 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 01:03 AM
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I don't consider my kid to be weird. The again, her interests are probably different from those of the average 17 years old, as is her usual holiday wish list... but as far as fitting in socially with others she's fine.

 
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#28 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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Actually, our homeschool group used to hear from tour guides on a fairly consistent basis how much they enjoyed our kids. And we heard that from a business that ran outdoor adventures for teens - the homeschooled teens were by far their favorites because of their social skills and open minds. We considered their social grace to be one of the nicest benefits about homeschooling. And when we did a lot of remodeling at our house, we got lots of comments from various workers as to how unusually polite and respectful our son was in treating them like real people rather than as adults who were not worth bothering with. I've been trying to think of a homeschooler I thought was "weird," and honestly, no one has come to mind so far. - Lillian
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#29 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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People often stop me to tell me how well my children are behaved in public. Not sure if I really consider it a compliment. I've had a few going "no, really, they're just the most helpful, sweetest children!" I should hang out and watch other kids at the grocery store. Mine can't possibly be that different. The only thing I can think of is that maybe it's because they get along, which is definitely a benefit to homeschooling them.

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#30 of 87 Old 02-09-2010, 01:29 AM
 
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Sorry, to everyone, if my post was too brief/offensive in nature. I think: more power to those who do not want to have conformist children. I am very pro-homeschool and even considering unschooling my daughter.

But, yes, I have come across stereotypical homeschoolers. And TETO I suppose, but they had lifestyles that I wouldn't want to be associated with, so I stopped being in that circle of friends.

I just think it should be clear that how a person dresses, what they believe in, how they act, etc are not caused by homeschooling. I know many of these homeschoolers left PS because they wanted to continue acting/dressing the way they were. And thus I think OP's DH is either leaning too heavily on a faux argument or really not thinking things through.

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