Socialization and homeschooling: please tell me how silly I'm being - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 37 Old 09-21-2012, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?


My kids are extensively involved in sports and community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, and there are no issues. 


No, no stigma among the kids, but we are in Atlanta metro and it's pretty mainstream here.

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#32 of 37 Old 09-21-2012, 06:42 PM
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I didn't read through all the previous posts, so forgive me if I'm saying something that has already been said.  My kids have never been to school, and have way more friends and social activity than any of their schooled friends (and they have several).  I think that might be more my doing, as I like to get out and about and have friends, so I've been actively connecting with other people since dd was born.  In the process, I "came to homeschooling" and started actively seeking out homeschooling families when my dd was 3 or 4.  I found that was pretty easy to do; one thing led to another, and now we have a great community of HS'ers that I can count on for friendship, camraderie, and pretty much anything else. 


Anyhow, right now there is a giant sleepover happening at our house with 3 homeschoolers and two public schoolers.  They all get along just great!

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#33 of 37 Old 09-22-2012, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?


Almost all of the people we associate with have children in public school. I haven't felt that dd has been stigmatized or shunned by other kids or parents due to being homeschooled.

A few kids asked questions but that was pretty much it for their reaction.


I can't say you or your child will never meet with a negative reaction because you are choosing to do something different and some people can be jerks. The only deeply negative response we have encountered has been with a few family members not the general public though.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#34 of 37 Old 09-22-2012, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Ouch! I wouldn't call it "ridiculous high school crap" to care if "my kids are good enough to hang out with schooled kids.". Yes, I do care because I care about my kids' happiness. I do want them to feel comfortable hanging out with all sorts of people and it just so happens that the homes homeschooled people I know are very awkward and unable to socialize well with different types of people. I think that is very unfortunate and I don't want that for my kids because I don't want their worlds to be so small that they only are able to socialize with homeschooled kids. I am asking these questions because I suspect that the homeschooled kids I've known are an anomaly and suspect I'm making broad generalizations about homeschoolers that aren't true. I don't think there is anything petty or immature or shallow about not wanting my children to be stigmatized because of decisions I've made for them. I care a great deal about their happiness. I suspect if thy were singled out, bullied, or ignored because they were "those homeschooled kids", both their confidence and happiness would be impacted.
Quite frankly, you can check your judgement. Your post reinforces in my mind the defensiveness and narrow-mindedness I'm worried I'll encounter if we take this leap and my kids end up socializing mainly with homeschoolers.
FWIW, no, I'm not considering homeschooling just to break away from rules and expectations. My biggest reason is that I strongly suspect my oldest will not be best served in the public school system in part because of his special needs.
Thank you *everyone else* for your thoughtful and nonjudgmental replies. It helps to hear a variety of experiences.


I never implied that anyone (you, me or anyone else) didn't care about their kids happiness. Obviously, anyone who would even think about making the commitment to homeschool very much cares about their child's happiness.

I was making a general observation that I strongly feel that homeschoolers are way too quick to defend themselves and try to prove they are just like everyone else, when in fact I think everyone should be proud to be who they are and not feel like they need to worry about what anyone else thinks they should be. 

I was not judging you and I'm sorry you took it that way.


Regarding the other concerns in your post ... I think you'll find that your kids may very well not end up spending tons of time with homeschoolers. We are in three different activities and none of them are specifically for homeschoolers. Not that there have been any major issues either way but I've found the homeschool groups in my area to be lot more exclusive than everything else. We have a big enough community of homeschoolers here that things have been broken up into religious groups or just unschoolers, etc. It makes it hard if you don't fit into those well so we just do what makes my kid happy and so far everything is fine. 


Also, I said most homeschoolers do this because we think we've found a better way to educate and/or raise our kids which is not part of the mainstream. I don't think anyone is setting out to break rules or be a rebel. I don't homeschool just to say I'm different but I am different and I don't think I'm doing a service to myself, my child or the homeschool community in general if I try to pretend we are just like the families that use public schools which if you do homeschool you will find is said by homeschoolers a lot ... a whole lot. Which I guess is a pet peeve of mine I need to get over if I want to keep reading message boards ... lol. 

mama to three little ladies
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#35 of 37 Old 09-27-2012, 07:45 AM
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my dd1 is involved with a running club where she is the only non public schooled child. All the girls seem nice, but I do notice that even at the young elementary age the ps girls seem to care more about "being cool", not being "odd" or standing out, they seem to have a shy aspect to their creative involvement. Where as my dd is not so much socially outgoing, but she is not afraid (yet) to share her creative side with the group. And if this makes her in the eyes of the ps girls as "odd", the so be it. When they are all grown up, this behavior of being cool, fitting in etc won't do them any good in life.

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#36 of 37 Old 10-01-2012, 08:43 AM
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My aunt's two teenagers were homeschooled until 9th grade.  They were FREAKING WEIRD.  But then so is my aunt ;)  And she went to public school and has always been freaking weird.  I don't think these kids really had much of a chance!  LOL  BUT, then they went to high school and got along just fine, there, despite their weirdness.  I think they were more able to just accept that some people don't like who they are and some people do.  I think they likely made better choices about who to be friends with, and who their real friends are.


And then there was me.  I went to school all the way through and was super socially awkward and was basically tortured all through school.  Looking back, I wish I was homeschooled.  School was boring academically and complete torture socially... until I switched schools as a senior and *decided* to reinvent myself.  And then it was awesome, but I apparently didn't realize it was a choice before then.  I wonder if homeschooling would have helped me become comfortable with myself and mature outside of so many people being down on me.  I dunno.   Interestingly, in college and even now I'm pretty much a social butterfly.


All that said, I'm homeschooling my kids.. but mostly because school isn't an academic good fit.  I wish I could send them, but that's a completely selfish wish on my part.  We have a nice sized homeschooling community in the area and friends that homeschool and we see friends who don't homeschool after school or on weekends.  I considered the social angle for my VERY social 6 yr old, but school isn't exactly social time.  They get a little social time during recess and lunch, but not that much during the rest of school (or at least are supposed to be working)... so if the academics didn't fit and my kids were pretty much aiming at socializing, it just felt wrong to me...  They go to summer camp and stuff, though.

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)


dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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#37 of 37 Old 10-02-2012, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?


I have an 8-1/2yo Asperger's ds.  At least half (likely more) of what he's involved in is with public-schooled kids.  Pretty much nobody knows he's homeschooled unless someone asks where he goes to school (and being oblivious 8yo boys, they don't often ask--they more often ask what town he lives in because some of these things pull kids from 2-3 towns).  They talk mainly about things they like and the things they like doing--which is usually not related to school or learning.  lol.gif


He has certainly been bullied but this has more to do with his Asperger's than being homeschooled.  He simply doesn't see it coming and behaves in ways that kind of allow things to go too far sometimes.  And then none of them knows how to turn back and "save face".  The same kids have done the same things to weaker public-schooled kids, and we know the two worst offenders well.  It wasn't a jealousy thing or a stigma thing with homeschooling as much as it was "my son is girlier than the little girl that bullied him and she's very sensitive to the fact that she's not girly" and the other kid has some VERY, VERY serious control issues that manifest in some disturbing ways, but he attempts these things with all of the kids--not just mine.  greensad.gif


I HAVE had a parent or two take issue with our homeschooling, but in both situations, it was really clear that they harbored guilt about not hsing their kids when they really knew their kids probably should be.  But nothing really insurmountable.  I think I feel it more than my kid does: mommies often talk about who got what teacher, what homework they are outraged to be doing, what parent-teacher conference snafus happened, etc.  There are certain times of the year where I really just feel completely excluded from group conversation when my son is involved in something with schooled kids and the mother are milling around chatting (baseball games come to mind).

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