Hi Ruthla -
First, I want to say that I come across posts from you often, and I appreciate your wisdom and gentle spirit.
My little one is not yet earthbound. While we all excitedly await her arrival, she is not yet ready, despite what my EDD says. I think we have another week, and she will be ready then.
I also noted after I posted that the OP was asking for support, and not criticism. If what I post is not supportive, I am happy to delete if the OP wishes.
I should note, additionally, that I DO beleive in homeschooling in the sense that parents should be actively engaged in their children's learning and foster a sense of wonder and excitement for obtaining knowledge and utilizing imagination.
However, learning full time in this sort of environment did little to help me prepare for the "real world." While some of these issues may well just be my own personality glitches coming through, I tend to assign some of the "blame" to the homeschooling environment:
1. Schedules and deadlines are irrelevant to me. In most cases, they are artificially set by society and have no real merit. LOL, try telling that to a college English professor when the essay isn't done because the student got wrapped up in exploring something else discovered during the research phase, or the Department of Motor Vehicles clerk when spending the beautiful weather in the park sounds so much better than standing in line to get a license plate renewal.
2. Cliques and clubs leave me clueless. I have no idea how to deal with groups of people and I play social games poorly. I am very judgemental and suspicious of others in that I question and critique them rather than engage them on a personal level.
I'll just give one more example since I could go on forever:
3. The thought of working full time depresses me beyond belief. I do not have competitive spirit when it comes to academics or employment; I am very commuistically (is that a word?) minded, which does not play well in the corporate (or even upper level academic) world. To realize that most full time careers (I am a scientist and an economist) require one to work towards one's own advancement over the advancement of others is really, really bizarre.
Okay, one more:
4. I grew up thinking I was a special, unique individual, only to discover that there isn't space in this world for everyone to be unique. I entered mainstream school in high school, and I remember the first time I turned in a homework assignment. I had written my name, "Jennifer" at the top. The next morning in class, I was berated in front of the entire class for only using my first name (and a popular name, at that, LOL!), when I was just one of many faceless students being processed through the system. I was totally unprepared for this idea. In this society, in this country (USA), societal norms are incredibly important. To encourage a child to pursue his or her bliss in their free time is a wonderful gift that all children deserve to be granted. To completely free the child from all societal expectations during childhood, IMO, is irresponsible. Schooling with one's peer group prepares a child life in a socially structured system.
Wow. I swear I'm not really this depressing IRL.
ETA: I am not attempting to come across as whinny and blaming my own failings on others...I just tend to associate my development of these propensities with my homeschooling experiences. Just to be clear.