What's the deal with all the homeschooling?

I met up with my father, who I rarely see because his job keeps him traveling most of the time, this past week and we had a very nice visit. I’m sure that most of what we talked a about will be of no interest to anyone, but he did ask me one question that I would like to address and get comments from the blog world.

We were talking about my lack of hope in finding a job and my bleak outlook on the situation and he asked if I’d considered home schooling my sons. I was quick to reply no because I feel that one of the things public schooling offers is social interaction and learning how to deal with others. I feel that home schooled children, in general, lack social graces.

One example that immediately comes to mind is a pair of girls, one of which used to work part time in my wife’s office. The girls and their family raised rabbits. I was attempting to raise rabbits myself. I purchased two doe bunnies from the family with the intention of breeding them with my buck, however to tell just how inept I am at every endeavor, I could get rabbits to reproduce. At the staff Christmas party I mentioned to the young lady and her sister, who’d accompanied her to the party, about my lack of success. I told, as politely as I could, her that I didn’t want to kill the does but would like two does to replace the sterile ones, and wondered if we could just trade. She replied that she would talk to her parents.

I got a very angry call from the mother about how I’d embarrassed the home schooled girls, essentially bad mouthed their rabbitry. This really got to me! As I began replaying the incident in my mind, trying to figure out how I’d messed up, I consulted my wife and a coworker about what I said and how I said it. They assured me that both what I said and how I said it were polite and in no way offensive. With that I began thinking about the hearer of my comments and surmised that these two young ladies, both about 14-16 years old and home schooled their entire life, had yet to learn the requisite social graces sufficient to interact with normal people.

Schools are full of kids who, from kindergarten all the way up, will mock anything and everything that a person does. Bullies abound! This mocking and bullying builds a thicker skin and students can learn to deal with people like that. It’s a tough process but kids survive and those skills can be carried all through life, because bullies and mockers abound there too, albeit a bit more couth and secrecy the older they are.

I don’t want to badmouth home schools in general, but would rather ask, “Why?” and “Where are the social skills acquired in a situation like home schools?” If you could offer insight please do!

Ed U. Cayshun


Bryce Eddings said...

There ways to get kids socially engaged outside of school - church, clubs like scouts and 4H, sports, and I've heard of parent of home schooled kids planning get-togethers for their kids. But all of that would require some pretty deliberate scheduling from what I have to assume are some already harried parents.

Ed U. Cayshun said...

The girls that I mentioned in the original post were active in 4H as well as other things that I'm not aware of but have heard them discuss in general. That being said, they still lacked the social skills.

I also knew another family, the father was one of my favorite college professors, who homeschooled their children. I only had passing contact with them but they seemed alright so I certainly don't want to pigeon-hole and stereotype ALL homeschooled children!

Michele said...

When a child is homeschooled and lacks social graces, the homeschooling often gets blamed. When a child is in public school and has the same problems, it is the public schooling that gets blamed.

Some people are weird, or oversensitive no matter where they are. Often people homeschool their children because they have emotional disturbances or neurological disorders as mine do. I would hate for someone to blame their odd behaviors on my homeschooling them. They're much better now than they were when they were in school, and we have plenty of friends and a huge social life. Homeschooling has given me the opportunity to teach them appropriate behaviors, and help them when they need it. We're not homeschooling. We're life schooling. Please don't judge a whole demographic by two girls.

Ed U. Cayshun said...


I'd agree that some parents are weird no matter where they send their children and the girls' family was a bit off whereas the Professor I had who homeschool his children was as nice a guy as you could ever want to meet.

I'm glad that homeschooling works for you and your daughter. I wish you the very best!


Leila said...

I don't like to comment on homeschooling because those who do homeschool are very sensitive. Some are even defensive. It's like anything. Some do a good job, while some don't. Just think of it this way, if the parent has no manners, how can they teach the child to have manners. Sometimes what the parent/caregiver/guardian doesn't teach is taught, whether through observation or direct instruction from someone else, what to do. However, when the parent is the sole source of instruction, sometimes that doesn't lend itself to other experiences.
Let me recap so as not to offend anyone: Just as with anything, some do a good job. Some don't.

Ed U. Cayshun said...

I agree with Leila in that some do a good job! It seems that all you realy hear about is the ones who do a poor job.