I recently heard from a mom who was concerned that if she homeschooled her son, she would be judged by other parents for it and that her son would likely be labeled as quirky. I hated to break it to her… but she was right. Even though homeschooling is on the rise across the country, it is still not the cultural norm. If we homeschool our sons they WILL be different than if we send them to school.
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Most parents want desperately to do what is best for their children. And we also want some confirmation from others that we have made the right decisions. Unfortunately, this isn’t always going to happen. When we choose to homeschool our kids, we have to be prepared for the disapproval of our friends and family members. There are plenty of people who will think you’re strange or that you’re making a huge mistake for choosing to homeschool your kids. But I ask you – are you more concerned about pleasing God or about pleasing man?
As for our sons being labeled as different or quirky, that can also happen. However, I submit to you that it’s actually a GOOD thing that our homeschooled children are different from their publicly-schooled peers. That’s part of the reason we’re homeschooling them in the first place!
Here are 5 Ways Our Sons Will Be Different if we Homeschool Them:
1 – More Self-Assured
Kids in school are forced to fit inside of the mold of what the government thinks kids should be like. They must try to learn everything at a certain age, whether they’re ready for it or not. They feel pressured to look and act like their peers. They are often bullied if they are different from the herd.
Boys who are homeschooled are usually much more self-assured than are their publically-schooled peers. They’re used to answering lots of questions and speaking their mind. They’re able to be themselves and to pursue their own interests. They are often around people of different age groups and from various walks of life. They’ve been socialized in the real world rather than in the artificial world inside a school building.
2 – Less Stressed
Kids in school are swamped with homework from a very young age – even over weekends and holiday breaks. They are tested and quizzed about everything they are taught. They have a constant pressure to perform.
Boys who are homeschooled often don’t have homework. Their nights and weekends are free to pursue their own interests and for family time. They have the luxury of being able to learn at their own pace rather than being forced to keep up with faster kids in the class. They also aren’t forced to waste time waiting for others if they catch on quickly. The learning environment is much less stressful.
3 – More Rested
Kids in school are forced to get up early in the morning to eat, get ready, and run out the door to catch the bus. They are also often up late doing homework and participating in extra-curricular activities. Most kids in school are sleep deprived, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
Boys who are homeschooled are often able to sleep in if they’ve had to be up late the night before. They can start their schoolwork when they are more awake and finish it in whatever amount of time they need. They also often get to bed earlier at night because many things can be done in the afternoons rather than having to do everything that isn’t school related at night.
4 – More Engaged in the Learning Process
Kids in school are told what to think and when to think. And there isn’t a lot of appreciation for differences of opinion or religion. They are given information, told to memorize it, told what to think about it, and then they move on to the next lesson.
Boys who are homeschooled have the freedom to learn about things which actually interest them. They are given a list of things to complete for the day or for the week which teaches them how to manage their time wisely and make decisions about what to work on when. They learn how to learn – and they WANT to learn.
5 – Healthier
Kids in school learn to sit still while they’re in class and to try very hard not to interrupt the teacher. They learn to respond to bells, to eat at a specific time whether they’re hungry or not, and they have to try to put a hold on their bodily functions.
Boys who are homeschooled are able to eat when they’re hungry. They can take their time and have a leisurely lunch as well, rather than having to wolf down their food. When they need to use the bathroom, they use it. They’re also able to get up and move around while learning and take exercise breaks between subjects whenever they feel like stretching their legs. In other words, they’re able to listen to the cues their body gives them and to respond rather than having to try to ignore these signals, which is very unhealthy.
I remember how hungry I used to get back when I was in school – high school especially. I used to try to sneak gum into class – hiding it under my tongue – and then I would slowly break off small bits of it throughout that hour so that my stomach wouldn’t growl as loudly. We weren’t able to drink anything or eat anything while learning and there were a few years when I was growing rapidly, that I felt like I was starving all day long.
I can’t imagine an environment where my boys weren’t allowed to eat throughout the day. I know they would be extremely distracted by how hungry they were!
The next time someone talks to you about how different your boys will be if you homeschool them, take comfort in it. Rather than fearing this fact, we should actually embrace it. Yes, our boys will be different if we homeschool them. And that’s a good thing!
Question: How have you noticed that your sons are different due to homeschooling? Have you been encouraged by the changes you’ve seen? Please leave a comment below.