For kids, what’s the real cons of being homeschooled?
1. People making assumptions about your knowledge, experience and social skills.
2. People will quiz you and ask you “academic” questions to “see if you are really learning”.
3. Sometimes, public and private school kids snub you, even though they are supposed to be learning how to “get along with everyone” by being in a classroom setting. (Homeschool kids might snub you too if you aren’t doing the “right” kind of homeschooling.)
4. Whatever your homeschooling experience, it will be completely different and unique compared to any other child you’ll meet. You’ll grow up to completely own your individual experience.
5. If you grow up and you are missing some kind of knowledge or information, you can’t blame it on the schools. You can’t even blame it on your parents. Because you’re free, and if you don’t study something, it’s your choice. In other words, homeschooled kids grow up to own the responsibility to gain the knowledge they need to succeed, from the day they start homeschooling all the way through life.
6. Public/private school kids have one authority, or sometimes, two authorities, telling them what it means to be successful and how to go about it. Homeschool kids have everyone telling them how to be successful – experts, parents, other homeschoolers, books, random people in the street, the news. Since homeschoolers are free to choose what it means to be successful, that means there is a HUGE array of choices, and, it also means that people will see it as an opportunity to try and make you go their way. Moreso than in school, because in school, there’s really one one “right” choice, and one ultimate authority – grades.
7. It’s easy to get a big head. And it’s easy to look down on kids who aren’t homeschoolers. This is a trap that some kids fall into, especially if their parents are very critical of school. Public school kids can fall into this trap as easily as homeschooled kids. The difference here is, that homeschoolers who feel that anyone who isn’t a homeschooler is beneath them, is disrespecting 99% of the population, and cutting off a major source of learning. Public school kids who direspect homeschoolers are only dogging 1% of the population, and public school kids perceive to miss out on very little, since they probably hardly ever come into contact with them. So the con here, is that homeschool kids are human too, but that humanity, since it’s outside the system, can’t be so easily swept under the table as it is so often in public school. So, if you like to disrespect people and belong to a group that thinks they are superior, homeschooling is gonna be rough.
8. People will want to know what grade you are in, where you are going to college, if you plan on ever going (back) to school, what you do to “learn how to get along with others” and basically, want to make sure you aren’t weird. It’s gonna be hard to avoid being on the defensive. These kinds of questions get asked of parents, but the older kids get, the more the kids get it too. Homeschoolers have to be ready to talk about it, or learn how to get out the conversation politely if you don’t want to.
9. Many of the things that school kids take for granted are harder to come by for homeschoolers. They are not at all impossible, but it often takes ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity to achieve the things that school kids do without giving it a second thought: getting a driver’s license, going on a field trip, accessing resources such as science labs and teachers, attending community college classes, sports, after school enrichment classes, etc. Homeschoolers have to learn tenacity, resourcefulness and how to redefine problems in order to access these things. It’s not really hard, but it demands a completely different way of looking at the world, and an ability to be open to different paths to the result.
10. The last con I’m going to to mention for being homeschooled is that often times, mom and dad drag you all over the damn place just to learn something. They take you to conferences, take long drives out to see stinky flowers, and have this unnatural love affair with Google. And guess what, no matter how long you resist, no matter how long you claim the lameness of doing things in order to learn, it’s gonna eventually infect you too. And then you’ll get caught up in it, and you’ll be a life long learner too. And when that happens, you’ll never see the world the same again. And for a while, some of the other kids who don’t see the world this way, just won’t get you, and will think you’re weird. And you might be. But, the truth is, all kids going through this stage are weird. Only, homeschoolers KNOW it, and can’t hide it, while school kids, have more chance to hide it or run away from that weird stage that we all go through.
So, there you have it, my list of cons for the kids that are homeschooled. Feel free to comment.