An Open Letter To Those Worried About Our Children’s Social Skills Because We Homeschool:

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An Open Letter To Those Worried About Our Children’s Social Skills Because We Homeschool:

I think it’s time that I make an open statement on this controversial subject that keeps getting brought up to me by various people in our lives. I’m trying not to come across as “snotty”, but just trying to help you see it from my stand point. I’ve had people say some very mean and cruel things to me about our choice to homeschool over the last few years, so please take note that I’m not attacking anyone here or treating anyone as rudely as the way that I have been treated.

The more this topic is brought up, and the more people say “If they don’t go to school they won’t know how to act around other people”, the more I have to laugh.

School, for me, made me trust others less. I was bullied and left out because of my skin color, faith, shyness, and sensitivity. It took a long journey well into adult hood to learn to be outgoing and start conversations on my own. Why? Because most of my peers in school made that difficult. I just flat out didn’t fit in. (And no, that is not the reason I have chosen to homeschool my children.) The end result was my being afraid to spark a conversation with anyone face to face for many years.

Furthermore, since when is FORCING children to be social only with children their own age the only correct way to achieve “healthy” socialization? There are plenty of chances to let children branch out at church, sports, online/in person classes and lessons, family members, play dates, trips to the grocery store, etc. A few hours a day sitting quietly in a classroom with brief recess and lunch periods is supposed to make that much of a difference?

I would much rather that my children learn to interact with other people naturally.

Whether it be with the clerk behind the counter at the store, a child on the playground, a friendly adult at church… My children need to feel comfortable with themselves. They need to feel confident about their conversation. They need to know the appropriate way to engage someone. I never want my children to feel lost when approaching someone and come off the wrong way.

I have to say, my favorite part of all of these conversations and debates with others is the fact that everyone assumes that my husband and I have not researched the many studies on “Socializing Homeschoolers”. You know, because so many of us that choose to keep our kids at home are backwards and never think about what we are doing, right? Then there is the fact that everyone forgets that I, myself, was homeschooled for most of  (off and on) Jr. High & High School. So, I can only assume that if they do know this or remember, they think I’m a big social mess. And if I am? What does it matter. I’m happy regardless and don’t know any different… 😉

At the end of the day, my husband and I are not trying to ask any one else to conform their lives to the way we live ours or to make anyone feel as though they should make the choices we do. Why does everyone seem so determined to “conform” to their way of life?

Besides, our biggest concern is not their relationships with others in this life, but their relationship with our Lord & Savior.

I want to say thank you to those of you who have genuine concern for my children. But please, understand that we have made our decision, we have done research, weighed pros & cons, and had long discussions about this. We are not anywhere close to changing our mind. We deeply believe that for our kids, this is the best thing we could do. Please respect our choice.

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  • Amanda Shoemaker

    “You know, because so many of us that choose to keep our kids at home
    are backwards and never think about what we are doing, right?”… I really loved this. That’s the biggest thing I think people miss is that homeschoolers are actually people who have considered their children’s education. Sure, there are a portion of families who have their kids in public school who have considered the education they want for their children, but 100% of homeschoolers have actually taken the time to consider, make a decision and take initiative to give their children the best education they possibly can.

    • Amanda, you make an AMAZING point! Thank you so much. I’ll likely use that in my next debate! LOL!