There have been a lot of blogs going around lately (at least in my blogosphere) regarding home schooling. I have read so many comments about socializing home schooled children and being careful not to shelter them I could throw up. I even read one comment that said you aren’t qualified to talk about the subject unless you were homeschooled yourself. Thus I am jumping into the issue.
“I was house trained.” That is what I would tell people when they asked where I attended school. If you don’t get the joke you are probably home schooled….. If you don’t get the irony of that comment you were not socialized enough…. Oh this is completely lost on you because you were sheltered as a child. Ok, I’ll stop with the sarcasm for now. I was home schooled from 7th grade thru graduation and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. The most traumatic thing that ever happened was people CONSTANTLY asking how I was socialized!!! I received plenty of that in public school and was thankful I wasn’t subjected to that any longer.
I was socialized when my teacher wouldn’t Allow me to use the restroom in third grade and I sat in my own urin all day. I was socialized when I had someone grab me by the ear and drag me a cross the floor in gym while the teacher laughed. I was socialized when I broke my wrist and had the teacher stand over me and call me a baby. I was socialized when every teacher from first they third grade insisted I be held back for reading. Socialized, in my estimation, is an overused term for making sure you conform to society. What is wrong with non-conformity and thinking for yourself? Don’t get me wrong I do have some ok memories from public school, just not many.
After I was taken out I had the opportunity to develop in my time on my terms. Some saw me as withdrawn and shy, they were right. But, in my time and God’s timing, I had the opportunities to develop without being crammed into a mould of conformity. I was given the most precious gift, time. Time to think, time to develop, time to grow, time to heal, time to explore my talents before I was told I couldn’t.
I was given opportunities to make decisions for myself. I chose not to participate in youth group at church. I saw the flirting and backstabbing and disrespectful behavior and did not like it. Yes, I was intimidated, but more than that I wanted to see what real church was like. I had opportunities to go and do and help that others missed out on. I chose to cut grass, reroof church buildings, go on missions trips, serve at soup kitchens, teach children’s classes , etc. I chose to play soccer year round, I chose to clean stables in exchange for horse riding lessons. I chose to travel to Dallas, Fairbanks, Seattle, and Indianapolis to help. I had the opportunity to run a wood shop at 16 that changed my life. None of this was done in isolation or a vacuum. It was all opportunities I had because I was not forced thru the system. It was the socialization that I needed.
These opportunities led to being a Youth Leader, Youth sponsor, Sunday school teacher, worship leader, board member, college graduate, professional project manager, father of four children, who is married to his home schooled wife that he met in college. Save the socialization comments for someone else, I’ve heard enough. I don’t need to know all of Led Zepplin lyrics or every line in dumb and dumber, nor do I need to quote Napoleon Dynamite to be accepted or fit in with my coworkers or friends.