I’m going to do something that I don’t often do, which is create a new post specifically because of the comments to another post. In the comments to this post, Diana from Virginia had a lot of things to say about homeschooling, not necessarily from a hostile standpoint, but certainly not from the point of view of an ally. At the end of her comment, she asked several questions about homeschooled kids, which because she was respectful (if misinformed) I wanted to create a new post to answer her.
I don’t worry about socialization with homeschooled children. I do wonder exactly what happens when the bubble wrap comes off though. And it has to, doesn’t it? You can’t control their environment forever, so how does that work?
This question quite incorrectly assumes that parents who choose to homeschool are “bubble-wrapping” their children to protect them from the nasty real world out there. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that quite often the exact opposite is true – homeschool families are teaching their kids that the world is a nasty place where lots of people don’t want to be your friend. Honestly, I worry more about kids who are coddled by a school system that doesn’t allow recess and dodgeball because someone’s feelings might get hurt.
Are they the kids that cut loose in college? Are you going to let them go away to school then?
Any overprotected child is going to cut lose in college, whether or not they’ve been homeschooled has very little to do with it. A child who was constantly sheltered and sent to public school is just as likely to “cut loose” in college as a sheltered homeschooled child. An overprotective parent is just as unlikely to allow their child to go away to school whether or not they homeschooled. However, as a personal example, myself and two of my brothers went to college. The one who stayed the closest to my parents was 1200 miles away. So yes, we do “go away” to college.
At what age do they get out from under the constant loving scrutiny of their parents?
If I ever reach an age where my parents no longer regard me with love and scrutiny, it will mean that they are dead. Because I want my parents to scrutinize my actions, even now as I’m an adult. My parents have lived a lot longer than me, and their scrutiny and wisdom can provide insight on little things from business decisions to marital advice. I don’t want to be out from their love or scrutiny, because I recognize the value in learning from their experience, even though I am now an adult myself. I pity the adult who feels that they are too old or too good for their parent’s “scrutiny”.
When do they get to interact with their peers,or for that matter, with anyone else, without the parents around?
I think on a regular basis, when I was 10. In high school, I could interact with my peers pretty much whenever I wasn’t doing schoolwork, so weekends, at sports practices, church, evenings, like any other high school kid with a car and a driver’s license.
How do they know where they start and their parents end?
I can’t speak for anyone but myself (and possibly my brothers), but I knew because I was raised to be independent. My parents didn’t raise me to be a little clone of them, they raised me to be my own adult. My parents “end” with the teaching and wisdom they had imparted to me, and I “start” where I choose to act based on my personal experience and their teaching.
The problem with a lot of your questions is that they could just as easily apply to a child who was mollycoddled by his parents and went to public school. You’re assuming that because you believe you were a good parent, that only homeschool parents are overprotective and controlling of their children. I can say with utmost conviction that you’re incorrect; I have had plenty of friends who were overprotected by their parents and went to public school. When the bubble wrap came off those kids, they had a much harder time adapting than I did.