Does home schooling make kids into freaks?

“It came up again the other day,” said my eldest when she came home last time. It’s lovely to have her back in the nest, dipping into the home comforts, using all the hot water and every glass in the cupboard.

“What did?” I asked as we walked through the autumn leaves and talked together about her new life beyond uni and five years on from home educating.

“Home education. Some of the others I’m working with asked me where I went to school.”

“Oh? So what did you tell them? And what kind of response did you get?” I asked cautiously. I always wonder if this is a problem for the children to talk about.

It isn’t. It’s more often a problem for everyone else, especially if they haven’t come across home schooling before.

“Well, I told them I didn’t go to school, I was home educated and then they said…” she giggled. It’s infectious.

“Go on. What?” I asked, catching it, but I think my giggling was from nerves.

“They said ‘oh, you couldn’t tell’! I reckon that was supposed to be a compliment, I guess that’s the best I can hope for,” she said. We laughed over it together.

We’ve weathered a variety of responses to our choice to home educate over the years, some supportive, some not so pleasant, some downright hilarious.

I’m not sure this response is a compliment or not. It’s almost disappointing! But it’s perhaps the most reassuring thing I can tell you about kids who have been home educated; once grown up and out in the big wide world, you couldn’t tell.

So there’s a message for all those people so scared that home educating is likely to make their children into freaks. It doesn’t. You really don’t have to worry!



2 thoughts on “Does home schooling make kids into freaks?

  1. Yes, I’ve had friends whose kids go to school watch mine and their kids play together and say ‘They get on well don’t they? You wouldn’t tell that yours didn’t go to school.’ I’m never quite sure how to take it…Did they think that my decision to home ed my kids would turn them into strange two-headed unsociable creatures?

    I did once have a lovely comment from a parent we met at a holiday park one holiday. She’d been watching my kids play with hers and when home ed came into conversation she said ‘That explains it. I can see how imaginative your kids are compared with mine and it’s so wonderful. Imagination seems to be one of the first things that’s drummed out of them at school.’

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