“I need him to have exposure to the real world.” My mouth dropped open as I read the words. A mom had written them as the reason she placed her kindergartener back in public school. I guess I was a bit floored. For starters, I’m not sure what type of “real world exposure” a kindergartener needs. However, there is a common misconception out there that homeschooling leads to a lack of real-world exposure. Is this really true? I suppose there are some instances where homeschool kids are sheltered.
Homeschool kids are sheltered from public school bathroom etiquette.
Yelp, it’s a fact, my little angels get up to go potty anytime they want. They don’t even realize that some kids need to raise their hand anytime the urge hits. Guess what else, as an adult, I have NEVER had to ask anyone for permission to use the bathroom. I mean I guess I would if I was visiting at someone’s home. However, I’m pretty sure if I raised my hand in the middle of Walmart and asked to go pee people would probably think I had lost my mind. I think they can survive without this experience.
Homeschool kids are sheltered from straight lines.
I guess it is true that my kids don’t know how to line up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. We’ve not practiced that particular skill here yet. They have however been to the DMV with me, so that should account for some standing in line practice. I guess from here on out I will need to appoint a line leader each day. That lucky child can lead the other one from the schoolroom to the dining room for lunch. Maybe I’ll even see if I can find a cool plastic lanyard and write “line leader” on it. That’s a skill that’s sure to come in handy later in life.
Homeschool kids are sheltered from bullies.
I can definitely see where this will hurt my kids in the long run. I mean just the other day I was at the grocery store when another mom stuck her foot out and tripped me. She even knocked the bread right out of my hands. A crowd started to form, and everyone began to chant “fight, fight” while I curled into a ball and waited on the store manager to come to pull her off of me. Did this actually happen? Of course it didn’t! What kind of grocery store are you shopping at if this is happening?
Now I know there are “bullies” to some extent in the grown-up world, but come on…..I’ve honestly never encountered a “middle school” type bully in my grown-up life. If, by some chance, my kids would run into this type of person I’ve taught them the number to 9-1-1. In the “real-world” these types of bullies are called criminals. This is one “life lesson” I would rather they skip.
Homeschool kids are sheltered from socialization.
Ah yes, it always comes back to socialization doesn’t it? Now I will agree that my kids have never been made to sit in a room with 20 other kids the same age and asked not to talk. It’s never happened here. Guess what else though…I had this job one time, and NO ONE that worked there was the same age as me. I went in thinking that we were all going to be the same age. Imagine my surprise when there were people of all ages around. You know, like the kind of crowd my kids interact with pretty much every day. My eight-year-old has no problem being friends with a three-year-old OR with a twelve-year-old. Imagine a society where we can interact with people of all different ages. Oh, wait….we have that now.
So is the myth true that homeschool kids are sheltered?
My kids are sheltered from several things. For example:
- They have never been taught to shelter in place because there’s an active shooter.
- They don’t know how to react to a bomb threat.
- They’ve never been forced to sit in the same room for eight continuous hours.
- They never have homework. (I mean other than the normal work that they do at home.)
So I guess in some ways, yes, there are occasions where my kids are sheltered. However, they also spend their days interacting in the real world. On any given day you may find them at the grocery store, the bank, or even the dreaded DMV. They both know how to cook & how to clean. They experience the real world (the one that isn’t confined to a block building) every day. So I believe they will survive, and maybe with a little MORE real-world experience than their public school counterparts. I’m calling this myth BUSTED. Sorry, but this is one homeschool excuse that won’t pass with me.
(This post is part of the “Homeschool Myths Busted” series from the Homeschool Blogging Connection Team. You can check out the full series here.)