There are quite a few opinions that society continues to hold about homeschoolers. One of them is that all homeschoolers are weird.
Believe it or not, I used to worry about that. Would my kids be weird if I homeschooled them? Would they have any friends?
In my house, this long held belief is actually true. Over the years, my kids have come to realize that they’re a bit different compared to most traditional middle schoolers.
And not only am I okay with that, they are too.
The truth is, I don’t want my kids to be part of popular culture. I don’t mind if they are considered uncool by traditional teen standards. Many students in public school deal with unimaginable stress, feeling forced to conform to the constantly changing standards of their peers or risk being left out or even worse, being taunted, teased, or bullied.
Too often kids put aside their own beliefs, passions, and opinions just to fit in.
Do I want my kids to be liked? To have friends? Of course I do. But not at the price of who they are. And far too often, that’s what it takes to be popular in mainstream society. Does that mean as homeschoolers they’re without peer influences? No. They have wide variety of friends – girls, boys, homeschooled, public school, etc., and where there are peers, there’s always pressure.
However, homeschooling has given them the chance to be their authentic selves. They don’t work hard to fit in to someone else’s idea of who they should be.
What Makes My Middle Schoolers Different
Abigail is a passionate numismatist. That means she is a coin collector. She is a part of multiple coin clubs and gets very excited whenever she finds coins that could fit into her collection. When she makes a new friend, she naturally shares her interest in coin collecting. Sometimes she finds a fellow numismatist, but not often. However, that has no impact on her passion for the hobby. She likes it and that’s all that matters to her. I admire that!
Marianna is a second degree black belt in Taekwondo. Sure, lots of kids participate in martial arts, so it doesn’t seem like it would make her too different, but it’s still not the most popular sport. Few kids stay involved long enough to get a black belt (let alone beyond that), plus the majority of the students are boys. She has always been one of the only girls in her class. While many admire her for her accomplishments, it’s still not a subject that most people can relate to. However, it’s a sport that she excels in, so I’m happy that she keeps on going.
For our kids, mainstream media doesn’t mean much. They have no idea who some celebrities are because they don’t watch a lot of tv or see many movies above a PG rating. They adore Disney and Pixar movies and love watching shows like Chopped and Shark Tank. And instead of listening to most of the music playing on popular radio stations, their Pandora stations are full of Jamie Grace, R5, and Dove Cameron.
Sure, there are times they have nothing to offer in a conversation that revolves around pop culture, but they don’t seem to mind. They’re confident in their preferences.
At an age when many kids are starting to shun family time in lieu of being with their friends, both of my girls seek out time with us. That’s not to say that they don’t enjoy hanging out with their friends, because they do. But they also love spending time together as a family, whether it’s an outing to Disney, playing a board game, riding our bikes, or just watching a movie. I’m thrilled that our girls haven’t pushed away from us and instead find comfort and joy in our presence.
All this to say, that to many people, my kids are a bit weird when you compare them to other kids their age. Personally, I’m extremely grateful that homeschooling has given my kids the security and opportunity to become exactly who they were meant to be, not who others think they should be.
And the fact that they both embrace their uniqueness? Priceless.
What makes your homeschooler different from their peers?
Want even more homeschooling secrets?
- 4 Secrets Moms who Homeschool Middle School Know
- 10 Things Moms Want You to Know About Homeschooling Middle School
Check out some other things about homeschooling that no one tells you.