“I met a homeschooling family once, the kids were so weird!”
Ever heard someone say that? Ever said it yourself?
I get it - knowing that someone has taken a contrasting path through life can feel confronting, like their choices are directly questioning ours. It’s much more comfortable to have our decisions reinforced by the safety of numbers.
If you believe that home educated children are weird, let me start by saying you’re probably right. Their numbers are growing, but they still have nothing on the volume of their schooled peers. When you meet one, they will seem different.
These children are living in a different life paradigm. They are experiencing life at a different pace, and with a different level of autonomy. They have different influences and are developing different standards. They have more freedom to be who they are with less social consequence.
It’s a completely different way of developing as a person, and naturally produces a completely different result.
Think about it. Saying a home educated child is weird is a bit like meeting someone from another country and saying their accent sounds different to yours. Is it really that surprising? Of course not. It's only a problem when we make differences between people a bad thing. We should be embracing them, encouraging our children to do the same, and breaking out of the mould that conditions us into thinking we should all be conforming to one standard.
One accepted version of life.
One right way to be.
One of the many colourful dictionary definitions of the word weird is ‘someone with extraordinary character; fantastic’.
In that case...sure, my children are weird. And I couldn’t be prouder.