When I was thinking about homeschooling, I wondered if it would mean my kids would turn out ‘weird’. Homeschoolers are weird right? And now we Unschool, even more of a minority! We all want our kids to fit in don’t we? I read much that reassured me that homeschoolers are not what you stereotypically imagine and they socialize just fine.
But let me let you in on a little bit of a secret…they will always be just a little bit ‘weird’. And I’m cool with it.
Homeschoolers (and particularly Unschoolers) are weird because of some or all of the following reasons:
- They’re not into the latest trends/fads/fashion. They march to the beat of their own drum. They’re not used to being judged by appearances so they dress for themselves!
- They converse with adults easily. They’re used to being treated as equals, so they talk to adults as equals.
- They have lots and lots of questions, and they expect answers! They’re accustomed to having their interests and ideas valued. ‘That’s just the way it is’ is not going to cut it for these kids!
- They’re used to managing their own time. Trying to micro-manage them will lead to confused expressions.
- They don’t understand meanness or bullying. Not being used to cliques and the social hierarchy of school means they assume everyone is friendly.
- They’ll tell you when you’re wrong. They’re not under the impression that adults hold the key to all knowledge and they’re not afraid to speak up!
- When you tell them it’s the ‘holidays’ they ask where you’re going. They’re not used to the concept of having a ‘break’ from their life. Life looks the same all year round.
- They’re passionate and motivated and they want to tell you all about their interests. They naturally expect you to be interested too. They’re used to adults who are invested and interested in their unique ideas.
- They have passions and interests in things you might not expect of someone their age! They’re not spending all day learning the standard things that every other child is, so they have time to delve into whatever they like.
- They don’t understand not being allowed to eat when they’re hungry, or go to the toilet when they need to. They are confused the first time they come across a situation where they need to ask permission to do these basic things.
- You might find them staying up late to do some maths, or getting up early to read. They don’t see learning as boring or ‘work’ because it’s always been self-chosen. They couldn’t even tell you the difference between ‘work’ and ‘play’. All of life is play to them.
- They don’t understand the concept of teaching, when it is not asked for. They’re used to asking their own questions and finding their own answers, instead of being taught what others think they should know. They ask for help sometimes but they’re not interested in being taught things they have not expressed a desire to know. They’re in control of their own learning and they won’t give that up easily.
- They also don’t know what ‘testing’ is. They have no concept of the idea that learning should be done to please others, and no reason to expect they would need to prove their learning to anyone but themselves.
- The opportunity to watch a documentary excites them.
Yeah, they’re a little bit weird, if weird means different from the majority. Luckily for us, conformity is not something we’re aiming for. We’re hoping to raise unique individuals.
They’re delightfully, wonderfully weird, in all the right ways.