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Homeschooling and the big, bad world: Bring it on

Homeschoolers aren’t weird.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to explain this to a lot of people over the years.

Although homeschooling affects far more than the social life of a student, many of the people I have told about my twelve-year stint as a homeschooler are most concerned that I did not spend most of my days around my peers.

They are afraid that I somehow missed an essential part of my emotional and personal development because I was not exposed to the world. They are concerned that I, and all homeschoolers, somehow graduate high school unable to deal with life.

On the contrary, I came out of my homeschooling experience uniquely well-prepared to face life.

I came to college eager to study because I had studied within a program that allowed me to choose the courses that would challenge me the most. I learned how to study independently and to look for answers to my own questions, because my mother did not always know the answers.

As far as my socialization was concerned, the people who question my and other homeschooler’s social competence are right. I did come to college somewhat na’ve.

But I also came to college with a deep sense of faith, family and self instilled through the enormous amount of time I spent with my family. It is a source of strength from which I have drawn countless times in dealing with the world that so many people think homeschoolers would run from.

By the time I came to college, I was ready to deal with the world. I had been taught how to defend my faith and had developed a sense of self that could resist peer pressure.

If I had encountered the world sooner, I may have been destroyed by it. If I had been forced to face peer pressure before I knew who I was, I may have succumbed. If I had been taught a secular worldview before my faith was established, I may have abandoned that faith.

Far from leaving me socially behind, homeschooling has been the means through which I have gained skills to succeed.

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