My son is a little bit….well…let’s call it quirky.
He’s always had his own sense of style.
His own identity, if you will.
It’s part of what makes Will, Will.
And I love that about him. I really, really do. Even when it drives me bat-crap crazy.
There are those, however, who don’t find him as endearing as his father and I do. There have been kids (and the occasionally adult, sadly) that have been less than kind or accepting of his eccentricities.
It’s nerve-wracking when you’re the parent of a kid who marches to the beat of his own internal drum. You never know when or if your child is going to become the object of scorn or ridicule from the people around him.
Because we homeschool Will is shielded, somewhat, from a large exposure to unsympathetic adults and unkind children.
Remember, it’s only somewhat. I work very hard to get my kids out there in the community. We are quite active in our church and Will participates on multiple sports teams and in Boy Scouts.
I homeschool for many reasons. My family likes having a more flexible schedule. I have irreconcilable issues with mandatory homework for elementary school kids. I want my children to have a more literature based curriculum than our local school provides. Best of all, homeschooling gives us more time for the things we love: piano lessons, extra curricular activities, field trips, and visits with our extended family.
However, and I want to be very clear about it, we do NOT homeschool so my children can be more protected and insulated from the realities of the world. My children have been teased, hurt by friends, picked last, and condescended to in our various activities. They have had to get along with difficult people and learn to cooperate with people who are different from them. This is what being part of a society does. As a homeschooler, I am incredibly diligent about getting my children out into their society.
It is my hope that Will makes it to college having been squashed enough by life experiences that he is empathetic to others, somewhat humble, and resilient in the face of adversity. But I want him not so squashed that he has lost his uniqueness and self confidence.
Homeschooling just might give my son a enough of a small cushion from some of the overwhelming cruelness and callousness that permeates our culture today so that my hopes come true.
All children deserve a little cushion.