A very real concern that people have when they think about homeschooling is will my child be prepared for the real world?
The Myth That Homeschoolers Are Not Prepared For The Real World
It is a question that we get a lot. It’s a question that some days I still worry about myself. I think that’s true with any parent anywhere. When you think about it, there are probably a lot of parents of kids in public school who worry about their children making it in the real world.
This is not just a symptom of homeschooling or not homeschooling, right? We have some children who are competent and able to take care of themselves in almost all situations. Then we have some kids that we think “They’re going to be living with me when they’re 30.” It’s completely and totally a parenting thing, but not specifically a homeschooling thing. It’s a myth, but one that most of us worry about at one point or another.
You Don’t Have To Worry! 3 Reasons Why Your Homeschooled Child Will Be Ready For The Real World
Before I get into some of the very real reasons why I think homeschool children are going to be just fine, I want to stress that I’m largely making generalizations here. Also, I’m not really going to focus a lot on academics today because quite frankly, being academically inclined really makes no difference as to whether or not you make it in the real world. I have a number of family members who just weren’t all that academically inclined. They’ve been very happy in their chosen careers, and have done well with their lives.
With this in mind, let’s talk about three ways that your homeschooled kid is going to be perfectly okay and why.
1. Homeschooling Happens In The Real World Far More Than A Classroom
Homeschooling happens a lot in the real world. Sometimes, I think people expect that homeschoolers are locking themselves in their house and never going anywhere. We may have done this in the spring of 2020, along with the rest of the world, but for the most part, we’re out and about, doing lots of things.
I don’t know where the idea came from that public school is the real world. When you think about it, it’s actually an artificially structured system. Our homeschooled kids get far more opportunities to interact with all different kinds of people – people who are not their age, people who are younger than them, people who are older than them. Homeschoolers actually live a life that is very much like what they’re going to come across in the real world. When you’re in the real world, they don’t just stick you in a cubicle next everybody who’s only your exact same age. You end up having to deal with people who are a lot older than you, of different generations. As a homeschooler, you get a wide variety of interactions in your day.
One thing I will touch on though, is as the homeschooling parent, I feel like it’s my responsibility to get my kids in touch with people of different ethnic backgrounds and different races. I’ve been really lucky in that our church is very multicultural. We’ve always had that particular outlet, but if we didn’t, we would have to seek out experiences in other ways.
2. Homeschoolers Know How To Seek Information and Knowledge On Their Own
The second way that I think homeschoolers are really prepared for the real world is that homeschoolers are very autodidactic.
What I mean by this is when you think about a classroom setting, there’s a lot of lecture and you’re being given a lot of information. There is some of that in homeschooling, but homeschooling more often involves parents mentoring their kids as they find a lot of the information for themselves.
For example, my kids read a lot of books. They watch a lot of videos. We do a more literature based style of homeschooling. It’s not based on one single textbook or a lecture, where my children are being given all the information. We go searching for it. We go seeking it out. This is something that I’m modeling for them constantly and this is something that they’re doing on their own.
I think this is one of the gifts of homeschooling. One of the things that homeschoolers end up being really good at is, “I want to know something, where can I find it? Let me go get it. Where is this information and how can I collect it?”
3. Homeschoolers Follow Their Interests
Finally, homeschoolers are always following their interests. They have a lot of extra time to do this because school doesn’t take them seven and a half hours a day. Even a lot of homeschooled high schoolers only doing school for about five hours a day. There’s an efficiency in homeschooling and that gives our children a lot of time to really dig in and follow their own interests, just as they will as adults.
My kids also actually get to pick a lot of the things that they learn, because I am creative with my transcripts. I can say to them, what science do you want to do next year? What history do you want to do next year? This lets us dive deeper into some of the topics that they find fascinating and of interest.
What I think this does for homeschoolers is it makes them interested in the world around them, and interested in the process of learning and finding out more. Now, I’m not saying that public school kids are not engaged in the world, but I do want to dispel the myth that homeschoolers are sitting at home, not doing a whole lot of things.
Just within the past few days, my daughter has helped me with buy some new makeup and share with me all of the knowledge that she’s learned from YouTube makeup tutorials. She’s also flown a glider for the very first time, and she just headed off to camp with kids from our church where I know she’s going to have a wonderful time. All of this happened in just the past three days.
She is getting lots of opportunities to instruct people, to take advantage of things that interest her, and to enjoy community all while being a homeschooled kid. You know what? I think she has a pretty good chance at making it in the real world. Your child does too.