There are lots of reasons why homeschooled kids are weird.
If you’ve ever been part of a discussion about homeschoolers, you’ve probably heard people discussing how weird they are. I mean, have you ever met a homeschooled kid? Maybe you don’t homeschool or you’re considering homeschooling. But you don’t want your kids to weird, do you?
Maybe you already homeschool, and you know your kids are weird. I’m afraid it’s true. Homeschooled kids are weird. Let’s talk about why.
1. It’s weird to be different.
It’s weird to NOT do what everybody else is doing, so being homeschooled is weird just because it’s different. Simply by homeschooling, we’re teaching our kids that it’s ok to be different. To do your own thing. To swim against the current. To just say no. Different is weird.
2. They act their age.
I’ve known many homeschoolers over my 20-something years of homeschooling, and I’ve noticed that homeschooled kids usually don’t mind acting their ages. What does that mean? It means they aren’t in such a hurry to grow up.
For example, they don’t mind playing and enjoying being children. They don’t feel the need to start dating so early or to wear clothing that’s too mature for their ages. They don’t feel pressured to leave childhood behind and be teenagers or grownups before it’s time.
3. They enjoy spending time with their parents and siblings.
Homeschooled kids are weird because, for the most part, they actually enjoy spending time with their parents and siblings. Does that mean homeschooled students and their parents or their siblings never fight? No. They have arguments and disagreements just like other families. But they also generally enjoy the majority of the time they spend together. Weird.
4. They spend free time learning about topics they enjoy and perfecting skills.
Because homeschooling doesn’t usually take aaaaalllll day (There’s no wasted time taking attendance, changing classes, and doing all of the other little things that classroom teachers have to do that take up time.), homeschooled kids generally have time to dive deeper into things they want to learn (or learn more) about.
For example, my youngest child (who is now 19 and has graduated from our homeschool) spent a lot of time during her homeschool years teaching herself sign language and doing art projects. She had time to explore and learn more about those topics, she enjoyed them, and she took advantage of the time to do the things she loved!
But aren’t kids supposed to spend their free time talking to friends, playing video games, and whining about doing jobs around the house? I know. She’s weird.
5. They know how to interact with people of all ages.
I remember when I first started to realize that my kids were socially weird. It was years ago when they were all young children. (They are now 26, 24, and 19.) It was around the holidays, and we were at a holiday party. My kids were chatting and interacting with elderly people, adults, teens, children, toddlers, and even babies. At the same time, I heard several children whining and complaining about the lack of same-age peers to play with.
I realized that homeschoolers are almost always in situations with people of all ages whereas most school children are in a classroom with only same-age peers most of the time. It makes a difference. It’s just so weird that many homeschooled kids actually enjoy interacting with people who aren’t the same age as them!
6. They know how to socialize without assimilating.
What does this even mean? It means they know how to have friends, do things together, enjoy each other’s company, and participate in activities together without trying to be exactly like each other. They know it’s ok to be themselves. It’s ok not to dress exactly like everyone else. It’s ok to have different hobbies and interests. It’s ok to be yourself. And it’s ok to be friends with people who aren’t exactly like you.
7. They enjoy learning and do well on standardized tests.
Most homeschooled kids enjoy learning and score well on standardized tests. I suppose this is at least partly due to not being so rushed in the classroom and not feeling compared to other students all the time. Maybe the lower level of anxiety and the more relaxed pace help homeschooled kids enjoy what they’re learning and be able to soak up information and retain it better. And learning more leads to better standardized test scores.
8. They are civically engaged and have leadership skills.
Homeschoolers are often more civically engaged and have better leadership skills. Why? Because they have more time for community and political involvement and they generally have at least one parent available to help guide them in being involved. They also usually have more time for these kinds of activities (See #4 above.) since school doesn’t take all day and all evening.
9. They are indoctrinated by their parents.
Homeschoolers are indoctrinated by their parents to believe whatever their parents believe. Ya know, it’s a really good thing school children aren’t indoctrinated to believe whatever their instructors teach them, right? (Did you detect that note of sarcasm?)
To be honest, I have to make a note here that it’s just plain weird that many people now believe it’s a bad thing for parents to teach and train their own children. Why is it better for our children to be taught and trained to believe what a classroom teacher believes rather than what their parents believe? It simply makes no sense that the teacher’s beliefs are more important or more “correct” than the parents’ beliefs.
Our children, as they grow up, will take what they’ve learned and make their own decisions about their beliefs. All children do this as they grow up, become more responsible for themselves, and become independent adults.
10. They are often very mature and responsible.
Homeschoolers are often more responsible. Many homeschoolers, especially as they reach middle school and high school ages, are responsible for making sure they get their school work done for themselves. They may also have jobs around the house, in the yard, or even part-time jobs in the community. These kids often have to balance their own schedules and responsibilities and make sure things get done by a certain deadline.
It’s important to keep in mind that not ALL of these points will be true for every single homeschooler (any more than they would all be true for a public schooler, an adult, or any other group of people). But in general, many of these things are true for many homeschoolers.
IMPORTANT QUESTION/PSA – Have you ever noticed that, when a homeschooled child is socially awkward or doesn’t read well, people automatically assume it’s because the child was (or is) homeschooled? But when a child who goes to public school is socially awkward or can’t read well, most folks believe it has nothing to do with that child being in public school. I guess that’s another weird thing about homeschooling…
There are two things to keep in mind when you read this article. One, it’s important to keep a sense of humor! We all know homeschooled kids who are weird and public school kids who are weird. Let’s face it! Most of us are weird in one way or another. Two, when I refer to homeschoolers in this article, I mean kids who are homeschooled in the traditional way–not kids who are doing public school at home (since that is so common right now).
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Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms, Only Passionate Curiosity, Homeschool Road Trips, Love These Recipes, and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, 31 years ago, and they live in the South. They have three adult children. Hannah, age 27, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 25, was the second homeschool graduate and the first to leave the nest. Mary Grace, age 19, was the last homeschool graduate. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow a garden every summer with limited success. (But she's learning!)