Does home ed make children grow up too soon?

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This post was inspired by a question from a friend. Her question was actually “Do you worry that they will be too ‘adult’ too soon and not have time to dick about behind bikesheds?” but I cleaned it up for the title.

I actually worry a bit about the opposite – that school makes children grow up too quickly and my boys won’t quite be grown up enough. Even though I know that’s nonsense – who decides how “grown up” anyone should be at any age? Grown up enough for what exactly? I mean they’re only 9 and 4 – how grown up should they be? And one of the things I love about home ed is that the boys can be themselves and develop in their own way and at their own rate, without as much peer pressure or outside influence.

But the other day we went to a home ed meet up and someone there (a child the same age) called Harry a wimp. And I immediately panicked. I mean, if even the home ed kids are taking the piss, things must be bad, right? I worried that I need to toughen him up. Even though that goes against everything I believe, everything I want for him. But would it make things easier for him if he was a more typical 9-year-old? I have to trust that letting him be himself is the best way.

The ways I think home ed kids may be more adult is that they’ll be more comfortable with adults – this is the biggest difference I’ve noticed with Harry since taking him out of school. Maybe they’ll be confident about doing things alone? About following their own interests rather than waiting to be directed. These things also come under the ‘reasons I home ed’ so not something I’m worried about, no.

As for “dicking about behind the bikesheds” – I do worry a bit about this too. I worry they’ll miss out on the camaraderie side of school. But then I think back and I didn’t do any dicking about behind the bikesheds. I missed out on a lot of the camaraderie of school because I just didn’t fit in at school. I really just didn’t get how that all worked. And it’s not as if the boys can’t dick about with other home ed kids. They can and they do. They’re just more likely to do it in the park. (And, of course, this is something that will change as they get older and can go out without me.)

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2 responses to “Does home ed make children grow up too soon?

  1. You’re worrying unnecessarily Keris! My experience is that home schooling does toughen them to real life because it is real life – not school life, and best of all it gives them confidence! It’s not about being tough anyway – it’s about understanding how the world ticks. How can you do that shut in a school where kids are set against each other – that’s not the society I live in! School breeds all sorts of fears which is why people feel the need to do others down which is probably why the child above called Harry a name. Those who are happy and confident in themselves have no need to do that!

    • Thanks, Ross. You’re right, I know (although the girl who called Harry a wimp is also home educated). I just don’t want him to get his feelings hurt, you know? But I neither want him to toughen up nor think he should have to. He’s 9, for goodness sake!

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