Social Handicap

Growing up I remember thinking that if you were home-schooled – you automatically got a “your a social-nerd” stamped to your forehead, and that all home-schoolers were odd – not typical and just down right strange.

After all, that is what people impressed upon me when I was a kid.

That being in public school was “Good for me” – because it “got me out among my peers” – and “helped build my social skills, among other things.”

It really gets under my skin when I hear this – and I am just amazed that people really think that -peer to peer interaction- in gradeschool is really “good for them.”

and heres what stemmed this post today.

As I took my two older boys to the dollar-tree for Caleb to send some money he got for loosing another tooth – we were getting out of the car. As Taite unbuckled himself and Caleb was stepping out, I was waiting on the side walk and about 15 feet in front of me were 3 young children – they looked to be about 7 or 8. As I waited a car alarm began to go off and one of the little boys said clear as day with no care for those listening – “Why don’t they turn that f***-ing alarm off.” and went back and forth between his friends – spouting off this word a few more times.

My immediate reaction was not to react to the kids – and correct them – after all, what good would that do? – but instead I stand in front of my childrens view of them and pray in my heart that they did not hear them.

Kids pay attention to what other kids are saying. If we were to go to the store – and a passing adult saying that word, my boys may not pick it up. However, to be within feet of children their same height – speaking this way – it will draw attention.

It just saddened my heart to hear these innocent young children talking in such a ugly way…
and as I went through the shop with my kids – I was just so thankful the Lord has given us the ability to protect our children from this.

This isnt just an isolated innocent… Have you ever looked on youtube and searched “cussing kid?” – the amount of videos that come up of young children cursing is so heart breaking… and whats worse – those video taping these children think its funny!

I wont post any of those videos on my blog – for the sake of protecting those who may read – however, I will link to a few.
So I am warning those ahead of time – if you do not want to hear these DO NOT CLICK THESE LINKS

Young 5 year old boy being encouraged to curse, more than one word – and getting laughs from it.

Two young sisters cursing at their dad – and then calling their mom “dumb like a stupid girl”

A little boy being talked at with multiple curse words -Being egged on to hit them with a baseball bat. This kids probably Calebs age.

Adorable asian girl being encouraged to curse.

A cousin encouraging her younger cousin to say a bunch of curse words for the camera.

These are the types of social interactions we want our kids to have?

We dont want to SHELTER our kids, we want to protect them… we realize there will come a time when our children will learn about these words -and other sorts of things. However, at age 6… my son doesnt need to have kids teaching him every 4 letter word in the book… and I just considering that “normal socialization.”

I dont want to discourage those who do public school… – some times this is what has to be done – and that is fine. Pray protection over your children and teach them the ways of the Lord when you are with them. Public school, private or home school, it is ultimately our job to raise our children – not the school system.

A blog I read had an awesome write up about why they home school. If you’d like to read it – CLICK HERE.

I however wanted to post some scripture she had up – helping to express why they home school.

I echo it 100%

Ephesians 6:4 states: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Deut. 4:9 says “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Deut. 6:5-7 says “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

The Mom talks about so many aspects of home schooling and touches on socialization, academics, opportunities, and so on.

I liked the scriptures she used when talking about the social aspects of things…

Proverbs 22: 24-25
“Do not make friends with the hot-tempered, do not associate with those who are easily angered; or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”

1 Cor 15:33
Do not be mislead: “bad company corrupts good character.”

Some may never understand why we choose to home school… and thats fine…
… We answer to Christ – not the world… and we know what we are choosing to do and how we are choosing to teach our children – is exactly what the Lord wanted for them. If we are a believer – seek the Lord for guidance in what is best for your children’s schooling… If the thought of home schooling scares you – you aren’t alone…

Throughout all the pre-school years with Caleb, I questioned home schooling.. and really doubted my ability to do it.

The Lord has taught me so much and I am so glad he helped me to endure those years and gave me a Godly husband who desired to home school… because with his push and encouragement from other moms – we are so glad we are.

Disclosure: These are my thoughts on what I have personally witnessed and thought. You can agree to disagree… and that is ok. Please respect my family and our decision though and be mindful of any comments left.

update: Theres been some good discussion below in the comments. To view the comments click the larger number next to the “post title.” Some of the things discussed have been “being a witness” – “being exposed even if you dont public school” – etc…

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About dreawood

32 Yr old Mom to 4 boys. Married to a former Cop who now Pastors a Evangelical church in SC. Professional Photographer and random blogger @ www.dreawood.com
This entry was posted in home school. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Social Handicap

  1. Shannon says:

    Awesomely put!! (Is that even a word)….anyways I agree 100%. It aggravates me to no end when people put labels on my home schooled child. It’s so funny when I’m out with the kids and the cashier asks me if my oldest is in school, like she’s surprised he’s with me in the middle of the day and when I say I home school, everything gets quiet and this blank stare 🙂

    • Dreawood says:

      @Shannon, I get this a lot too Shannon 🙂
      Ive had countless ppl ask me “is he not in school?” – Ive debated saying “nope, we dont believe in education” just to see what they do LOL – but I just explain to him hes home schooled- and most times get a simple “ooo” other times an off expression.

  2. Here! Here! I was homeschooled as a child and heard the comments of being socially incapable, etc. etc. etc. Guess what? We survived! Brothers both went to school and got several degrees. I got married and have 3/almost 4 children and serve women in the community by doing various outreach programs. We all survived and I have a theory that what happened in school back in “those days” really makes NO difference on how you end up being… not by not being affected, but like, how did me not knowing about different sexual positions when I was 16 or 17 yrs old affected me today as I bake bread, teach my children, blog, call friends, shop?! Life…. things like curse words and what so-and-so did last Friday night really, in the scheme of things, doesn’t affect you for the rest of your life… even though, back then, the “social” aspect of school is SOOOOOOO important! Its just amazing to me that parents by into this crap!! HAHA!

    Anyway, you can be taught wonderful standards and Christian living by being IN school, but I think its a privilege and a special treat to be able to keep your children at home and teach them…. your families values and to shield them from things that just aren’t necessary to growing up and becoming a productive adult in society and becoming a child of God.

    Also, I’ve realized lately, among friends whose children went off to public school this year, while we held Bubbie at home, all our friends have girlfriends/boyfriends! I’m sorry, but I really feel like the education system really encourages this…. I don’t like it and I don’t encourage it. I will encourage friendship between the opposite sex, but what is the big deal about my 6 yr old having a “girlfriend” and buying gifts because they are “theirs”?!?!? :o) Just my two cents!

    • Dreawood says:

      @hyperactivelu, Hi Lu,
      I do think school days and the things kids experience as young children affect them as adults…
      They survive sure… but I have seen 1st hand how badly a child being exposed to inappropriate things can affect them as a teen and into their adult hood.

      My husband is one of those children and he struggle with some major addictions as a teen and adult – due to exposure of certain things as a young child in elementary school.

      So im not sure I agree with what happens in school days not really making a difference how we end up…c ause I really do think it does.

      I do agree with what you said abt being able to be taught wonderful christian standards even in school. I absolutely think thats possible with proper parenting.

      and im w/ you on the girl/friend boy/friend thing 🙂 – lets just say, our boys will not date for a very long time, and when they do – we will have some very strict rules.

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      • Stacey says:

        @Dreawood, Can I just give you a big ol hug and say thanks for this? This just made me so hopeful that I can convince Keith to let me try home school next year 🙂 It’s worth a shot, right?

  3. Lauren says:

    As a pro-education parent (homeschool or public/private, although we whole heartedly support public/private) I would like to point out that bad kids aren’t just at public school. Our children run into them in other places too (even church). Bad parenting is just as prevalent in homeschooling as it is in traditional school. Just as homeschooler’s tire of hearing the socialization argument, public schoolers tire of the insinuation that if our children go to a traditional school, we care nothing for their spiritual well being or that we somehow care less for our children than the homeschool wonder moms.

    I don’t think that was your intention here, but just be aware, that it can come off sounding like that. I would also like to point out that the Bible says:

    And he said unto them, Go ye into the entire world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15

    So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:11-12

    Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col 4:2-6

    I think that the gospel clearly says that we must be bearers of the great news. I do agree that we must protect our children’s innocence the best that we can and that we should equip them to be a living testament for Christ. Ephesians clearly speaks about clothing yourself in the armor of the Lord, ready to do battle for him, meaning that it is not easy. We must constantly pour into our children Christ’s goodness so that they are protected against evil. I don’t think that is something that is reserved for only those who care enough to homeschool.

    I don’t forsee our family homeschooling. I think that it is the right choice for some, however, it doesn’t make all who chose not to participate wrong. We will send our daughter to a traditional school setting (we are undecided if we are going to send her to public or private, but she is only 2, so no rush), because we feel like (beyond the quality of her education, which in our district is stellar) it is what Christ has called us to do with her. We are to be fisher’s of men…and to be fisher’s of men, you have to get in the water.

    • Dreawood says:

      @Lauren, Hi Lauren, oh absolutely. There are influences everywhere, not just in school – but there are a great deal in school – and with children being there so much – results in a great deal of influence.

      Our kids have picked up things from church kids – and its something we just have to talk to them about and discuss with them in our home.

      Its going to happen.

      and I dont think its wrong to public school – I just think parents need to realize this is going to happen – and often times earlier than later… and they just shouldnt try to ignore it… but should expect it and prepare their children for it.

      I have heard the whole “we are to be a witness to the lost” – and while I completely agree with this, and completely agree that we are to be fishers of men… I do not believe the Lord calls our children to be thrown to the wolves (As my husband puts it many times) – at such a young age. Our children can be fishers of men by being obedient to their parents – and others witnessing this. Our children can also be fishers of men by being examples in the church – after all, most churches are full of lost people, including other kids.. id say 50-70% of those in church are unsaved.

      There may come a time when my boys are older we decide to put them into public school… when we feel their hearts are mature enough and ready to handle the types of influences out there…

      I just dont see that being now – for them.

  4. arminda says:

    This is such a touchy subject. 🙂 I myself have quite a few friends that are teachers, including my sister-in-law. Some of them are highly offended that *I*, being a simple stay-at-home mom, think I can educate my children to the level a public institution can. I’ve been challenged in so many areas it makes my head spin (remember how I said I sometimes question myself? yeah, this is why). But then, like you, I see how children are being left to raise themselves pretty much and are completely out of control. Do I think my kids are better than them? No. God loves them all equally. Do I keep my kids locked inside 24/7 to hide them away from the big bad world? Goodness no! Our children learn more about real life through community service and actually living life than any text book could teach them.

    I agree with a PP that our children may and probably will encounter questionable behavior elsewhere like a library, store or yes even at church. Just like driving to the store I might get into a car accident. Well, since there is that risk, should I just throw all caution to the wind and fail to put my seat belt on, text while I’m driving, maybe fix my make-up, speed, ignore traffic signs….since there is a risk anyway? No. I’m going to do all I can to ensure my safe arrival at said destination. Just like I’m not going to overly expose the tender impressionable hearts of my two boys to all that this world says is OK. Not at this age, no way. School today is NOTHING like school when we were kids. NOTHING. My friend’s little girl has had TWO girls in her class this year that have been hospitalized due to attempted suicides. They are 12!! One was because of problems at home the other one was because she was being bullied.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to go crazy in your comment section. 🙂 I agree that our children are to reach the lost and need to be a light in the world. But isn’t that what we are teaching them at home?

    You had a video on your blog, I think last year, that was actually the final push in our choice to homeschool. The guy said something like “When you send your kids off to be educated by Ceasar, don’t be surprised when they come out as Romans….”. 🙂

    • Dreawood says:

      @arminda, I think you said things so well…

      I agree with you completely.

      The video I posted was a series called “The Children of Ceasar” – I highly recommend it!

      A lot of ppl are turned off by the Pastor who preached it and the clips seen online – but when you watch the videos and hear all the research he has done – and his own personal experiences, its really a great sermon series to listen to.

      Heres a link to the video i think you are referring too: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=7LDDLGNX

      It too was actually the push I needed as well! My husband showed it to me and after watching it I knew this is what we needed to do.

  5. Cassidy says:

    Drea, this is so true. I learned wayyyyyy too many things I should have not known until I was MUCH MUCH older and should have learned from a parent and I learned these things in KINDERGARTEN! I was afraid to homeschool – for many reasons. I was afraid I wasn’t capable or diligent enough, I was afraid of what others would think, I was stressed because of the ugliness I was receiving from much family who were telling me to “Do the right thing and get those kids in “real” school.” I felt like everything was coming in on me. I had wanted to home school. My heart had desired it. My husband’s heart had begun to desire it and thankfully when I was almost to the breaking point over it – my husband stepped in and said this is what we are doing and what others think does not matter! Even after homeschooling all these years I still get told many ugly things from some of my family and some of my friends think I’m “crazy” for wanting to do this. However, I know that God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. I know what I have seen through my children still being very innocent and not knowing all the depraved things and words that others their age are common with. I’m blessed because my children have BIBLE class every morning and we do it as a family with Daddy leading at night. I’m thankful that we still have the RIGHT to home school if we so choose. I’m thankful God called me to do this. My kids ARE missing out – they’re missing out on the things harmful to their soul and they are instead being given fertile soil for God to work through them all the days of their lives.

    This was an awesome post – thank you so much for sharing it!
    Cass

    • Dreawood says:

      @Cassidy, thank you for commenting Cassidy. I love how you ended you comment with “my kids ARE missing out – they’re missing out on the things harmful to their soul and they are instead being given fertile soil for God to work through them all the days of their lives.”

      awesome!!

  6. Valerie says:

    (Beginning my post again because I accidentally posted before I was finished—hope I’m not duplicating myself)

    Such wisdom voiced by many of you young women! I see evidence of God’s grace in your lives as He is teaching you to walk in His ways in your families and I praise Him for that!!

    I have spent the last 14 years of my life teaching my children at home…and I wouldn’t trade the great relationship that I have with each of them (ages 23, 20 and 17) for anything! I marvel, also, at the spiritual understanding that each of my children have at such young ages that I don’t think would be there if they had constantly been bombarded by the world’s influence and views.

    Homeschooling is not a perfect way to educate, any more than ANY other form of education is perfect, since the people involved are all sinful humans…BUT, (and this is a BIG but!) it does afford you many opportunities to teach your children Scriptural truths and to build wonderful relationships with them (and it has other advantages such as academic excellence–see this article — http://blog.drwile.com/?p=2870#more-2870 ) Those things are worth all the sacrifice and time that it takes!

    As far as “sheltering,” ALL good parents shelter their children…we each just shelter in different ways and from different things. It’s a choice we each make…and have the right to make as our children’s parents. We are each free to choose—-and then to give an account to God for our choices.

    I loved the last line of Cass’s post…”My kids ARE missing out – they’re missing out on the things harmful to their soul and they are instead being given fertile soil for God to work through them all the days of their lives.” She is SO right!!!

    May I encourage each of you beginning this journey of homeschooling, that when you get to the “other end” as I am at with your last child ready to graduate soon, you will be so thankful for the things God does in your children AND in you as you follow Him and press into Him in this calling!!

    You might find this letter by a young homeschooled woman to her parents encouraging:
    (referred to at the end of this article: http://blog.drwile.com/?p=2209)

    Blessings to each of you!
    Valerie ❤

  7. Alison P. says:

    Wonderful post! Thanks, Drea! My husband and his three sisters were all home-schooled. They are all successful adults who love the Lord and their parents. It is sad to see and hear what many people try to say (ignorantly) about home schoolers. But, as many have said, it is our job to protect our children – that is a Biblical mandate, as well. Plus, we as parents, not anyone else, are responsible for our children and their learning and spiritual upbringing. Home schooling in our area is getting very popular both among Christians and non-Christians. I think the terrible state of both public and private schools nowadays are going to lead more and more parents to home school. And like you said, the horrific influences of the world and the poor kids whose parents are not watching out for them or protecting them. Our kids will learn about all of that soon enough -why not preserve their innocence as long as we can. We should want to protect our children from such sinfulness when they are at a young, impressionable age! Most importantly, our kids are our responsibility – that is the great mission of parents! God as many instructions for parents in the Bible. Why would we want to miss out on that and just send our kids to be raised by someone else? What we are doing has eternal significance. These are important years that go by much too quickly. Thank you for standing for truth and for raising your children for the Lord! 🙂

  8. Alison P. says:

    Oh, and before becoming a mother, I was a teacher in both a renowned private school, as well as public schools, so I’ve seen firsthand what goes on there. You are making an excellent choice to keep your kids at home! What is really sad is that the world and government, etc. tries to convince parents that they don’t know what is best for their kids and that they don’t know enough to teach them. So, please send your kids to the so-called “experts” at the schools. That is the most absurd and ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Like Voddie Baucham says, they are my kids and no one else is going to tell me what to do with them! And I’m certainly not going to turn them over to the government-run school system for 40 hours a week! If you haven’t read this book, you really need to check it out:

    The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
    http://www.amazon.com/Mission-Motherhood-Touching-Childs-Eternity/dp/1578565812/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296525171&sr=8-1

  9. Laura says:

    Hi Andrea!
    Thanks for sharing your post… Your heart always comes through so clear in your writing. I certainly appreciate your love for your boys and your desire to educate them at home. I grew up in a church that was very much for homeschooling, and know many friend and family members that have chosen that path. My husband and I have chosen to send our son to the public school that is across the street from us and thankfully he has not yet come home with any inappropriate language. I do know that it will probably happen at some point, but that is when I feel that we will firmly let him know that where others may use inappropriate language, we most certainly do not.

    It’s funny, because I always feel that homeschooling is so distinct for those who are doing it… but in all reality, whereas I don’t choose to take on my son’s full education, we really do “school” him daily. We school him in the ways of the Lord… we teach him the Bible and have been building up a godly foundation for him ever since he was born… all at home 🙂 And with him being a Youth Pastor’s son, he has ample opportunity to participate in church, Sunday School, Pioneer Clubs, and both our youth groups (at this point, I bring my kids to all of our ministries) and he even is able to participate in a Bible Club, right at his public school, that our church puts on every Tuesday. All that being said, whatever we choose for our children, it’s good to be reminded that we are all “home schooling” in a way… and hopefully in the most important way when it comes to teaching and training our children in righteousness 🙂

  10. Jenn says:

    thanks for sharing your heart on this ‘hot buttonl topic. I’m a teacher by degree and a stay at home mom right now. I grew up with a few homeschooled kids that were definitely very awkward to be around (just didn’t seem to know how to act around other people) and I thought ‘I’ll never do that to my kids!” Of course that was 15 years ago in a tiny town (pop. 125) with no homeschool groups or anything available. Now those kids all seem to be well adjusted to their worlds for the most part. I’m rambling! My point is my view of homeschooling is slowly changing over the years, especially after experiencing first-hand as a teacher what the govt is trying to do with our kids in public schools. My husband is nowhere near considering homeschooling, though. He recruits students for a Christian college and he says he sees far too many homeschooled kids come through who don’t have a clue how to act around other people. I think it’s simply a matter of how it’s done. But having our first in kindergarten this year, I’m battling in my heart about it…am being over-protective? She has to learn sometime that not everyone will be her firend, etc etc. So i’ll continue in prayer until the Lord opens both our hearts to the same thing, whatever that may be!

    • Drea says:

      @Jenn, I have met some home school kids that I think are a bit “shy” – but ive never really met any that didnt know how to act around people.
      Maybe they seem different because they dont act like a lot of other kids who arent home schooled?

      But as far as our kids go – we keep them involved with lots of other activities to make sure they still get interaction socially.
      Home school groups
      Awana
      We are about to enroll Caleb into karate.
      Also Boy Scouts is big for us.
      Caleb also goes on visitations with his daddy and does an amazing job ministering to these elderly shut ins. In fact, he does better than me in many ways.

      I think its all about putting our kids out there in social situations – rather than not… I want my kids to socialize, i just want it to be good socialization.

      • Jenn says:

        @Drea,
        Oh it was definitely more than just not acting like other kids! But you have those kinds of kids in public/private school settings, so who’s to say that it’s only homeschooled kids that can be that way? I think in larger places (even small towns like where we live now pop. 1500), it’s a lot easier to keep your kids involved in other “social” things. Isn’t it so neat to see how the Lord has gifted someone when they’re so young (referring to Caleb’s ministering with his dad to the shut-ins)?!

    • Dreawood says:

      @Jenn, @Jenn, I have met some home school kids that I think are a bit “shy” – but ive never really met any that didnt know how to act around people.
      Maybe they seem different because they dont act like a lot of other kids who arent home schooled?

      But as far as our kids go – we keep them involved with lots of other activities to make sure they still get interaction socially.
      Home school groups
      Awana
      We are about to enroll Caleb into karate.
      Also Boy Scouts is big for us.
      Caleb also goes on visitations with his daddy and does an amazing job ministering to these elderly shut ins. In fact, he does better than me in many ways.

      I think its all about putting our kids out there in social situations – rather than not… I want my kids to socialize, i just want it to be good socialization.

  11. Melanie says:

    I wish I had the left over brain power to add something of worth here. I’ve home-schooled for a decade now and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. 🙂

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