I’m sure we’ve all heard something along the lines of,
“Homeschoolers are so weird!”
I heard this A LOT before we ever started homeschooling. And I still hear it sometimes.
Have you ever found yourself wondering…
ARE homeschoolers weird?
Let’s start with a simple question.
What exactly does weird mean?
Different? Unusual? Unconventional?
That doesn’t necessarily sound so bad.
Is it weird not taking the bus to school?
Is sleeping in weird?
Do the lack of ringing school bells, assigned lunchtimes, awards assemblies, and daily homework all add up to being weird?
And if so, does this mean that an educational environment requiring all of the above is the only kind that is normal?
And who decides these rules anyway?
Is this what education looks like all across the world?
No, actually, it isn’t.
Is this the most effective model for educating ALL of our youth?
I certainly don’t believe so. And plenty of educational experts agree with me.
If weird means allowing for curiosity, creativity, and thinking outside of the box, then I wholeheartedly embrace weird!
If weird also means exposure to an array of perspectives and interests, then I enthusiastically support weird!
When I think about the type of education I want for my children, three words immediately come to mind.
Holistic, comprehensive, and authentic.
Guess what I want more than impressive math, language arts, history, and science skills?
My hope is that my children develop grit and determination. To know their worth as human beings and to respect the worth of every human being they come into contact with.
I want them to spend time with both younger children and older adults. To be exposed to leaders and mentors that will help build their character.
So if weird means kind, compassionate, respectful, and determined, I’m thrilled to be doing my best to raise weird kids.
I also realize that sometimes it’s reassuring to be able to refer to homeschooling success stories.
People who chose to homeschool for a variety of reasons and under many unique circumstances. Just like kids who attend a traditional school, have different personalities, talents, interests, and outcomes, homeschoolers do as well.
The following individuals were homeschooled.
I’m sure you’ve heard of most, if not all, of them. And regardless of whether or not you think any of these people are weird, I’m pretty confident you’ll agree that they have achieved great success in their lives.
See what you think!
Tim Tebow is perhaps one of the most well-known homeschoolers. Homeschooled throughout his entire childhood, he was still able to participate in sports through local public schools. He then, obviously went on to pursue sports professionally.
Basketball star, Blake Griffin was homeschooled throughout elementary and middle school. He then attended high school in order to participate in basketball, before playing in the NBA.
Jamie Anderson, an Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding, grew up in South Lake Tahoe and was homeschooled along with her seven brothers and sisters.
Actress and singer, Hilary Duff, was homeschooled by her mother from age eight, on.
Ryan Gosling experienced bullying at school and was diagnosed with ADHD. So at age ten, his single mother decided to homeschool him. A couple of years later, he landed his first television role.
At age eleven, Maria Sharapova began homeschooling in order to focus on her tennis career.
Venus and Serena Williams were homeschooled by their parents from early elementary school up until high school.
There are countless reasons that people decide to homeschool!
Some of the most common include:
The desire for a stronger academic focus.
Concerns about school bullying and emotional/mental health and well being.
Flexibility, more time for family bonding, and extracurricular activities.
The ability to travel during non-peak times.
Some of the most popular approaches are:
Charlotte Mason, Eclectic, Montessori, School-at-home, Thomas Jefferson, Unschooling, and Waldorf.
But honestly, the possibilities are endless!
So yeah, maybe some homeschoolers are weird. But then again, this all depends on how you define both weird and normal.
If thinking outside of the box, curiosity, and creativity are “weird”, we might just want to embrace it!