CC image courtesy of Flickr, Chlot’s Run.
Editorial note: The following is reprinted with permission from Abi Pearson’s blog, Rambling Writer. It was originally published on January 27, 2016.
Dear Homeschool Kids,
So I’ve seen these videos / blog posts / comments floating around everywhere and I just felt the need to say something. You’ve probably seen it too, a homeschooled alumni or currently homeschooled kids giving answers to questions that seem silly. “Did you actually do school?” “Were you super sheltered?” “Did you have any friends at all?” I remember doing this too, I thought these questions were laughable. Then as I grew older, I began to meet or read about other homeschool alumni, and I realized some of these questions are perfectly reasonable.
Here’s the thing fellow homeschoolers. Some of us had it great, some of us got a good education, had friends and generally just had a great time. My mother has spent so many hours researching the best curriculum. Obviously no one’s perfect, but I know that she did and continues to do the best for her children. I know I got a pretty good education, a little lacking in math and science. But the point is my mom really tried.
But some of us didn’t. Some homeschoolers were raised in families that didn’t take education as seriously for females. Some of them were abused, and some didn’t have any friends outside of siblings. The more I read and the more people I meet through the internet, the more I realize that abuse and education neglect are both misunderstood topics, and that very few people want to talk about the problems.
Abuse and education neglect in homeschooling families happens, and happens more frequently then most people realize. Stories like the ones shared here, here, and here, are just some of many stories that are being told by homeschool alumni. My point isn’t to say homeschooling is bad or anything like that. My point is to simply help create more awareness in this area. We’ve all read about the stories of children being taken away from homeschooling and/or homesteading families, and I feel that some people think those cases are just random exceptions picked up by the media. Abuse can happen in any home; the schooling or religion doesn’t make people immune.
So if you’re a homeschooler, next time you’re asked one of these questions, don’t just laugh it off. Instead thank your parents or guardians for giving you the education and opportunities that you had because some people aren’t as lucky as you. Maybe consider donating to organizations like this one. But at the very least let’s all stop pretending like there’s nothing wrong.
Ever get the feeling that, at least for some of us and at least some of the time, the real problem was the people who NEEDED us to not think anything was wrong?
It’s almost as though a core part of my parents’ identity (and other leaders I “served with”) was how their life choices led to these marvelous outcomes: obedient, smart, non-rebellious children, etc. All agency, all sovereignty, belonged to parents as long as things went well.
Any time the outcome differed, then there’s something wrong. With the child.
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Same heads-I-win, tails-you-lose dynamic you get with some faith healer types.
If the healing works, everybody admires the ManaGAWD’s Great Faith and Gifting from God.
If it fails, everybody blames the patient/victim for either Not having enough Faith, hiding some Secret Sin, or both.
I’m a recovering homeschooler thinking of starting a podcast and am looking to find other homeschooled people that what to talk about their experiences.
I want to explore the growth and pain of integration into society and the overcoming of overbearing family bonds and the creation of individual identity of ex homeschoolers.
Is there any interest in participating in or listening to such a podcast?
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I would be interested, personally.
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Hey Danny. Would you like me to share your contact info privately with people in the HA community who might be interested?
That’d be great.
I appreciate your help.
Yes. I would listen and maybe share.
Not sure I’d want to share my story but I’d definitely listen, I’m guessing lots are curious and would listen too but maybe be a tad shy about participating.