Admit it, you, too, have been guilty of playing into the mainstream media’s persona it has, somehow, created for the image of homeschoolers. Don’t pretend you aren’t aware of the attributes I am referring to, either. It isn’t anything to be ashamed of, heck, I’m home schooled and I’ve fallen victim to the, apparently, all-knowing, frequently conventional, beliefs of society. However common the stigma may be, (and amusing to the entertainment industry, she said with absolutely zero traces of bitterness..), it is unquestionably wrong. No matter how you slice it, at the end of the day, it, simply, comes down to data. Allow me to enlighten you with my drop-the-mic, incredible skills of proving I am right.
Terrorists, skinheads, radical homophobes, occultists, anti-christs, and even nudists, matter-of fact, all share one commonality. That is this little nugget of information: All of the groups or organizations mentioned above are extremists. Not only is it a belief, anymore, but a stance. They take their conviction to another level and put it into action. You may be asking yourself, “How in the burning inferno could a group like the KKK even minutely relate to homeschooling?” The answer to that question is like I said before, extremism. We all know that not all people of different color hate each other’s guts, people in head coverings aren’t always trying to blow us up, and not all athiests want to hop on the next train to cross burning-ville, yes?
(At least I sincerely hope all of us know that..) Just as most bikini goers do not even slightly desire to lay on the beach with their pumpkins hanging out, a majority of the homeschooling community is a completely social and intelligent group of individuals. Yes, there is most certainly going to be those who just don’t rub you right or seem to be a little different, but one homeschooler or incident can not speak for them all. That is when you cross the line from skeptical to prejudiced and you have become the extremist.
In 2016, approximately 50.4 million students (pre-k through 12th grade) were public schooled in the United States of America, about 5.3 million students were private schooled, and around 1.7 million students were homeschooled. Absorb those numbers for a moment. Over 55.7 million U.S. students are not educated at home. That is over half the projected number of roughly 74.5 total children under 18. Out of those numbers, children from ages 13 to 18, 31.9% will have an anxiety disorder (8.3% severely affected by such), 19.6% will have ADHD and disruptive behavior (9.6% severely affected by such), 14.3% will have depression and bipolar disorders (11.2% severely affected by such), and 2.7% will have an eating disorder. Logically, more children with these diagnosed disorders will reside in a public school setting. More children will thus, behaviorally, act ‘different’ in a public school setting, as opposed to a homeschooled environment.
Regardless of the previous point established, every person is going to vary from the last. We aren’t designed to be perfect or the same. If you find someone to be unsatisfying to your taste of enjoyable company, no one is obligating you to befriend them. I am just curious about when our standards of what a good friend is began to be dictated by the location of our education. For a progressive nation, the inability to look beyond a title or the surface is obsolete and, honestly, quite tragic.
The moral I so desperately wish to convey here is, although you may think there are THOSE homeschoolers, the real problem isn’t the homeschooling. The actual problem lies within each of us. It exists in our apathetic and judgmental hearts. We tail these superficial stereotypes as if we are in some endless conga line. So, for the love of God, break the mold and make your own deliberation accordingly. Despite the preconceived notion many hold that homeschoolers are a bunch of unsocialized weirdos, maybe we’re all just a little weird, in our own way.
Have you experienced any illogical biases? Can you relate to my frustration? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts below. Per, now’s, usual, see you Wednesday!
~ Daisy M. Gamble