Are homeschooled kids sheltered? No. Not at all. It is a question I hear all the time and it makes me roll my eyeballs. It is impossible to keep a child away from society their whole childhood. Kids are naturally curious and will seek out information, any way they can, made much more handy by the internet. Especially as teenagers, children want to learn about their world, and especially what is not in their world, and will actively obtain resources, information and education.
When children have to go to a specific school building six hours a day, five days a week for twelve years of their life, that describes the condition of being sheltered. They are not allowed to travel but must learn about other countries from books and videos. They are not allowed to go on field trips (other than 1 per year) to learn about industries, science and society, but instead, must learn from “classroom resources.” That is the condition of being “sheltered.” And children find it hard to interact with other children in school because they are age-graded and surrounded by the same classmates for the whole year. That also is being “sheltered.” Home education frees children from those artificial constraints.
Homeschooling is a word that describes an education outside of a coercive institution and an age-graded system. “Homeschooling” is not school and it is often not at home. It should be called Community-Schooling because that is what best describes an education with no boundaries of classroom walls, subject periods, age-graded classmates, and spoon-fed coercive instruction. Home educated kids are out and about in the community every day when they are not world-schooling. Even better, lets take that “schooling” word out of it – because this type of education has very little resemblance of school.
Home Education doesn’t have walls, peer-group learning, or even subjects. There are no uniforms, mandatory curriculum, bells, recess, detentions, bullying, exams and stress. There are 195 countries in this world. Instead of the government choosing which ones your child will study, you and your child get to choose.
Perhaps the best term to define learning outside of school is Community-Education because children are exposed to a more diverse array of people than their classroom buddies. They meet, talk with, and interact with people of all ages, genders, religion, race, and cultures. They have friends that are diverse, included and learn together equitably. This type of learning is much more like university than school is. The common unifying factor is interest in learning. There is nothing sheltered about that!
This Fall, consider Community-Education for your child. Personalized, meaningful, relationship-focused learning. Pure and simple.