Help! Are my kids the only “average” homeschoolers?

In nearly 20 years of homeschooling I have certainly heard an abundance of absolute BALONEY about the wonders of home education. Regardless of the fact that I’ve homeschooled my six children for a long time, and overall we’ve been very happy with that decision, I am not afraid to tell it like it is.

Today, my friends, I’m going to start myth-busting for you. Not because I want to burst your bubble or make you seem even worse to your mother-in-law, but because I think, even if it hurts, the truth is worth saying and hearing.

Today I’m starting with the myth of the academic superiority of homeschooled kids. I’m sure we’ve all seen the articles about families with a dozen homeschooled children that have all somehow turned out to be child prodigies and geniuses that are graduating from college when other kids are still struggling with long division. 

Every now and then some enthusiastic homeschool proponent will bring up the high ACT and SAT scores that some homeschoolers get, or how many National Spelling Bee champions were homeschooled, or how top Ivy League colleges are actively recruiting homeschoolers because they are dripping with academic awesomeness.

Yeah. That’s all well and good, but here’s some more reality:

All kinds of kids are homeschooled. Smart ones. Struggling ones. Genuises.  Kids with learning disabilities.  Kids that like to hang out with their mom all day, and ones that seem to hate everybody and everything. Kids that pick their nose. Kids that like to volunteer at animal shelters. Kids that enjoy reading books, and kids that would rather play Guitar Hero for 12 hours straight. (cough, cough) Kids that memorize Bible verses, and kids that talk back to their parents. Kids that take up a vegan lifestyle, and kids that want to eat candy and soda all day.

Yes, it’s true. There are lots and lots of homeschoolers, and they are not all the same. Shockingly, they are not all super-driven, academically-oriented geniuses. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority are normal, average kids that like some stuff and not other stuff, and go on to be fairly normal, average people. AND WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH THAT?

Your kids are wonderful, unique, precious people, and I heartily recommend that you get busy enjoying them as they are, and stop worrying about how you measure up.  Yes, certainly you need to help them, and you should do your best to bring out their potential.  Give it your very best shot!  And in the meantime laugh and smile and join them in playing a game or two and know that having normal kids is…..normal.

Homeschooling is not a magic panacea for all the ills of adolescence, or society, or childishness, or YOUR own humanity, dear mother.  Homeschooling will not turn your child into a genius nor you into a woman who sips tea while wearing a flowing dress in the middle of a spring meadow.  Homeschooling is simply one of many educational options available to you.  You may love it.  You may hate it.  You may feel both in equal measure.  It’s ok.  It’s normal.  You’re not alone with your average (or below average!) kids.  You’re not alone in any of it.  All the regular moms with the regular families are out here looking cross-eyed at pinterest right along with you.  I promise.

Come connect with other normal, average homeschool moms in our private group for the Enrichment Lifestyle.  I’d love to get to know you better!

6 Comments

  1. Thank you for your refreshingly honest post. I for one, have often thought that “I am doing it wrong”, because my children aren’t turning into child prodigies, unlike what every other mother claims. It’s good to know these feelings are not only normal, but common.
    Thank you so much for this invaluable resource, not only for the education of the kids, but also for the sanity of the mothers.
    Love your work!!

    Reply
    • Jacki, thank you for your comment. I’m so sorry that I didn’t see it until now! Eek!
      Yes, it’s easy to feel like we don’t measure up when we aren’t as spectacular as we IMAGINE others are. 🙂
      Nobody is doing it perfectly. We all have a limit to how many things we can do well. I guarantee that everybody you see that is rocking it with school and activities and prodigies is probably struggling with something else. Not that I’m wishing that on anybody, just that I know we simply cannot do it all well at the same time. (unless someone’s ALL is very small, which is never the case for homeschool moms!)

      Hugs,
      Erica

      Reply
  2. Thanks so much for putting these thoughts out there for the rest of us ! We have a lot of other homeschool families who seem to have it all together and it can be discouraging at times just maintaining the average and not throwing in the towel. Many Blessings !

    Reply
    • I think the key word in your comment is SEEM. It is so easy to look at other families and think they are doing all things well. I have been shocked to hear people say that to me at times when I KNEW the actual status of my laundry room, pantry, our math lessons, and everything else! LOL

      I’m genuinely thrilled for anyone who actually does do everything well, but I kind of doubt that very many people fall into that category. There is a limit to how many plates can be spun at one time. When a few areas are thriving, a few are probably on the back burner, or as I sometimes say about my own non-spinning plates–fallen down to the ground and rolled on into the ditch!

      We do what we can. We learn to live without being perfect. Being a homeschool mom is a wonderful opportunity for that kind of growth. 🙂

      Hugs,
      Erica

      Reply
  3. Thanks for this post! We have areas of struggle over here.

    Reply
    • You’re so welcome! We all struggle from time to time. 🙂
      Hugs,
      Erica

      Reply

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