What If Your Child Is Sheltered? (homeschool myths & truths)

What If Your Child Is Sheltered? Homeschool Myths & Truths

 

I am including this little ‘disclaimer’ because I know that I have readers who do not homeschool and you read my blog for Christian encouragement and/or homemaking tips. Yes, I know people who went to public school for their entire education and are godly men and women as adults (including my own siblings), but the public schools (in most cases) are much different now than even 10 years ago. And by different, I mean NOT godly or even “God-friendly”. However, I also know that parents each take their own experiences, convictions, and current information into consideration and make what they feel are the best choices for their children/family. For us, that means home educating our children is best and right. Since this is our conviction, that is what I promote and encourage on my blog. I don’t want to be “snarky” or self-righteous and I hope I do not come across in that way, but I feel led to address myths about homeschooling and to be an advocate for home education. God bless all of you mamas striving to do what is best for your kids – we are on our own journey as Christians and we must do and be what God calls us to! “Just do your best and let God do the rest!”

I know a lot of homeschoolers get asked the “socialization” questions. You know the kind: What about socialization? How will they know how to socialize as adults? and so on.

Many homeschool bloggers have addressed the socialization issue many times over on the web. However, the other questions often faced as a homeschool family, have been the sister questions: What if your child is sheltered? How will they face the REAL world as adults if they don’t get exposed to it as children?

That is what I am going to address.

What If Your Child Is Sheltered?

The socialization questions and sheltered questions really go hand-in-hand with each other. Let us consider what most people mean by a child being sheltered.

Are they wondering if the child will be taught how to have an intelligent conversation and be kind to others? Nope, that is what the socialization question is all about.

Similar to the “socialization” questions, the people asking these questions are usually sincerely concerned that we will shelter our children to the point that when they become adults, our children will not be able to handle the “real world”.

But, also like the socialization issue, in reality, a child can not learn about the real world from spending the majority of 13 years in a classroom with 30 other children their age.

*What they are learning about in a public school setting is the behavior of children their age, with little adult supervision.

What they are learning is what is spoon fed to them by the mandated textbooks, without respect for their parent’s beliefs.

What they are learning is that they will be ridiculed for standing up for their beliefs if they differ from the mass majority.

What they are learning is that it is better to keep their heads down, mouths shut, and get through school unnoticed even if they get labeled as “shy” or “socially awkward”.

*based on mine & my husband’s personal experiences.

Unfortunately, with the sheltered child question, they are also referring to the fact that the child is not being exposed to evil, sin, peer pressure, bullying, and so on if they are homeschooled. And that makes them “sheltered”.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory SchoolingDumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory SchoolingA Biblical Home Education: Building Your Homeschool on the Foundation of God's WordA Biblical Home Education: Building Your Homeschool on the Foundation of God’s WordHome Education (Charlotte Mason's Homeschooling Series)Home Education (Charlotte Mason’s Homeschooling Series)Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory SchoolingWeapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory SchoolingThe Essential Montessori: An Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the MovementThe Essential Montessori: An Introduction to the Woman, the Writings, the Method, and the MovementFor the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and SchoolFor the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and SchoolA Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American SchoolingA Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling

I have a few questions of my own:

Do “they” believe we should expose our children to all of the evils of the world as children, to desensitize them to all of it, so that they are not bothered by it as adults?

Or, perhaps they think the child will toughen up by being exposed to all of the sins of the world as children and then will easily fight the urge to fall into the sin as adults?

Call me crazy, but I think that an adult brain, fully developed, will better be able to recognize sin as sin and evil as evil and bullying as bullying and peer pressure as peer pressure and dealing with it as such, than that of a very young, impressionable brain of a child.

Not to mention the mature spirit, trained from birth in the way of the Lord.

A brain can process it all and make wise choices more so as an adult than as a child. A spirit can discern truth from lies more so after years of maturing through God’s Word than when it is still immature.

True, if a human has not been exposed to, and desensitized by, all of the evil and sin in the world since they were babies, then as adults they will be more likely to find evil and sinful behavior something to turn away from. And they are more likely to call sin what it is: sin.

True, an adult who has NOT spent their entire life trying to fit in with the crowd, stifling their own voice for the sake of conformity, and worrying about what their peers think will be more creative, conscientious, and independent as adults.

Facts

Some children come out of public school illiterate, lacking proper social skills, disrespectful, and afraid to look adults in the eye while speaking clearly.

Some children come out of private or homeschool the exact same way.

It has more to do with the child’s personality and the parent’s involvement in all cases.

**Character training is more important than academics. That is why I am participating in the month-long Building Godly Character In Your Kids series to help ALL parents be equipped with practical tips & encouragement for building godly character in their children, regardless of where they are educated! Click through the link here >>>>Read Teaching Kids Gratitude and get your FREE Gratitude Journal Pages.**

Why Choosing To Homeschool Can Help

However, in a healthy home, a child has a lot more room for positive development and individuality in a homeschool setting, which can allow them to grow up confident, independent, and ready to face the so-called real world as adults (I guess real life doesn’t start until adulthood?).

In my experience, as both a child in various forms of schooling and as the parent of children now being homeschooled, homeschool allows for children to learn proper socialization skills and how to properly interact with the real world from their parents’ example. 

It was my time in public/private school that crushed my carefree and confident personality and being homeschooled (along with living life and learning as an adult) is what brought back my confidence to interact with people. I am an introvert by nature, so I guess I could also blame my social awkwardness on that.

I am not saying that children in public schools do not learn proper skills, but I am saying that children in public schools are learning these skills in spite of public school, NOT because of public schools.

I know adults who were homeschooled and “sheltered” as children. They are some of the most kind, hardworking people I know!

They may not feel comfortable around people embracing worldly, sinful behavior, but should they? When did it become wrong to be naïve? When did it become wrong to believe in the Bible and strive for a godly lifestyle?

Truth

My conclusion is that there is nothing wrong with a child being sheltered and protected from the harsh world. We are personally striving to raise hard-working, responsible, free-thinking adults who will (hopefully) care more about what God thinks than what other people think.

More than my own opinion, though, the Bible clearly shows us that we should turn away from evil and I’d go so far as to say that we should protect our kids from evil as well.

“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” Proverbs 4
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12
I would love to hear your thoughts on the whole “sheltered kids” and/or “socialization” issue, but please keep it respectful.

8 thoughts on “What If Your Child Is Sheltered? (homeschool myths & truths)

  1. Beautiful post. I completely agree with what you have clearly explained. There is complete validity in every point. I think it’s sad that not everyone understands this. I wonder if, perhaps, the feeling of guilt is sometimes the reason why people who do not homeschool their children may feel the need to defend their choice by questioning ours. I love your disclaimer. We all need to follow God’s lead in our lives and do what is best for our families. If they are following God’s lead then there is no need for guilt. at the end of the day, as you said, things should be kept respectful. We should be able to listen to an opinion, think about it, discuss it and share without setting out to hurt anyone.

    I am so grateful that we can homeschool. What a true blessing! It is not always sunshine & rainbows, but it is the call God placed in our lives and because of that it is an absolute joy! I pray we can continue to shelter our kiddos under God’s covering and growing strengthening their spiritual maturity by His word, so that when we realease them into the world they will have known God and be ready (and willing) to make Him know to the world.
    May God continue to bless you abundantly in your homeschool journey and life.

  2. Thank you for this post. I wish all the naysayers and others who give we homeschoolers flack would be able to read this and seriously think about it. Our children are so free to learn when educated at home – things they need to learn as well as things they want to learn. I agree with all the points you laid out. Best wishes!

  3. I completely agree with all you said! This is what I try to explain to people who bash me for homeschooling, but they just don’t care or get it. It’s so nice to be able to read about other like-minded homeschoolers! Thank you so much for taking the time to write important information that helps other homeschoolers, like me! It’s nice to know we are not alone in our way of thinking!
    God bless and keep the biblical homeschool wisdom coming! I enjoy reading it! Thank you!

  4. A beautifully written, clear and concise post that leaves no room for the reader to wonder where you stand. Thank You! I’ve been trying to drive this point home to many who doubt the possibility that sheltering children from the exposure to what’s ‘socially normal’ is a better approach. By allowing them to grow into the person God intends them to be prior to throwing them to the world, they are given the opportunity to mature and properly arm themselves with God’s Word to use discernment in all of their decisions.

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