When we announced last year that we were home educating our children, one of the most common questions was about our kids preparation for the real world.
It came in many forms:
How will your kids understand how to interact with other kids?
I’m afraid my kids would end up socially awkward.
Can they get into colleges? And if so, can they handle it? (‘it‘ being any number of things pertaining to college)
I can’t imagine pulling my kids from school – they have to learn how to deal with the real world sometime.
But the underlying question was the same:
“How will your children be ready for the real world if they don’t attend school?”
Although I subscribed to the notion for much of my life, I think one of the biggest surprises in that question was how many people consider attending school absolutely necessary for prepping for the ‘real world’.
While I admit that there are some harsh realities that come along with being in a school environment – we’ve been there…I’ve experienced them as a student and a parent – it’s not the end-all-be-all of Real World Living.
In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and state that I don’t think it’s what prepare us at all.
What really prepares children is:
-real world budgeting (grocery shopping for meals they’ve planned with a certain pre-determined amount)
-real world time management (not having someone dictate your day, but actually being responsible for it yourself)
-real world math (cooking, baking, saving with compound interest)
-real world conflict management (not the stuff of school bullies)
-real world research (of things they are interested and passionate about)
-real world living (building things, putting things together, planning for their futures)
-real world interactions with real world people of all ages (every.single.day.)
Our kids are thoroughly immersed in real life.
Experiencing things in the real world is as real world as it gets. To imply that the only way to learn about the real world is in school is missing a huge opportunity for parents to apply and correlate a child’s knowledge with the world around them.
They aren’t separate things.
Sure there are parents who homeschool in order to shelter their children. But I’ve known many children in school who were as well; who had no life outside of school.
I currently don’t know a single homeschool family who is trying to keep their children from experiencing the world and living life fully.
I appreciate the concern. But don’t worry about us.
Our kiddos are already thriving in the real world.