The Moment I Realized My Homeschooled Child Was Different
We like to say we have been homeschooling since birth, meaning our children have never attended any pre-k or head start. In fact, our children have never been to daycare, and have only been babysat twice EVER. Once, I was even in the house (I was playing catch up with some work in my office).
Please understand, we don’t look down on daycare or babysitters at all. We simply haven’t used any because of a few different reasons. First, we don’t have any family locally and feel incredibly guilty asking any of our friends to watch them (even though they offer because they are awesome). Secondly, we really enjoy time with our kids and date night for us is more fun as a family night.
All that being said, we have done group activities with our children. We have done both baby and toddler time at the library (read stories and do a craft with other kids) starting when my oldest was about 8 months old. We have also done preschool story hour at the local elementary school (similar to library time but with a snack). We have done swimming lessons at the YMCA, art classes at the local museum, and all kinds of events put on by MOPS. We have also done weekly play dates at our house or the park for many years.
So, signing my son up for soccer wasn’t that big of a deal. We picked a shirt size, paid our fee and went shopping for shin pads, socks and shoes. Months later, it was the 1st day of soccer we were all excited for our oldest (4 at the time). It was there I realized my son was different.
Different because he was being homeschooled
Not better or worse — just different. Most, if not all, of the other kids attended public school (kindergarten) or attend some sort of Pre-K school. So my son stuck out like a sore thumb as the coach was asking the kids to line up and my son didn’t even know what that meant. I felt like it was my job to teach him these things and I failed. Failed because well, we NEVER line up for anything.
My son is used to having things explained to him, not that he requires it, but he is inquisitive and will always ask WHY. He has this need to figure out the world around him. We love this but I think it was frustrating to the coaches mostly because he also wouldn’t raise his hand. He has NO IDEA that he needs to raise his hand to speak. So when the coaches said not to touch the ball with his hands, he asked why. When the coaches were teaching how to “squash” the ball he said “like a tomato? If we sit on it, it might work better.”
He would wander around in his own little world building nests with sticks and grass or inspect the water fountain to see how it works. Watching him, knowing he is a very mechanically inclined kid who loves to figure things out, has always been one of my favorite things. On this day, his coaches and other parents gave me dirty looks because my son (who was listening if asked directly) was wondering because he has no idea about what is expected of him. It really broke my heart.
As his mother I felt bad because I had done this to him. I hated to see how other adults were looking at him like there was something wrong with him. Too me, he is perfect. He has a beautiful mind and a kind soul. Then I remembered, he was reading at 2 , he plays more than one instrument, he is amazing, kind, and good.
Who cares if he can’t remember to raise his hand when he speaks, he won’t do that as an adult anyways.
Have you had a moment when you realized your children were different BECAUSE you chose to homeschool them? Let me know in the comments!