Those Weird Homeschoolers   Leave a comment

New folder

You’ve heard about them, right? “Those weird homeschoolers”? I have. I’ve found myself in a few conversations lately, where these infamous “weird homeschoolers” came up. People with kids in public schools and homeschooled alike have talked about these mysterious creatures. Some assume all homeschooled kids are “those weird homeschoolers”, and then are shocked when they find amazing well-balanced kids that happen to receive an education at home. Some are even parents or kids who have opted to homeschool, but are battling the “weirdness” misconception. They find themselves informing people that while they may homeschool, they’re not “those weird homeschoolers”. In these recent conversations, I found myself agreeing, strongly, about avoiding being like “those weird homeschoolers”. I got to thinking, who exactly are these people? These weird homeschoolers? I mean, I know several people who homeschool their children, but I wouldn’t label them as weird. In fact, they are some of the most balanced, involved, social, loving kids that I know. So, I did a little digging to find out a little bit more where that perception comes from, and whether it’s accurate. Since this is a blog, I don’t have to stock it full of facts and percentages that would bore you anyway. I’m going to introduce you to a few concepts and a few extraordinary people that all have something in common: Homeschool.

People are weird.  Humans in general are weird. Just take a look at your Facebook, Instagram or twitter feed. Some more weird than others . . . but we are all quirky or different in our own way. We have habits like asking people to smell something because it stinks, and they willingly smell it. Ewww! But we do it. Someone says a picture is disturbing or gross and we just HAVE to see it. Yep, weird. My daughter was reading a book to me, and as she’s reading, she tries to stick her big toe in my nose! Public school education, right there! Still weird. Look around you, go to a public place. Guaranteed, you will see something you could easily classify as weird especially if you go to Walmart! If you don’t, just go find a mirror, and there you have it! But since when is weird a wrong, undesirable thing? I guess it depends on your definition.

“Homeschoolers” ARE weird . . . well, kinda. I was curious and looked up the actual definition of weird . . . and you will see all of my favorite homeschoolers are included in the second part of the second definition. “Of strange or extraordinary character” (check it out for yourself: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weird). None of them are strange, but they are ALL extraordinary. Don’t worry, I’ll introduce you to them in a minute!

It’s not nice to call people weird. I know, I just finished calling homeschoolers weird, but I only mean the extraordinary character part of the definition. Usually when someone is referred to as weird, it’s definitely not a compliment. Ok, you may be more politically correct and refer to people as “different”, but it’s all the same thing. I actually think the whole concept of “those weird homeschoolers” is rooted in ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to view other cultures from the perspective one’s own. It’s the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. Ouch, right? I’m right there with you. But really, think about it, if we aren’t talking about the not-weird homeschoolers we know, who are we calling “those weird homeschoolers”? Close your eyes and picture what they look like in your mind, what they do, who they are. Chances are they have a different religion or culture from your own. What we label as “weird” is actually the part that is culturally different from our own. I moved to Texas from Canada. Let me tell you, I was on the wrong end of Ethnocentrism, and it didn’t feel good. There were moments that I thought if I heard another unfavorable Canadian “joke”, I thought I might throat punch someone! Don’t worry, I’m not innocent either. I spent my first several years in Texas rolling my eyes at cultural things that didn’t make sense to me. It’s not loving, it doesn’t promote unity, and it’s just not nice.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let me introduce you to some very extraordinary people!

10847845_10203234591174128_5426312171468632723_n LeAnne, 17 and Joey, 12
LeAnne plays the Viola and Piano. She’s participated in several missions trips, including trips to Mexico and Spain and has another planned to Kenya this summer, where she will work in an orphanage school. She plans to get her teaching degree and hopes to work with Mercy Ships in a couple of years.  Joey plays the cello, piano, guitar and is learning the banjo. He leads worship in the middle school class at church on Sunday and Wednesday night. He participate in a missions trip to Mexico this past Christmas. He has just started a club based on the book “Do Hard Things” They are currently working on memorizing a book of the Bible and setting up a bake sale to earn money to send to missionaries in Tibet. Both LeAnne and Joey perform in a Youth Symphony.
beddingfield 2 Jasey 17, Jewel 15
Jasey has her own line of repurposed glass art and produces commissioned portraits. She works part-time at Gift of Grace, a ministry resale shop. She plans on attending art school and obtaining a business degree. She would like to start her own production company and primarily be a concept artist. Jewel is active in youth activities that include singing with the worship team, traveling with missions groups, and backpacking wilderness trips. She volunteers at Gifts of Grace as well and concentrates on visual merchandising. She loves children and enjoys opportunities to babysit, teach and chaperone as needed. She loves fashion and shopping. She plans on attending cosmetology school and obtaining a business degree. She would like to start her own business and be a one stop shop for clothing, art, hair, skin and nails.

mikki family 2Clara 7, Nate 6, Maya 4.
Clara, Nate and Maya participate in a Christin education group called Classical Conversations, weekly. They study Latin, science, history, timeline, geography, Bible, English grammar, math, nature study and fine arts (music/musicians study & art/artist study). All 3 children participate in Artsview Children’s Theatre (http://www.artsviewchildrenstheatre.com/)  Clara takes piano lessons. They connect with multiple homeschool groups and participate in a variety of field trips.
FultonsJordyn 14, Caleb 10
Jordyn and Caleb keep active and enjoy travelling. Their homeschool experience has allowed them the flexibility to participate in things like snow skiing at Tahoe, hiking Yosemite,swimming in Mountain lakes and rivers, motorcycle trips with Dad, camping in the mountains, cliff diving, and whatever other adventures come their way. They are both very active in the church plant started by their parents, called Church Alive (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Church-Alive/850153701672542). Jordyn serves in Children’s church and is taking on the responsibilities of Children’s Pastor. Caleb is assisting as intern.
scontinosJulya 11, Jana 10, Micah 9, Emma 8, Camille 7, Bryce 7
Julya, Jana, Micah, Emma, Camille and Brice take private piano lessons. As their schedule permits, they participate and have participated in several athletic teams, including flag football, basketball, soccer, swim. All 6 participate in Artsview Children’s Theater. Julya is a Jr Apprentice at Artsview working with younger kids. She also participates in Cotillion. Julya, Jana and Micah also participate in online book clubs.
Pelaia familyBethany 17, Brittany 16, Breanna 13, Bryleigh 10 , Bryson 6
Bethany and Brittany participate in local theater at Artsview Children’s Theater, ballet, model for local photographers and are actively involved in their youth group (Switch: http://www.pathwaylongview.com/). Bethany leads worship on the Switch worship team, as well as singing with the Pathway worship team on Sunday mornings. Brittany sings on the youth worship team and has been involved with local theater for 3 years, holding several lead parts in their productions. Breanna is involved in Gem (dance competition team) and participates in ballet, pointe and jazz. Bryleigh is active with ballet, jazz and ballroom. Bryson also participate in a Kid’s ballroom class.  Mom, Laura, was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2014.  To follow her story and find out how to support her, please check out their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/morethanconquerorslaurapelaia

Pretty incredible, right?  I know you wonder . . . but what about adults?  Can they make it in “real life”.  Well, I have some more amazing people to tell you about, and they just so happened to have been homeschooled!

Jennifer Briggs:  Jennifer works with addicts & homeless at the House of Disciples (http://www.houseofdisciples.com/)  and managing Gifts of Grace Resale.

Amy Canton: Amy runs the leadership program for the Longview Chamber of Commerce.  She is also on the board of the Longview  Museum of Fine Arts as well as director/choreographer/dancer in Dancing with the Stars for Blue Jeans and Ball gowns, the annual fundraiser for CASA in the area (http://easttexascasa.org/blue-jeans-ball-gowns/)

Ethan Herring:  Ethan works for Kilgore College in Dodson Auditorium.  He plays keyboards for the 5 Dragon Daughter (http://www.the5dragondaughter.com) and other churchs/individuals when asked. He also dabbles in various other artistic hobbies in my free time (painting, sculpting, composing, etc)

Jesse Herring:  Jesse went to medic school and, became nationally registered (one of 6 that made it) as a paramedic. Now He works with Ethan running/renovating Dodson. He plays bass in the 5 Dragon Daughter.  He’s currently looking at going back to school this summer to start on becoming a veterinarian. Jesse also has a black belt in karate.

Brooke Nicholls:  Brooke is a musician/songwriter that you definitely want to check out.  She is a worship leader, and gifted musician.  (http://www.brookenicholls.ca/)

Tara Moretz:  Tara attended a private Christian school that was very small and the curriculum used is commonly used in homeschool environments.  She  graduated with the largest class of TWO, so her experience was similar to homeschool. She has Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is currently the Executive Director (Administrator) of a hospice in Longview, TX.

These are just a few, of many adults who received an education at home and are doing great things in their communities.    Is this a rant against the public school system?  Not at all!  I know plenty of great people with public and larger private school education.  You don’t see the same stigma attached to other educational settings as you do homeschool settings.  Just for fun, here’s a link to some famous “homeschoolers”: www.homeschoolacademy.com/a/famoushomeschoolers.  Check it out!  You might be surprised!

“Weird”. Merriam-webster.com. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 2015, Web. 29 January 2015.
“Ethnocentrism”. Dictionary.com Dictionary.com, LLC. 2015, Web. 29 January 2015

Advertisements

Posted January 31, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: