Society has trained me, like many other people, to have a certain image of homeschooling families. The first image is of long-skirted fundamentalist Christians who like to keep their many children (especially the girls) as sheltered as possible. The second image is of long-haired anti-establishment hippies who like to let their kids follow their every whim. I don’t actually know any homeschooling families that fit either stereotypes.
Over the years, I have taught several students in school who had previously been homeschooled. Some were a little strange and missing in major background knowledge, but so are many children who have always attended school. But others were just filled with amazing intellectual curiosity, thinking skills, and study habits rarely seen in their schooled peers. I didn’t really know the families of these students, so I wasn’t privy to their decision to homeschool in the early years and later send their kids to school. I am presuming that many of them did homeschool for religious reasons since I was teaching at religiously-affiliated private schools.
We are not religious. In fact, we are devoutly atheist. So, a large part of the homeschooling world is on the other end of the philosophical spectrum from what I am looking for. But I have found some resources and groups that either do not actively promote religion or are strictly non-religious. Although, percentage-wise, I know that I am in a very small minority. The fact that this blog name wasn’t taken yet, is a testament to that fact. We shall see how things go as I meet more homeschooling parents.