There are many reasons people choose to home school their children. Some believe they can provide a better education than the public school system. Others wish to educate their children within a set of morals and values they hope to pass down, and they feel the public schools expose students to values they do not wish their children exposed to. Still others home school due to vaccination requirements, and a belief that vaccinations are not safe enough for such wide spread use.
There is one other category of people who may choose to home school, and this is probably the fewest in number. This group of people would have a child that for one reason or another is just a bit different than other kids….and does not quite fit in. Rather than have a child who struggles with peers, does not fit in, ends up being bullied and in the end develops a low self esteem , homeschooling becomes and option.
Childhood issues which have acquired a long list of ABC labels, such as ADHD, OCD, BD, and so on….are really an attempt to give a name to kids who do not fit into the standard formula of education and social expectations. Disorders such as Tourettes, for example, have nothing to do with intelligence, but quite a lot to do how a child may react to a room full of 30 other students and pressure to react just the way everyone else does. These children end up being the odd kid out quite early in public schools, both by teachers and other students. By the time they are in 4th or 5th grade, they already have a “reputation”, have been the victim of bullying and often experienced a lack of patience from teachers who pretty much just expect them to achieve less than their peers.
A child with Tourette’s who has vocal tics, may sit in a classroom during a difficult test and make growling noises. Instead of being seen as a reaction to stress and pressure, this child is instead seen as disruptive, even “weird”, and made fun of. These children are intelligent, and perceive that others are closing them out. They begin to feel like something is wrong with them, but feel powerless to fix it, or even understand why. From there the list of issues grows and gets worse and worse, often leading to very angry and acting out teens.
Homeschooling these children is a good way to remove them from that emotionally damaging situation, and give them time to learn basics without the pressure of others expectations on their natural reactions. What does need done, is planned time with children their age so they do not feel isolated and rejected. Joining clubs, forming small play groups and other structured activities that suit each individual child can provide peer relationships while offering some control over fairness and ridicule from others. Often, with extra time when they are young to learn how to cope and strategies to deal with stress, these students can go back to public school later when they have learned coping skills and are better equipped to deal with the social part of it.