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When Public, Private, and Charter School Kids Meet

Girls at Play
Photo by Jennifer Martens

Although socialization has, for the most part, been a hotly debated issue regarding homeschooling, it is highly unlikely homeschool children in Louisville lead sheltered lives in which the only other kids they know (if any) are homeschooled. The boundary-breaking technology of the internet , the plethora of field trips, and the newest homeschooling information seep into the homeschool environment and introduce children to what many parents want them to understand and experience: not everyone fits into the same mold, and not every child needs to be homeschooled. In fact, it is all right for your children to play and learn with children who aren’t homeschooled.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to letting homeschool children mingle with non-homeschool families. Questions arise regarding authority and priorities. School calendars differ so it may be difficult to align a common play time. Homeschool children often finish all of their work during their school hours, whereas other kids usually have homework to complete during the evenings, again making it difficult to find a common time to get together. For instance, a Louisville public school student in advanced classes may have 3-4 hours of homework per night, depending on the level of the class. In contrast, a homeschool student may finish work by 2 p.m. and have no worries until the following morning, or they may have chores to complete at home.

No matter the school choice, though, it is give and take. A homeschool child may wish to ride the big yellow school bus—even just once—and participate in the social environment of a physical school building. A charter school student may wish to stop riding that bus—even just once—and escape the pressures of the social environment found in a physical school building. However, each parent must decide what’s right for his or her child, and it is perfectly fine for the children to be curious about what other children are doing. Parents should not act condescending when describing another’s school choice, but should explain to their children why homeschooling is the best choice for them. A good education may be found under various conditions, and the freedom of choice is part of that good education.


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