After 4 years, our family looks back fondly at our homeschool years. We all have great memories. But it wasn’t always like that. Now that the children are older, they’ve outgrown the ‘homeschool blues’. Homeschool Blues is my moniker for that time when homeschool or recently post homeschool students blame all their problems and issues on the fact that they were homeschooled. ‘If only you hadn’t homeschooled me…’ or ‘If you’d put me in public school…are common ways that homeschool kids cope with failure or problems. According to older homeschooled kids, homeschooling is responsible for every problem from failed friendships to depression to difficulty with math, to world hunger and global warming.
What you need to know it that:
A–Homeschool Blues is a pretty common unilateral syndrome; for kids who are given the freedom to voice their feelings and opinions, that is. Kids who are repressed and forced into rigid conformity typically experience Homeschool Blues as well. But being forced into submission by over-controlling parents pushes the natural negative feelings down deep where they fester. This isn’t just ‘feel good philosophy’ or ‘New Age thinking’ that keeps many people in bondage. More on that homeschooling issue in my article: Healthy Homeschooling Attitudes and Habits.
B–Homeschool Blues manifests itself with most all children, homeschooled or not. Here’s how. Non homeschool students often blame problems on the fact that they weren’t homeschooled. Or if they attended private or parochial school, that form of education takes the blame. ‘If only mom and dad didn’t…’ precedes a diatribe about how parents are responsible for all of the kid’s problems.
C–Homeschool Blues, or maybe it should rename it Juvenile Blame-itis is perfectly normal, healthy part of moral, emotional and social development. Children are learning to sort out what they are and are not responsible for. Children go through a period of rule rigidity and a sense that they are personally responsible for everything. Blaming parents is a safety valve for the pressure.
D–Best of all, in normal healthy development, children outgrow Homeschool Blues or Juvenile Blame-itis. My older children, now 20, 18 and 16 are able to sort out who’s responsible for what in their lives and take responsibility where appropriate. Of course they are still growing, but they’ve stopped blaming us for everything.
So take heart if your kids are constantly chewing you a new one for your decision to homeschool (or any decision you’ve made). Let them vent and don’t take it all personally. This too shall pass.