5 Ways Homeschoolers Are Exposed to Differing Worldviews

Homeschoolers are exposed to differing worldviews all the time.

Earlier this week I wrote about the common, but mistaken, notion that homeschoolers are deprived of meeting people by not attending schoolSimilarly, another concern is usually partnered with it- the concern that homeschooled kids are being sheltered from learning about other worldviews.

While I do recognize that there may be some homeschoolers- and other families- who do this because, let’s face it, there are extremes in every group of people, every homeschooler, including our family, that I’ve ever met is more concerned with protecting their children, not sheltering them. 

Does this mean that we don’t allow our kids out in the real world? Not at all. We have simply made it our priority to raise our children with the values we hold dear- something that just can’t be done in a public school setting. We’d have to live in a box to keep our children away from learning about the beliefs other people have, which brings me to the topic of this post.

How do homeschooled kids learn differing worldviews?

Assuming that people who ask this question are not talking about whether or not it is covered in our curriculum, which it usually is, these are the five most obvious ways children who learn at home can be exposed to worldly perspectives:

#1- Keeping up with current events.

Homeschooled families are usually very open with their children about world events, often discussing the news around the dinner table or even using the newspaper as a resource towards a civics credit. Even in families who do not do this, if you take a look around you, news is everywhere. On the headlines, on news tickers at the doctor’s office, on TV, and all over social media (which must be taken with a grain of salt). Within these news stories, there are bound to be people highlighted who have a very different way of thinking than a child may be used to. In fact, this presidential election is perfect for discussing worldviews because each candidate is so extreme in their beliefs.

#2- TV shows and movies

You just can’t watch something on TV without being bombarded by worldviews of all kinds. Even the commercials are obviously leaning towards one view or another. Some movies and shows are rather delicate in doing this- think Nickelodeon- yet others come right out with it. I’ll admit that some of these shows have gotten a bit too extreme for our taste, so we have been willingly without cable for a couple years now, yet I challenge you to find any theatrical production- TV or otherwise- that isn’t promoting one belief or another, even those that you approve of.

#3- Social Media

This is one of the biggest ways that worldviews are introduced to any kids- even public school children. I don’t believe this is always a good thing. Most adults realize that much of what you read on the internet is not accurate (ironic that I’m publishing this on the internet…), but many children, even teens, do not have the discernment to pick out fact from fiction. Moving beyond that, though, worldviews are all over Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc., and it is important that parents be there to guide their children through this and answer questions whenever possible. I am not, however, in the camp of cutting off social media because of this. When children are exposed to these things while still at home with the loving guidance of mom and dad, it will help prepare them for how to respond once they are out on their own.

#4- Time with extended family

This may come as a shock to some (not really), but not all families hold the same worldviews. I myself did not become a Christian until 9 years ago, so the vast majority of my family thinks and behaves differently than I do. It’s out of the question to keep these people out of our lives because we love them, so through the years we’ve had to develop understandings of how they see things and develop an appropriate way to react to things we don’t agree with.

#5- Being out in the real world

And now we’ve come full circle to the main idea from the post I mentioned earlier. Living in the real world seems to be the answer to almost every question I’ve ever had about homeschooling. You just can’t be out living your daily lives without running into people with differing beliefs all the time. America is such a diverse place that, unless you live way out in the boondocks, there is ample opportunity to meet and engage with people who think differently than we do.

 

Contrary to what so many people believe, homeschooling holds a great benefit in this area because our children are not being exposed to things while they are in school without our guidance, but they are learning them while we are with them and able to lead them in the right direction. 

This is not sheltering.

This is protecting.

 

Are you new to homeschooling or considering it? From now through October 16th, 2016, enter here to win a free copy of On Homeschooling: Ways To Save Time, Money, And Stress When Starting Out. Hurry, there are only a few days left!!

 

Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

29 thoughts on “5 Ways Homeschoolers Are Exposed to Differing Worldviews”

  1. #4 also rings true for us. We definitely have extended family on both sides who have different values and beliefs than we do. That alone has brought on meaningful discussions with my kids. Another great article, Shelly. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always say the world is your classroom. If you think your children are not paying attention, eat a candy! Guess how long it takes them to spy you out? They are watching, learning and absorbing far more than I wish they did. Great post

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My kids still go to school ‘aftercare’ programs, Spring Break camps and sleep away summer camps. They are also in recreational sports programs where my husband or oldest son coaches and I am the acting ‘team’ mom. It has made them feel as though they can have fun and meet other kids, but school time is a separate focused time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We have some pretty interesting dynamics in our little homeschool co-op/playgroup here and I always tell my husband that I’m so grateful Gv’s getting the opportunity to interact with all these crazy personalities WITH me close enough to see what’s going on – because she either comes over to ask me for help in dealing with a situation then, or I have the background knowledge to talk about it with her later here at home!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It takes a commitment to ensuring that you follow all the important steps you included here. My daughter goes to Public School, but I want her to maintain her world view of Christianity. So far we have been lucky she is doing so. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. They also say home schoolers are less socialized which is totally not true. MY eleven year old attends once a month cook book club with me where she interacts with other home school kids her age, as well as adults in varying ages. She also sells at the local farmers market with me where she interacts with kids and adults alike. And these are just to name a few examples. She also travels with me when I do book events. I think that is pretty well rounded, lol :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this – I think it’s so true that children will be exposed to these things, with or without our help. It’s better that we’re there to help them make sense of it than shifting the responsibility for that to some other organisation, be that the school or whatever. #FridayFrivolity

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful post! This is such a common conversation with people who don’t homeschool their kiddos. It’s good to be reminded of the ways in which my kids ARE being exposed to differing world views! And although I someday dream to live out in the country like Little House on The Prairie, it’s clear that my kids lives will constantly be influenced by living in our world lol. The whole need for internet ensures that, bahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Homeschool parents, all parents, society in general should be sheltering kids!

    We should be sheltering (protecting / shielding) kids in varying degrees from harmful experiences. This does not mean that we also prevent them from having to face anything difficult or unpleasant. – Two completely different things unfortunately both of them definitions of the same word.

    Liked by 1 person

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