"You sound like you are really sheltering your kids from the rest of the world."
My family Homeschools. There are many reasons why, and there are people who disagree with that decision. Sometimes they disagree vehemently. They pretty much always express their opinions condescendingly. One variety of the "social skills" argument is this one.
My answer is "How observant."
When did it cease being my job to shelter them? Would these same people be thrilled if I let my family sleep in the streets? After all, heat, cold, and rain are all realities. I live in Phoenix, but snow is a reality for many people. Shall I take them to Flagstaff, AZ and leave them overnight in the snow so they appreciate that reality?
Let's face it - by housing them I am sheltering them from spectacular sunsets, sunrises, and great weather too. I am told that to face reality I must expose my children to everything life in this century has to offer. "After all, they are going to experience it some time! Then what will happen?"
My children can go outside when it is nice and come in from the storms. They have the freedom to play in the rain because they do not have to sleep in it. The shelter allows them to "experience" as much as they are ready for. So yes, I shelter them.
Most people who bring this up think my response is unreasonable. After all, they say, exposure to the elements could make them sick. They could even die.
That is true. So if unrelieved exposure to everything nature has will damage their bodies, what would exposure to every social ill do to their souls? Isn't that the real and lasting question? After all, they aren't worried that it's traditional, functional behavior they are being sheltered from, is it? It's aberrant behavior they think my kids "need" to embrace.
I don't want my children in pain, so I shelter them from situations that invite injury. Nevertheless, broken bones heal. I don't want them sick, so they don't swim in raw sewage. Nevertheless, illnesses pass. I am not sure that damage to their very souls heals as long as they live. So I shelter them from that more than from mere injury or illness.
So are my children going to be sheltered from all experience, to be thrust into the wild world weak and unsuspecting of the dangers? Well, that's not the plan. Like most home schoolers, it's more a process of strengthening their consciences and inoculating their souls. It's like exercise and TB vaccinations for their spirit.
As they mature they are exposed to more and more of the beauty of life and that is contrasted to the sickness that is celebrated in public school. My 12 year old daughter knows one of her public school friends is constantly harassed by girls indoctrinated into celebrating lesbianism. She expresses the proper dismay at such confusion. She knows men and women must make babies together, but has been spared the actual mechanics of the process. In public schools she would already have been "educated" about intercourse, masturbation, and of course, "alternative lifestyles" in a cesspool of political correctness.
Forget about the political indoctrination, atheism, and moral relativism that the school system is built out of.
SO YES, I shelter them. I filter the internet, hand pick the movies we see and DVDs we rent, and I even filter the swearing out of the DVDs. I protect them from the heat and the cold and sickness of all kinds. As they grow, they are gradually and systematically toughened up against all threats.
Why wouldn't I? I love them.
~ Just Jim, GHOSTBLOGGER