Are Homeschool Parents Too Over Protective?

One of the many criticisms regarding homeschooling involves the subject of the “Real World.”  Many opponents of homeschooling contend that public school provides time away from parents, allowing the student to gain independence.  In all public schools there are conflicts to face: bullying, drugs, peer pressure, sex, and the list goes on.  Avoiding some of these conflicts is not my family’s main reason for homeschooling — but it certainly is a bonus!  However, I have spoken with many people who feel that facing the hardships and distractions found in public schools develops character.

It develops character…

Yeah, well so does prison!

But maybe the opposing side has a point.  As the years go by, I have noticed some differences between myself and the other parents that live on the block.  Mainly, the difference is this… I don’t see them anymore.  There was a time when we would all hang out in our driveways and watch our kids ride scooters or play four-square.  The kids in our neighborhood are ages 6 – 12 now.  They still play outside.  However, it seems that I’m the only parent standing out there watching.  Whenever my girls (7 and 10 years) ride their bikes or rollerblade, I make certain I’m hanging outside where I can see them.  The other parents are indoors somewhere, apparently feeling secure about their kids.  So, I don’t know… Am I being over-protective?

Here’s another example — less to do with safety and more to do with my daughter’s feelings.  When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, we could tell even then that she was going to have a hard time learning how to read.  Because we homeschool, we have the time to work one-on-one with her.  We are also able to have her attend a tutor twice a week.  If she were in school and still possessed the same reading level she might be placed in “special” classes, and feel stigmatized or labeled in a negative way.  Homeschooling gives my daughter the opportunity to read and learn at her own pace.  But is that being too over protective?  Maybe.

What do you think?