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Home education can expand a child’s world

By Kristen Hogeterp

Published 12:11 PDT, Tue September 29, 2020

Last Updated: 3:23 PDT, Tue September 29, 2020

Kristen Hogeterp is a 15-year-old homeschooled student. This is part three of a series of education stories.

A child tells someone they are educated at home and sooner or later the discussion turns to the dreaded topic of all home learners. How will they socialize? How will they make friends? How will they learn to adapt to the real world?

People may get the impression that home learners spend all their time in their homes, either doing way too much schoolwork or none at all. Either way, the stigma is that home learners are weird, awkward, and antisocial people who don’t know how to deal with real-life situations involving others. But home learners still have opportunities to interact with other people.

“Adults find my children very well mannered, respectful and well-spoken,” says Jeanette Dyck, a parent and home educator from Richmond.

Home-schooled students interact with people of all ages, not just peers their own age, through opportunities such as music and sport lessons, field trips, meet-ups with other home learners, and even simple encounters such as at the store.

“My kids have never had issues with making friends with kids outside of their own ages,” says Dyck. “They have friends of all ages, genders, and from different parts of the world.”

“With all the swimming, skiing, hockey, kayaking and baseball, I have to try really hard to keep my son from socializing,” says Debbie Jiang, another Richmond parent who homeschools.

According to a 2015 study performed by Safe Routes Partnership, a not-for-profit organization in the United States, children who take breaks and are more active throughout the day are actually better-focused and complete more work more efficiently.

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