Has it happened? No, not nearly like I'd hoped, but I am getting better at it.
During the summers, I volunteer with my kids at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. Many of the volunteer families there are home-schooled families. When I first learned this, my (terribly rude and stereotypical) reaction was, will they be weird like the home-schooled kids I'd heard about growing up? No. They were wonderful! I'd never met such confident and responsible teenagers! Since then, I've met other home-schooled kids that I find amazing!
One time on LAF/Beautiful Womanhood, a link was posted to an article on the Duggar family. You know, the ones with the 19/20 kids. (I have to be honest here, I used to think people with lots of kids were crazy. I think I picked that attitude up when I was young and started hearing people make rude birth control comments toward others with large families. After becoming a mother, though, I have a gained a HUGE amount of respect for families who do have lots of children. I think our Heavenly Father wants to give us as many children as we are willing to take; so, more power to you if you have a quiverfull!)
Anyway, the article said,
While, admittedly, I admire the Duggars for much of what they do, I didn’t expect what I saw in these 3 girls. The world has yet to beat them into submission. They don’t watch the Disney Channel, so they’ve yet to learn that adults are buffoons and parents are embarrassing. They don’t listen to the local rock station, so they’ve yet do discover life is supposed to be one promiscuous event followed by another. They don’t attend public school, so they’ve yet to learn teenage girls are required to be filled with angst and riddled with insecurities.
I realized that if these types of families can raise these children to be so exceptional, they must be doing something right. I don't think I need to necessarily home-school my kids to teach these things, I just need to stress these attitudes and qualities in other ways.As we spoke to the 3 of them, one word kept jumping out at me: Freedom. These girls were experiencing freedom teenagers rarely taste. Completely free to be themselves. The exact opposite of the words so often used by media folk to describe the 19 kids.
On a side-note, I've learned, the reason we all thought home-schooled kids were weird growing up was because they were more mature, confident, and responsible. They could talk to adults. We were the dorky ones following the fads.