I think one thing that homeschooling has done for my kids this last year is given them a VOICE and the confidence to say what is on their mind without the fear of being rejected.
So many kids when they go to school worry about fitting it, be it the "right" clothing, "right" hair styles, "right" shoes etc. It was those things that helped influenced our decision to homeschool our children. After all our DD last school year was in Kindergarten and we were appalled that she came home wanting to know when she could have a bikini waxing and an eyebrow waxing. Why was our kindergartner wanting these things? Simple that's what her PEERS (i.e. the other children in the class) were talking about and doing. She wanted to fit in. Oh and this may be more "common" then most may think!
I may live in the mid-west in a mild of a metro-cornfield, but seriously we are seeing the same things here as in the large cities. Don't be fooled into thinking just because you live in a small town that it won't come your way! It's down right scary!
Fast forward to today. Well the kiddos have come a long way. They are less and less worried about what others think when it comes to clothing, looks, etc. I didn't realized how much so until we visited a local homeschool group recently.
Currently we belong to what I would label as a "secular" co-op. It has been a good thing, but DH and I have felt the draw to join something a little bit more faith based. So we have been visiting co-ops. Most of the co-ops we have visited have been very welcoming and very open to allowing us to come for a day or two and just get a feel of the group.
We visited one group recently. It was a really nice group. The kids enjoyed spending time with the kids. We enjoyed our time with the adults. The cost was a little pricey but we thought perhaps we could work something out. That was until DS learned of the dress-code.
DS has longer hair. (pictures of the kiddos can be seen on my website). One of the dress-code requirements besides moderate dressing had to do with the boys hair. It basically could not touch the collar and go over the ears. Well if you look at the pictures you can see that my DS hair does NOT comply with this code.
Once DS learned of this requirement he looked at me and said "I'm NOT joining! I am NOT going to cut my hair just so I can belong to some group. They should just accept me for who I am, not how my hair is!" WOW! That came out of my soon to be 8 year-old mouth! Whose kid is he and when did he became so wise?? Now if only more kids would be like that!!