Homeschooling has many blessings, and I never want to discourage anyone from pursuing it. I was homeschooled all my life, and plan on homeschooling my children all of their life as well. But it’s good to stop and examine homeschooling as we can get so caught up in curriculum, lesson planning, and defending ourselves against family and friends that we never allow ourselves to look at it with a critical eye.

As a homeschool community, are we raising “know it all” children?

By this I mean children who are so confident in their beliefs and convictions that they refuse to even listen to a different opinion, and truly feel they have all the answers.

Are you raising a "Know it All" Homeschooled Child? |

Here are some questions to ponder, particularly for the high school age:

  • Does your child respect other people, even though they might not be exactly like your family?
  • Does your child constantly belittle and mock the world in general? While admittedly it is a fallen and corrupt place, we should be grieved over the state of the world instead of being angry and cynical.
  • Can your child be taught by someone that doesn’t hold the strict conservative homeschool values that you do? For that matter, can you? While I’m not talking about listening to watered down truth, your first critique of a minister or a person wanting to encourage you should not be whether or not they homeschool their children.
  • Does your child take pride in the fact that your family is different? Does he not like to be in a group of young people his age, but would rather be apart because he feels he is better then they are?
  • Does your child like to gossip about how other people in your family or church are struggling with weaknesses or sins?

Most people homeschool because they believe it helps them draw their children closer to Christ. If however, our children care nothing for those who know not Christ, or those who are weak in the faith, are you really succeeding in your goal behind why you are homeschooling your children?

We need to raise children who have a tender heart. We need to raise children who have a servant’s heart. Developing a servant’s heart starts in the home. Teaching our children to be loving to their siblings, helpful to those younger and older than them – these are all good steps towards teaching them to be loving and kind towards those who need the Lord.

I am certainly not recommending sending your child off to public school. Public school often makes it even more likely that your child will not develop a heart to win souls for Christ.  Rather, searching your own heart first to see if you have taught the child these things, and what kind of spirit is present in your home overall. Is it critical, harsh, and discouraging? Or tender, loving, and optimistic?

Set the tone of your home. Guide your children towards the Lord, and pray for them often. Ultimately it is the Lord that has to touch their heart in order for them to acquire the humility and compassion that will cause them to move out in service to the world, not in spite of it .




20 Comments on Are You Raising a “Know it All” Homeschooled Child?

  1. I loved this post, Caroline! This has been on my mind a lot lately, as I have been seeing this more and more. You really hit the nail on the head. Thanks for admonishing us all!

  2. Thanks for this post. Many important things to think about. My girls take music lessons and dance classes. I have found that this has helped them to interact and be respectful of other kids that come from different families. Homeschooled, public schooled, private schooled, there are a lot of good kids out there, and unfortunately bad ones, too. I went to public school and I have to say that what kept me out of trouble and on the right track was having good, faithful parents that were involved in everything I did and taught me to be respectful of others.

    Again, thanks for this post. Homeschooling has been a big learning experience for my family.

  3. I really appreciated this article. I was pulled out of public school while in 2nd grade, and though that seems still young I most definitely remember what it was like. In the earlier years I remember a definite pride in my heart and the feelings that we were better than them and would grow up smarter. I’m not even sure where those thoughts came from. I’m so thankful for the Lord softening my heart as a teenager and showing me that by His grace He had allowed me to walk a different path and it was nothing that I had done. It was by His grace that my mom was able to be at home with us everyday and teach us. Now as I look forward to homeschooling my children I pray that the Lord would continue to soften my heart toward those who live differently. I’ve known people who would have loved to homeschool but just couldn’t, and now as my hubby and I barely make it on his income I really understand how hard it can be. Thanks, Caroline! These kind of reminders are so good.

  4. I was in the doctor’s office a few days ago with my 4 children. The 3 oldest had books and were deep into them. The doctor walks in and says to his student—> “You can always tell a homeschooling family. They are the only kids who read.”

    While I was excited that he was encouraging my kids’ reading, I felt like it created this sense of “we are better than the rest of the world.” But that’s not true. I’m an avoid reader and I went to public school. Homeschooling alone doesn’t make a better reader and I don’t think it necessarily makes you smarter.

    Anyway, it just made me think a lot about the perception factor that my kids are picking up. I want them to love reading, but I don’t want them to look at the kids with electronics and think they are little devils. Or that they are stupid. You can’t jump to that conclusion just because someone makes a different choice than you do.

    Thanks for this great reminder.

  5. The kids model their parents. If the parents look down on others or continuay point out things they don’t like the kids will too. (And by doing this the kids AND parents are being judgmental). So I say lead by example. We don’t have strict conservative values, somewhat politically. It depends on thd issue :-).

  6. this is so TRUE…… of the reasons we DON’T homeschool…..I have got so tired over the years of hearing how “perfect” homeschool & private school kids are…..well I’m here to tell you that 99% of them & their parents have BAD ATTITUDES, just seen it a comment you ARE NOT better than anyone else….& you are NOT the only kids who read all the time….my 13 year old is reading right now other 2 are gone for the day one to work other w/ a friend….. I also know MANY Christian kids that love Jesus in our public school, my own also…case in point not wanting to send kids to public school….. sorry I sound harsh but this is something dear to my heart…. all of you homeschoolers need to be a lot more careful……one of ours have graduated from public school & I have never seen him look down on others just because they school differently than him, but have seen others belittle him & us for public schooling …. I know a family that started sending their children to public school because of this reason….they didn’t want their children to develop the better than thou attitude….

    • Ironically, you just had a “better than thou” attitude towards homeschoolers. Fact of it is, the majority of people look down on homeschoolers not because of arrogant attitudes, but because they think it’s a joke.
      I’m a homeschooler and I don’t judge anyone who goes to public school, and public school people should stop looking down on homeschoolers. It is MUTUAL respect. Just because your son doesn’t look down on homeschoolers, this does NOT represent the majority. If you think homeschoolers are the only people who belittle, you need to try homeschooling and get an honest perspective. People treat me like crap ALL THE TIME for being homeschooled. Yes, if you keep bashing me and my educational choices and rights, yes, I’m probably going to sound arrogant defending it.
      I know many Christian people in public school, and I know secular homeschoolers. What works for one family doesn’t work for everyone else. I honestly don’t care if your kid homeschools or goes to public school. My sister is in public school and I homeschool. What works for her doesn’t work for me and vise versa.

      • Samantha, I almost cried when I read your reply. Thank you for your bravery! We are definitely still the minority education! And unless in our shoes, people can’t see how attacks feel horrible! We’ve given up our lives to homeschool. When you pin a sweet dog into a corner, they often bite. Like Samantha said, please don’t judge and pin us into a corner. It’s hard enough. Sorry for those that bite, often they just have had enough. Let us live out our convictions in peace. Let’s be better at supporting ALL moms and dads in their choices to love their children and celebrate how their children learn best. And if you see someone biting, pray for them. They probably are hurting or healing from their own bite. Thank you!

  7. I was that know-it-all homeschooled child that fit all of your descriptors, and it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s did I realize how obnoxious I was. My extended (non-homeschooling) family didn’t like being around me and my brother. I wish my dad had reigned me in somewhat, but I know I need to take responsibility for my arrogant behavior. It’s hard to build relationships with family again as an adult. I kind of have to cut my losses at this point. My husband and I are considering homeschooling our daughter and I’ll make sure she doesn’t end up that way.

  8. You’re right, Caroline. We are so often on the defensive about homeschooling. Do you have any suggestions about how to teach your kids to be humble and seek to serve others? I was public schooled and I’m sure I was the most arrogant person EVER. Even as an adult, I used to always brag and show others how right I was. Thankfully God is patiently humbling me. (But I’m still probably the most arrogant saved person ever.) We have six children ages 10 mo. to 10 years, and I can’t do ANYTHING even remotely well. Any suggestions, even obvious ones, would be very helpful to me.

  9. I think people also need to be careful and not judge a homeschool family . It seems people already have it in their head that l homeschool familys are like this and snub their nose to them. They are being just as bad and judgmental. Just because I homeschool doesnt mean you have to go into 10 reasons why you dont. People feel the need to defend their decision to send thier kids to public school. Homeschoolers are often looked down on and made fun of. It is true that across the board teat scores are higher with homeschool kids but that doesn’t mean they all think they are better. Also the government has an agenda to dumb America down and thinks like comon core are downright disturbing. Teachinf sex ed to a 5 year old? This is why people homeschool not because they think they are better. Some might have that additude and thats wrong but just becase some might have that additude doesnt mean if you homeschool your kids will turn out that way. Kids have the parents additude and homeschool/public school familys alike have good and snobby additudes. I know just as many public school kids that are snobs and make fun of homeschoolers. And yhe comment above about the doctor saying they read how was that prideful? Why do people get all upset just becasue a homeschool kid is a good reader. That person didnt say thier kid was better or anything? What in the world?

  10. I see just as many public school kids that are snobs. People are like that in every lifestyle. We need to train ALL kids not to be that way, public school kids too. Just because some homeschool familys are like that doesnt mean forget homeschooling because your kid is sure to turn out that way. Parents need to teach the kids that. Homeachoolers are looked down on a lot.

  11. What a great post!
    It’s so true and this was my big concern about homeschooling children. The ones I knew were a bit arrogant. Their mom was super nice. I chalked it up to them not being picked on throughout their school years! LOL.
    Lately, I have met some other families that home school and their children are not like this…they are just so easy to get along with. Their mom is especially gracious though.
    I think a lot of times the arrogance is because parents try to “compete” with the other schooling methods so their child doesn’t feel left out. So they over compensate by telling them how much better the HS method is.
    On a side note, the public school environment can give children long term insecurities from being picked on or not “measuring up”; and of course arrogance for some of the more popular type of children. I wonder if insecurities can get a kid into more trouble than arrogance? IDK..but they are both dangerous. These qualities from public school setting are also not desirable, and they are out of the parents control to really help. That’s why some of those kids just commit suicide. It is so sad to see the grief that children can cause each other.
    The HS parents needs to make it a priority to be gracious and teach their children graciousness.

  12. I feel both homeschooling and normal schooling have its benefits and drawbacks. The choice should be based on what the kid needs.

  13. Thank you so much for writing this. It is so true. I’ve witnessed this in some children. Mine are young, & I now see that it is something I will have to guard against carefully. I’m hoping that a good balance will help. At our church there are only two of us families who homeschool, though we have received a lot of support for our decision. Also, my older daughter (age 6) is about to start fall soccer. Of course, unlike sending a child off to public school, I will be with her at practices & games, so I’m hoping she will build new friendships/relationships with non-homeschoolers that will be possitive. I feel this will help her to care about others & not be critical/feel supperior.

  14. I’m a 16 year old homeschooler and I agree with you on most of it. However, no, I don’t like being around the majority of peers my age. Most are rude, swear, or are just plain crude, have no passion, drive, or desire in life and I’m not going to hang around that. I do have a small group of peer friends that I hang around and love.
    ALSO it’s important to note that why some homeschoolers DO have a stuck-up attitude is because a lot of them are sick of being put down by the rest of the world, so naturally, psychologically speaking – “anger is a defense against pain.” So that is why many homeschoolers snap back. It’s also stupid to say homeschoolers are the “know it alls” because I know MANY public schooled teens who are entitled, lazy, and think they know it all. I don’t belittle others for not homeschooling, (there are virtually no homeschoolers where we live, and I’m ok with that) and people shouldn’t belittle us for homeschooling.

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