There are many concerns that non-homeschooling types have about homeschooled children. One of the most frequently asked questions is, "how will they be prepared for the real world?"
I would like to start by saying that my main concern for my children, as they grow into adults, is not for them to blend into the world. My greatest desire for my children is that they love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, that they have a passion for Jesus Christ, and that they feel like strangers and aliens on this earth, longing for their real home. I want them to be set apart, lights to the world, salt to the earth, an example of Jesus to the lost. I want them to see sin as God sees it, despise it, and run from it.
Now in answer to the opening question, I would like to turn things around and ask you this: are public schooled kids being prepared for the "real world"?
I grew up in the public school system. I don't know about the rest of you, but school always seemed to be a world of it's own. There was that environment--often cruel--that I went to during the day, and then there was the rest of the world. That was honestly how I saw it.
Children in the public school system are age-segregated. They learn to spend most of their days with people their exact age (Proverbs 13:20- He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed). Is that what the real world is like? Of course not. Homeschooled children are with people of all ages at all times, and so they learn early to communicate well with adults. I've often been complimented on the fact that my chidren relate so well with older people.
The classroom environment is an artifical environment. It is NOT real life.
Real life--the "real world", or what SHOULD be considered the real world--is functioning within a family, and children who are homeschooled spend most all of their time with their family. They learn the ins and outs of how to run a household; they see it lived out day after day. These kids, when grown adults, will be well equipped to take on their own households and raise their own families.
Homeschooled children have strong relationships with their parents and siblings, that are being built upon all the time, as the parents teach and train them how to relate in a Godly manner. Their parents have to time to continually train them in this area because they are with them all the time. Because of this, there are strong family bonds and the children are used to stable relationships. This prepares them for future relationships with co-workers, spouses, children, in-laws, etc. Real world stuff?You bet!
Most importantly, my homeschooled children are being taught every day how to go to Jesus for what they need, in every circumstance. If they have Jesus, well...they have everything!
Now, I admit my hubby has even had concerns here. His biggest concern is the fact that no one has to get up and get out the door at a certain time, and he wants the children to be prepared to be good employees (the boys especially) and get to a job on time. I think this can be remedied by a)teaching them to get up and get things done at a certain time, even though they don't have to go anywhere, and b)letting them get part time jobs as they get older, so they have to be accountable to others, and they get that experience.
So, yes, I believe that homeschoolers are being well prepared for the real world!