People who grew up home schooled often share these 8 unique traits

People who grew up home-schooled often share these 8 unique traits

When you think of people who’ve been home-schooled, what do you picture?

There’s often a stereotype that people who’ve been home-schooled are isolated, socially awkward individuals who don’t perform as well as those in traditional education. 

With home-schooling on the rise with almost 6% of school-age children being educated at home, it’s time to see if there’s any truth in those stereotypes.

Today I’m sharing 8 unique traits that people who grew up home-schooled often share to help you decide if they match the stereotype or not.

Let’s jump in. 

1) They’re creative and resourceful 

People who’ve been home-schooled often grow up to be very creative and resourceful.

Think about it: they didn’t have the same rigid educational structure that most of us had.

No matter where you’re reading this from there’s a good chance we’ve all had similar school experiences. We all had a teacher, classmates, desks, books, blackboards, and lunchtimes, right? 

The point is we’ve all learned to do things similarly. However, people who didn’t have a traditional learning environment had the freedom to learn and explore topics differently which empowers them to be more creative individuals

And the research backs this up. One study found that people who were home-schooled scored higher in all types of creativity than the average student at the same level in conventional education. 

This creativity developed in earlier years arms them with the ability to be more creative and inventive with how they approach life as adults. 

2) They’re independent

Did you know that Ryan Gosling was home-schooled for a year? Reflecting on the experience he said it gave him “A sense of autonomy that he never really lost” during an interview with The Guardian.

Developing independence and autonomy is a crucial part of growing up. Children learn to be independent by:

  • Making their own choices 
  • Doing things for themselves
  • Taking some risks in the process.

The traditional school setting doesn’t encourage these things. If anything, it actively discourages them. Children are forced to wear a uniform (in some schools), sit down, listen, and do what they’re told to do. 

In a home-school environment, children are free to develop independence from an early age. They can choose what they wear, and they have input into what they learn, as well as when and how. 

And this stands to them, later in life. Instead of looking to an authority figure for guidance, they’re comfortable making their own choices, managing their own time, and making important decisions. 

3) They’ve got great social skills 

Do you think home-schooled people have the same social skills as those who go to regular schools?

People usually think home-schooling affects social skills negatively. But, research suggests, the opposite is true. 

When compared with people the same age as them who went to regular schools, various studies find that home-schooled people have more well-developed social skills. 

In one study, a group of children from both traditional schools and home-schools were observed by onlookers who didn’t know their educational background. Those who attended conventional schools showed 8 times more behavioral issues than home-schooled children of the same age. 

In a nutshell: people who grew up home-schooled have very good social skills, in some cases, even better than people who went to regular school. 

4) They’re adventurous

Ever met someone who just seems so comfortable living life on the edge? You’re envious because on one hand you’d love to do it but on the other, you’d never be brave enough. 

I once met a guy like this, while on holiday with friends. He’d left his hometown to go traveling for ‘6 months’ and he hadn’t been back since. He’d been on the road 4 years and had already been to 11 countries. He wasn’t stopping any time soon. His adventurous spirit knew no end.

As it turned out, he’d spent the first 12 years of his life constantly traveling. He’d been home-schooled and along with his parents, he ventured all over Europe in a camper van. Adventure was nothing new for him, it was second nature.

I’m not suggesting that everyone who is home-schooled lives like this, but maybe they do. The flexibility of home-schooling increases the chance of having new experiences and exploring new places.

Not being confined to the four walls of a traditional classroom gives these individuals the chance to develop their adventurous spirit. And once they do, it never leaves them.

pic2058 People who grew up home schooled often share these 8 unique traits

5) They’re more charitable and forgiving

How you’ve been educated could impact how charitable and forgiving you are. Can you believe it? 

Findings from a 2021 study, outlined in the Wall Street Journal found that home-schooled children were more likely to be charitable and have higher levels of forgiveness in early adulthood. 

Being educated at home means that the family unit has more influence and you also get more 1-1 attention than those in the traditional education system.

Perhaps this is part of the reason that home-schooled people are more forgiving and more likely to do volunteer work and help others.

6) They’ve got non-traditional learning styles

It’s widely accepted that there are four main learning styles

  • Visual learners
  • Auditory learners
  • Kinesthetic learners
  • Reading/writing learners

A 2017 study found that 34% of people learn best through reading and writing. The traditional classroom is best suited to these people who prefer to learn in this way. 

But what about the other 66%?

Home-schooling allows people to develop and practice more non-traditional learning styles. They not only tap into reading and writing but also have more hands-on experiences in things that have real-world applications. 

As a result, people who were home-schooled often have more non-traditional learning styles. This allows them to be great collaborators and leaders, and more ready for real world situations and challenges. 

7) They’re self-motivated and driven

Ever notice that some people seem to be naturally self-motivated? They don’t need any supervision and just get stuff done. But then others, need to be pushed and incentivized to achieve anything. 

Turns out: your level of motivation is partly what you’re naturally born with and partly your experiences growing up. How you’re educated plays a role. 

In regular schools, we’re told our goal is to get good grades. And then we’re constantly supervised and incentivized by external rewards like gold stars and praise. There’s not much room for self-motivation to develop.

People who grew up home-schooled naturally develop high levels of motivation. They’re used to setting individual goals and working towards them without someone watching over them. This allows them to be self-motivated and driven as adults. 

8) They’ve got an entrepreneurial mindset

Entrepreneurial mindset is another common trait of people who’ve been home-schooled but unlike some of the other traits that show up in childhood and adolescence, it can often go unnoticed until adulthood.

As outlined by Hannah Frankman, career development coach and writer, “It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how much of an advantage being homeschooled gave me when it came to thinking entrepreneurially.”

And it adds up: in traditional schools, everything is structured and rigid, the hours you learn, the times you take breaks, the length of each lesson, the list goes on. 

People who grew up home-schooled were not confined to traditional 9-5 thinking. This approach to learning also allows them to develop innovative thinking, independence, and flexibility.

All of these things are vitally important in fostering an entrepreneurial mindset.

Final thoughts

Today we’ve shared just some of the unique traits that people who’ve been home-schooled often share which are usually beneficial in adulthood.

And here’s the kicker: home-school people also perform better academically than their peers, across the board. 

That’s not to say home-schooling is better or worse than traditional education however one thing’s for sure: there doesn’t seem to be much truth in the old stereotypes about home-schooled people. 

Picture of Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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