Homeschool myths: from socialization to the quality of education, there are so many myths! Sure, some of them may be true for some people. And for the ones that aren’t—is it truly bad that a 13 year-old hasn’t been subjected to constant negative peer influences and instead has developed wisdom, guidance, and discernment from their parents? (Just like homeschooling, I know public schools are not a one-size-fits-all negative stereotype either.) Here are 10 top homeschool myths, debunked!
Homeschooled Kids Can Do Whatever They Want
It seems to be a common myth that homeschooled kids sleep in until noon, eat junk food, and watch TV all day. This is the furthest thing from the truth! Just like public school, homeschooled kids have to finish their work. Of course, homeschooling allows for more flexibility, and more often than not, all of our schoolwork is able to completed within a few hours, instead of dragged out all day. Homeschooling requires you to work on a schedule as well, and many homeschoolers still have to wake up early!
Homeschoolers Hate Public School
A lot of people think that parents that homeschool their children do so because they think poorly of the public school system and they think that their children will not get a good education from public school. This is so far from the truth.
This may be the reason for some homeschooling parents out there, but for most that is not the case. Homeschooling is a choice, and various parents have various reasons for choosing to homeschool their children. Whether they just simply want to spend more time with their children, their children have special needs that they do not believe will be addressed adequately in a public school, or any number of other reasons, it is likely not because the parents think that public school is a bad place.
Homeschooled Children Are Socially Awkward
This is one of the top homeschool myths out there. I’m not sure what makes people think that just because homeschooled children are not in a public classroom with other kids, they are socially awkward or have no socialization skills.
Homeschooled kids are able to join clubs, sports programs, or just go out and make friends like any other student. Homeschoolers also have the unique ability to be able to interact with a variety of age groups, not just their peers. Yes, some homeschoolers are socially awkward, but not every public school kid is a social butterfly either.
Families Homeschool for Religious Reasons and Live Like Pilgrims
While some families homeschool for religious reasons, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, parents choose to homeschool for educational reasons, political reasons, or bullying. Some people homeschool for safety reasons. My family chose to homeschool as a way to challenge us academically, and help us learn at a more accelerated pace. Each student learns differently, so homeschooling was a great way for us to customize learning to our full potential.
Since some homeschoolers may come from a big family, frugality and sustainability is important. Yes, some homeschoolers may live a sustainable lifestyle, but others live a more contemporary lifestyle. Like with everything, there is no one stereotype to fit everyone.
I Don’t Have the Patience to Homeschool
In our instant society, patience is becoming slimmer. I am definitely not the most patient person in the world! No homeschool family is perfect, and homeschooling does take a lot of patience, time, and effort. Still, I think many moms underestimate themselves when it comes to their ability to raise their children. Don’t sell yourself short!
Homeschooling isn’t about being a perfectly patient parent. Instead, it’s about love, dedication, and working together; and with prayer and time, patience soon follows.
Homeschoolers Can’t Play Sports
This can be a common homeschool myth for kids (and parents) who enjoy sports. Between homeschool co-ops and even some high schools that open their doors to homeschooled kids, many homeschoolers have the opportunity to play sports, just like their peers. Homeschoolers can also join certain sports that aren’t run through the school, like gymnastics or taekwondo.
Parents are Not Qualified to Teach Their Children
This one is a really common one; people think simply because parents have not gone to school to be trained for teaching, they are not capable of teaching their children. Teachers go to school to learn how to teach a large group of children, whereas parents are teaching just their own children. Additionally, public schools have only been around for the past 200 years or so; prior to that, students had private tutors or were taught by their parents.
Parents are probably the best people to teach their own children because they know their children best and will be able to understand their learning style best. Don’t refrain from homeschooling your children just because you think you won’t be able to teach them. Additionally, studies show homeschoolers continually outrank their public school peers.
Homeschooled Kids Can’t Get Into College
As a former homeschooler, I write this in a college dorm. My roommate is also a former homeschooler, as well as many other people in our dorm. I haven’t known a single homeschooler who wanted to go to college but wasn’t able to. Most colleges don’t care about a diploma, but instead care about a transcript and test scores. SAT/ACT testing is available to anyone, including homeschoolers. CLEP and AP testing is also open to homeschoolers.
There Aren’t That Many Homeschoolers!
Homeschooling has steadily risen in popularity over the past couple of years. There are over 2 million homeschoolers across the US, taking up about 4% of all elementary-aged students. Over the past decade, homeschooling has risen over 60%, and still continues to grow.
I Can’t Homeschool Because I’m a Single Parent or I Have a Special Needs Child
Many parents with special needs children choose to homeschool because of the one-on-one (or at least lower student-to-teacher ratio!) opportunity it offers, plus ability to provide specialized and personalized learning. Students are free to learn at their own pace, instead of following a standardized curriculum. Like parenting, marriage, and homeschool in general, it requires much patience and time to find a schedule that works well for you and your family. Still, no one knows your child better than you do!
Single parent homeschooling is tough; but it is nowhere near impossible. Single homeschooling mom Kim Sorgius has grown a network of single-parent homeschool moms on her blog Not Consumed, and she offers creative solutions, tips, tricks, and support for single moms.
Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but there are many negative stereotypes and misconceptions about homeschooling! The most important thing is to find what works best for your children and your family. Don’t let homeschool myths stop you from trying something that may be one of the best decisions of your life.
What’s your least favorite of homeschool myths?