Ever wonder if homeschooling is for you? Maybe you just don’t quite understand it. Perhaps you have heard misconceptions that have deterred you from considering it. Trust me, I get it! Click on this article to read my homeschooling story- How I Started My Homeschooling Journey. Here are 10 myths about homeschooling and the realities of why it may actually be a good choice for your family.
1. Homeschooling is a worst-case scenario thing.
Some people think that it’s only necessary for students who are struggling or “can’t handle” public school. They may believe that if they take their children out of school, they are setting them up to fail.
2. Homeschooled children are different or weird.
Yes, they are different! We were all created to be different. God has placed many different gifts and abilities in each and every one of us. We are called and created to be the body of Christ. As you know, the body has many parts that come together to form this wondrous creation. We would never expect our nose to hear. We would never try to force our mouths to see. Yet, we may try to fit our learners into a specific mold of how they should learn. Then, when they don’t measure up to the standards using that approach or learning style, we say there is a problem with the child. Homeschooled children are not any more or any less weird than other children.
3. Homeschooled children don’t learn how to socialize.
Perhaps there have been homeschooling parents who kept their children locked up in a basement. However, I consider that abuse, not homeschooling. Normal homeschool families have rich lives and give their children various means of socialization through cooperative learning groups, youth groups, sports groups, and other hobbies and interest groups. You are in full control of the amount of socialization your child gets.
4. Parents are not qualified to teach like licensed teachers.
As a licensed teacher of general education, special education, and ESOL students, I can certify that parents are the most qualified to teach their children. Just like teachers, parents don’t have to know everything! They only need to learn how to use the resources available to them. There are beautiful communities of professionals from various fields who believe in homeschooling and will impart their knowledge to you and your child. Homeschooled children are taught by a community of people who know them best and can insert appropriate teachable moments every single day in the way that they learn at their greatest capacity.
5. I will not be able to handle the stress and responsibility of homeschooling my children.
Surprisingly enough, homeschooling can do so much more to ease your everyday stress than it can to contribute to it. You have more time to focus on what is important and less time can be spent focusing on homework and other tasks that may not be a priority to your family. You choose the pace at which your children learn and the curriculum or mode in which they will receive information.
6. Homeschooled children are sheltered and fail to develop grit and perseverance.
I’m sure we can all agree that life is hard and we must teach our children to persevere through trials. However, deciding to homeschool is not the equivalent of removing all trials and tribulations from your child’s life. There will always be struggles that your child will face or witness that can be used to shape your child’s character.
7. I am not wealthy enough to provide my children with a rich homeschooling experience.
Children gain real-world knowledge by learning how to do everyday tasks and business transactions such as managing a budget, grocery shopping, mowing a lawn, etc. There are many free alternatives and resources out there including Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and local homeschool groups. You can reach out to different organizations or colleges that specialize in something your child is interested in to give them an idea of the real-world application. There are also many parents who are willing to sell curriculum at a low price once their child outgrows it.
8. If my child struggles with a certain subject, they will only fall further behind at home.
Absolutely not! Parents may not have a degree in teaching but they do have years of experience with their children. If your child is falling behind, you have the freedom to spend a little extra time on that subject to help them catch up. You also have the freedom to try different methods of presenting the topic to your child in order to figure out what may work. Most teachers have anywhere between 20-30 students and while they may go above and beyond, they are not able to give your child the one-on-one coaching you can give.
9. Colleges will not take my child seriously.
There are many homeschooled students who get into great colleges. My brother-in-law graduated from high-school at 14 years old and graduated from Adelphi University at 19. My son is currently 12 and is successfully dual-enrolled in a local college, as is his best friend. The flexibility of homeschooling allows them to gain mastery of some topics at home while taking the courses they are comfortable with at the college level, earning free credits.
10. I am a working mom and don’t have the time or patience to homeschool.
There is a growing community of working parents, including single mothers, who successfully homeschool. The beauty of homeschooling is that it works around your family’s daily routines and lives. You may have to get creative and work a different shift, work from home certain days, or seek help from local homeschool programs and families. And though you think you may not have enough patience to do all of that, consider the teacher who doesn’t understand why your child is having a bad day and spacing out or talking back. You understand your child best. You know intimate details of why they are behaving the way they are and you can choose to switch up your homeschool routines accordingly. If a loved one is ill or passes away, you can choose for your child to not take tests or do school that week or even month.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it has encouraged you if you are wanting to homeschool. As a former public school teacher, I am in no way trying to discourage you or put you down if you decide homeschooling is not for you. I simply wish to clear up some misconceptions that I thought to be true at one point in my life. As always, feel free to comment on this post or email me directly at [email protected] with any questions.
Read more: 8 Simple Tips for Homeschooling