Okay, ladies, before I delve into this subject, first let me disclose that I am a homeschooling parent. I am currently homeschooling two of my children, and I’m planning on homeschooling my two younger children when they reach the age.
I’m going to come clean again and admit that I’m a total fan of homeschooling! Because of this, I do get a tad frustrated when people unfamiliar with homeschooling criticize it without knowing the truth. So I thought I’d take a moment to debunk some of those crazy myths. I know some of you ladies are homeschoolers, so feel free to share some of your own myths in the comments below.
So, let’s get to some of these myths!
- No socialization. This is the number one myth about homeschooling. It couldn’t be further from the truth. With homeschooling, families can join cooperative organizations where kids can take individual classes taught by other homeschooling parents. In these situations, kids get together before, during and after classes. Families can organize play dates, join activity groups, go on joint field trips and do a ton of other things with other homeschooling kids. Additionally, many class days are shorter because of the one-on-one learning environment and there’s more time to be social. The choices are limited and are basically dependent on the parent’s schedule. I’m part of a group that even arranges prom every year for teens.
- Limited team sports. There are many school districts that allow homeschooling children to join their school athletic teams. And if that doesn’t interest you, then you can put together your own teams with the homeschooling friends that you hang out with. Also, homeschoolers often get involved in more activities outside of athletics. Because a homeschooling program allows for flexibility, many homeschoolers include art, music, horseback riding, skating, swimming, specialized crafts and languages in their curriculums.
- Kids are sheltered. If by sheltered, critics mean homeschooled kids aren’t involved in the usual drama that takes place at regular schools, then maybe “yes.” But if it means that they sit at home, have no life and know nothing about the world, then sorry, “no.” In fact, many homeschooling children have a very busy and diverse life. Not only are they given more responsibility in the home and learn early about what it takes to make a home, but they’re also exposed to culture and society on a more regular basis. Usually, they go shopping more with their parents and therefore learn about economics in a natural learning environment. They meet a wider, more diverse range of people though co-op groups, activities and field trips, rather than hanging out with the same people every day.
- There’s no structure. Kids sleep all day? They don’t have regular school? It’s not a real school? Not in my home, at least. School starts at the same time every morning. We have a structured curriculum. Other homeschool families are less structured, but just as effective because it works for their children. You see, homeschool families structure their education around their children’s learning needs. And this is the beauty of homeschooling. Besides, when past studies have shown that homeschool students outscore those in public school in all subjects, have higher GPAs and college graduation rates, and excel in communication, socialization and daily living skills, that’s got to say something for homeschooling.
- It sucks to be around your family all day. Okay, maybe in some families, but not all. But even kids in public and private schools get sick of their siblings and parents, right? I debunk this because all the homeschooling families I’ve met get on really well. In fact, siblings are more tolerant and patient with each other. And I’ve found that homeschooling children seem to be more respectful to their parents.
Ladies, I’m really not trying to run down public and private schools. Lots of kids do well in these environments and many don’t thrive in a homeschool. It really depends on what a parent provides for their children. I just wanted to debunk these crazy myths that are circulating outside homeschooling families. And let’s be honest, if these myths were true, why are more and more families resorting to homeschooling? And why are those who are already being homeschooled really happy with it?
While homeschooling doesn’t work for all families, it totally works for mine. I feel blessed to have the opportunity and I thank God for it every day.
Ladies, are you in a homeschooling family? What myth would you like to debunk?