Homeschooling Myths

Photo By Landon Hendrick Photography

I'll say it again and again, being a stay at home has been the best decision that I've ever made. One of the biggest blessings has been, having the option to homeschool my little ones. I am not going to sit here and lie and say that it is easy, because its not. I'm not going to tell you that it doesn't come with frustrations because it does! With that said it has been one of the most rewarding tasks as a stay at home mom. It is so rewarding to see that my four year old is not only at level but above level academically.

So why am I writing this blog? As awesome as homeschooling has been for my family, it hasn't been easy to deal with the criticism of those who are skeptical about homeschooling. It never fails! At every gathering or conversation I have with a parent that has opted for the traditional educational system, they have something negative to say or suggest about homeschooling. Here are some of the questions I get asked every time :

  • Aren't you afraid that your child is going to be socially awkward?
  • How are your kids going to handle the real world after being sheltered?
  • How will they be able to apply for college ?
  • There is no way that your child will have a well rounded education if they are homeschooled.
  • What makes you qualified to educate your child?
  • Your children won't be able to participate in extra curricular activities
  • All homeschool mothers are religious freaks. 
I intend to keep my cool and stick to the facts and will provide you with a list of case studies that you can feel free to read up on your spare time. I've done the research and so I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with educated responses to the questions and statements commonly made about homeschooling. 

Photo By Landon Hendrick Photography

Socializing skills are incredibly important in life! They play a huge role in your relationships and job placement. Many people seem to be very concerned with homeschooled children lacking these social skills, being an outcast or socially awkward. Many are skeptical that they can learn these social skills in a home controlled environment. Some even question whether homeschooled children will be ready for the real world and the harsh realities they will experience when they are no longer safe in their little home with their families. This is do to the misperception that homeschooled children are kept away from the world and social interaction like prisoners. The reality is that homeschooled children are just as social if not more than traditionally schooled children. Homeschooled children actually have more opportunities to socialize because they can complete curriculum that takes all day in a traditional setting, in a couple of hours, leaving more time for extra curricular activities like ballet, gymnastics, martial arts etc. In schools, children tend to form clicks and once formed are less likely to be inviting to new members. Case studies have actually shown that homeschooled children, on the other hand, from a very young age realize that in order to have friends they need to be open and welcoming and nine out of ten times they initiate the greeting. I have experienced this first hand with my oldest daughter, Kylie (4yrs). She is known to walk into a room with kids and say "Hi my name is Kylie, I'm four! Whats your name? Would you like to play with me?" Its pretty funny to watch! I have seen her approach other kids the same way when they are in her territory as well. 

Photo By Landon Hendrick Photography
Contrary to popular belief, children who are homeschooled are very confident and independent. They learn to self initiate tasks, be organized and strategize. Although many doubt that these kids will be able to face the harsh realities of this world, the reality is that they adapt just as well as traditionally schooled children. I would argue that homeschool children are aren't the ones that face the harsh reality of being introduced into the real world since they are living in it everyday and interacting with people of all ages and cultures while others are in a school setting.  One case study showed that adults that were homeschooled interviewed better than traditionally schooled adults and they obtained qualities that fit more in leadership roles. I  can make an educated guess that this is definitely an advantage that will facilitate being in the real world on their own. 
Photo By Landon Hendrick Photography
Some argue that homeschooled children are deprived of a well rounded education.  There's a huge concern that homeschooled children won't receive a good education because they aren't working with teachers instead they are being taught by parents who did not specialize in education and may not have the skills to educate any child. They worry that this deprivation will hinder their chances of getting into college. Yet supporters of homeschooling will argue that homeschooled children have an advantage because they have one on one attention. If a child needs extra help with a subject or topic they can receive that help without shame or worry that they will get made fun of by their classmates. If they understand it, they are also able to move forward to the next lesson without having to wait for others to catch on. They get to move at their own pace which ensures that they are actually learning and applying all the concepts vs just memorizing for the next exam and then forgetting. Having the capability to work ahead or take extra time on a specific topic, and having the opportunity to explore topics that are of interest to them further than they would ever explore in a traditional school environment, is just some of the benefits of homeschooling that help ensure that they receive a well rounded education. Studies found that 75% of homeschool children attend college where only 48% of traditionally schooled children attend college. Not only do these kids have just as good of a chance as traditionally educated children to have a well rounded education and get into a prestigious college, studies insinuate that they may actually have better chances of getting into better schools since they overall perform better on standardized test and admissions test such as the SAT and ACT. 

Homeschooling has become more popular over the past years and contrary to what some believe, it isn't just for religious freaks. 2.5 million children are homeschooled. Out of that 2.5 million 77% say that the main reason they opted for homeschooling is because they disapproved of the academic structure in the schools and 91% stated that they were concerned about the environment of other schools. I'm not saying that there isn't religious homeschoolers but at the end of the day the main concern is providing a safe environment that their children can excel and learn in. Many homeschooling parents just want to offer their children an education where they are motivated to explore their creativity and to think out of the box. There has been an increase with concerned parents that schools are teaching students to pass a test. The curriculum is centered around passing an exam. If they don't pass, they will be held back a grade. The dissatisfaction for the new educational structure along with the increase in bullying and tragedies that have been plastered over the media are the shared reasons why you'll find more and more parents are considering homeschooling. 

Photo By Landon Hendrick Photography
Okay so maybe now you look at homeschooling differently. You may even , after reading this, feel like maybe you want to homeschool your child but still feel inadequate to educate your child. After all, you aren't a teacher and just the thought of having to put curriculum and lesson plans together terrify you. Fortunately, there are many resources that can make it possible for you to homeschool your child. There are free programs that will provide you with curriculum and test so that you can successfully teach and measure improvement for your child. Your child will learn to work independently and you will serve as backup to help them learn how to find the answers when they don't know it. There are other resources that you can pay for curriculum. There's even support groups where stay at home moms that homeschool, meet and take turns teaching subjects and planning field trips and activities so that your child can interact with other children their age. I have Kylie set up for homeschooling with Faith Assembly Academy. The benefit in a private school like this is that I can create the curriculum myself and the school generates the report cards and transcripts for my little Kylie. This also gives us the added benefit that if Kylie were to have a hard time with a subject she could go on campus, for a reasonable cost, for that subject and get help from a teacher that specializes in that subject. This program also allows her to participate in school field trips, sports and extra curricular activities if she wanted to. 

Overall homeschooling is a perfectly great way to educate a child and has many added benefits. Of course I want to caution that if you decide to take up homeschooling for your child, it is a lot of work and patience especially when they are young. As they get older they will work more independently which will only prepare them for the real world when they are in college. There are many resources and studies that will argue that homeschooling isn't just as good as traditional education in a school setting, but better. They provide convincing findings that homeschooled children gained qualities that ensure that they are successful in their future. I've listed below additional resources for anyone who may be interested in researching more about the pros and cons of homeschooling and additional resources on how to get started. 
Photo By Landon Hendrick Photography


Homeschooling Resources:

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