Dispelling the 5 Most Common Myths About Homeschooling
by Kristi Crosson
Homeschooling is becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst Christian and secular families alike. The realization that you can travel, create a unique lifestyle, and still educate your children without the limitations of public school is transforming.
The ability to use a curriculum that aligns with your values, to teach subjects that get your children excited, and to provide a personalized experience is appealing to many families. Additionally, if your child is excelling in a topic or needs more time in different subjects, you can easily take things at their pace.
The landscape of work and business is changing as well. People can own businesses online, work remotely, and so much more than they could 20 years ago. This lends itself well to a lifestyle that includes work, family, and home education.
But one thing hasn’t changed that much and that is the common misconceptions that people have about homeschool and homeschooled children.
Top 5 myths That Many People Believe About Homeschooling
MYTH #1: ALL HOMESCHOOLERS ARE RELIGIOUS
While the homeschooling movement began in the 1970’s and became increasingly popular amongst religious groups, they account for barely half of all homeschooling families.
According to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, only 51% of families homeschool to provide religious instruction. But more than 80% of parents who homeschool are concerned about the public-school environment.
The increase in school violence, bullying, shootings, and more have many parents choosing homeschool as an alternative.
MYTH #2: HOMESCHOOLED CHILDREN ARE NOT AS SMART AS THEIR PUBLIC-SCHOOL PEERS
The truth is most homeschooled students meet or exceed state standards on many nationally recognized tests.
College professors often love getting homeschooled students in their classes because they perform better than their public-school educated peers. They have more refined critical-thinking skills and work better independently.
Also, because of the way they are educated, homeschooled children have the opportunity to dual-enroll in college and high school when they are around 15 or 16 years old. This gives them the chance to get a jump-start on college classes while their public school peers are still doing only high school work.
MYTH #3: PARENTS AREN’T QUALIFIED TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN
Public school teachers go through an incredible amount of work to get a degree that helps them specialize in teaching large groups of children. They learn classroom management skills, public speaking, child development, teaching methodologies, and so much more. The work they do is challenging and to be applauded. It’s no easy task to teach 30 different kids the same topic at once.
Parents however, are uniquely qualified to teach their children because they know them better than anyone else. They know when they get frustrated and have had too much. They know when they are tired and aren’t going to learn very well in traditional ways. They know when they need extra help and how to search for different ways to get it for them. Parents want the very best for their children.
And while many home educators don’t have teaching licenses, they are typically more educated than average. Many have degrees in other fields and use their critical thinking skills to help them create a home learning environment that provides a personalized education. Many teachers lament about their large class sizes and how they aren’t able to do this. But, with homeschooling, it’s possible.
MYTH #4: HOMESCHOOLED CHILDREN DON’T GET ENOUGH SOCIAL INTERACTION AKA “SOCIALIZATION”
What does that mean anyway? The myth plays into the idea that homeschooled kids are isolated and don’t learn how to develop healthy social skills because of it. And while this may be true in a small number of cases, the vast majority of homeschooled children get many different opportunities for social interaction.
Think about it. In public school, you are often told to sit down and be quiet, school isn’t for “socializing”. At home, you can ask questions, talk to your parent, talk to your siblings, and more. You can talk to your friends at co-op, the library, the park, on a field trip, at sports or community activities like Scouting.
There are plenty of opportunities to get social interaction when you homeschool. Public school is not the place for socializing except during lunch and recess (if your child gets one).
MYTH #5: HOMESCHOOLING DOESN’T PREPARE YOU FOR THE REAL-WORLD
I could write a book about this myth. One of the challenges of raising children is how to prepare them for real world situations. Homeschooling is the perfect opportunity.
Kids learn how to cook, clean, do chores, create grocery lists, interact with people of different age groups, and sometimes budget all while homeschooling. They learn life skills because they live it daily. Instead of isolating them from situations that use the knowledge they learn in school, they learn how to apply their knowledge to daily activities.
What’s real-world about having to ask to use basic bodily functions or have a snack or get a drink of water? That’s the reality for many public-schooled children. In public school, you have to beg the teacher to use the restroom. At home, you can get up and use the restroom. At school, you get 1 recess if you’re lucky. At home, if you need play time, you can get it at almost any time.
Then of course there’s the opportunity for homeschooled children to explore their talents and to check out careers that they are interested in from an earlier age. They often have a better understanding of what they want to do when they grow up because they got to try it out sooner.
Of course, there are always exceptions. And there are the rare cases where a parent doesn’t actually educate their children in any way at home. These are the outliers and not the average homeschool family.
Also, sometimes homeschooled children still struggle to learn at home. Many kids fall through the cracks in public school as well.
If you homeschool, or you’re considering homeschool as an option, it’s an incredible opportunity to build a healthy family dynamic, teach your children at their pace, and give them life skills they can take with them when they leave the nest.
They can explore things they are excited and passionate about and focus their time on subjects they’ll actually use when they go on to college or a career. Don’t let these myths stop you from doing what’s right for your family.
About the Author
Kristi Crosson is a writer and photographer and homeschools her three children, ages 8, 4, and 2. She is in the process of writing her first book, a personal story about God’s goodness in the midst of heartache and impossible situations.
Her background includes work in communications for a large Christian non-profit and freelance writing for hundreds of businesses on social media and blogs.
She has more than 15 years of ministry experience serving in the church and learned valuable leadership skills that she applies to her life and businesses. Kristi has a huge heart to fight human trafficking and see women experience God’s love in powerful ways.
When she is not busy with her businesses or her family, she enjoys creating art, playing music, singing, and hiking. And somehow manages to "do it all". Don't be fooled. In getting real, she'll share about how she manages her day to day work in business and homeschool.
You can read Kristi’s column, Getting Real with Kristi on the 3rd Tuesday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.