There are a lot of homeschooling myths bombarding the homeschool community. Whether you homeschool or not I am sure you have encountered many of these ideas. My hope today is to go over seven common homeschooling myths and shed some light on the truth!
We all know there is a stigma around homeschooling.
Increasingly though, there is a stigma forming around public school also.
“Homeschool students are awkward and public school students are brainwashed.”
Is that true in some situations?
But it is also true that some homeschool children are brainwashed and some public school children are awkward. (Awkward public school alumni here! 🙋♀️)
School choice matters, but the stereotypes surrounding it are often misleading.
No matter what choice you make for educating your children, someone will have something negative to say about it. I can guarantee it! But if you are choosing to homeschool, you will definitely hear some of these ‘myths’ as reasons why you shouldn’t school your child at home.
None of them are good reasons because none of them are true 100% of the time. These ‘homeschooling myths’ should not influence your decision whether or not to homeschool until you know the full truth behind them.
So here are 7 Homeschooling Myths Debunked.
1. Homeschooled Children are Awkward and Unsocialized
I think this is the classic view of the average homeschooler.
The minute you tell someone you homeschool your kids they immediately want to know what extra curricular activities you have them involved in.
Homeschool is considered okay if- and only if– your child is involved in 2 clubs, piano lessons, and 3 group sports to make up for all the socialization they’ll miss out on in public school.
I’m not going to tread lightly here because I think this is the silliest myth against homeschool.
Where did we get the idea that our five year olds should learn socialization from a bunch of other five year olds?
When did we decide that clumping a bunch of children together was the way to prepare them for job interviews with adults in the future?
Children have different personalities. Some are naturally more shy and kept to themselves, and others are more outgoing.
Socialization- in general- is learned from the parents. The reality is allowing children to ‘socialize‘ with other children often means learning to share bad habits far more than learning to share toys.
It’s not a reason to bash public school- this is just the reality of placing 30 five year olds in a room together, but it certainly is not a good argument against homeschooling.
Dr. Raymond Moore has a wonderful radio interview on the homeschooling movement- more than 30 years ago now- and in it he discusses the issues with peer dependency.
The earlier children are impacted by the thoughts and expectations of their peers, the more likely they are to accept their views rather than the views of their parents. Listen to the full interview here.
Homeschooling isn’t perfect, but it does allow more opportunity to choose the kind of people who will speak into your child’s life. Especially at young ages!
2. Homeschooled Kids Can’t Get a Diploma
I actually believed this one myself when I first started homeschooling.
I assumed after completing homeschool our kids would have to get their GED. Personally I wasn’t a fan of that, but it wasn’t enough to deter me from the calling God had placed on me to homeschool.
In all fairness, I doubt God will ask us if we have our diploma or GED at the white throne judgement. But good news- homeschooled kids can get a diploma.
In fact the vast majority of homeschool kids do receive a diploma from their parents or umbrella school upon the completion of their high school requirements.
But what can they do with it? Is it the same as receiving a diploma from a state high school?
Can they get into college?
In short, anything! Yes. And absolutely!
In fact colleges actively seek out homeschooled kids and will generally favor applicants from homeschool over those who attended traditional schools.
There are a handful of reasons. For one, homeschool students tend to have opportunities that kids in school eight hours a day miss out on. Things like travel, volunteer work, more time to read and study personal interests, and even managing a small business while in school- just to name a few.
Homeschooled kids also tend to exhibit better leadership qualities and initiative.
3. Homeschooled Kids Miss Out on Childhood
I could easily argue that public school students miss out more, but I think that comes down to how you define a well rounded childhood. If lunch lines, playground curly slides, and gym class are what you adored most about childhood, then no, we don’t really have that in homeschool.
But when I think of childhood I see children splashing in mud puddles and rehoming the worm misplaced by the cool spring rain.
I see picnics at the edge of the pond and tiny fingers clutching wiggly baby chicks.
The thing is kids, both homeschooled and in public school, can have a beautiful childhood.
Childhood is where imagination blossoms, good books are consumed by the masses, and your cheeks stay a soft shade of peach year round from the sun’s warm embrace.
The difference between homeschool and public school is homeschooled children will, on average, spend less time in desks and commutes- which can mean more time for play and imagination. (It may also just mean more time to argue with their siblings, if we are being realistic.)
4. Homeschooling is a Less Rich Education
This one completely depends on the education that is being presented.
Some people are truly made to teach, and even with a less than ideal state curriculum they will supersede expectations.
And there are some homeschool environments where meaningful learning simply isn’t taking place.
The best part about homeschooling is that you can choose what your kids will learn.
Homeschooling allows you to cater to your children’s personalities, passions, interests, strengths and weaknesses.
I’m not on a time crunch so if we struggle with double digit subtraction, we can just hang out there until we master it. I don’t have 20 other students ready to move on and a test they have to take on Friday.
Because of that, homeschool offers an opportunity for a much richer education- if you want to pursue it.
We have been told so many times, “Just wait until high school when your kids need to learn a foreign language- what will you do then?”
Well, we have a bit of an unfair advantage in that Rafael is perfectly bilingual.
But even if you or your spouse don’t possess a second language- you can still teach it.
You will either learn alongside your child or find a program to teach them. (And may I add that most of us- if not all- took a second language in high school and we are not fluent in that language.)
Homeschooling can be as rich of an education as you want to make it.
5. Homeschooling is School at Home
This is 100% what I thought when I first started looking into homeschool.
I saw eight hour school days filled with desks, crafts, and book work.
I remember wondering how on earth I could ever pull that off.
But here is that trick- DO NOT SCHOOL AT HOME, HOMESCHOOL.
These are massively different concepts.
Our homeschool takes about an hour, maybe two at the absolute most per day.
Different states have different guidelines that homeschoolers must follow and some of them do have certain hours that must be accomplished. But they are easier to get than you think. Education is so much more than textbooks, maps, and bright posters.
Baking a cake, canning jams, caring for a little sibling, raising chickens- it is all educational.
This week alone Isaiah has spent time building a projector (he has an interest in making movies right now), helped Rafael sheetrock a ceiling, been completely enthralled in Roald Dahl’s books and C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy- Out of the Silent Planet, and completed his math workbook for the year.
Homeschooling is not merely doing school at home.
It is creating a life conducive to learning, and allowing it to happen organically.
It is following your children’s passions and focusing on building up godly character over bookwork.
6. Homeschool Doesn’t Prepare you for “the real world”
I’ve heard this one a lot.
And to some extent, I get it.
This one has less to do with the average homeschooled child and more to do with the typical image people have of a homeschool mom.
You know the ones.
The helicopter Mama who picks out her son’s clothes every single day and never allows her children to make mistakes that they have to figure a way out of.
This is not the typical homeschool mama.
The typical homeschool mom hands over responsibilities to her children early in life because she can’t balance everything on her own.
She is present, of course. But she knows the importance of self reliance, discipline, and initiative.
Homeschool- especially in later years– is very independent. Students are expected to complete their work without coaxing or reminding. Most older homeschool students will either work a part time job, create and run a small business, or go to work for one of their parents.
In general, children who are homeschooled in the later grades should be more prepared to face the real world than their public school counterparts.
7. Homeschooled Students Are More Likely to Leave the Faith
There is a really common misconception that children who are raised in religious homes- especially those who are homeschooled in them- are more likely to leave the faith.
This stems from the idea that children are so sheltered and so hungry for freedom that they are eager to flee from home and faith altogether.
Is that true for some kids? I’m certain it is.
Both in public and homeschool unfortunately.
But there is no data to prove that homeschooled children abandon their faith in higher numbers than their publicly educated peers.
In fact, the research suggests the opposite!
A 2015 survey orchestrated by National Home Education Research Institute found that, “individuals who were homeschooled, attended church regularly, and had good relationships with their parents were most likely to remain involved in the Christian faith.” (Christian New Network) In fact, “87% of study participants who were homeschooled said they have strong Christian beliefs.” Read the full article here!
This is the main reason our family chose homeschool. We live in a phenomenal community, and our school system is flooded with great teachers. I realize that this isn’t the case in every public school system, but we didn’t choose homeschool to avoid public school. We chose homeschool because we wanted to be the main voices in our children’s lives. In my opinion the most crucial part of our homeschool is not math or reading- it is Bible study, open ended questions, prayer, and Apologetics. I cannot guarantee that my faith will become theirs, but my prayer is that they see something in me that makes them want to know Jesus for themselves.
The Heavy Weight of Decision Making
As Mamas, we have a lot of decisions we must make.
Everything from medical decisions to how we feed our family to how much screen time- and yes, of course- how we will educate our children.
It is a lot.
At times it can feel very burdensome, but we don’t have to make these decisions alone.
I fully believe that when we ask God to lead us in these kinds of decisions- He will.
Though it may not be the easy path.
There are days when I watch the school bus pass, and I wonder what it would be like to have someone else teach them all day.
I wonder if I would be less stressed and get more done around the house.
I question if they would learn more if someone else taught them.
Deep down inside though, I know I have made the right decision for our family. Even if others may not agree with it.
As we face a new school year and a culture shifting rapidly away from God, it is hard not to feel the weight of this decision. It shouldn’t be the myths, worries, or fears that drive you to a conclusion. The fear of “not being good enough to homeschool your children” shouldn’t be a deciding factor. (If you were good enough to teach them to walk and to talk- you’re good enough to teach them to read!) And the fear of public education shouldn’t drive you either.
Fear is a liar.
Every decision that Motherhood throws at us should be met with confidence, humility, and truth.
And Mama, you were chosen for this role. You were chosen for such a time as this.
You are fully qualified to choose.
That decision is between you, your husband, and God- and no one else gets a say! Debunk every homeschooling myth and stand firm in every battle because you are chosen, called, and beloved.
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What homeschool myth do you hear most often? Leave us a comment down below!