5 Common Misconceptions about Homeschooling
Making the decision to homeschool is different for every family. For our family, it was a no-brainer and it was something we all entered into with excitement. However, I started homeschooling many years before the whole Covid thing.
Today, many parents turned to homeschooling because how the schools were constantly closing due to Covid outbreaks, because the ‘virtual’ options offered at their schools weren’t working for their kids, and many other reasons.
I believe that most misconceptions are just a lack of information about homeschooling. According to statistics, 2.8% of students were homeschooled in 2019 (before the pandemic), and now according to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the fall of 2020, 11.1% of households were homeschooling. That’s an increase of 5.6%!
Because of this sudden surge, I think that there are a lot of misconceptions swirling around about homeschooling, schools are making it seem more difficult than it is to un-enroll and start schooling at home, and there are the same myths from the past that are now making an appearance again that is making parents second-guess their choice to homeschool.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been homeschooling for over 7 years now and still have to defend myself to relatives, friends, and even strangers. I think it’s just part of society.
Here are some typical myths that I hear all the time.
Homeschoolers are stuck in their homes all day. This is a huge myth! Actually, many homeschool families are rarely home! Between co-ops, field trips, sports, fun activities, coordinated classes, and clubs – we’re always running around! In fact, midweek is the best time to plan trips to the parks, museums, live theater, ski slopes in the winter, and other activities that don’t have the weekend crowds.
If your child is older, they may even hold a job during the day, may volunteer, or participate in a mentoring or apprenticeship program.
What’s great about homeschooling is that your “desk work” is NOT the 8-hour day you think of at a brick-and-mortar. Depending on your age and homeschooling style, you may finish your “desk work” in a matter of a couple of hours and the rest of the day is spent “live learning” because after all, that’s a major part of homeschooling.
Homeschoolers don’t have friends. I have to chuckle every time I hear this one. Not only do we have a full house of kids in and out on the weekends, but my kids also have their sports friends, neighbors, and church groups. My kids have both their schooled and homeschooled friends, and spend just as much time at sleepovers and having a fun time just being a kid. As a matter of fact, even more so since we can spend time with our homeschooled friends while everyone else is at school.
Kids aren’t socialized enough outside of school. No, our kids don’t “have to be bullied” to learn how to deal with others, they don’t have to worry about wearing the right outfit to fit in with society. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t socialized. Homeschoolers spent a lot of their time interacting with merchants, the elderly, younger children, their peers, their relatives, and people in their community from all walks of life. I would argue that homeschooled kids are actually better socialized and able to successfully interact with a larger range of people.
Parents aren’t qualified to teach their children. Facts dispute this myth! Homeschooled children consistently outperform schooled peers on nationwide standardized tests in every subject and at every grade level. When compared at a local level, homeschooled kids typically perform at least one grade level higher on tests than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. When looking at children who have always been homeschooled, they generally perform 4 years above the national average by the time they reach eighth grade!
The stats are consistent whether the parent has a GED or a Ph.D. Parents are actually the most important teachers in their child’s life. Parents teach their kids to walk, talk, eat, have manners, and they are the first example that children look to when learning how to interact in society. Parents support their children 100% and they have more resources than ever today.
Homeschooled students cannot get into college. This is far from the truth! For those students that decided to go to a university, on average score above average SAT and ACT tests, they have just as many scholarship opportunities as brick-and-mortar school kids, and many colleges are actively recruiting homeschooled students because they are recognizing the unique qualities and skills that they often possess such as being self-starters, are self-motivated, and self-disciplined.
There’s no doubt that homeschooling families need communities where they can lift each other up and be support systems for one another. Sometimes even we as adults need to learn from others to be able to effectively teach our kids. This is where Mentor Moms come in. Each of our Mentor Moms has a wealth of knowledge and is eager to help you navigate the challenges homeschooling brings in order to make your experience less stressful, and less confusing, and to reduce your learning curve.