My husband and I are only in our second year of homeschooling. So we are far from being the experts at this thing. But what I do know is that some of the same (and often times ridiculous) myths that go around about homeschool families from years ago, are still around today. Generally I get one of two reactions when I tell people that I homeschool: A) Wow, that’s great! or B) Girl, are you crazy?! And then occasionally, someone will ask (as they did a couple weeks ago), “What makes you qualified to teach your children? Have you taught before?” *insert screeching tires here*.
Let me be clear for those of you who are not aware: if you are a parent, you are a homeschooler (whether your kids go to a traditional school or not). We are our children’s first teachers. What I love about homeschooling is it allows us to be less rigid and more nurturing with our kids. We get to teach them at their own pace. I will never take anything away from the teachers that work so hard in the school systems and the ones that are doing a phenomenal job. But I’m happy to have the opportunity to teach my kids at home.
Today an estimated 1.6–2.0 million children are being taught at home by their parents. So it’s clear that this style of teaching is not going anywhere anytime soon. Here are 4 homeschool myths that need to go away:
1. Parents are not qualified enough to teach their kids
I’m not saying I’m better than any teacher. But I am saying that I’m more than qualified to give my kids a proper education. I don’t care to reinvent the wheel or make my job harder. We belong to a co-op group that meets once a week with over 100 other homeschool families (pre-k through high school). Our son (the only one who is legally supposed to be in school) also takes part in a Classical tutorial program once a week, where they go through all all of the subjects required by our county/state. I shared this picture the other day of my 7-year-old who is currently learning the periodic table. He’s also eager to learn because I promised him that we would make a periodic table out of cookies once he knows them all. The way I see it: I know how to read, write and ask for help when I need it.
2. Homeschooled kids will not be prepared for the real world
News flash: they live in the real world every day. When I take my kids to the grocery store and have them help me find items, that’s the real world. When I take them to Taekwondo twice a week, they learn about confidence, discipline, teamwork and respect, which is part of the real world. When they’re at home cooking with me and my oldest is reading off measurements from a recipe, it’s preparing him for the real world. We talk to our kids about everything, even those subjects that might be hard to tackle. We know we can’t always be there to protect them, so we plan to arm them with as much information and knowledge as we possibly can. We know that when they leave our home, they will definitely be prepared for the real world.
3. Homeschooled kids are not prepared for college
Actually, homeschoolers are more likely to enter college (76% vs. 46%) with more credit than their counterparts. “Homeschool students have proven themselves to be so outstanding that several colleges have begun to actively recruit them. Boston University, Nyack College, and Dartmouth are among them”. I’ve personally gotten to know and see homeschool high school students specifically in our co-op group, and they are as bright as they come. And then even when you second guess yourself, you’re surrounded by people who have been doing it, and have been successful, and they give you that extra bit of encouragement to keep on going. And if that’s not enough, you read about them more and more.
4. Homeschooled kids don’t know how to interact in social environments
This one is just crazy to me because, is school the only place that kids are in a social environment? I have to say that this was the least of my concerns when it came time to decide on whether or not we were going to homeschool. We’ve always had great kids (I know everyone says that about their kids, but seriously, mine are super fantastic). But them being “socially awkward” was definitely not a concern of mine. Why? For starters, we never planned to keep them in the house 24/7 and not show them the light of day. We come from a big family and we’re always out and about doing something…you know, socially. My kids have never lost their ability to communicate effectively. In fact, dare I say they are communicating even better now. My son has actually come out of his shell, and has a lot more confidence in himself.
I’m sure there are way more myths about homeschooling that need to go away or be debunked but these are the ones I’ve personally encountered myself. Hopefully, for those who are considering homeschool, you won’t allow outside forces/opinions to deter you from making that move. And those who have no interest in in whatsoever, no love lost. But just know, we’re not weird, crazy or eccentric people (most of us). We are doing what’s in the best interest for our own families.
BMWK, What crazy homeschool myths have you heard or encountered that you would like to see go away?
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