Homeschooling kids are by far some of the most mature groups that I’ve ever encountered. They are articulate, smart, considerate, and interesting. I’ve always been astounded at how well most of these kids interact with other people.
If you’re considering homeschooling or just getting started with homeschooling, you’ll likely run into a lot of different myths and opinions from other people. It’s important to help you understand that these are untrue in most cases and there are ways to break the stigma. I also want you to know that you’re not alone in your homeschooling journey and you can reach out for help along the way. I love encouraging families who want to step out and try something new.
So here are my 7 “favorite” homeschooling myths, and what I’ve learned about each of them:
Myth #1: Your kids won’t get socialized if they homeschool.
Fact: I would hardly call an environment where kids are constantly told to be quiet and sit down a good social experience. Public schooling does give kids the opportunity to learn how to follow rules, how to conform, and how to interact with other kids (during recess if there is one). But it’s also an environment where bullying is rampant, the student to teacher ratio is astronomical and the education is generalized and geared to the middle of the road student.
Homeschooling on the other hand provides the opportunity to get out in the real world and interact with real people on a daily basis. While some homeschoolers are hermits and never go out, many are very social and active. They attend church and religious services, they go to co-ops, they have playdates, they go on field trips, art classes, sports, and so much more. The opportunities to help your children build friendships in a loving environment are endless.
Myth #2: You’re not a qualified teacher, so your kids won’t get a great education.
Fact: Public school teachers are amazing and deal with a lot of garbage. They are specialized in teaching to large groups of kids and in how to use a curriculum to get specific outcomes. They have to get CEU’s and keep up on the latest trends to keep teaching.
But you, you’re a mom (or dad) and you probably taught your child to sit up. You likely taught them their first words, and how to eat with a fork. Maybe you even taught them their letters and numbers and how to sing their ABC’s. You are more than qualified to teach your children. While you may not be ready for a large class, if you’re reading this, you can teach your kids at home. Technology makes homeschooling so much easier than generations past. There will be topics where you are not the best “teacher”, but you can be a facilitator of learning. You can connect your kids to the right resources to help them learn. You can get them a tutor for Calculus or Chemistry if those aren’t your strong suits. And in fact, most homeschooled kids get a better education because they can learn at their own pace and in a way that is best for them.
Myth #3: You can’t homeschool if you work full-time.
Fact: Homeschooling and working is a huge challenge. I get it. But it’s also possible. School doesn’t have to happen only from 8-3, maybe it can happen from 4-8 PM instead. Maybe it can happen in chunks throughout the day. Maybe you can get a different schedule or a work from home opportunity that allows you the freedom to oversee your kids’ education daily. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying if it’s something you desire, you can start making a move toward this option so that in a year or two it becomes a reality.
Myth #4: Your kids can’t go to college if they’re homeschooled.
Fact: Many homeschooled kids not only go to college, but they often participate in dual enrollment programs in their high school years. These kids grow into adults who become doctors, teachers, lawyers, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and more. The sky is the limit on what your child can become. There is a way to document their high school experience so they can get a high school diploma. Each state is different, so you’ll want to check your local laws to be certain you track everything the right way to ensure they can get into college.
Additionally, many college professors love that homeschool students are self-directed, high-achievers, and add diversity to the college teaching experience. This one professor had his mind changed about how amazing homeschoolers are, and here are his observations.
Myth #5: It’s expensive to homeschool.
Fact: It can be. If you have multiple kids and you’re not careful, you could easily spend $1,000+ on curriculum and materials. But there are ways to save $$$ when you homeschool and if you do some research, you’ll find great ways to save. Many co-ops offer used curriculum sales where parents can find some amazing deals on gently used books and teaching materials. The internet also has free curriculum options like this faith-based one from Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool. Our local library offers free printing, so when I need worksheets and such, I can go there to get them made.
Myth #6: My kids will drive me crazy and I won’t want to be around them anymore.
Fact: Yup. There will be days where your kids will fight. There will be days when they won’t want to do their schoolwork. There will be days when you need a break. It’s okay to need a break. Everyone needs them on occasion. It doesn’t make you a bad parent or mean that you shouldn’t homeschool. It just means that you need a break.
You need space to recharge, and get back to doing the things you care about. You will have days like this. But more often than not, you’ll be amazed when your kids finally understand how to do multiple digit addition and subtraction and you helped them learn it. You’ll be overwhelmed with emotion when their art project for the day is a card for mommy. You’ll be excited when they learn your family values and you see them start to live them out with new people they meet. You’ll see them grow in ways you never imagined. The crazy days will come, but they will also go.
Myth #7: My husband/spouse/partner will never agree to it.
Fact: It’s hard to overcome firmly embedded mindsets, especially when it comes to our children. It’s important to have conversations about homeschooling as early as you know you want to do it. Start with general questions about what they think about it. Don’t get angry, but try and see things from their perspective. I find when I want to “convince” my husband of anything, I need to approach him in ways he can connect to. He likes logic. He likes data. He likes plans.
When it came to homeschooling, he had his reservations. He thought all these myths were true at one point. So, I needed to have conversations about the things that mattered to him. He needed to know our kids would get a great education and that I would make efforts to connect with people so our kids wouldn’t be isolated. It’s important to be willing to have hard conversations and to try to connect with their hesitations. I’ve seen many husbands who were willing to give it a “try” have their minds changed within a few months based on how well their kids were doing with homeschool.
There are so many more myths I could address. But tell me, what are your “favorite” myths when it comes to homeschooling? How do you strive to be different and teach in a way that works for your family?