Homeschooling is one of the most misunderstood institutions in the world as we know it. Many people are misinformed by the powers that be, that homeschooling is not good for children. What they share are mostly myths and fallacies. When I had my first child I dreamed of homeschooling. I imagined studying world history with my kids as we actually traveled it…taking in the ancient pyramids of Egypt or the visiting the Colosseum in Rome. Well, it didn’t exactly work out like that. My oldest had many health problems and when it came time for him to go to school according to the public school schedule, he had so little socialization under his belt it was sad. I think I could count one hand how many times he had “played” with another child and have fingers left over. Since kindergarten is supposed to be about fun and games I decided to let him go to public kindergarten and live it up. He had a blast too. Then he wanted to continue going to public school which as you may recall from previous posts is not the same bed of roses and we will be homeschooling for second grade.
Despite the fact I did not hoemschool I very much supported it and it really angers me when I see people spouting off about how homeschool kids lack social skills, are falling behind in math and sciences, can’t get into college or are being indoctrinated by Bible thumping, prejudiced parents. The last one is really common and it bugs me the most. I am not particularly religious and not a bit prejudiced about other races and nationalities. If anything I want to homeschool because I feel the opposite is true and I want my kids exposed to all different kinds of people and many different belief systems. There is something seriously wrong with any institution that says you can only find truth and knowledge here.
How does one debunk those homeschooling myths? Let’s examine a few and consider the facts of each.
Myth: Homeschool children are not socialized
In his book, The Hurried Child, Dr. Raymond Moore writes, “”The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters in order to be ‘socialized is perhaps the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and child rearing today.”
The truth is that a homeschooled child who is around his parents and siblings more than other peers are more self-confident, respect themselves more, and, feels more worthy than those who are bothered with peer pressure on a daily basis in traditional school. Children model behaviors that they see. Do you want your children modeling the behavior of their peers because that is what they are most commonly exposed to 9 months of the year?
The homeschool community is very good at providing activities for homeschooled children and families. There are sports associations, theatre arts groups, teen circles, books clubs, and more. And just like traditionally educated children, homeschool kids have friends who they hang out with too. Why so many people don’t “get” that is beyond me.
Myth: Homeschoolers Can’t Get Into College
In the past this may have been true, but today many colleges welcome homeschool students. Homeschoolers are eligible to apply for any college they wish to attend. The fact is a homeschooler can attain the credits, grades, and all the necessary requirements it takes to get into college.
There are many colleges that do not look for a diploma or GED for admissions requirements from a homeschooler. They are looking for capable, motivated learners, and responsible people to attend their schools. Colleges like Brown, Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown, and MIT accept homeschoolers because they see the students have great leadership skills, a strong work ethic, and stronger moral values.
There is no need to fear that a homeschooler can’t get into college when there are over 1400 colleges who accept them.
Myth: Parents Need to Have Credentials to Teach
The fact is that a parent does not need a teaching degree to homeschool because children learn in so many different ways. Traditional schools tend to focus on teaching one type of child; the auditory learner; and credentialed teachers are trained to teach in this manner. The homeschooling parent for the more part focuses on teaching according to the needs of the individual child.
When it come to teaching the child a homeschool parent has many options such as online charter schools, guided curriculum, homeschool co-ops where parents work together to teach children, and tutoring. I know if there is ANYTHING my child wants to learn that I cannot teach I will connect them with the resources they need. In that sense you are more like a learning facilitatior than a teacher.
With the homeschool family, the sky is the limit when it comes to teaching. There is no set way of learning for the homeschooled child.
Debunk the myths of homeschooling by being wise and knowing for yourself the truths about homeschooling. And when someone says something that you know is not true, enlighten them with the facts.