We are just one of several homeschooling families in our town. I decided to compose this post in response to the numerous questions I receive about what we do, how we do it,and how we maintain a comparatively “normal” (or so we call it) lifestyle.
Here are five homeschooling myths we hear about regularly:
Homeschool children are not socialized – Homeschooling Myth #1
This homeschooling myth is not only a little incorrect, it’s 100% incorrect! My kids have been raised with a multitude of societal opportunities. In fact, I believe that by being at home for their schooling, my kids are allowed some social opportunities that they wouldn’t have if they were in a conventional school setting. For example, once a month my kids take part in a food distribution to needy and homeless individuals. In addition to that, my kids are around to oversee my husband and I in our day-to-day lives. They see how my husband and I deal with day-to-day challenges, and they learn from it. They’ve been instructed to greet people with a handshake and to make eye contact. They understand how to start dialogues with people of all ages, and they are in general, extremely comfortable with all kinds of individuals.
My children have more free time than their public school peers and they fill their time with book clubs, scouts, sports and more.
A lot of the socialization that goes on in some conventional schools is substantially more frightening to me than the prospect of my kids losing out on a little socialization (which I don’t think they are). If talking about sex at eight and nine years old, cussing, and intimidating is being “ socialized,” I would take “nerdy/not-quite-as-socialized” all day long.
Homeschool mothers are the “teacher,” thus creating a curriculum, and in general providing the education for every one of their children – Homeschooling Myth #2
Thank Goodness, no!
I use a web-based program for my kids, which comes with a large number of textbooks, workbooks, and teacher guides. We’ve really tried at least six or seven different programs, and quite frankly, I’ve liked every single one of them for different reasons. Some need a little more organization from the parents, some are on-line, and some are not. Right now, our school day requires very little prep work or participation from me, which is truly helpful since I have four to manage. I do have to grade and record the kids work (using a grade book — which is so simple!) and I offer support and proper nagging when necessary. I do keep up in my teacher guide with what they are doing.
No — it isn’t simple. But it is not nearly as difficult as most people would assume.
Homeschooled children goof off all day and don’t get a real education – Homeschooling Myth #3
I think this is actually the exception. While I’ve seen families who let their children run wild under the guise of “homeschooling,” most families that choose to homeschool commit to giving their kids the best instruction possible. Deciding to keep kids at home all day is a critical decision that is thought through by many families who homeschool. Many parents that choose to homeschool are ready to change their own day-to-day agenda to manage their children’s schooling. I might sometimes day-dream about spending my day with friends, or getting a job outside the house, but I have never regretted my choice to stay home with my kids and provide them a better education.
Homeschool families have an alternative lifestyle: They grind their own wheat, sew their very own clothing, and drive horse and buggies – Homeschooling Myth #4
We do pick our own berries from the neighbor’s yard (with permission of course), and we’d love to live off the land, but who doesn’t think of this from time to time? Truth is, I’m not very handy, and I don’t even own a sewing machine.
Homeschool families don’t have cable or live in the “real world” – Homeschooling Myth #5
Nope. Just not true…again.
Luckily, living in California where we’re outside a LOT, so we don’t have a huge battle when it comes to screen time. We believe in limiting the time our kids spend online and on their phones, but this has not been a huge deal for us. We encourage our kids to utilize the internet for educational purposes, using the incredible free websites that teach everything from guitar chords, to fascinating science facts, to how to build a tree house. I am thrilled to be raising children in such an age as this where they have so many educational opportunities!
Please hear this, before I close: I would never imply that homeschooling is appropriate for everyone. Many try and find that it isn’t for them. We might even stop homeschooling one day down the road, depending on circumstances. I’m so happy for the INDEPENDENCE we have in America to pick what’s best for our own family. And for now, I’m SO thankful for the amazing experiences my kids get while they are homeschooled. I wouldn’t trade what we are doing for the world.