In this day and age, homeschooling, while certainly not considered to be mainstream, has gained some ground in credibility and acceptance with the general public. Despite this fact, however, there are still some pesky myths about homeschooling that just don’t seem to go away. Unfortunately, some of these myths are being perpetuated by well-meaning friends and family members. This is one homeschooler’s attempt to put these rumors to rest- for good.
-‘Homeschoolers can’t go to college.’– Yes, this rumor is still making rounds. In fact, the mother of one of my daughter’s friends decided to tell my daughter this was so. I assured my daughter that quite the opposite is true. Colleges are actively recruiting homeschoolers, and not just any colleges, but Ivy League colleges. While students in traditional schools have been learning how to follow directions and do what they’re told for 12+ years, homeschoolers have been busy learning how to think for themselves through self-directed learning, apprenticeships, and even entrepreneurship.
-‘Homeschooled kids don’t learn right.’– This is actually a direct quote from a family member to, again, my daughter. (Poor girl. People always seem to pick her to unload their grievances about homeschooling on. Interestingly, the relative who made that statement didn’t say it in front of my mother or myself.) I don’t really even know what this is supposed to mean. ‘Don’t learn right?’ Is there one right way to learn? If there is, let me in on it, because I’ll start training my kids on it stat. 😉 Whatever was meant, the notion that homeschooled kids aren’t getting a proper education is still quite common, despite all the evidence to the contrary. For example, my kids always used to sit outside and read to each other at our old house. Our neighbors would often be in their yard at the same time. This didn’t stop the husband from one day questioning my 12-yr.-old daughter about whether or not she could read. I’m not kidding. When she told him that she could, he went in his house, brought out a book, and told her to take it home and read it because he would be questioning her about it when he saw her again. We had a good laugh about it when she got inside, and we never really interacted much with him again. And she did NOT read the book.
It boggles my mind that people are so preoccupied with bashing the education that children receive at home. Just today, someone followed me on Twitter who seems to focus solely on criticizing homeschool parents and advocating for more state regulation of homeschooling. Sorry, buddy. I didn’t follow you back. The school district that we live in has teens graduating with a 7th grade-sometimes lower- reading level. Maybe people should start focusing more on that. As it stands, the logical conclusion is, if Ivy League schools are seeking homeschoolers, then we must be doing something right.
–‘Homeschooled kids don’t know how to act around other people.’– I have to laugh out loud at this one. If you have any questions about the social interactions of homeschoolers, I invite you to come to my house at 7:30am and observe the kids walking to the school up the street. Bad language? Check. Fighting? Check. Screaming and carrying on? Check. Holding up traffic? Check. Inappropriate behavior? Check. Hmm…maybe they were talking about public school kids. Yeah, that must be it.
–‘Homeschooled kids won’t know how to live in the real world.’– Newsflash: They are living in the real world. While most kids are learning about the world from textbooks while being confined between four walls, homeschoolers are learning about the real world by being in it. They don’t need to count money on a worksheet. They’re counting, and using, real money. Instead of learning about banking, they’re going to the bank. Instead of completing a reproducible about reptiles and amphibians, they’re going to the creek and finding the real thing. I could continue like this all night. Suffice it to say, if the real world is going to be a shock to anyone- and it often is- it will be a shock to those kids who only know about it through books and power points.
-‘Parents aren’t qualified to teach their kids.’- If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that…Actually, some people have gone so far as to call parents who choose to homeschool their children “pompous” for assuming they can do the job that teachers are trained for. People who take this stance simply don’t understand how children learn, and they clearly haven’t been versed on the history of compulsory school. The routines and methods practiced by public school teachers are simply not necessary in a home environment. As many a teacher with an education degree will tell you, they were mainly trained in classroom management and how to follow the script of a curriculum. Unless you are the parent of 20 children who are all the same age, this won’t be necessary.
Parents can be very resourceful when it comes to educating their children. If there is one thing that homeschool parents have that teachers don’t, it is love for their children, and that is the most important asset one can have, because love is the strongest motivation to strive for the best.
As the homeschool movement grows, it will become less and less of an oddity and will eventually be seen for the advantage that it is. Until then, however, it is up to us to lay these false notions to rest, and now is a great time to start. 🙂