9 Biggest Myths About Homeschooling
Many people don’t realize that homeschooling can be a very positive and effective way to educate your children. Despite the fact that homeschooling is more popular than you’d think, myths and misunderstandings about it persist. Let’s dispel nine of the most common myths about homeschooling, so you can make the best decision for your child and your family.
Myth #1: Homeschooled Children Don’t Socialize
This is perhaps the most prevalent myth, and the most incorrect.
Socialization is about much more than just interacting with other children in the same age group. Instead of a child being stuck in a classroom with the same thirty students every day, a child who is homeschooled gets to socialize with family, parents, neighbors, friends, and members of the community. The social skills that a child learns from being homeschooled are often more beneficial and healthy than what many kids get from a traditional school environment.
In fact, a 2000 study by the Discovery Institute showed that homeschooled children were scored as “well-adjusted” by trained counselors and exhibited fewer behavioral problems than their peers.
Myth #2: Parents Aren’t Qualified to Teach
Parents are actually the most important teachers in a child’s life, and they always have been. Parents are the ones who taught their child how to walk, talk, and eat, and are the first example that children look to when learning how to function in society. In many ways, parents are the most qualified people to teach their own children because trust and support have already been established. Not only that, but also parents today have more resources than ever.
Although not “traditional homeschooling,” comprehensive online programs that parents choose to educate their children include a professionally crafted curriculum. These school-at-home parents don’t go it alone; they have all the tools and resources amassed over many decades by a dedicated community of other homeschool parents. These often include access to certified educators and tutors to supplement the homeschool curriculum.
Myth #3: If You’re Homeschooled, You Can’t Get into College
In fact, homeschoolers have a higher rate of attending college than any other group of children: 66.7% of homeschooled children, compared to 57.5% of traditional public school children. Some top-tier colleges like Yale, Dartmouth, and UC Berkeley actually seek out homeschooled kids and accept them at a high rate. These schools recognize the unique qualities and skills that such children often possess, such as being self-motivated and self-disciplined.
In addition, many students who study at home with an online school have been accepted by excellent college and universities and tell us they learned how to be responsible for their own education and how to manage their time from their online school. These skills led to a smoother transition to college, a time when many students struggle with their newfound independence.
Myth #4: Homeschooled Kids Can’t Function in the Real World
Homeschooled children spend every day of their education in the “real world.” A big misconception about homeschooled kids is that they sit at home all day and never get the opportunity to leave the house. In reality, homeschooled students get more time outside and learn more about their surroundings when they’re learning from home.
When other children are cooped up in a single room all day, homeschool children are out and about, interacting with their community. Because they have a more flexible schedule, they may also have more opportunities to volunteer at local shelters or nursing homes or to get involved in community activities. They also the ability to participate in and travel for team sports without missing schoolwork.
Myth #5: Very Few People Homeschool Their Kids
Approximately 1.7 million children are homeschooled every day in the United States. Parents are finding that homeschooling puts their children’s needs and goals at the center of their education.
Myth #6: Homeschooled Kids Don’t Learn As Well
A homeschool program is extremely specific when it comes to how an individual child learns. Every child is different, and how each understands and absorbs new information is unique. Homeschooling provides a customizable way of teaching and learning for the child, which can help them learn at a faster rate than other public school children. It also means that your homeschooled child’s experience isn’t about what is best for all; it’s about what is best for your specific child.
Myth #7: Extracurricular Activities Are Unavailable
Homeschooling actually frees up more time for a child to be involved and active in the community. There’s no waiting for the whole class to settle down. Fewer distractions and no classroom disciplinary issues mean that students can focus better and move ahead when they’re ready. Instead of having typical school hours holding them back, homeschooled children will have extra time to play, relax, work on homework, learn new skills and hobbies, and participate in extracurricular activities later in the day with their friends.
Myth #8: Families Who Homeschool Their Kids Are All Alike
A household that prefers to homeschool their child one way may approach things completely different from the family down the street who also homeschools. Just like any family, each homeschool family is unique.
Homeschool families come in all shapes and sizes, including homes where both parents work, parents with a single child, parents with many children, homes where not all children are homeschooled, and homes from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Although their reasons for choosing to educate their children at home differ, these families share one thing in common: they want what is best for their kids.
Myth #9: Homeschooling Services Are All the Same
Homeschooling services, like online public schools, work with the parents to make sure they understand and can easily educate their child with the necessary support and encouragement. While one program may not be the best match for your family, there are many options available. If you do your research and pinpoint the best service for your needs, it’s possible to find the right homeschool program for your child.
If you’re a homeschool or online school parent, what misconceptions have you encountered about your method of educating your child? Share your myths—and your best rebuttals—in the comments.