Misconceptions about Homeschooling

Looking for a good laugh? Tell your family and friends that you have decided to homeschool your children and watch the expressions on their faces. Odds are you’ll get a lot of different looks ranging from dirty, to horrified, to those who think you’re making a joke. After they realize that you’re serious and aren’t just pulling their leg, then most will be concerned. Going by this, it’s safe to assume that homeschooling isn’t exactly the most widely accepted idea among the modern nation. However, more and more people are doing it. It’s at the point where even the public school system are trying to hang onto the kids that are being homeschooled by offering online curriculums. Homeschooling shows no sign of slowing down either. However, as it grows in popularity, the opposition to it still holds it’s ground. Apparently homeschoolers are “missing out” on so much? Really? Because that has not been my experience. It seems there are quite a few misconceptions about homeschoolers that fuel the negativity against it.

Let’s take a look at these homeschoolers and see if there is any validity to them. The big argument against homeschooling and likely the first one you’ll hear is this: “What about socialization?” Ah yes, socialization. As if sitting in a classroom where you get in trouble for whispering to peers is the one and only way for a child to socialize. I remember my years in school, we didn’t have much time to socialize, and usually the socialization did not extend beyond school hours. Whenever we did try to socialize in class during a recess or lunch, we usually met with an angry “shhhh” unless we did it really quietly. It’s understandable that we shouldn’t disturb other classes, but it sort of does put a block on the socialization aspect of things. I can’t imagine they gave students more time to socialize as the grades went up. So already, we see that schools aren’t really bastions of socialization. Sure, you can meet people, but it’s not as if you’re doomed to being in a box if you don’t go to your regular school. I know many homeschoolers and was homeschooled myself for my later years of education. I can testify that homeschoolers get plenty of socialization, especially if they attend a co-op. Homeschoolers also have the potential to have more time to socialize after their school work is done since they aren’t bogged down with extra homework. Having known homeschoolers and kids who went to regular school, I’ve found the homeschoolers to be more social, or at the very least equal, to those who go to a classroom. So the idea that homeschoolers are not getting enough socialization is simply incorrect. While I am sure people could cite extreme cases of parents never letting their child out of the house, I am sure you could also cite more than enough examples of antisocial kids in a classroom. When all is said and done, socialization is not an issue with homeschooling. If anything, having socialization and education kept separately to avoid either being a distraction for the other is a plus to homeschooling. Homeschooled kids are plenty social, so there is one misconception debunked.

The misconceptions about homeschooling are so incorrect that the article could’ve probably ended once the socialization part of it was debunked, but there are other misconceptions that tend to follow. A popular one of these is that kids have to see the world; they can’t have their parents cleaning up for them forever. This one I really don’t get, the parents send the kids to school and typically pay the bills and give the kids the money. Parents are still helping the kids. At home, often the parents are harder on the kids because they tend to know when their child is not being pushed to their limits. As somebody who has experienced both forms of schooling, I can testify that I learned more of the world in homeschooling than I did in school. Unless you live in a box, you’ll certainly see the world, even if you don’t head to a classroom on a daily basis. If anything, the freedom to take schoolwork on the road with you and have your own schedule will allow kids to see more of the world than those cramped up in a classroom. Parents who homeschool their children aren’t necessarily sheltering them, bur rather are merely taking control of their child’s education from those who they feel have been failing their children. So yet again, another myth about homeschooling is debunked.

Homeschool kids socialize and they see the world, two things that completely debunk the major misconceptions objectors to homeschooling forward. Now, onto the benefits. In a more one on one setting, the child can learn at their pace. They aren’t held back by slower peers and they aren’t pushed ahead before they are ready. If you use a prepared curriculum, you can also eliminate any worries about the parents not being ‘qualified’ to teach, as the kids will still answer to accredited teachers. Kids who are homeschooled have been proven to, on average, outshine those in the classroom academically. They are taught how to think, instead of just what to think. Their hours are flexible and you set the barriers about what they can learn instead of a school board who do not know your child’s personal abilities. There’s just so much to gain and the downsides are mostly the illusions created by an extreme minority.

Clearly homeschooling isn’t for everybody. Not everybody can afford to devote the time and money to it. Some people just can’t deal with the work it requires, and yes, it does require a lot of hard work. Homeschooling isn’t easy and if you can’t commit to it, it’s probably best that you don’t do it. However, if somebody is willing to commit and is willing to work at home education, how can anybody seriously not see the merit in that? If you make the decision to homeschool your children, you likely will be met with those looks that will say that you are crazy and irrational, and as long as people are clinging to their misconceptions, such behavior will likely continue. However, what other people think isn’t something that should stop you from providing your child with what you believe to the best education possible. With the benefits clearly visible and the misconceptions refuted, homeschooling is a very appealing and viable option for a child’s education.