My husband and I made the decision to homeschool our children long before my pregnancy with our first baby. There is a lot of judgement and stigma surrounding homeschooling. The stereotypes are exhausting. In this post I will argue against the top five myths that are believed about homeschoolers. Even if you could never imagine homeschooling your own kids, hopefully you can learn something from this post and help put an end to the stigma of homeschooling families.
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Homeschool Myth #1: Socialization
Socialization is probably one of the biggest concerns when I tell people we are going to homeschool. There might be some truth to it in cases where kids are homeschooled in rural areas and don’t have many opportunities to meet other kids. But we live in a very populated city surrounded by other very populated cities. Here in Utah there are a large amount of homeschool groups. We could attend at least a couple homeschool activities weekly if we wanted to.
Besides that though, I just don’t believe that my kids need to sit in a classroom with 30 other kids their age to be properly “socialized”. My kids get the opportunity to play with kids of all ages frequently either at a homeschool activity, playdate, or even just talking to other kids at the park. They also regularly get the opportunity to socialize with adults. They see their grandparents frequently and at least once or twice a week they go to a coffee shop with my husband or myself. They sit at the table with their drink and their snack and interact with the adults around them. I feel like my kids are getting a much more well rounded “socialization” than kids in school.
Homeschool Myth #2: I’m not qualified to teach my children
In a way, this is true. I do not have the qualifications necessary to teach at a public school, or even a private or charter school as I am still a few credits away from receiving my bachelors degree. However, the qualifications to teach my own children are much different. I don’t need a degree or special training. Like I said, academically I did well in school. Reading, writing, and math all came easily to me. I can teach these concepts to my children without a degree, in education or anything else. If something does come up that I don’t know or can’t teach my children, I will learn it with them or find someone who can teach them. There are many curriculums available and the internet makes it very easy to access any information my kids need or want to learn. As Greg Perry preaches in his book, Public Schools Aren’t Broken, I am my children’s mother. I love them more than anything and no one cares for them more than I do. This is the only qualification I need to provide the best possible education for my children.
Homeschool Myth #3: They won’t be ready for the real world
I feel like this one is closely related to the socializing concern but it deserves it’s own argument. My kids won’t have the experience of sitting in a desk for over 30 hours each week but that doesn’t mean they won’t be prepared for the real world. Because of the freedom they have in their childhood, I feel like they will be even better equipped to take on whatever they want to as an adult. They will be confident and ready to face it.
Also, my husband and I have never been a typical couple. My husband retired from his career he was 35 and gets to spend a lot of his time at home with us. I love that my kids get to see this. Before they are teenagers they will see the value in starting their own businesses. They will see the success and freedom that is possible if they work hard.
When people say my kids won’t be prepared for the real world, I sometimes respond by saying I don’t want to prepare them for the “real world” as it is lived by so many people. I don’t want to prepare them to spend their lives working for someone else.
Alternatively, my kids might be even more prepared for the real world because they are already in it. Most days they go everywhere with me. They are constantly getting a first hand look at the real world.
Homeschool Myth #4: They won’t be ready college
Unless either of my boys want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or something else that requires intense training, I will be advocating for them to not go to college. I am hoping that through their early teenage years they can find opportunities to help them decide what they would like to do with their lives before they become adults. I really hope they inherited the entrepreneurial gene from their dad, myself, and both of their grandfathers. I hope that by the time they are college aged, they will already be on a path towards having their own successful business and a college education won’t be necessary. I refuse to raise my kids to look at college as a requirement. There are so many other amazing ways to learn in this life. If either of them makes the decision that they do want to follow a path that requires college, my husband and I are confident that we can prepare them for college better than any high school might prepare them.
Homeschool Myth #5: It’s expensive
Homeschooling actually doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Sure, there is a ton of curriculum and activities out there you could spend a lot of money on but it’s very possible to homeschool for next to nothing if not totally free. There are online programs that your child can participate in for nothing at all. There are also several amazing and affordable curriculums available. Even better, you purchase some of them just once and use it for all of your children.