When it comes to homeschooling, people have all sorts of ideas about what it takes to be a homeschooler. In today’s blog post, we debunk some of the most prevalent myths. Let’s jump in!
Myth 1: You need an education degree to homeschool
When I tell people that I homeschool, they often assume that I have an education degree or at least a college degree of some sort. In my early days of homeschooling, when I met someone who had been a teacher prior to homeschooling her children, I assumed that homeschooling was easier for her. Imagine my surprise at being told that their degree was not much help in homeschooling.
The truth is that homeschoolers with education degrees worry if their kids will get in to college just as much as those of us without degrees do. What you do need to homeschool your child is a desire to give your child a good education and the dedication to see it through.
Myth 2: You have to have one full-time stay-at-home parent to homeschool
The state of the world today means that many, if not most, families have to have two income earners. A lot of potential homeschoolers think that this means that they can’t homeschool. I’ve worked nearly all of the years that I homeschooled my kids. While it isn’t easy, it’s doable.
Myth 3: You have to have a dedicated school room to homeschool
A lot of folks think that they need to set aside a special room in their house for homeschooling. Most people that I know don’t have a separate room for home education (I never have). If they do, it’s often a surprise to them that their children prefer to do their schoolwork at the dining room table, lying on their beds, or sprawled out across the couch. A school room may be a nice place to store materials, but homeschooling happens everywhere and a separate room is simply not necessary.
Myth 4: Only certain people homeschool
There used to be an idea that only certain people homeschooled their children. In the past mainly white middle-income families made up the largest percentage of homeschoolers. New statistics from a spring 2021 survey reported by Steven Duvall, PhD, HSLDA’s Director of Research, show that there is more diversity in homeschooling than ever before, stating that “the percent of White homeschool households in the spring of 2021 was 20.4, but Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Other families were 18.3, 18.2, 15.1, and 19.2, respectively.”
People of all races, socio-economic backgrounds, and marital statuses successfully homeschool their children. Homeschooling is truly for everyone!
Myth 5: Homeschool kids lack socialization opportunities
When we told family and friends that were going to be homeschooling our children, the first question most people asked us was, “But what about socialization?” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines socialization as, “The process beginning during childhood by which individuals acquire the values, habits, and attitudes of a society.”
It seems that people are still laboring under the idea that home educated children never leave the house but instead stay indoors at their desk only interacting with their families. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Homeschooled students are out and about in their communities on a daily basis, playing sports, volunteering, hanging out at area parks, singing in choirs, playing instruments, participating in youth civic organizations, and working part-time jobs.
In fact, homeschooled children are often better socialized than their public schooled peers who spend their days mainly with people of their own age, while home educated students interact with people of a wide variety of ages and in a wide variety of social situations.
Myth 6: Homeschooling will solve all your problems
The truth is that while homeschooling is a wonderful lifestyle that can bring families closer together and build strong relationships between parents and children, it can’t solve all of the problems your children will face in their lives. Homeschooling is not a magical protection from the influences of the world, though we might wish it were.
Does this mean homeschooling isn’t worth doing? On the contrary, as I approach my thirtieth year of homeschooling, I would have to say it is the best thing that I have ever done with my life and I look forward to the next nine years of homeschooling my youngest son.