Many times parents are approached by those who have questions about homeschooling. In the present day, it’s hard to believe that some common antiquated myths are still circulating. After so much information has been published to edify those who lack accurate information about homeschooling, the need to educate remains.
Since beginning my journey as a homeschool parent, I have been showered with positivity and acceptance. However, every once in a while, negative feedback does surface. So far, adverse reactions received have not been current or former homeschooling families. I am lead to believe negative views about homeschooling are due to a person’s lack of knowledge about the topic. I am going to attempt to clarify some things so that those who are unaware can gain insight that may prove useful to them.
Misconception #1: Homeschooling is not normal.
Reality: Not only is it normal, but it is also prevalent in the United States and areas abroad. The National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI, 2019) stated that there are approximately 2.3 million homeschool students in the United States. Homeschooling allows children to receive an education that is highly individualized, and the number of parents choosing to homeschool their children continues to grow significantly.
Misconception #2: Homeschoolers lack social skills.
Reality: When I began homeschooling my daughter, I was overwhelmed with the response that I received from the homeschooling community. The reactions were motivating, inspiring, and welcoming; however, I had no idea that there were so many homeschooling families in my area! It seemed that everywhere we turned, we made contact with a homeschooling family. Furthermore, homeschoolers LOVE to talk, and they have much to discuss. My homeschooler has more friends now than she did when she attended public school, and she continues to make new friends daily. Homeschoolers do not lack social skills by any means.
Misconception #3: Parents aren’t qualified to teach their children.
Reality: Yes we are. For example, I am college educated, and I am currently pursuing a third degree. Furthermore, I know homeschool parents without college educations whom I would consider equally qualified. Homeschool parents pride themselves in giving their children high-quality educations, and there are many resources for parents to utilize to assist them with teaching various subjects. Homeschool parents are information seekers, and they are always willing to learn something new. These parents are very knowledgable and very resourceful regardless of their formal educational level. Hats off to the homeschooling parents!
Misconception #4: Homeschooling parents don’t have jobs.
Reality: Don’t get me wrong, some parents are stay-at-home parents. However, homeschooling families come from all tax brackets, and many parents work to support their households. Some homeschoolers come from single-parent homes, and their parents teach while holding full-time or part-time jobs. Others come from families with two parents who work full-time. Some parents hold two positions and homeschool their child or children. I’m not going to tell you that working while homeschooling a child is easy, but it is a reality. I am a working homeschool parent as well, full-time.
Misconception #5: Homeschoolers do not have access to extracurricular activities.
Reality: They do. Homeschoolers have access to the same activities as their peers who enrolled in public school systems. There are homeschool athletic teams, academic clubs, art clubs (NHERI, 2019) – you name it. There are homeschool dances as well as promotion and graduation ceremonies. Homeschoolers do not “miss out” on anything, and they have tons of educational field trips!
Misconception #6: Homeschoolers are weird.
Reality: No, they aren’t. Some are academically or artistically gifted. Others have learning disabilities, and still, others are average. Weird is something that they are not.
Misconception #7: Homeschoolers have trouble getting accepted into college.
Reality: Many colleges readily accept homeschoolers (NHERI, 2019). Research confirms the capability of homeschoolers to adjust to the college setting. Homeschooled students typically score higher on the SAT and ACT (NHERI, 2019), and they usually begin college already possessing college credits. On average, homeschoolers have been shown to have higher grade point averages and higher graduation rates than their peers.
Misconception #8: Few African-American parents homeschool their children.
Reality: Recently, there has been a shift in the number of African-American families who are choosing to homeschool their children. Currently, approximately 220,000 homeschoolers are African-American (Webber & Kargbo, 2018) and the number is growing. A common reason for the spike in homeschooling among this population is due to the lack of focus on African-American history in the classroom settings as well as the desire for better academic outcomes. Racial disparities also play a role in the decision to homeschool these children.
Of course, I have not discussed all of the circulating homeschool myths, but, hopefully, this helps those choosing to engage in discussions regarding homeschooling. What myths about homeschooling have you heard lately?
National Home Education Research Institute. (2019). Research facts on homeschooling. Retrieved from https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/
Webber, S. & Kargbo, C. (2018). Black families increasingly choose to homeschool kids. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/black-families-increasingly-choose-to-homeschool-kids
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