My parents began homeschooling in the early 1980s, when few people had even heard of homeschooling. In fact, homeschool was such a new idea back then that my dad lobbied for legal homeschooling in the State of Washington.
We have probably heard every common homeschool myth, and a few that are uncommon. And while I am an advocate for school choice, meaning that parents are free to choose homeschool, private school or even public school, I am growing increasingly concerned for kids that attend public school.
With the recent Bathroom Bill debacle, I believe that our children face even more dangers than before. I explained my thoughts fully in my previous article “How Will Christian Parents Respond to the Bathroom Bill“.
- Pornographic sex-education
- Prevalent drug problem
- Politically correct curriculum
- Threat of school shootings
- The flood of news stories about sexual predators in the school system and
- Anti-Christian rhetoric
isn’t reason enough to consider an alternative form of education, perhaps the possibility that your child will have to share a bathroom with and disrobe in front of a child of the opposite sex will set our teeth on edge enough to begin actively seeking something else for the souls God has entrusted to us!
I must ask: if a shopping mall consistently contained such threats, would we allow our children to go there apart from our supervision? I would suspect we wouldn’t allow them to there with our supervision, let alone spend 6-7 hours locked up there void of our supervision and unable to leave.
To that point, Target, which poses no threat of violence, was boycotted heavily by Christians and yet public schools that have repeatedly been the target of mass shootings have never been the subject of mass boycott.
And this puzzles me greatly!
Here are 8 homeschool myths that I’d like to debunk.
My reason for writing this isn’t to be snarky or pushy, it is to genuinely remove any roadblocks that may be preventing parents from seriously considering homeschooling as a viable education alternative for their children.
Myth #1. My child wont have the opportunity he needs to socialize with other children.
This has to be the single most common myth about homeshooling: that homeschool children are imprisoned in their homes and either never socialize with other children or only socialize with other homeschool children. While I am sure that such families perhaps exist, they are the very minor exception. As a homeschooled child, we socialized all the time with other children. We lived in a neighborhood with many children our age, who were not even Christian. My parents freely allowed us to play with them all day, every day.
My parents also pastored a large church with many, many families. We slept over at our friends’ homes and they at our home. We were very social as a homeschooling family.
The fact is that school shouldn’t be used as a social club. School should be more for learning and less for socializing; and it is up to families to provide opportunities for their children to socialize outside of a learning environment.
Myth #2: My child will not be able to play sports
Most communities have homeschool co-ops that provide homeschool children opportunities to engage in elective and extra-curricular actives, such as sports, drama, music, theater, etc.
Check with other homeschool parents in your area to see what opportunities are available for you. You can also get creative with how you approach sports in your family. My brother liked track, and since my dad also enjoyed running they would enter 2-3 local 10ks every year. My brother always took 1st place in his division. It was a great alternative to a sports program and gave him opportunity to run with his peers, as well as with grown men and women in other divisions.
Myth #3: Homeschooling is too hard. You have to be an expert in every subject.
For parents of grade school parents, you already are an expert in every subject. Or so I hope. Homeschooling grade school children should be fairly simple, since what is taught is fairly elementary to all of us.
As your children grow and their needs perhaps extend beyond what we feel capable, there are alternatives to traditional teaching available that enable children to still learn at home and receive a quality education that will likely be superior to what they would get in a public school.
Here is a link that gives some great statistical data about how homeschooling students grade on standardized tests, and graduate from college, as opposed to public school students:
Which leads us to myth #4
Myth #4: My child is in Jr. High or High School. I don’t feel qualified to teach the subjects he is required to learn.
I want to say first that I graduated from homeschool, which means that I was taught high school from home, even in the 1990s when homeschool resources were still rather limited.
Homeschool families today are blessed with a wealth of resources in curriculum and in the form of co-ops that enable parents to easily homeschool Jr. High and High School students. Jr High and High School students can attend correspondence Christian school online via streaming or DVD. Parents can also affiliate with these schools so that their children receive a diploma from that school.
Here is a link to HSLDA – a homeschool advocate website – where you can find resources for homechooling through high school.
Myth #5: Homeschooling is too expensive. I could never afford it. This may have been true 20 years ago, when I was homeschooled. I know my parents made huge sacrifices to homeschool us. However, today you have so many incredible resources online that you could almost homeschool for free!
Also, just a simple Pinterst search for “Free Homeschool Materials” will give you all you need to create or supplement your homeschool curriculum.
If you’re looking or specific school books, you can also join Facebook communities and attend curriculum fairs where you can trade books or purchase gently used books at a deep discount.
Homeschooling today has never been more affordable!
Myth #6: I am a single parent, homeschooling is impossible for my family.
Thankfully, even single parents can homeschool! I know single parents who have been homeschooling for a while now, and who succeed at it.
Here are some resources where you can learn about homeschooling as a single parent:
How Can a Single Mom Afford to Homeschool, by Not Consumed
Affording Single Mom Homeschooling, by Free Homeschool Deals
Tips for Single Parent Homeschooling, by Simple Homeschool
Single Parents Can Homeschool by Crosswalk.com
Myth #7: I am a working mom, I would never have time to homeschool.
Would you believe me if I told you that even working moms homeschool? Oh yes! There is a whole community of working homeschool moms.
If you are a working mom, but still genuinely wish to homeschool, here are some resources for you:
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling for Working Moms, Unschool Rules
Homeschooling When Both Parents Work, The Pioneer Woman
7 Scheduling Tips for a Working Homeschool Mom, Hip Homeschool Moms
How Do You Homeschool and Work Full Time, Life of a Homeschool Mom
Simple Homeschool Schedule for Working Moms, Not Consumed
Working and Homeschooling, Working Moms Against Guilt
Myth #8: I just don’t feel called to homeschool.
While I would never argue with someone’s calling, or lack thereof, I humbly ask us all to examine our hearts to see if whether a lack of a call could be due to fear of the unknown or unfamiliar, or a lack of a desire to invest in something that will definitely require a lot of extra effort on our part.
For many years I claimed I was not called to be a missionary, and that was because I was genuinely afraid of living in another country. I was even more afraid that God would ask me to do something I really didn’t want to do.
As it turns out, He did. I hoped that by yelling, “I’m not called” loud enough that I would convince God not to call me. However, now that I’ve lived on the foreign field for nearly 12 years, I realize that simply can’t imagine myself anywhere else.
A brief perusal of scripture actually defends the argument that all parents are called to educate their children. And while it is true that I defend a parent’s right to make their own choice as to which form of education they feel best fits their family, I am growing more concerned as to the safety of children in public schools. Their safety in every possible form is uncertain and under threat.
If I still lived in the states, that alone would be “calling” enough for me.
While it is not my intention to push someone into a decision, it is my intention to present the facts as they are so that parents can make an informed decision as to how their children will be educated.
It is our choice, after all. And the public school system is making it easier for parents to choose an alternative to their failing option!