Not too long ago, I was a public school mom considering homeschooling. The reasons to homeschool were many and the reasons to continue down the path upon which we started were few. Even so, the myths that populate our society waited, ready to pounce. Have you heard them too? Have you fallen victim to them? Have you fought them?
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8 Homeschooling Myths I’ve Believed
Myth #1 Your Children Will Be “Unsocialized”
I looked up socialized in the dictionary and here is the first definition: “to make social; make fit for life in companionship with others.” So, somehow children who are taught at home are somehow not “fit for life in companionship with others”? That’s an odd one. I’d like to ask how where my child learns determines whether they are able to be a companion to others. In my family we have 6 children. Those 6 children are best friends with each other. Sure, they fight sometimes and then they make up. They also play video games, make crafts, have dance parties, have movie nights, have talent shows, play tag, take turns on the playground, play board games and ride bikes together. Simply put, they are family and they are friends. My kids also get plenty of chances at “socialization” at church, at friend’s houses, on field trips and at co-op. If I’m not careful, they might get “too much” socialization – but that is a subject for another post.
If by socialization we are talking about friendships, there are plenty of opportunities for friends outside of a school environment. These include neighborhood playdates, parks and playground time, church, art and music lessons, co-ops, and sports. However, there is another definition for unsocialized: “not sufficiently socialized to adjust to societal norms.” If we are talking about children who can follow the rules at home and outside the home, I believe that has more to do with how we parent than where they go to school.
Myth #2 They Won’t Be Able to Play Sports & Other Extras
This one is very easy to disprove. There are countless community programs to choose from. From the local parks department to the YMCA and even some churches provide many different types of sports. Many states also allow homeschooled kids to participate in their local public school sports teams. My children both attend Tennis Lessons in Dallas and thoroughly enjoy them! As far as arts & music, my ten year old takes private piano lessons, my daughter has sung in a church children’s choir & Christmas musical, and they both take art classes. There are also opportunities locally to take drama classes, do dance lessons, physical education class, and participate in plays. There are even homeschool only groups that create choirs and other activities for homeschooled children to participate in together.
Myth #3 Your Children Will Lack Confidence From Lack of Competition
Sibling rivalry anyone? My kids get plenty of friendly and some not so friendly competition. What they don’t get at home, they get from the kids on the playground, or at their co-op. This also implies that because your child is not in the local school, they will never have a chance to be up in the spotlight, in front of their peers. This doesn’t have to be true. I stated earlier that my son takes private piano lessons. Well, along with the lessons, he has a recital to perform twice a year. My daughter has done ballet recitals, performed on stage in her choir, and if you participate in a co-op your children will be able to practice their public speaking skills and their stage fright there. Last year in our co-op, my children and I did the group devotional one week where my children acted out one of the parables that Jesus told. They get plenty of experience with this, and will get more as they grow up.
Myth #4 I CANNOT Teach High School Chemistry or Calculus
The good news is, in this day and age, you won’t have to! There are so many options when it comes to homeschooling your high schooler! These include group science classes which meet at churches and community centers, co-ops, online classes, and even taking classes at the local community college. With the growing popularity of homeschooling, moms (and dads) have a much easier job. We can hand over the reigns on the subjects that intimidate us, to others whom we trust. In fact, that is how many high-school co-ops are run. In our co-op the moms and dads who have a science background and degree teach the science classes and the others who have grammar and English background teach those… and then there are those of us who have an art background and we get to have fun with paint and pencils! There is something for everyone!
Myth #5 Homeschooling Costs Too Much
It can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. There are FREE options in homeschooling, there are cheap options and there are very expensive options. Many websites exist for buying and selling used curriculum and books. In addition to this, there are reusable curriculum choices that you can save to use for each child, and of course there is always your local library! Plus, if you have friends who homeschool, you can take turns borrowing supplies.
Some Free & Cheap Curriculum Websites:
Facebook group for free & cheap homeschool deals:
Facebook page for free deals:
Used curriculum sold by other homeschooling parents:
Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op (awesome deals & free to join):
Myth #6 Homeschool Moms Get No “Me Time”
There is a perception that moms must get NO time to themselves if they homeschool. While, I admit, that I do get less “me time” than a stay at home mom whose kids all go to school, I can’t say that I don’t get any time to myself. We still take a break in the late afternoon for quiet time. I get some time to chat with other moms at our co-op, which I adore. We also are free to have “playdates” and field trips with other parents and children.
Myth #7 If You Don’t Have A Teaching Degree, You Are Unqualified To Teach
This one is personally offensive to me. I do not have a teaching degree, but I do have a college degree and I LOVE learning. I was one of the nerdy kids at school, who actually enjoyed going to school and learning new things. I hope to impart that love of learning on my own children. I do not think it is the degree that makes you wise, I think it your love and aptitude for knowledge. If you can read, you can teach your children. If you are especially nervous about how to teach or what to teach, there are many curriculum choices available that will instruct you on what to say and what to ask your student. Heart of Dakota gives many prompts to the teacher and gives specific questions to ask the students. The bigger issue, I believe, is whether you have the passion and heart to homeschool your kids. You must believe in yourself and not let the outside voices haunt you.
Myth #8 Only Super Moms Can Homeschool
So this one kind of sounds like a compliment, but it is still an excuse that many use for reasons they won’t or can’t homeschool. You all know how I feel about that. I have never met Supermom because she doesn’t exist. There will be tough times and there might be doubts. Just understand that none of us are perfect and you will learn as you go. Keeping up with your kids test marks can be hard, I can’t even imagine how tough it is to mark a class of 30 kids tests! I love to use a test grader to take some pressure of me to do my marking, it’s super easy to do and saves me so much time. I’m sure this would be even more helpful for primary school teachers who have a lot more marking than I do!
Don’t allow these common myths to deter you. If you feel led into homeschooling your children, I want to encourage you that you can do it. You are equipped to teach your children. It may sound cliché, but to have a happy homeschool all you really need is love.