If you’d told me every in life that I’d be homeschooling, I’d tell you what the lie detector determined (pretty much that you were lying). At the end of my son’s second grade year, I looked at the options for teachers for the 3rd grade and realized that I wasn’t going to be comfortable with any of them. That’s when I had the first idea of potentially homeschooling.
It was at that time that I found a documentary online discussing black homeschooling families. My husband and I watched and questioned whether it was something that we could do. We knew we had the means and that my work schedule would give us the flexibility we needed. Our youngest child already used sitters at home, so finding somewhere for our oldest during the day wouldn’t be a challenge.
We finally made the decision to go forward with our decision. I knew I’d need to do the research to ensure I was making informed decisions. What I found was that there was a plethora of information on the information and much of what I believed about homeschooling was untrue.
Currently with Covid, I have many people ask me about homeschooling and the process. Many parents are finding themselves in a situation where they’re considering homeschooling versus sending their children to school. While I still consider myself an amateur, I am able to share what I know. I have included
5 Misconceptions About Homeschooling
Misconception #1: Homeschoolers can’t participate in extracurricular activities
In the state of SC, I was pleased to learn that my son would be able to play middle and high school sports (or any extracurricular activity) after being homeschooled for one year. I’d only be responsible for getting him to and from practices. Homeschooling actually can create extra time for practice of any craft because you remove the fluff of time in school. There are many famous people that were homeschooled. For example, Venus & Serena Williams, Albert Einstein, the Jonas brothers, Simon Biles, Justin Timberlake, and Justin Bieber were all homeschooled. If homeschooling allows my children to perfect a craft, that school otherwise hinders, I’d be all for it.
Misconception #2: Homeschooling can only be done one way
When I started homeschooling, I remember reading something that suggested “deschooling” for every year my son had been in school. In essence, I needed to take a break to understand that homeschool didn’t have to be like traditional school. This is recommended if you, particularly, are new to homeschooling. It gives you time to learn your child’s learning style and know that learning can happen anytime and anywhere. Your child does not need to sit with books and at a desk all day to learn. There are many different homeschool styles to consider.
There are many references that state that my son doesn’t need to school for more than 4 hours per day, less if he stays focused. Just think! Even if I schooled him five days a week at 4 hours, he’d still spend half the time “in school” than if he were in public school. The way I see it is that most adults don’t want to work 40 hours per week but expect children to be at school for more than that if they’re in after school care.
It’s nice to go outside and school or do field trips during the week when crowds are low. Homeschool can be very rewarding without the stress after you find what works for you. Homeschooling can be as traditional or non-traditional as you want it to be. Don’t think it has to be one way. Make it work well for you and your child and be flexible. If something isn’t working for either of you, don’t hesitate to change it up.
Misconception #3: Homeschool children don’t socialize
When I told people I had chosen to homeschool, “My concern is lack of socialization.” was the first thing I heard. I’m not sure where this misconceived notion comes from. Homeschool children aren’t cut off from the world. They are allowed to socialize with other homeschool children and the same neighborhood friends they had prior to homeschooling.
I’ve volunteered at his old school enough to know that the only time the kids really “socialized” was at recess. Otherwise, classroom time was for learning and the kids were expected to be quiet during those times. That leaves little socialization.
I will say that Covid has put a slight damper on playdates he has but that’s the case for everyone at this point with the social distancing. If your child is a social butterfly, be sure to create situations where they still meet with their friends. Homeschooling isn’t the end of socialization but it is the end of bullying.
Misconception #4: Homeschool Parents Aren’t Qualified
It’s common knowledge that parents are their children’s first teachers. Now don’t get me wrong, if you follow a traditional public-school education, you might find that you don’t feel qualified to teach. I can assure you that there are resources can help you in subjects you feel less qualified to teach. My favorite is Outschool. If it’s a subject or lesson I haven’t been able to teach, I can find an instructor who is qualified. There are, however, many other resources available for homeschooling parents.
Parents are the main person(s) responsible for creating people able to function in society. If you go into homeschooling with that mentality, you’ll be just fine. Remember, lean on your other homeschool parents for help. Your community will make all the difference.
Misconception #5: Homeschool children have a hard time getting in and going to college
Let’s be honest here. There are people that go to public school their whole educations that have trouble getting in and going to college. Being homeschool doesn’t decrease the chances of you getting into college. In fact, colleges are more receptive to homeschoolers because they feel that they are independent learners, self-disciplined, and self-motivated or at least I read that at the beginning of my homeschool journey. More homeschooled children actually go to college than non-homeschooled.
Homeschool wasn’t an easy transition and we’re honestly still figuring it out. But it works for us and we enjoy the freedom that it provides. Homeschool has come a long way and I feel that there are many resources available for families who are interested to ensure their success. Don’t let the above misconceptions deter your decision.