10 Homeschooling Myths
If you're thinking about homeschooling, many of tall tales about this type of education may be the only thing stopping you from making the decision to school your child. This slideshow takes a look at the 10 most common myths surrounding homeschooling.
Myth #1: Socialization
This is one of those homeschooling myths that is so common that homeschoolers jokingly call it the "S" word. Many people think that homeschoolers miss out on learning important social skills that they might otherwise learn in school. However, the opposite is typically true. Most homeschoolers have the opportunity to be around people of all ages and socieconomic backgrounds, making the child comfortable speaking to adults as well as children. For this reason, many homeschooled students are seen as mature.
Myth #2: Homeschoolers Miss Out
There is another myth that homeschoolers miss out on important things such as field trips and resources that the local school system can offer. While the local school may have many resources, the truth is that most homeschoolers have access to support groups that offer just as many valuable resources, including field trips and materials. Some groups even line up expert speakers. While students at the traditional school are studying about starfish and tide pools, the homeschooled student is at the beach exploring those tide pools up close.
Myth #3: No College for You!
Another common misconception is that homeschooled students may not be able to go on to college. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, with careful record keeping, your child should be able to gain entrance to the college of his choice. Some Ivy League colleges are even courting homeschooled students and offering scholarships. You'll need to decide whether you want to school through high school, use an umbrella program or attend one of the many accredited correspondence schools available.
Myth #4: Expelled = Homeschooled
Some people believe that children who are homeschooled are being taught at home because the local school wouldn't have them. While this might be true in some cases, the typical homeschooled family chooses to homeschool because they believe it is the best option for their children. There are many reasons that go into the ultimate decision to homeschool, including academics, limiting outside influences, religion and having more time for exploring skills such as art, sports or music.
Myth #5: Parents Need a License
A teaching license is not necessary to teach your child at home. While each state has different rules and regulations, most states simply require that you keep some form of records. A few states do require some form of testing of homeschooled children, but most do not. A license simply isn't necessary. Even as a child grows older and begins taking on more difficult subjects, such as higher math and sciences, there are resources and outside classes within the homeschool community that can meet these needs. Team up with other parents, who may have a degree in a subject area other than your own.
Myth #6: The Kids Will Be Shy
Many people think that the lack of interaction at school will create shy children. Homeschooled children offer the same mix of personalities as children everyone. Some are shy and some are extremely outgoing. In fact, a shy child will likely benefit from being homeschooled, because he or she will have the opportunity to grow more comfortable with human interaction in a safe environment. Over time, the shy child should come out of his shell, whether homeschooled or not.
Myth #7: Homeschoolers Miss Out!
Many people believe that homeschooling their child will make the student miss out on important rites of passage, such as prom or graduation. However, just about every homeschool support group in the country offers these same events for their members. There are group graduations, complete with a valedictorian or elected speaker, gowns and caps and diplomas (issued by the student's own homeschool of course). There are also homeschool proms, which offer the opportunity to dress up, rent a limo and go to the dance as a group, without all the pressure often involved in going to a school prom with a date.
Myth #8: You Can't Teach Science
You've probably heard people say that homeschoolers can't possibly effectively teach science and other subjects that require special equipment. However, most scientific principles can be easily taught at home with simple household products. For higher grade levels, several families will often go in together and lease a lab or hire a science teacher to go over important concepts and chemical reactions that might require more knowledge and precaution. Many local community colleges also allow homeschoolers to take classes. These classes will sometimes count as both high school and college credit. Check with your local schools for details.
Myth #9: What About Sports?
Children who are athletic need not fear homeschooling. Although it's unlikely that the local public school will allow your child to play, there are numerous community sports teams for football, cheerleading and soccer. In addition, most homeschool groups offer sports. Some of the more popular ones are track and swimming, but it will depend upon the focus of your group. If the support group does not offer the sport your student loves, consider starting your own team. Churches are another good source for sports leagues.
Myth #10: Religious Fanatics
While many families choose to homeschool to share their faith in Christ with their children, this doesn't mean that the families are fanatical. Many are normal families, who simply want to focus a bit more on their faith. There are also many families who offer their children a secular education or are of other faiths.
There are as many reasons to homeschool as there are ways to homeschool. You can learn more about the different types of homeschooling by checking out LTK's Homeschooling Methods for everything from Charlotte Mason method to Unit Studies.