7 myths about homeschooling, debunked!
Every year, more families in the USA turn to homeschool. Definitely, the current COVID pandemic has turned even more families worldwide towards this growing tendency. However, there are still some common misconceptions about homeschooling that keep concerned parents from giving this innovative educational approach a chance. Here we want to throw light on some of the most common myths you’ve probably have heard, none of which are true!
1) “Homeschooling and unschooling are the same”
You may have heard someone disregarding homeschooling by using the term “unschooling” as a synonym. While the former one is a movement -not lacking controversies- which advocates for a child to learn whatever they want, whenever and wherever they feel like it, homeschooling consists of a structured schedule, although not as tight as the traditional school. If you decide to homeschool, you may certainly adapt the curriculum to your child’s interest, but you always have a long-term goal.
2) “If you homeschool your children, they won’t have any friends”
It is one of the most common myths: even strangers may feel entitled to point out to parents that their homeschooled children are “missing a life experience” or “not socializing”. This myth goes hand-in-hand with another misconception, the one that claims homeschooled children spend their entire day indoors, playing videogames. The typical homeschooled children get lots of outdoor activities, and their routine includes time with peers, neighbors, friends, and extended family members. Remember that socialization is more than interacting with children of the same age. In fact, the average social interaction of a homeschooled child is wider than the one traditional classroom has to offer, always surrounded by the same 20 or 30 classmates and authorities.
3) “Only helicopter parents are able to homeschool their kids”
Any parent is, by nature, their child’s first teacher! Some people claim that not all parents are qualified to teach, but they forget we are the ones who teach them how to talk, how to walk, the basic social rules, how to say “please” and “thank you”, how to eat and, basically, how to find a place in society! Most of the times, no one is more qualified than a parent to teach their kid, because there are already established ground rules, such as respect and trust.
And for those who say only stay-at-home parents can allow themselves to homeschool, they forget every parent today has more resources than ever. Homeschooling is the choice for many entrepreneurs who work from home or travel for a living, and most of them recur to homeschooling programs that include access to certified teachers and tutors that can teach their children the professionally crafted curriculum. Also, many homeschooling families create strong communities to support each other and to help parents who work outside their home.
4) “Homeschooled children play all day long!”
It’s real that the typical homeschooler usually has more leisure time than the child that goes to a full-time school. In fact, many parents decide to homeschool their children because this way they have more time to, you know, being kids! But the truth is homeschoolers usually work on a schedule because it’s the only way the family can function, keeping up with the household chores, and allowing family time for meals, etc. On the other hand, because homeschooled children usually work at their own rhythm and have some flexibility to choose topics of their interest, they tend to stay focused long enough to complete their tasks quickly, and therefore, have more time left to play.
5) “Homeschool your child, and she won’t be able to fit in the “real” world”
This is like saying that traditional schools are unavoidable life experience, or that homeschooled children are “weird”, or that they have difficulties entering into college later in life. They are all the same myth! Homeschooled children live in the real world, they get to live real experiences, and they learn from their surroundings more than their traditionally schooled peers. They usually take part in sports activities, take art & crafts lessons, and do plenty of field trips. Their flexible schedule allows them to travel with their parents more often, and have many opportunities to experience things other children just learn by reading books or watching videos.
As for college, statistics show that homeschooling actually provides an advantage, as homeschooled children are more likely to attend college when they grow up than traditionally schooled children! Indeed, most colleges are focusing on their applicants’ life experiences more than their traditional grades, and teens that homeschool usually have jobs, volunteer, or help their families. There are many things to learn out there!
6) “We are not a religious family. Why should we homeschool?”
While homeschooling is typically associated with faith-based families, according to the National Household Education Survey (NHES), the main reason parents have for homeschooling is a negative perception of the traditional public school environment. Other reasons include the desire for higher quality education, to support a learning disabled child, or to keep educating their children when the family needs periodical relocations. Of course, a religious family may opt for homeschooling as well, but it is not the main reason for most homeschoolers.
7) “There are no extracurricular activities for homeschooled children”
It’s the other way round: homeschooling means freedom! When you decide to homeschool your child, you both gain a world of possibilities. Of course, every child should learn the basic skills of literacy, math & science, but homeschooled children who love, let’s say, art, can spend more time focusing on painting, visiting nearly-empty museums during the week, or getting in touch with renowned artists to learn firsthand… Most of these activities also provide great opportunities for spending time with other children and making new friends.
In a previous article, we have already provided many tips for adding music to your homeschooling program, and we have already interviewed Sara, a happy mom of our community who is a real expert in homeschooling! So if you want to homeschool your children, don’t listen to the aforementioned myths. And remember that Nabi Music is a great complement for any homeschooling program. Sign up your child for their first free trial lesson today!