Homeschooling is a growing trend in the United States. Still, several myths of homeschooling persist. Below are some of the most common myths associated with homeschooling your child.
1. Homeschooled Kids Lack Social Skills
Although the country abounds with well-adjusted homeschooled kids, many continue to view homeschoolers as counter-culture reclusive types. That's just not accurate! First, it's a mistake to think that school is the only place social development can occur for kids. In fact, when you think of your own school experience, you can probably think of some language and attitudes you learned that you'd just as soon avoid with your kids. As a homeschooling parent, you can ensure that your kids develop excellent social skills; the difference is that you will be in charge of deciding where they learn those skills.
Kids can learn social skills in church classes, scouting programs, sports, 4-H and other clubs, and in the numerous homeschooling co-op programs that exist.
2. Homeschooled Kids Are Home All Day
Not necessarily. While some homeschooling families do educate their kids solely at home, many do not. There are numerous homeschooling groups in the country, and any family interested in reaching out can find support. Many homeschooling families divide their curriculum - perhaps teaching language and math to their children, and then teaching social studies to their children and another family's kids, while the other family will handle teaching science for the kids in both families. It's an excellent way to reduce the work load on homeschooling parents, while giving the kids more opportunities at social development.
Homeschooled kids often leave home for field trips as well. One of homeschooling's advantages is the freedom it gives you to take the kids to a museum for the day, or the zoo - or even the grocery store for a lesson in comparing unit prices. Vacations can be taken anytime of the year; not just during the summer. All these opportunities are excellent ways to tie learning in to "the real world," and get you out of the house as well.
3. Colleges Don't Take Homeschooled Kids Seriously
Perhaps in the past, but as homeschooling has grown, colleges and universities have recognized the excellent education and self-starting skills the many homeschooled kids possess. An Internet search can reveal homeschool-friendly colleges, and it's worth noting that even the Ivy League schools have admitted many homeschooled students. Since a major key to college admission is good SAT or ACT scores, if your homeschooled student does well on these tests, the fact that he didn't attend a traditional school will be irrelevant to most colleges.
4. Homeschooled Kids Miss Out on Sports, the Prom, Graduation Ceremonies ...
... and the list goes on. But, since homeschooling has now become so mainstream, your homeschooled student most likely won't need to miss out on any of those things. Local homeschooling groups hold their own proms and graduation ceremonies. Many sports leagues exist independent of schools; either specifically for homeschoolers or for kids in the community in general. There are plenty of opportunities for the homeschooled child to become involved in extracurricular activities apart from school.
Don't let myths sway you in your decision to homeschool your child. Learn the facts before you decide what is best for your family.
Susan Braun is a freelance writer living with her husband, three daughters, 2 rabbits, 2 gerbils and hedgehog in Indiana. She writes at girlsinwhitedresses.wordpress.com and Associated Content.