Homeschooling Myths

Every now and then, I’m boggled by some folks preconceived notions about what homeschooling is…and isn’t.

Here’s my list of Homeschooling Myths:

1) “Is it a religious thing?” – first of all, I’ve never heard this question asked without an accompanying sneer. If you don’t know me well enough to know my faith, then you don’t know me well enough for me to answer that. Folks homeschool for a multitude of reasons, and if it IS a faith issue, that’s not a *bad* thing. It’s just a ‘their family’ thing. Faith is a personal path folks walk, and nobody has to justify it to anyone else, especially to a stranger in the produce section. I’ll never understand why one person’s faith is another person’s source of derision, or amusement. Believe, don’t believe, whatever works for you, but don’t use ‘faith’ as an insult. You’re not hurting the person you’re asking, but you are making yourself look like a jerk.

2) “Isn’t public school good enough for you?” Obviously, the answer would be no. For whatever reason, none of which a stranger is entitled to, the family has decided that public school doesn’t fit the needs of their family.

3) “Kids need to be bullied to learn how to deal with adversity!” Uh, no. Everyone deals with adversity in their lives. Part of the human experience. Being tormented, harassed, psychologically tortured and assaulted on a regular basis doesn’t enhance someones ability to deal with challenges. It never fails to confuse me, how if an adult were experiencing the ‘bullying’ that happens in the lives of so many children, there would be charges laid. How is it, that if an adult is physically assaulted, tormented, cyber stalked and bullied, it’s wrong, but for a kid, they’re expected to deal with it? Aren’t adults supposed to be more capable than children? Employers can and do get sued for ‘hostile work environments’…but put that in a school setting, and it’s dismissed as ‘bullying’ and considered character building. Yeah, no.

4) “What about socialization?” 

I swear I’m going to turn this one into a drinking game or something. Look, you see me out of the house, with the children. They aren’t feral, they’re well mannered, able to behave appropriately (most of the time. Terror Toddler excepted). Ergo, they are socialized. I don’t think we’ve considered locking them in the basement or closet any more than the average parent.

5) “How can you teach? You’re not a teacher!” Ah. There is the glory of purchased curricula. I love me some purchased curricula. It comes with a handy dandy teacher’s manual. Shows me how, what, and gives me tools to teach whatever subject. I know some folks create their own, and God bless ’em, but here, I love the ease of open and go. We supplement with different mediums and activities, but the core of our homeschooling is preplanned for me. Also, I’m their mom. I’ve been teaching the Minions since birth, in one form or another.

6) “What does your husband say?” Uh…gee, you think I should tell him? Seriously folks, homeschooling isn’t one of those, fly under the radar, hubby won’t notice kinda gigs.  And again, only strangers would ask me that. Anyone who knows Wolf would know how he feels about homeschooling, and that he’s not a guy to just go blindly along with something because The Wife says so. (Dang, I wish!)

7) “But what about (insert subject here)” Honestly, we live in a pretty open society. If the kids want to learn about anything, Google is a handy dandy tool. Then there’s homeschooling groups, be it online or in the community, private lessons and tutoring…there’s really no ‘missing out’ on anything the kids are interested in pursuing.  Youtube is an incredible resource as far as ‘how to’ goes. Crafts? Pinterest, Baby!

8) “Must be nice to be able to afford that!” Hooo, boy. This one is offensive in several ways. First off, other family’s finances are none of your business. You’re not supporting us, so how we choose to spend our money is none of your business, and we don’t need to justify it. Period. Second, there are a myriad of ways available to homeschool, on any budget. Just takes some effort. Third, different families have different priorities. For some folks, homeschooling is a priority, and they make sacrifices to do so. No family vacations, no eating out, vehicles driven into the ground, parents working opposite shifts…Just like any other family, you do what you need to to achieve what you deem a priority. In fact, Dusty, from To The Moon and Back did a guest blog, on homeschooling on a shoestring.

9) “I’d go crazy!” I always laugh at this one, because the implication is, either I’m a saint, or I am crazy. And, as anyone who knows me realizes, saint will never be a term used to describe me. Yep, I’m a wee bit crazy. It’s in a, ‘colour outside the lines, follow my own drummer’ sort of way, rather than ‘sacrifice small mammals and get messages from the pattern of their entrails spilled upon the ground’ way, granted, but I’m not ever going to fit the societal ‘norm’. And I’m OK with that.

I promise I can still behave in public, and so can my kids.

Most days, anyways.

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