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Ten Myths About Homeschooling and Anti-Homeschooling Excuses
Prospective homeschool parents have to deal with fears, doubts, and myths that keep them from making the decision to educate their children. This article is an attempt to dispel some of the myths, fears, and anti-homeschooling excuses that keep many parents from the wonderful experience of educating their families…(yes, not just kids, parents homeschool too!)
1. I don’t talk to my kids/ My kids have bad attitudes/ My kids don’t listen to me.
This, to me, is one of the best reasons to homeschool. Rather than running away from discipline problems that need to be addressed, loving parents need to embrace opportunities to teach and train their children to be respectful and obedient. They need to learn to reach their children’s hearts, not just apply various forms of behavior modification and punishment, but actually build heart-to-heart relationships with their children.
Ignoring a problem or expecting the teacher to deal with it does not show love or loyalty to children. They will test their limits and they need parents to care enough to set and enforce limits. Homeschooling facilitates many opportunities for parent-child relationship building.
2. I’m not educated/ I can’t teach classes like Maths and Science
Studies have shown that the education level of homeschooling parents is not a factor that determines successful homeschooling. Even high school dropout parents have successfully coached their children through high school. Parents who did not have a good school career can often fill in the ‘gaps’ in their education as they develop with their children through different concepts.
Home school programs are designed to be used by parents who are not trained professionals and for students who are pursuing self-study. In most cases, clear instructions are given, guides and solutions are provided. Some programs even provide instructional DVDs where the teacher teaches new concepts for the benefit of parents and students.
As a last resort, homeschoolers can do what homeschoolers do if they struggle with a subject—they can go to private tutoring.
3. I can’t afford it.
With all the options and choices of programs and free resources available on the internet, there is no excuse for this. Most homeschooling families live on one income and still provide their children with a quality education.
At worst, you may limit yourself to spending the same amount as it costs your children to attend school, excluding extras like school uniforms, lunch money, fundraising contributions and other school-related expenses.
Since most of your money will be spent on books and materials that can be reused with younger siblings, you can get a lot of value for your money.
4. My children only love their friends
If your children prefer to hang out with their friends rather than their family, they may already have developed unhealthy peer attachments. This may not seem like a problem at the preschool or elementary school level, but just wait until they reach the teenage years!
Alternatively, homeschooling allows children to build good relationships with both their parents and siblings. Children are better able to develop healthy friendships outside the home when their identities are strong within their families and they have good family values.
Homeschooling allows parents to choose the social relationships that attract their children. Parents can shield them from negative peer pressure or bad influences until children are old enough to face them slowly and mature enough to make good decisions and build good relationships.
Homeschoolers don’t just stay at home. They also socialize – just not during school!
Research has also shown that, in general, homeschoolers have more age-appropriate social skills than school-going children, whose social interactions are largely limited to their age group.
5. I have no patience
When I first started homeschooling, I read somewhere that you only get patience if you need it!
The same is true for other character traits that homeschooling parents need, such as patience, humility, dedication, kindness, diligence, etc.
By studying at home our characters are formed, formed and matured and we are prepared to do what we are asked to do.
6. I am afraid of failure.
I often tell my children that, “Courage is what we do WHEN WE ARE SCARED.”
It’s amazing to me how many parents are afraid of messing up their children’s education, but they seem to have no fear of messing up some teachers even better!
When you see how many children are suffering in the school system for various reasons, it is even more amazing that parents are willing to entrust their precious blessings to strangers for 6 hours a day or more!
As a parent, you love your children like no teacher would, you have their best interests at heart and you can give them an education tailored to their individual needs.
Unless you are successful with homeschooling and dealing with the parenting and discipline issues that can arise, there is no reason not to do an equal or better job than a paid professional.
Now, I’m not saying that every parent can be a school teacher – no, I think that one needs special training to teach a class of 35+ children who are not your own in a school setting… but I believe that it is appropriate. Parents can do a good job of homeschooling.
7. Will I struggle? I’m already stressed.
Many outsiders see homeschooling as just an extra responsibility – the burden of their children’s academic education. However, to give it a different perspective, homeschooling is a lifestyle that brings a lot of flexibility to a family’s daily life. This may be just the thing to help a stressed-out parent cope better with the demands of the family.
Because everyone is together, not rushing in different directions, life is generally easy. Children are at home and can be trained to help around the house.
Sometimes a parent may initially need to stop some extracurricular activities or duties, such as other church programs, sports or hobbies. However, this is not always the case and many homeschoolers contribute to their communities just as much, if not more, than families who are not homeschoolers.
Sometimes these activities just need to be rescheduled to accommodate the homeschool lifestyle.
Learning to adapt and prioritize family is usually a good thing. I know many people whose children are treated as second-class citizens for the so-called good of the community, so that the parents can find validation from their peer group for their good deeds and commitments!
8. We have such a nice teacher/school.
There are certainly some very good teachers and schools with good results and good reputations. However, do the teacher or school values match the values of your family? Will the nice teacher always be the one to teach your child?
Often a school is legally bound to teach a curriculum that may conflict with your beliefs. No education is neutral. If you don’t know what your children are being taught, you may find the underlying belief system.
No matter how good the teacher or school is, only YOU have an intimate love relationship with your child and ultimately you are responsible for your child’s education, whether you give that responsibility to the school or not.
9. I need stimulation/ I can’t just stay at home/ I love my job.
As career workers, many of us initially find our identity in our work, satisfaction in the approval of our colleagues, our boss or just in the paycheck at the end of the month.
Choosing to stay at home as a wife and mother requires a shift in mindset and acceptance that there is no tangible reward at the end of many days and months. You understand that raising educated, self-confident, and confident children is one of the greatest achievements one can strive for. For many of us, it’s a calling from God.
Although the stimulation is different than that of a job, homeschooling can be very stimulating for parents because it gives you the opportunity to learn and explore topics of interest with your children. It gives you time to enjoy educational trips, tours, outings, partnerships, crafts, hobbies, sports and even home business opportunities.
(Many homeschool parents, like me, have online businesses that make them a good income and they get up and running quickly! Check out the links below.)
10. My parents, in-laws, friends, neighbors or church, etc. do not accept
For some reason, we all like to have the approval of others, especially those we respect and have close relationships with. However, if you and your partner agree that homeschooling is best for your children, you need to have the courage to stand up for your beliefs.
For many students who are illiterate, homeschooling is a foreign concept and people don’t understand why you DON’T just work and send your kids to school.
Sometimes people feel that by choosing to homeschool, you are silently judging their choice of school as second best, so they attack your choice because attack is their best defense.
In the end, you are responsible for your children, not your family and friends… and a good answer is to tell others that you feel your choice is the best for your family but you know it might be that is not the case for other families. You don’t even have to explain your reasons!
Many homeschoolers have had to face criticism and skepticism from outsiders, but in the end, as they say ‘the proof is in the pudding’. Many times, after a few years, others have seen the good fruits of a homeschooling family and they have gained the respect and support that was lacking in the beginning!
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