Homeschooling Myth Busters–Part 1

 

“I do want to start the conversation out by saying, one of the biggest obstacles people face about homeschooling, is that they try to transfer their picture of “school” directly to the home and imagine it should be the same thing.”

I’m a knowledge searchin‘, book-readin‘, life-learnin‘, child-teachin‘ homeschooling mom. I love it…and I have no hesitation in sharing my opinion that I think it is the best way to go for Christian parents. I have many, many reasons for believing that to be so, and I will be sharing those reasons over the next few days in the posts to come.

(BTW, if you’re wondering what homeschooling has to do with feminism, just stay tuned!)

But sometimes we homeschoolers take for granted that everyone knows all the ins and outs of homeschooling, and that’s why we can’t figure out why everybody doesn’t do it! But the truth is, a lot of people not only don’t know much about the nuts and bolts of it, they also don’t know any families who do it, and so they have no models to follow, and they have never seen the success of homeschooling. For those people, homeschooling is just one big scary, weird operation that seems light years away from anything they would ever want to do.

I hope in these posts not to shame those of you who do not homeschool, but just to present some practical facts and opinions about homeschooling. I hope to provide encouragement, inspiration and revelation on the topic.

I need all you fellow homeschoolers out there to join in and bring richness to these posts. We all have different insights, angles, methods, opinions, experiences and wisdom to bring to the table. So let’s share this wonderful thing we call homeschooling!

Since the intro to this post is so long, I won’t expound much here….But I do want to start the conversation out by saying, one of the biggest obstacles people face about homeschooling, is that they try to transfer their picture of “school” directly into the home and imagine it should be the same thing. I submit to you, from my experience and many others I know, that the word “homeschool” itself is a bit misleading, since we have preconceived ideas about “school”. I think home education might be closer, or even “life-learning”. The main point being, that h0meschooling is a way of life, not something you “do” a few hours a day. It is a completely different picture, with different elements than what we all grew up calling school. That fact alone scares people…because it’s different than what we know. We have been convinced that there is only one way to educate children…and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The way we “did school” growing up is not the only way to educate a person. (Years ago, many of the great intellects of the day were “homeschooled” even though that’s not what it was called.) I would go even farther to say that the institutionalized schooling method (the way we did school) is less than satisfactory, with many handicaps and limitations due to its very nature. We are prone to think that it is the best way (or the only way), when in fact, professional educators heartily admit that trying to educate a whole classroom full of children with all different levels of skills and all different types of learning styles is near impossible. They contend that “the best form of education is private tutoring”–guess what homeschooling is?

And that’s only the academic side…a small part of real education.

With that said, let it sink in, and tomorrow we’ll talk about some myths that many people hold about homeschooling. It is a vast topic…and a fun one…and a controversial one…so join in!

Part 2: Socialization

Part 3: Sheltering

Part 4: “Proof is in the Puddin'”

Part 5: Academics

Part 6: Only One Way to Learn

Myth Buster Extra: How Do You Teach?


 

Our ebook “Think Outside the Classroom: A Practical Approach to Relaxed Homeschooling” is a great way to start thinking about what a real education is and how to give your child one.

 

 

 

5 Responses to “Homeschooling Myth Busters–Part 1”

  1. Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying your blog!

    Come check out my blog to receive a freebie. Everyone who comments on this post will receive the freebie!

    http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2007/07/carnival-time-giveaway.html

  2. Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings says:

    Sorry I hit enter before I had posted what I wanted to.

    I am a homeschool Mom of 7 too. Our oldest daughter graduated in 2006. We homeschooled her from 1999 forward. I wish I had started schooling her at home from the get go but alas, we did not until she was in the 4th grade. We didn’t even know about homeschooling before then. It was some dear friends that encouraged us to homeschool and I am so thankful to them for showing us the way and to God for bringing them into our lives to show us that way.

    We currently have a 3rd grader, a 2nd grader, a Kindergartner, a Pre-K 3 yo, a Pre-K almost 2 year old, and a Pre-K 9 month old. Learning doesn’t just start at a certain age and stop at another… it is a life long process.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I have bookmarked your blog to come back and read more as you post more on homeschooling.

    God Bless You!

    In HIS Hands,
    Laura

  3. Toni says:

    I am a homeschooling mother of four. One of the criticisms I’ve heard from traditional educator friends goes something like this;

    “You only see your children in your home. We see all the failed attempts at homeschooling when those children reenter traditional education settings.”

    And how do I respond? Well, being an educator myself, I do what comes naturally. I educate them. 😉

    I first ask them what it is about the formerly homeschooled children they encounter that convicts them of a failed homeschool experience. It’s usually the same “stuff”;
    -they “aren’t even up to state standards” (ie. not on “grade level”)
    -they don’t know how to “function” in a school setting (ie. they don’t know how to be the next duck in a row.)
    -they’re back in school so clearly mom discovered she should leave the teaching to “real teachers”.

    I then ask, “Is it possible that there are other reasons beside a failed hs experience that would require a parent to return their child to traditional education?” Finances. Illness. A homeschool plan that always intended to be limited (ie. only homeschooling through 3rd grade).

    I also point out that “grade level” is not necessary in homeschool. Rather, we have the benefit and opportunity to meet our student right where they’re at, challenging them and encouraging them based on their individual needs and not some forced “state standard.” And frankly, “gifted” and “remedial” programs speak volumes to the fact that one size does not fit all children anyway. So, I ask if it’s possible that what they perceive as “failure” (due to not being on grade level) could instead be evidence education based on the child and not on state standards (don’t get me started here about teaching to those tests and how rigid THAT is or why it’s so crucial for districts to succeed on them.)

    As for “functioning” in a school setting, I remind them there’s no reason for Jane (former homeschooler) to have learned how to line up for lunch or raise her hand to answer questions, etc. And I trust Jane will be on board with that in no time at all, since it IS necessary for order in an institutionalized setting.

    So basically (and I apologize for the novel here), I do try to get traditional educator friends to consider that they are not always (or even usually) seeing failed homeschool experiences. I also encourage them that they will best be able to help these former homeschool students to transition into their classroom if they can in fact grasp and embrace what I’m saying.
    Blessings,
    ~toni~

  4. Word Warrior says:

    Toni,

    I have heard from public school educators about their “proof” that homeschooling doesn’t work based on the “failure” they see.

    As you pointed out, many times they are not witnessing failure at all, just something different than an institutionalized student, who we’ve come to assume is the only standard of norm. (I totally agree on the “teaching to the test”). I taught school for a few years. It didn’t really matter if the kids learned anything, as long as we kept those test scores up! What a deception to the public.

    Because they have seen two or three children who may not have done so well, they lump the whole hs community together and toss it all out. That’s like looking at the statistics of people who died in a car accident because they were wearing a seatbelt, and then assume to wear a seat belt is not safe. It’s just absurd.

    One will find “failure” in anything…because a failure can be found, does not mean by any stretch that a thing is therefore destined to failure.

    Look at the public school institution… do you know how many failures come out of it?

    I was asked over and over by the administration to “pass” seniors who could not even read on a third grade level, who had failing grades. And I had many students in that same boat.

    What those educators need to see are the thousands of incredibly successful homeschoolers…intelligent, well-adjusted, highly communicable, diverse, mature, and prepared for “the real world”!. They are everywhere–I know them!

    Didn’t mean to go on so long…more on this topic in a post!

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