Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Over the past few years there has been an increase in the number of families who homeschool their children. Although it has become common for families to homeschool, many non-homeschoolers still hold to myths about homeschooled children. Here are the top five homeschool myths.
Homeschool children are unsocialized
This is false. Most homeschool children participate in church, civic, and community programs. Many participate in local sports. In states where homeschoolers are allowed to participate in public school activities, homeschoolers take advantage of those programs. You will find homeschool children in 4-H clubs, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and church youth groups.
In addition to extra-curricular activities, homeschoolers hold park days and educational co-ops where llike-minded homeschoolers socialize. Local homeschool support groups give advice and support to homeschooling parents and provide social activities for the kids. Research shows that homeschooled children have better overall social skills than their traditionally schooled peers. My Examiner article “Homeschool and socialization” goes into great detail about homeschool students and their social skills.
Homeschoolers are religious fanatics
False. Homeschool familes are as diverse as those in traditional schools. While Christian homeschooling gets a lot of attention, plenty of homeschool families are Jewish, atheist, Muslim, or other religions. I have been homeschooling for the better part of 16 years and only once have I met a family that I would classify as “fanatics.” For the most part, homeschoolers are just everyday people who have a keen dedication to the education of their children.
Child abuse is rampant in homeschools
This is a flat-out lie. The media loves to highlight stories about nut-jobs who abuse their children. Normal, everyday people don’t sell newspapers or increase ratings. Parents who abuse their children rarely homeschool legally. They fly under the radar, but do not register their homeschools as required by law. Most states require some sort of oversight.
Child abuse and neglect is a serious issue. It is sad that so many people feel that homeschoolers are abusive. Mainstream homeschool families have their children’s best interest at heart and are anything but abusive.
The Duggars are a typical homeschool family
Um, no they are not. A typical family, homeschooled or not, does not have 19 children. That is why the Duggars have a reality TV show. While many homeschool families have multiple children, it is the rare few that have more than four or five children. Most homeschoolers live on a single income and it is difficult to support a large family in a single income home.
Homeschooers are elitists
Again, this myth is false. Homeschool families are as varied as traditional school families. The one thing that homeschoolers have in common is that they feel their children will receive a better education at home. Some families want more religion in their child’s upbringing than a public school can offer. Others feel that there is too much religion in the public schools. Many homeschool families do not like the environment in the local public school and fear fot their children’s safety. This does not make them elitists, just concerned parents.
Lynda Altman has homeschooled her 4 children over the last 16 years and she continues to homeschool her youngest child. She believes that homeschooling is a parent’s G-d given right. Lynda writes a blog called Homeschooling When Mom has Cancer. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.