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Ten Myths About Homeschooling and Anti-Homeschooling Excuses
Prospective homeschooling parents must face fears, doubts, and myths that prevent them from making the decision to homeschool their children. This article is an attempt to bust myths, dispel fears, and disqualify the excuses against homeschooling that prevent many parents from having the amazing experience of homeschooling their families…too!)
1. I don’t get along with my children/ My children have a bad attitude/ My children don’t listen to me.
This, to me, is one of the best reasons to homeschool. Instead of running away from discipline issues that need to be addressed, loving parents should take opportunities to teach and train their children to be respectful and obedient. They must learn to reach their children’s hearts, not only to apply various methods of behavior modification and punishment, but to build heart-to-heart relationships with their children.
Ignoring a problematic issue or waiting for a teacher to address it does not show love and commitment to children. They will test their boundaries and need parents to care enough to set and enforce boundaries. Homeschooling provides many opportunities for parent-child relationship building.
2. I’m not well educated/ I can’t teach subjects like Maths and Science
Research has shown that the level of education of homeschooling parents is not a factor in homeschooling success. Even parents who dropped out of high school have successfully homeschooled their children through high school. Parents who have not had a good school career are often able to fill in the “gaps” of their own education as they progress through different concepts with their children.
Homeschool curricula are designed to be used by untrained parents, professionals, and self-taught students. In most cases, clear instructions are given, parent guides and solutions are provided. Some curricula even offer instructional DVDs where a teacher teaches the new concepts for the benefit of both the parent and the student.
As a last resort, homeschoolers can also do what school-going kids do if they’re struggling with a subject: they can opt for private tutoring.
3. I can’t afford it.
With all the resume choices and options available and the free resources available on the internet, there is no reason for this excuse. Most homeschooling families survive on one income and still give their children a good quality education.
At worst, you can limit yourself to spending the same amount it would cost your children to attend school, minus the extras like school clothes, 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 great value for your money.
4. My children love being with their friends
If your children would rather be with their friends than with their family, they may have already developed an unhealthy peer dependency. This may not seem like a problem at the preschool or elementary school level, but just wait until they hit their teens!
Alternatively, homeschooling allows children to build good relationships with both their parents and siblings. When their identities are strongly rooted in their families and they have good family values, children are better able to develop healthy friendships outside the home.
Homeschooling allows parents to choose the social interactions their children experience. Parents can shield them from negative peer pressure or bad influences until children are old enough to be gradually exposed to them and mature enough to make good decisions and build good relationships.
Homeschoolers don’t just stay at home. They also socialize, but not during school!
Research has also shown that, in general, homeschoolers have better social skills with a wider range of age groups than school-going children, whose social interactions are largely limited to their own age group.
5. I have no patience
When I first started homeschooling, I read somewhere that you only have patience if you need it!
The same goes for other character qualities that homeschooling parents need, such as perseverance, humility, selflessness, compassion, diligence, and so on.
It is through homeschooling that our characters are shaped, molded and matured and we are prepared to do what we are called to do.
6. I am afraid of failure.
I often tell my kids that “courage is doing what we have to do, even when WE ARE AFRAID.”
It’s amazing to me how many parents are afraid of spoiling their children’s education, but don’t seem to be afraid that some teacher might spoil it even better!
When you see how many children are suffering for various reasons in the school system, 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 ever will, you have their best interests at heart, and you can provide them with a tailored education, tailored to their individual needs.
Unless you’re committed to successfully homeschooling and dealing with parenting and discipline issues that may arise, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do a job as good or better than a paid professional.
Now, I’m not saying that any parent can be a school teacher; no, i think one needs special training to teach a class of 35+ kids that aren’t your own in a school setting… but i do think i’m committed. parents can do a good job of homeschooling.
7. Will I cope? I’m already stressed.
Many foreigners see homeschooling as just an added responsibility: the burden of their children’s academic education. However, to put it in a different perspective, homeschooling is a lifestyle that brings a lot of flexibility to a family’s day-to-day life. This might be best suited to help a stressed parent better cope with the demands of a family.
Because everyone is together, not rushing in different directions, life is usually simplified. Children are at home and can also be trained to help at home.
Sometimes a parent may initially have to stop certain outside activities or commitments, such as extra church programs, sports, or hobbies. However, this is not always the case and many homeschoolers are just as, if not more, involved in their communities than non-homeschooling families.
Sometimes these activities just need to be rescheduled to accommodate the homeschool lifestyle.
Learning to adapt and put family first is often a good thing. I know too many people whose children are treated as second-class citizens for the so-called good of the community, so that the parents can find approval from their own peer group for their good deeds and commitments!
8. We have such a nice teacher/school.
There are certainly very nice teachers and schools with good results and good reputations. However, do the teacher’s or school’s values match your family values? Will the nice teacher always be the one to teach your child?
Often, a school is legally required to teach a curriculum that may conflict with your beliefs. No education is neutral. If you don’t know what your kids are being taught, maybe you should figure out the underlying belief system.
No matter how nice the teacher or school may be, only YOU have an intimate love relationship with your child and are ultimately responsible for your child’s education, whether you delegate that responsibility to a school or no.
9. I need more stimulation/ I can’t 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 coworkers, our boss, or simply our paycheck at the end of the month.
Choosing to stay at home as a wife and mother requires a change in mindset and accepting that at the end of many days and months there is no tangible reward. You realize that raising well-behaved, safe and secure children is one of the greatest achievements one can strive for. For many of us, their obedience to a God-given calling.
Although the stimulation may be of a different kind than a job, homeschooling can be very stimulating for parents as it gives you the opportunity to learn and explore topics of interest together with your children It gives you the time to enjoy educational trips, guided tours, outings, co-ops, crafts, hobbies, sports, and even home business opportunities.
(Many homeschooling parents, like myself, have website-based businesses that earn them good income and get to work at their own pace! See links below.)
10. My parents, in-laws, friends, neighbors or church, etc. they won’t approve.
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 spouse agree that homeschooling is best for your children, you must have the courage to stand up for your convictions.
For many students who are not homeschoolers, homeschooling is a foreign concept and people don’t understand why you are NOT just doing the deed and sending your kids to school.
Sometimes people think that because of your choice to homeschool, you are silently judging their choice of schooling and ranking it as second best, so they attack your choice because the attack is the your best defense.
Ultimately, you are responsible for your children, not your family and peers…and a good response is to tell others that you think your choice is the best for YOUR family, but you realize it may not be it will be the same for other families. You don’t even have to explain your reasons!
Many homeschoolers have had to deal with criticism and skepticism from outside, but in the end, the “proof was in the pudding,” as they say. Many times, after a few years, others have seen the good fruit of a homeschooling family and have gained the respect and support they lacked in the beginning!
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