Busting The Myths About Homeschooling
Before this whole pandemic, I had one homeschooler and one kid in public school. I can see the pros and cons to both options. Homeschooling gives you more time with your kids, lets them be themselves, and allows you to teach them in a way that works best for them. A classroom education allows your kids to be around peers, gives them a teacher to do the teaching, and also can give them other supports if needed.
What I can tell you, is that online school is not homeschooling. Online school was too much structure for schooling at home and wasn’t keeping my oldest child’s attention. Plus, I don’t really like the thought of him learning through a screen all day. We ended up pulling him from public school and now we are back to two full time homeschoolers.
We don’t know what we are going to do in the fall, but right now we are glad to have him home during the day!
With being a homeschooler while I was a kid and now having two homeschoolers of my own, I often get asked about the myths of homeschooling.
The main question I get asked is, “How do your kids meet other kids? Do they even have any friends?”
I think every homeschooler or homeschool parent gets asked some form of this question, when in reality it couldn’t be any farther from the truth. My two boys have become each other’s best friend. Yes, they are about three years apart, but you wouldn’t even know it when they play together. We also go to church activities, they are on sport teams, and we are involved in our homeschool group. Through the homeschool group we have met other homeschool families that we often meet up with for field trips, nature walks, park days, and just regular play dates. Because we homeschool, my kids actually have more time to meet up with friends since our school day is usually done by lunch time.
Another common myth that I hear is, “I can’t homeschool my kids. I am not a teacher, so I am not qualified.”
Anyone is qualified to teach their kids because there is nobody that knows your kids better than you do! Teachers are trained for classrooms, while you have all the knowledge about your kids. One of my favorite things about homeschooling is learning alongside my kids. You don’t need to know everything before jumping into homeschooling. We have switched how we homeschool multiple times throughout our homeschooling adventure. Our plans and schedule change depending on the season or what our kids are interested in.
Also, you don’t need to know how to teach everything. You can have others help with your child’s education whether you hire a tutor for certain subjects, enroll your child in co-op classes, or even call on special services such as therapists. Both my boys are in speech and occupational therapy. This is something I would never be able to teach at home, because I don’t know a ton about it. It is ok to ask for help!
Before we adopted our boys, I said I would never homeschool.
One of the reasons I said that is because I believed the myth, “I don’t have time to homeschool.”
I work part time and was worried I wouldn’t be able to give their education the time it deserved. I had to remind myself that school didn’t always have to be during the day. School didn’t have to go all day or even follow the Monday through Friday schedule that most schools follow. When we started homeschooling, our school schedule was all over the place. We even did school on Saturdays instead of Mondays, just because it worked better for our family schedule.
One thing that is hard to adjust to is that school doesn’t always have to be done sitting at a table and staring at a book. Sometimes we cook a meal together, bake cookies, play board games, or even do chores. These are skills that every kid has to learn, so yes, they can be counted as school. One of the biggest perks of homeschooling is the flexibility that comes along with it!
If you have ever looked into homeschooling, you have probably looked at different homeschool curriculums and may be thinking, “I can’t afford to homeschool.”
All you really need to homeschool is a local library or books of your own. We do have a curriculum, but we sometimes don’t even use it. Some days, we only do hands on activities. When we do book work, it is not more than a few pages a day. The curriculum we use is Master Books, but we only purchase the language arts and math books. What I love about it is that it is based on a living education and most importantly, Jesus. Some days, their language arts lessons are reading a Bible story or copying a memory verse to practice handwriting. The math lessons even include recipes and other hands on activities. Another perk to this curriculum is that most subjects are only $30 a book, which doesn’t break the bank or make me feel guilty when we choose to not use it all the time. For science we pick a topic that we are interested in and study that topic for two weeks or longer depending on their interest level. Topics we have chosen lately include rocks, dinosaurs, and butterflies.
This summer we plan to study ocean animals before our family vacation to the ocean in August. We read books about the topic and do art and science activities to go along with it. In the fall we plan to start geography, by picking a country a month the study. Our studies will include reading books about the countries, cooking food from each country, and other hands on activities such as art and games.
It is important to remember that you don’t need a fancy, expensive curriculum to homeschool!
Deciding to homeschool your kids might feel like you are jumping into the unknown, but just remember that we are here to support you and are cheering you on no matter what path you take!