Friday, April 22, 2016

The Top 7 Homeschool Stereotypes That Are Wrong

A lot of people have misconceptions about people who home school for one reason or another. Maybe you are one of them. Many people either have social or environmental reasons for believing this. Some are not their fault. I want to encourage you think think outside the box. Many families have many different reasons for homeschooling.

Let's go over some of the stigmas of homeschooling. Before you scroll down, do you think you know what they are?

the top 7 homeschool stereotypes that are wrong, Via Bella, homeschool, homeschooling, homeschool stigmas, schooling at home, k12, parents, teachers

1) Parents are Religious.

This is simply not the case. Yes, there are some religious home schoolers but making the assumption that because someone home schools means that the are religious is simply not true. Not even those that believe in God homeschool for religious reasons. In fact, there are many other factors that are considered first.

I can speak for myself and few other families I know that home school and they are NOT religious at all. I am not super religious myself at all. In fact, to be honest with you, I absolutely hate, (and I don't use the hate word lightly), the word religion. I believe in God, I am spiritual, but I would never call my self religious.

Also, those that believe in God or those that are super religious even, don't necessarily want to indoctrinate their children with faith. For me personally, it is a choice that I need to let me kids make on their own. If I put any religion or faith based things into my schooling, it will stand alone as a class so they learn it independently of what I believe. They will learn about all faiths. It would be an educational standpoint, not a religious one.

2) Parents are Lazy.

Sure, getting up early is the pain in the butt when you are getting three kids to different schools but this again is simply not true. If we wanted to be lazy, we would send them to public school. This is not to say all parents who send their kids to public school are lazy, because after all, most of us hold down jobs and such. But those that home school are not lazy- it takes a lot of work to home school.

A lot of the times, I am up late at night planning things, finding homeschooling products to review on top of the K12 program they use. We don't take home schooling lightly. Some do, most don't. In fact, we push our kids to do better because we know what they are capable of.

We want them to experience the best in education and life and we spend a lot of time every week, just like every other teacher, looking up programs to do, and writing out what we will do for the week!

3) Home School Parents are Helicopter Parents.

In a world where the whereabouts have to be accounted for even when they go to the bathroom at school, this is a stigma. Some parents who home school are not helicopter parents. In fact they home school to give their kids more freedom, not less.

For example, one my scout families who home schools, dropped their daughter off with me to do knife training with boy scouts. She loved it. She had no problem fitting in with the boys, practicing, listening to the other leaders when they had asked her questions or to stop doing something.

I love allowing my kids to run around on the park so I can sit on the bench and read. Or about to go outside since it is so nice outside and do their work sitting outside so I can finish this post.

There is a lot to learn from giving our kids more independence then they experience at school. Why? They have to help learn to manage themselves. This is a life skill that is learned. The school making it hard for them to learn this is just an example of how brick and mortar schools can hinder as much as it tries to help.

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4) Home School Kids are Spoiled.
Actually, let's just say, NO! My kids will tell you that I am hard are them. You may tell me I am spoiling them. Can't win either way, I suppose. Really, the truth is that I tell my kids that we don't move onto another lesson until they can master the lesson in front of them. I don't expect 100%, I expect trying. But if you go to a public school, they will move on to the next lesson for the greater good.

Think I just enroll them in a lot of sports and we do a lot of sleep overs? Nope. I don't. I limit what they can do when they are struggling in school because to me, education is super important. If they can't try and succeed in school, they don't get to go out and do super fun things all the time. This goes with behaviour as well. I can't tell you how many times, when they talk back they have lost privileges and classes because of it.

Most all home schooled parents hold their kids to a decently high standard of behaviour but we give them a lot of freedom. I can't tell you how many times I have walked near our local public school to hear swearing, see pushing, and no one is doing a thing about it. I won't have that at all with my kids.

5) Home School kids are Not Socialised. 

Um, yes they are! In fact I can argue that they are better socially then those in public school. Why? Because they learn to deal with people outside of their own grade level. They learn to get their library books on their own, talk to the adults helping them in the library (with me close by of course). They learn that younger kids need help sometimes, from them, not me.

We enroll them in classes, sports, scouting-- where they form bonds to new friends every year. Just as in public school.

I have heard some argue in fact that we debate public school versus home schooled socialisation but really there is a huge difference. Public school kids are taught to stay in line, not speak out of turn, and that they are not as important as they think they are. How does that foster friendships? It doesn't. Not as much socialisation goes in a public school setting in a "mystical unicorn" fashion as many presume.

6) We are Close Minded.

Sure, there are closed minded homeschooling families- but the vast majority of us are not them! You will find that we are some of the most open minded parents around. Just as with any class of people, in whichever fashion you classify people, you will find there will be open minded people, close minded people, people who are nice, people who are mean... etc. But you can't classify a whole group of people into who is nice or not or close minded or not. That is the same in some ways as doing that to a group of cultural or racial group of people.

As far as teaching our kids, I can speak for me, and those I know, that we try our hardest to make sure that our kids are taught from all perspectives. Sometimes, not always, even in the faith arena. I surely won't choose my kids faith. But I might say, let's study the Bible, the Quran, and all the other religious books out there. You can make the choice.

7) Parents Aren't Well Educated.

This is a farce. It is simply not true. In fact, because some or most of us are well educated, by a degree or self learning, have decided to home school in the first place because we have done our own home work.

I studied many things in college, within and without my degree realm.
I am college educated and have a degree.
I have worked in a day care setting.
I have worked as a teacher's assistant.
I am a boy scout leader of almost 20 boys.
I am a girl scout leader to almost 46 girls.

I am qualified! So are many parents that do home school.
When I have educated parents, even at a tee ball practise (because the topic of testing came up), I let them know all the different tests their kids were being tested on in the local district, and they were shocked because the school never told them.

We have to be proactive as parents in what are kids are learning, being taught, and making sure that it is being held to a high standard. Otherwise, we are doing our kids a disservice by giving total reigns to the school system.

What Do Others Think? 

I am stoked because my follow up post is going to show what other families have experienced in terms of homeschooling stereotypes and stigmas. As you ask your school to make sure your wishes, wants and beliefs are followed from your public school, we ask that you extend the same curiosity to us home schoolers as well. You may find, and most often will, that we are an awesome group of people with high goals for our families. Come have a play date sometime? :D

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