Until the past few years, I was one of those people who thought that kids that were home schooled were at a disadvantage – socially, academically, realistically. And boy I was wrong!
Not only have I had the privilege of getting to know some great home school families, but I now have the distinct honor of educating my children. Since I had such a huge misconception of home school, I felt it was my duty to share what I was so wrong about and why.
MYTH 1: Social Disadvantage
I’m sure that there are plenty of kids that are home schooled who are socially awkward, but aren’t there plenty of kids who go to public or private school are also socially awkward? Honestly, the majority of home school children that I have met are better able to communicate with adults than most other kids I know. And they are able to make good choices about who they are social with. Because children who are educated by their parents are exposed to a wider variety of people, these kids are usually better socialized than most kids who are boxed into socializing with others that are (for the most part) similar in age, race, and economic status.
MYTH 2: Academic Disadvantage
While this could certainly be true of some, there are so many wonderful and rich curricula out there that it would be very difficult to NOT receive an excellent and thorough education at home. Not only that, but most home school families have the flexibility for more real-life associations with areas of study. Example – We took a field trip to the museum the other day to see ancient Egyptian artifacts to relate to our study of ancient Egypt. We are taking a field trip to a science center in the next few weeks to better relate to our study of matter, heat, and energy. Most schools don’t have the ability to take such frequent field trips. In our study of the Egyptian pyramids, we discussed the different types that were built and made our own replicas with Legos and paper. When we studied measuring matter – we were able to do so in the kitchen, backyard, etc.
MYTH 3: Real-Life Disadvantage
While this is certainly a matter of opinion, I find myself strongly disagreeing with this. It is my opinion that real life is what you make it. The reality is that 6th graders are having sex in public school bathrooms; 4th graders are bullying each other; 9th graders are bringing drugs and weapons to school. Is that your real life? Last I checked, I don’t condone bullying, pre-marital sex, the use of drugs, or the use of weapons by my children. And while I do (and will continue to) teach my kids the information and consequences of these things, I do not think that they should be exposed to them at such a young age.