A friend recently suggested I write a post about things I used to believe about homeschooling, way back 20-something years ago before I started this journey. Here goes!
I USED TO THINK...
All homeschool moms wear shapeless denim jumpers and pull their waist-long hair into tight buns on the backs of their heads. Ummm, nope. While it's true that description fits some homeschool moms, it definitely doesn't describe us all! Me, I'm a jeans and t-shirt girl, with my hair cut above my ears. I know homeschool moms with cadmium red punk hair and Princess Di do's, and others that wear stretchy pants and overalls.
You need to have a college degree to teach your children. Wrong. Simply put, this is not rocket science, and you don't need a specialized degree to educate your children. Where in the world did that silly notion get started?
Homeschool isn't really school. So what do you call all that algebra, chemistry, foreign language, and history that we've been studying all these years?!
Because homeschoolers aren't getting a "real" education, they won't be employable or able to attend college. On the contrary, our family has learned that employers seek out homeschool students because they are reliable, respectful, and often have flexible schedules. A fellow who hired one of my kids for a summer job commented, "Two of your 'Bobs' could do the work of three of my grown men!" What about college? If a homeschool student wants to attend college and is willing to do the necessary work to get there, plenty of universities would love to have him. Most of my gang were offered full scholarships to attend university, and they were aggressively courted by colleges during their latter years of highschool. Homeschool students often make excellent employees and successful college students.
Homeschoolers are radical fundamental religious fanatics who don't want anything to do with people who don't think like they do. Let's clarify this a bit. I believe in one true living sovereign God, the God of the Bible. I believe Scripture is inerrant and infallible, and that it tells us accurately what to believe and how to live out our faith. I believe that every human on the planet is a sinner, and that we all justly deserve the wrath of God - but that God, in His infinite mercy and grace, lovingly seeks out lost sinners to save and to adopt into His family. I believe Jesus is God, and that He is the only means of salvation. So, yes, if that makes me a radical fundamental religious fanatic, I stand guilty as charged. However, I do not think Presbyterians are the only folks going to heaven, or that it's a sin to dance or drink alcohol, or that all "real" Christians homeschool their children. I have homeschool friends who are every stripe of Protestant, Catholic, even agnostic and atheistic; most folks in my circle of friends are not even homeschool moms.
Homeschool children are socially awkward and don't know how to "fit in" in society. Sure, I know a few homeschool children who are bashful and shy - but, hey, I was public schooled, and I was so shy in first grade that my teacher thought I was mentally retarded. The overwhelming majority of homeschool kids I know are outgoing and socially adept. Our barber commented once that he loved having my sons come into his shop, because, unlike with his other teenage customers, he could carry on intelligent conversations with them - about fruit trees, hunting, beekeeping, dancing, gardening. My eighteen-year-old is as comfortable sitting in the floor chatting and playing Legos with a three-year-old as he is talking WWII history with a 92-year-old veteran. And, he actually enjoys doing both. Social skills? Homeschoolers have 'em!
Homeschool students miss out on all the fun aspects of school, like sports, dances, graduation, etc. Not so. The Kendall kids swam with a competitive swim team. I know of two area private schools that allow homeschool students to participate in their soccer, track, football, and basketball programs. Dancing? Swing dancing, waltzing, reels...my guys really know how to boogie. And homeschool graduations - they are awesome!
All homeschool families have, like, a bazillion kids. Wrong. Most have two or three children. Me, I have seven. I do have a couple of friends who have 12 or more kids; so, yes, maybe large families are a little more common in the homeschool community. But homeschool doesn't necessarily equal The Duggars.
My kids will resent my depriving them of a "normal" education. Maybe not. After having been homeschooled themselves, my kids have expressed intentions to homeschool their own children. We've even had friends ask if they could come to hang out at our house and be part of our homeschool - must not be too bad!
If I homeschool my kids, I won't have a life. On the contrary, homeschooling IS a life, and it's a pretty dang awesome life at that! Sure, it takes a lot of time and is a lot of work, but you're going to have to use your time and energy somewhere, right?
Homeschool moms all think their kids are extraordinary. Well, yeah, because it's true. My kids are the coolest, most amazing people I know. So, this I-used-to-think...it still stands.
3 months ago