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Bust a Homeschool Myth

Let's bust some homeschool myths today, shall we?

Person: Oh, I could never do that!

Me: I've heard this so many times. I get it. I went from working full-time, to being home part-time, to finally being home full-time with my kids. It was an adjustment. I was used to being with my children part of the day, but I was also used to having some time without them. One thing about homeschooling is that the buck basically stops with you. (We talk about Getting Connected in another section of the website.) You can do this. You are a smart adult who loves your children. I know you do, or you wouldn't be reading a website about homeschooling them. You were their first teacher and this is possible. Will it take an adjustment? Yep. But you can do it.

Person: So, does the school like, send you books and stuff?

Me: I've been asked this multiple times by total strangers and even by medical doctors. That's kind of how it worked during the shutdown. The school sent packets or links and your student did them. Homeschooling is a bit different. Gloriously, you have a say in what they learn and when. So if your child is very interested in something, you can let them spend a lot of time on it instead of moving on the next day. On the other hand, if they are lost and don't understand something, you can work on it as long as necessary before moving on. YOU have the power to choose. You can even choose the best curriculum! Does your book lover need a literature-based curriculum? Does your straightforward son prefer a textbook approach? Does your hands-on learner need to do and build? It's your choice. (See the Curricula section) Now, having said that, if your state has you working under an umbrella school, there may be more limited choices for you. But the when and how is still in your hands. Also, you can always choose a box curriculum and that's kind of like someone sending you "books and stuff."

Person: Do you have to turn in grades?

Me: That depends on your state. There are many differences in homeschool expectations for each state. Some parents do have to send in grades. Some states do not require that. No matter what though, if you are doing a bona fide job of homeschooling, you will keep your own records at least for high school. That's how you figure a GPA. And yes, YOU figure the GPA in some states. Turning in grades is more of a formality anyway as you are working alongside your children and you know how they are doing.

Person: So you don't have friends, huh?

Me: This one is a sentiment that is directed at my children sometimes. And, well, they have friends. I think that people who homeschooled back in the 1980s might have had more trouble finding fellow homeschoolers. Today it is much easier as homeschooling has become more mainstream. It is easy to get together with families. In fact, when we started homeschooling in 2007, we got together weekly with 15-30 other families. Then there are neighborhood friends, church friends, cousins, and all the organizations you might be involved in. (See the Getting Connected section). And no, our children don't have trouble making friends. Are there awkward homeschoolers? Yes. Just as there are awkward public school children and awkward adults. We are a diverse group.

Person: How will you get them ready for the real world?

Me: OK. I admit, I've thought this one. Or at least a version of it. Before we began homeschooling there was a family we knew who homeschooled. I heard from a mutual friend that they stayed up very late every night and got up around noon every day. I thought, "They are not doing those kids any favors! They need to know how to get up and get going." Every family is different. I never let my kids sleep past 8 or 8:30am on a school day unless they are sick. We get dressed every day. That's not how some families roll. But there are plenty of opportunities for kids to get up on time. By the way, that family? Yeah, all their kids are grown and successful. They even have jobs! And some of them are married! And they went to college! Also, I'd like to echo what others have said about this. Being out in the world and going places with your mom during the day gives you a lot of chances to be in the "real world." My children interact with other adults and children every week. They knew from a young age how to speak respectfully to adults because they had a lot of practice. We know our post office worker by name. The librarians all know us. Even the lady at the oil change place knows us. We are out there. Now sitting in a room every day filled with people who were all born within 9-10 months of you? That's artificial!

There are many more. What homeschool myths have you heard? I'll be happy to bust them, or prove them true!


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