Many parents are wary of home schooling because they think that it deprives a child of important things that are acquired only through traditional schooling. And the fact that popular culture prefer to portray home schooled children as awkward and socially inept doesn’t help, either.
In her Scary Mommy article, mother Annie Reneau, whose child has been home schooled for 11 years, dispels some of the biggest myths surrounding this kind of education.
1. Home-schooled kids don’t get socialized
Home schooled children do not live in isolation, away from man kind. They have many social interactions in their daily life—and it’s not contained in the four walls of the house.
“Everywhere we’ve lived, we’ve been able to find home schooling groups that offer all kinds of classes and clubs, so the kids have plenty of opportunity to make friends and interact with others,” Annie says. “The kids also do extracurricular activities, such as sports, music groups, and scouts, so they mix and mingle with both home-schooled kids and schooled kids alike.”
2. If you’re a home-schooler, you must be a Fundamentalist Christian
There have been a surge of Christian parents who are vocal of their choice to home school, their children but for the most part it isn’t true.
Annie says: “In fact, only about two-thirds of home-schoolers identify themselves as Christian, compared to 83% of the American population. So the idea that home-schoolers are all religious nuts is an antiquated—though fun to parody—stereotype.”
3. Parents aren’t qualified to teach their children
Annie has a teaching degree, and although many say that she’s only for home schooling because of it, they’re not entirely right. Teaching a room full of kids and teaching your own children are two different things, she says.
“My preconceived notions of what school and learning should look like sometimes get in the way of what real learning actually does look like,” she argues. “My ideas about what education means, how people gain knowledge, and timelines for learning have all been totally revolutionized through my home schooling experience.”
Not only that: For the subjects she can’t teach, Chemistry, say, she can always look for someone who can.
“There are so many great tools out there; if a parent has any sense of resourcefulness at all, piecing together a quality, well-rounded education is as difficult as it seems.”
4. It’s hard for home-schooled kids to get into college
“Many colleges not only accept home-schooled students, but embrace them. Even top schools such as Stanford appreciate the unique, independent learning experiences home-schoolers bring to the table. Every school handles home-schoolers differently, but the college question isn’t nearly the issue I thought it might be.”
5. Home-schooled kids won’t know how to function in the real world
To this absurd claim, Annie has a simple rebuttal: “Do most adults sit in one room most of the day with 20 to 30 people within a year of our own age and an older person directing what they do?”
READ: 10 Things you need to know before homeschooling your kids
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