Common homeschooling myths debunked
Written by Tina Rodriguez
Homeschooling is becoming a more popular educational option these days but many people still don’t understand what it’s all about. This is why events like the No Place Like Home, Philippine Homeschool Convention or PHC are great venues for helping inform people about the ins and outs of homeschooling.
The PHC is a highly anticipated gathering of families who are either already homeschooling or curious about homeschooling. Organized by Educating for Life—a group of four homeschooling moms who wish to support homeschoolers—this year’s PHC, which was held on September 7, was also brought to the public by Moneygment and SMX Convention Center.
The PHC, which gathered around a thousand people at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura Premier, featured a lineup of speakers who are all homeschoolers.
Among them were mother-and-daughter tandem Aileen and Fudge Santos, who spoke about homeschooling during the high school years.
Starting out with homeschooling
In an exclusive interview prior to the PHC, Aileen shared their family’s reasons for choosing to homeschool.
“First, the traffic situation. Our teens went to a regular school within our village until 6th grade, so it was still fine,” she said. “But since they had to go to ‘further away’ schools for middle school and high school (just within seven kilometers of our home, mind you), we quickly realized this would soon be their pattern: wake up at 4am to get picked up at 5:30am for a 7am flag ceremony. Then come home at 7pm despite a 4pm dismissal time, all because of traffic.”
Something many parents can relate to, right?
‘Too much school’ situation
Their second reason was the “too much school” situation.
“As a psychologist, I’ve been giving talks to schools about stress management, and the truth I consistently see is that our kids are overloaded,” Aileen explains.
“They go through 8 hours of school at school, and then still need to do school work at home. This takes time away from family bonding, and I see so many homes where many of its members act like boarders who are just there for the food and shelter, because they have so much to do.”
The Santoses’ last reason for homeschooling may be a surprise to many. “Regular school can cause ‘over socialization,’” says Aileen. “Particularly among teenagers.”
She goes into more detail: “Imagine being exposed to friends’ and classmates’ drama the whole day at school, and then still have more of it on social media when you get home, and then have more of that drama the next day. This happens every week day of the week.”
The effect on teens is not something that Aileen and her husband wanted for their kids. “There’s no time for teens to step back and reflect on what’s happening, because it’s always happening,” Aileen explains. “So they just know how to react.”
“Imagine as well having a crush on someone (or someone having a crush on you), and being exposed to friends’ teasings every day of the week. Even if you knew you weren’t ready for a relationship and it’s just a crush, the rollercoaster emotions (and your friends’ expectations) could pressure you into getting into a relationship you’re not ready for, again because you have to time to step back and reflect on what to do next. Everything is happening all the time, and all you can do is react.”
On homeschooling myths
When it comes to myths about homeschooling, Aileen is no stranger to all of them. She debunks some of the most common homeschooling myths for us:
Myth no. 1: Homeschooled kids are not “socialized” properly.
Aileen: “Our friends and family members never said this out loud, but they did ask questions. Whenever they did, I just told them about how our kids have been part of children’s and youth groups since they were toddlers, and they actually have friends from different schools, not just one. I also tell them about the ‘over socialization’ situation I’ve seen in regular schools as a Registered Guidance Counselor, and because of my background they believe me, and can’t really have any counter arguments about that.”
Myth no. 2: Homeschoolers just stay at home all day, and learning at home is very similar to what happens in the classroom.
Aileen: “Maybe this happens to some homeschoolers, but not all homeschool programs are the same.”
Myth no. 3: Homeschoolers are “weird” and “different.”
Aileen: “Every traditional school has those few ‘weird’ and ‘different’ kids. So do homeschools. And I’ve never seen that as a bad thing. A lot of these misunderstood kids usually become successful in their own right.”
Myth no. 4: Homeschooling parents are the sole educators of their children, and need to know everything about every subject.
Aileen: “I would NEVER have agreed to homeschool our teens if I had to study High School Math again, ha, ha! So don’t you worry, fellow Math-averse parents.”
Myth no. 5: Homeschooling is only for those who are “extremely patient” and can “do it all.”
Aileen: “Number of current humans who can do it all: Zero. Number of current homeschooling families worldwide: Thousands. Enough said.”
Myth no. 6: Homeschooled kids won’t be prepared enough to get into good colleges/universities.
Aileen: “I don’t have the current actual statistics. But last I checked, homeschooled kids have had a consistently higher passing rate into colleges and universities compared to regularly schooled students.”
Myth no. 7: Homeschooling parents are not qualified to teach their children.
Aileen: “My answer here requires a whole module on ‘How Homeschooling Works’ with matching videos and PowerPoint presentations. Or better yet, attend the Philippine Homeschool Convention [in the future]!”
Myth no. 8: Homeschooling is only for the “elite” and is expensive.
Aileen: “Have you compared the tuition fees yet between homeschooling programs and traditional schools? Please do check first. Then let’s talk.”
Thanks to Aileen, we now know that the common misconceptions about homeschooling are not true at all. But in case you’re still not convinced about homeschooling and if it will work for you, try connecting with Educating for Life, the organizers of the Philippine Homeschool Convention. They are also homeschooling moms themselves, and you can contact them through their website www.educatingforlife.co or Facebook page www.facebook.com/philippinehomeschoolconvention. You’ll surely learn a lot and, who knows, you might find yourself homeschooling even through the high school years, just like Aileen!