Five Homeschooling Misconceptions By Asha Oshun' Mali
When I told my mostly middle class family that I was thinking of
homeschooling my children, I was met with a host of negative
responses. My mother, in particular, was mortified. "Home
school!" she said exasperated. "Now why would you want to do
that? Don't you know home school children don't get into good
colleges? And, how will you socialize them?"
I did not know how to respond to her then. What I did know: was
that I was not crazy about the education my children were
receiving at their perspective schools.
I did not blame their teachers at all for this-I knew they were
doing the best they could-and honestly, I feel it's a parent's
job to ensure their children are getting a quality education.
But still, I did not know how the home school processed worked.
So, I turned to what I am good at; snooping.
I stalked internet websites on homeschooling for weeks, learning
all that I could. I also took a trip to the library-a handy free
resource-and read books on the subject as well.
Added to this, I found out through word of mouth-which friends of
mine knew home schooling parents. I learned a lot from my quest,
and I certainly learned a lot about home schooling
Misconception number one:
One of the most common misconceptions is that home schooled
students will not be able to socialize with other kids.
Having my children not only socialize with other kids their age,
but also participate in community service programs, was very
important to me when considering the option of homeschooling.
I wanted to make sure they had hands on experience for their
perspective career interest and I also wanted to make sure they
understood the importance of volunteering their time to help
others in need.
My thirteen year old wants to be a Veterinarian. I wondered how I
would be able to make sure she was able to learn more about
I found out through my research, that she could not only get
experience by working at animal shelters , but that she would
also be able to fulfill a community service component by
volunteering her time.
And as far as socialization is concerned, there is plenty of
information available on the internet. Home-school.com (www.home-school.com) is just
one of the many sites where you can find home school social
groups for your particular state.
There are also sites that can help strengthen your child's skills
by allowing them to interact with other learners their age.
is one such site.
Helium offers teenagers, 13 and up, the chance to display their
writing and the opportunity to read the writing of others.
The site also offers message boards where children can get useful
advice for improving their writing, while connecting with other
kids their age at the same time.
Misconceptions number two:
A friend was careful to advise me that homeschooling was illegal.
I told her I did not think so, but she insisted. "You are going
to go to jail and lose your kids if you home school girl." She
While the mere thought of doing something illegal-especially
where my children were concerned-was terrifying for me, my
research showed me that homeschooling is indeed- legal.
There are state rules that must be followed however.
I was reassured after learning from Fine Homeschooling.com (www.
finehomeschooling.com) that homeschooling is legal in all 50
I was also encouraged by the fact that there were many sites that
had detailed information on the legal information regarding
homeschooling for each state.
One of the most informative was the Homeschooling Legal Defense
The site is very detailed in regard to the
legal ins and outs of what you can and can't do as a home school
parent or guardian.
Misconception number 3:
The next misconception I was met with was that to teach children
at home you needed at least a bachelor's degree and a teaching
I learned that is in not true either. However, each state has
different laws regarding homeschooling.
In Georgia for instance, all you need is a high school diploma.
And, you have to make sure that you hand in an attendance sheet
at the end of every month so that you are in compliance with
truancy laws.Teacher Certification is also not required in most
states. You must be careful, however, to make sure that you are
competent at the subjects you are teaching.
Your child's education is extremely important.
Don't be afraid to enlist tutors to aide you in giving your child
the highest quality education possible.And you will need to make
sure the tutors are qualified. In some states, like California,
tutors must be certified. However, you will have to do the
research to find out what your states home schooling laws are.
Listed below are some websites that can help you find the legal
home school information for your state.
Misconception number 4:
"Are you going to be able to afford it? I mean, the economy is
pretty bad out there and you won't be able to work full time if
you home school." This was a legitimate concern for me. I knew
that I and my husband would have to work.
But, I knew too ,that our schedules could be set up in a way that
would allow us to offer our children the best of our time,
resources, and attention.
As far as affordability is concerned, homeschooling is no more
expensive than public school and far less expensive than most
private schools. Homework on your part is important.
The internet offers a plethora of websites on homeschooling.
One of my favorites is Successful Homeschooling (www.successful-homeschooling.com).
This wonderful website gives useful information and links on
where to find cost cutting materials such as used books, free and
low cost homeschooling links, and much more.
And there are many other sites like this one available on the
web. Just head over to Google and do a search. You will be amazed
at what you will find.
Misconception number 5:
Can home schooled children get into good colleges? According to
Karl M. Bundy they can and not just in America. Mr. Bundy
list well over 1,000 colleges that have accepted and still do
accept home school students.
And, some of America's finest colleges and universities, like
Harvard, are listed as well. If you are worried about
standardized test like the A.C.T and S.A.T, you don't have to.
According to Isabel Shaw in an article written for Back to School
with Family Education (school.familyeducation.com),
"On average, home schooled kids score one year ahead of their
schooled peers on standardized tests. The longer the student home
schools, the wider this gap becomes.
By the time home schooled children are in the eighth grade, they
test four years ahead of their schooled peers."
Of course, you as the parent educator will have to do your own
foot work where getting your child into the school of your choice
is concerned. But, that would be your job no matter what system
you choice for your child to attend; private, public or home.
All in all, homeschooling can be an enriching experience not only
for your children, but for you as well.Don't listen to the
naysayers; do your own snooping. You will be surprised and
delighted at what you will find.