This year marks my 10th year as a homeschool mom. Over the years I’ve realized that there are a lot of stereotypes and preconceived notions about homeschoolers.
I for one have never been offended by stereotypes… they exist, sometimes are correct, and if you don’t take them personally it’s not a problem
I am blonde after all… I’ve lived up to that one plenty of times!
I thought today I’d take a minute to point out some not-so-accurate perceptions of homeschoolers and set the record straight on a few things.
Information is our friend people. And for the sake of homeschoolers everywhere I’m offering some up today.
#1-We hate public school
I’ve heard this one a lot. Even been asked, “what’s your problem with public school?” The perception is that we hate it or don’t think it’s good enough.
While I’m sure there are some homeschoolers who probably do hate it the majority of us do not. In fact as I mentioned before my teenager is a public school kid as of this year.
I have some very close friends who are teachers and have incredible admiration for what they do, and who they are in a lot of kids lives. Also as a product of the public school system myself I think I turned out ok!
So no we don’t hate it… it simply isn’t what we feel is best for our children or families.
#2 We are all crazy religious fanatics… or Amish
One of the funniest stories I ever heard as a homeschooler was from a friend of mine who is a dental hygienist. She had a patient coming in and one of the other hygienists said to her, “Oh they’re really nice… I think they’re Jehovah’s Witnesses though… they homeschool.”
And there my friends is preconceived notion #2 that because you homeschool you are devoutly religious.
Now once again, there are those who make the choice entirely based on religious principles. There are also those who would rather follow religious curriculum.
However… one of the largest homeschool groups on Facebook is “freethinkers” most of them non-religious or atheist.
There are some people who are religious but their choice to homeschool has nothing to do with that.
I get asked quite frequently if my decision is religious based and am surprised by how many people are shocked when I say no. So next time you meed a homeschool family please don’t assume they’re devoutly religious, part of a cult, Buddhist… Zoroastrian… whatever, that may not have anything to do with their decision!
#3 We live on farms and eat only organic food
We don’t. Well I’m sure there are some that do… but most of us don’t.
For some reason homeschooling conjures up images of Little House on the Prairie for people. That we all get up and tend the crops, milk the cattle and then settle down for lessons.
I wonder if people envision bonnets too? I’d be down for wearing a bonnet during school time. It would really throw my kids off.
The organic food? Well I know a ton of moms who strive for that, they’re all sorts of moms though not just homeschoolers.
So while many of us would strive to eat homegrown organic food we’re not growing it on our farms… in our bonnets.
#4-Our kids get no social interaction
I’m going there.
Please, please. please quit asking homeschoolers, “What about the social aspect?” or “Don’t you worry about socialization?
The fact that we are out in public for you to ask these questions kind of gives you an answer.
The homeschool families I know are some of the busiest families around. Just like any family there is the constant running to sports, scouts, church functions, family get togethers, birthday parties, play dates, music lessons…. etc. etc. etc.
The list goes on and on.
There are plenty of opportunities outside of a school building for children to make friends and get social.
We don’t keep our kids in bubbles, we make sure they learn how to interact with people of all ages and have friens…we’ve got it covered.
#5-We are really organized
Some of us are.
I am not.
I think many people think homeschool moms have these spectacularly organized school rooms with cubbys and baskets for everything. That they have flawless lesson plans and neatly arranged workspaces.
There are some that do, I’ve seen pictures… I am envious.
But there are many who work at the dining room table, or on the couch in the living room. There are some who plan months ahead or maybe only a few days in advance.
For the most part we are average moms. We do our best to keep everything in order the way it should be but unfortunately we’re not given super human organization powers.
#6 We give our kids all A’s all the time
“Of course your kid got straight A’s you’re the one grading the test.”
If you’ve ever thought this you clearly don’t know the mommas I know.
The red pen is or friend.
Or we don’t give grades at all… they just have to keep doing it until they get it right.
Although it would make life a lot easier to hand out A’s and pretend they got everything right that would be an incredible disservice to our kiddos.
So we correct them. We make them try again. And if they get an A it’s because they earned it, not because we gave it to them.
#7 – We think everyone should homeschool
I honestly don’t think everyone should.
I’ve been told many times by people that they don’t think they could handle it. Or that they’re kid would be miserable.
I think it is something that you do if your heart is in it. If you know deep down that it is best for your family and everyone will benefit.
It’s not something you take on knowing you’re going to dread it or that your kids are going to hate it. That wouldn’t benefit anyone.
Just like everything else it comes down to what you think is right for your family. Everyone has to take their own path and what is right for me may not be what is right for someone else.
So there you have it my friends a little more knowledge to help you understand those crazy homeschoolers a little more. That is one that is true… we are crazy… we are parents after all, and whether our kids go to school or not they all make us a little crazier!!
What do you believe is the biggest misconception about homeschoolers? What’s the strangest thing anyone has said to you about homeschooling your kid?? I’d love to hear what you have to say!
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