Dispelling myths about homeschooling


Okay, there are a lot of misperceptions about homeschooling.

So this thread is for hsers to share their experiences about homeschooling in contrast to some misperceptions

Only one misperception per post

I’ll start

Misconception #1

There is only one way to homeschool.

Truth: there are as many ways as there are people. Generalizations are hard to make because every family has their own way.


I’ll bite :smiley:

Myth #2: You can’t properly socialize children when you homeschool.

Fact: Children who are homeschooled can be well socialized. There are plenty of avenues for socializing with their peers from Scouts to Church organizations. There are a very few homeschoolers who totally isolate themselves - they don’t socialize with anyone - the vast majority get out into the real world and socialize with peers as well as people in every age range.

Brenda V.


Yea, somebody bit!


Homeschoolers think they are better/more holy.


Homeschoolers think homeschooling is the better way to get to the place they hope to get to (more virtuous, better educated), but homeschoolers themselves are very aware of shortcomings. Our kids fight with each other. They complain about chores. They talk back. Moms are impatient with their kids, yell at their kids, make mistakes, etc.

Homeschooling can shelter your kids from some stuff that you don’t want your kids to be exposed, but it doesn’t take away the effects of original sin.


Honest question about home-schooling in the USA:

Do you have to have a visit from a school inspector/social worker when you homeschool in the States?

Here in the UK, parents who homeschool have to convince a social worker that their children are getting a standard and breadth of education that’s at least as good as they would get in a state school, and have to cover certain subjects that are covered in the National Curriculum, particularly around English language literacy levels, maths and science.

Generally, from what I hear, where it’s obvious to the social worker that you are following some kind of curriculum plan, own at least one textbook, and your kids aren’t just sitting around watching TV all day, you are fine. Evidently it doesn’t take much to give your kids a better standard of education than they’d receive in state school!

What standards do you have to meet in the United States? It seems that homeschooling is much more common over there than it is here.


Really, Leonie? I’m shocked, simply shocked. :wink:

I’ll debate on this “truth” that homeschoolers think homeschooling is the better way to educate. “Burn out” and self doubt are fairly common with us imperfect, impatient homeschooling moms; some of us frequently doubt our ability to provide any type of education, whatless a “more virtuous” one. I anxiously await the arival of standardized test scores to help me determine if all my efforts are in vain or not. Those voices of that challenge the notion that parents are qualified to educate their own children frequently echo in our minds, undermining our confidence.

Related misconception on homeschooling: the education at home must be meet or exceed the academic education available in public or private school in order to justify homeschooling.

Truth: God designed parents as the primary educators of their children.

My Opinion: I think the burden of proof lies on the state (or other) school to prove itselves worthy of educating my children, not the other way around.


Of course, you’re right, Gardiner. How we agonize all the time about the choices we are making!! Wouldn’t it be nice to be confident about hsing? Wouldn’t it be nice if God was a little more direct about what He wants us to do with our kids!


This is a hard one to make into a myth statement because each state has different rules. In Indiana, we provide equivalent (in quality, not necessarily the same curricula) instruction as the State standards. We are only required to keep attendance records. We are required to have 180 days. We do not have to register our hsing unless directly required to by our school district’s superintendent.

Other states have other more intrusive laws.


Myth: Children who are hs will fail at college leval.

Truth: University’s are seeing that hsed students tend to more prepared for university life than non-hs students. Hsed students are use to learning on their own which is a constant in the University settings.


The laws vary across all 50 states. The fourth ammendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from government authorities searching our homes without just cause and court order, but that doesn’t stop some social workers or school district officials from trying. Some states have more requirements for parents to fill out official paperwork and reports; others require less. Some states have a set number of hours of instruction and specify subjects that must be taught; others don’t. Using a set curriculum makes homeschooling, both to accomplish in the first place and to defend if the children’s education quality is ever questioned. I think all states mandatory education laws to some degree.

As to the UK I just found this: hslda.org/docs/link.asp?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eraisingkids%2Eco%2Euk%2Ftodaysnews07%2Fnews%5F100507%5F02%2Easp


I live in Michigan and there is no state involvement.


Myth: the homeschooling moms on this forum should be busy with their children, not busy dispelling myths and misperceptions about homeschooling in an on-line forum discussion.:whistle:
Truth: I am educating my children. My school aged children have their assignments, and this forum often serves as my social outlet during “coffee breaks” while I also care for my baby. Like many of you who regularly come in contact with other adults through work or by volunteering at your children’s school, homeschooling moms enjoy and need contact with other adults too. :slight_smile:

Thanks leonie for starting this thread.


Myth: you need to be a licensed and trained teacher to be a competent homeschooler.

Truth: Teacher training programs are geared to classroom management and teaching groups. Homeschooling is a tutoring model. There are great curricula you can use with excellent teacher’s guides or you can use a correspondence school if you choose.

For very specialized subjects like foreign languages, advanced math or fine arts, you can also use dual credit classes at universities, local classes, online classes, co-ops and tutors. Or, you can build a strong foundation and let your student study these subjects in post secondary school. You have lots of options.


In Illinois, we only have to teach the “branches of education” in English for 180 days a year. There is an optional form to send to the regional education office, but it is optional.

I have never heard of a state that required a social worker to come to the home. Some states want testing, some want a portfolio of work; two states are very stringent ,to the point of it being best to home educate under and “umbrella” school, a school in existence that accepts home schooling families on their rolls.

A couple good sources regarding the question of which state requires what:




This one made me giggle. Our kids’ youth band practices on Wed. evening and one of the hs members lives further away so spends the night with us on Wed. night. So naturally they talk and goof off all night and sleep in on Thurs. morning. This afternoon will be school time, and we’ll go till around 5:00. This is one of the perks, I think, the flexibilty in their schedules. So this morning I am having a great time looking at all the posts and having a second cup of coffee.

God Bless


I read some comments by other homeschoolers on another thread, and I feel compelled to dispell the myth of pajamas.

Myth: homeschoolers sit around in their pajamas all day.

Truth: some might, but not all do that. Personally, I want my children nicely dressed everyday.


Myth 47: all homeschoolers agree on pajamas. we don’t. the homeschoolers down the block can be found wearing first Holy Communion outfits any time of the day.

Myth 48: Homeschooling mothers are more attractive. this is not a myth. it’s true. we attract more invitations to babysit, drive neighbors, walk dogs etc because, well, we’re home all day.

myth 49: homeschool kids have whiter teeth. it only seems this way because they smile more.

myth 50: homeschool moms don’t know how to say “no.” in fact, we don’t. instead, the Catholic ones say, “Gee, Martha. That sounds like a problem. I’ll pray you find someone to walk Sharky while you’re gone.”

seriously, REAL Myth:
to the supporters, that there is any guarantee of success.
to the detractors, that there is any guarantee of failure.

in fact, just like everything else we do, our family works as if everything depends on us and pray as if everything depends on God. we trust HIM that nothing, even apparent failures are not wasted.


Oh! very good,Monica. One of my friends who is worried about her young adult and this young woman’s choice of boyfriend said to me recently, “I thought if I homeschooled, I would never have to worry about her soul or her choices. Now, I can see that I had it all wrong. Homeschooling isn’t a guarantee that your kids will stay Catholic, pick good boyfriends, or make all the right choices.”

When she said that, I realized that I probably had that attitude that our choice of hsing would “fix” all future problems. I was struck by a moment of anxiety, then filled with surrender to God’s work.

Homeschooling is **not **a guarantee your kids will escape the typical problems of adolescence and young adulthood.


I think my biggest obstacle would be…me.

I enjoy reading the homeschool threads, and I admire homeschoolers.
But deep down it is my self doubt about my ability to remain patient and calm and organized.

Our local school is small with an excellent teaching staff (many of whom are conservative christians), and I think it is good that my kids get to make friends with other kids outside of the family.
The fights at home between the kids can be AWFUL.

I am noticing however, that as the family unit breaks down more and more - the kids at the local schools seem to be “different” lately.
There are more angry kids acting out, sometimes even trying to hurt their teachers.
It makes me wonder how much longer I can send my kids there despite the good teachers that are there.


myth #6 Kids learn best under pressure, with high expectations and a tough curricullum.:cool:

Truth, learning is innate. One son scores best with subjects that were learned in a very superficial, relaxed manner. (We never studied English except a couple computer games and he scores nearly perfectly on the SAT.)

I do acknowledge that some kids may be different, but couldn’t define who they are or what circumstances that would be. I’ll let the parents decide.:thumbsup:

That’s not to say that a little “push” isn’t needed sometimes. And if you have lots of useless distractions around the house such as instant messaging or virtual games, your child will go into virtual land and not be interested or practice any skills or curiosity.:eek:


Very good point! My oldest son’s geography knowledge is above grade level–I’m embarrassed to admit, he learned it from playing Risk and other world domination games. Plus the click and drag games we play online.


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