Dispelling myths about homeschooling


I feel just the opposite, two of my very good friends homeschool and I find I have to defend my reasons not to homeschool my kids to them. We send our kids to our parishes Catholic school and it is thankfully ultra conservative and I volunteer at the school several days a week and yet my friends say things to me that are not out right rude but it is little comments and I don’t even think they realize they are doing it but it can be hurtful. I am nothing but supportive of homeschooling parents “more power to them” but we seriously prayed and discerned over it and it just was not the desire of my heart but I feel like I have to explain to these friends why I don’t homeschool.

So, I personally think there can be myths to both sides of the coin and we really need to praise and support parents for their choices and try to raise eachother up and not bring anyone down. I think all you parents that homeschool are amazing people and I’m so glad you have answered that call, I really think God calls us to where he wants us to be and you have answered him… how awesome is that… :slight_smile:


huh, maybe it’s just human nature, then to think one’s life style is the best for everyone?



Not so. We just got back from our weekly 3 hour homeschool P.E. class www.chaasaints.com.

The first three weeks and last three weeks of school are PRIMO times to go to Disney, water parks, amusement parks, etc. Parents might pull kids out of school during the school year, but rarely right at the beginning or end. Next Monday is Butterfly world and Tuesday is the water park. Over the summer our field trips will include Krispy Kreme (yum), California Pizza Kitchen (oooo, yummmm) and Coldstone Creamery (YYYUUUMMM).


HOMESCHOOL MOMS ARE TIED DOWN (figuratively, folks).

Again, not so.

In fact, families that school are far more tied down. We can go anywhere, anytime. Our only limitation is the amount of DH’s vacation.



Wait, that’s not a myth. :whacky:

Just kidding LOL :stuck_out_tongue: .

Seriously, shortly after that woman in TX drowned her five children, I was talking to some neighbors. I told them we were homeschooling. She grew very concerned and told me that moms who homeschool go crazy.

As sad as that is, I can’t help but laugh just remembering the conversation.

Ah, well.



I would at least say that everyone thinks their way is best. But that goes without saying, does it not? If I didn’t think it was best, I wouldn’t do it.

I do enjoy getting to be witness to my children’s epiphanies. :newidea:


On paper, in Alaska, one has to be using a state approved curriculum.

Homeschooled students are still supposed to take standards based assessments.

That isn’t rigidly enforced.

But realize: THERE IS NO NATIONAL SYSTEM FOR EDUCATION IN THE USA. There are 55 separate systems: 50 states, plus Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, District of Columbia, DODEA. Each has regional authority to make the decisions; most state systems are merely supervisory to a variety of local but mostly autonomous school districts.


Why is that? Do they make comments about your choice? If I were you, I’d change the conversation. You don’t owe them any explanations!

Years ago, it came up in conversation w/ a neighbor that I was nursing my baby. She immediately brought up all the reasons she couldn’t nurse. I never asked - she just started to offer all this info. when all I did was answer her question!

I’ve had the same thing happen regarding homeschooling. Someone asks, “Where do your kids go to school?”. I say, “We homeschool,” and all of a sudden they feel obliged to tell me why they could never homeschool. I never asked them to ‘defend’ their choice. I just answered their question!

Do people feel ‘judged’ by those two words, “We homeschool.”? I hope not. I hope they have confidence in their ability to make good decisions for their family. —KCT


Except, now that we’re planning on enrolling our 7-year old in public school for the first time (to receive special education services), we’re getting hassled about having no formal records of her achievement to this point. Her achievement is severely hampered by Asperger syndrome, so we’re asking to have her complete 1st-grade work, and they’re insisting on 2nd grade because of her age. We’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about parents trying to get special ed services in UCS, but ours is unique because they’ve never met anyone (at least that’s what they claim) who’s tried to enroll a special needs child after that child has been homeschooled. They’ve assumed that we need to produce documentation, and of course, as you know our state homeschooling laws state, they’re quite wrong.

Oh, to stay on topic, I should add the following:

Myth: you can’t homeschool special needs children.

Fact: homeschoooling affords parents with unique opportunities to tailor curricula, methods and materials to accomodate challenging situations. Some children are kinesthetic learners and need to be in motion while learning, while traditional classrooms require students to sit quietly in neat rows while listening to lecturing teachers. Other children have problems with fine motor skills that make handwriting an excruciating chore, while homeschooling parents may choose to ease such a child into writing gradually and focus on the acquisition of knowledge and thinking skills. Homeschooling schedules provide parents flexibility in maintaining appointments with therapists and service providers, while traditionally-schooled children would need to be pulled out of school.

There are many other facts, but I feel as though I’ve rambled enough already :slight_smile:


I just ignore the comments, I think they feel the need to address the reasons they choose to homeschool, you have to understand where we are from… small rural farming town in MN with probably four families who homeschool… so I think my friends think they have to be on guard and that is sad… they know I support them but sometimes I would just like that same respect. I am questioned a lot for why I send my kids to a private Catholic school and don’t I think the public school is good enough… I won’t even reply to that one… we are lucky enough to have a parish that offers a great school and wants a lot of parental involvement which is key to us… not only that, my kids go to daily mass with their friends, pray the rosary with their friends, do the stations of the cross with their friends… it is so nice to have friends that think a like these days and my kids can pray in school and talk about God all they want… its not for everyone but it works great for us.

anyways… I got a little off subject… sorry:p


Too true!!! I wish homeschool was tied down!!!

(And sorry for all my bad spelling and improper use of synonyms. I can’t beleive I type that badly AGAIN!!! It happens every two or three years.)


Myth: Homeschooling is so easy anyone can do it.
Truth: It takes alot of prayer because if not, you can fail at it easily.

This is my first year and had I not read through alot of homeschooling “testimonies” I would have never put together the understanding that the first year is always the hardest… so full of self doubt, so full of confusion of what’s really important.

Myth: Having a strong willed child will make you hate homeschooling and they can’t be taught at home.
Truth: uh… well… hmmm… lemme think about this one:o … No Wait… This is what makes you have to pray for patience because having a strong willed child that hates correction, hates sitting down to do work, and will fight you tooth and nail on everything is a serious challenge. But not one worth giving up on.

Anyone else out there with a REALLY strong willed child? How do you deal with them on those days when they just really want to play stupid and after knowing their vowels for three years they’ll tell you “P” “N” “T” and act surprised when you say no. Or spend five hours on one page of math all the while telling you that you’re the mean one and a few other very disrespectful comments.

Myth: You can easily figure out a curriculum for your child as one size fits all.
Truth: It may take you a few years to figure out your child’s learning style, therefore what curriculum works for him/her.

uggg…sorry… I’ve just had a hard year for my first year. I’ve wanted to give up so many times but I know it’s right for all of us. I’m still learning what will work for her though and it’s rather frustrating at times. And we can’t afford alot to keep switching things around to figure out what works.


Well, one thing I’ve learned is to never spend five hours on Math! We’ve done this and everyone is miserable. Now, we do Math for a 1/2 hour segment, do another subject/chore/or break and then do another 1/2. If the kid is not done, we just put it aside. The downside to this is that we are doing Math this summer everyday. But, that is good, too, because then they don’t forget it as easily.

I keep to a schedule–Managers of Their Homes. I have it posted on the wall on a big posterboard. My strong will kids try to argue with me, but I tell them to argue with the posterboard.

Also, I’m more relaxed now that I’ve learned that reading for fun actually does more than direct instruction. So, if my kids have read a hour or I have read a hour to them, I don’t sweat “getting everything done.”


It’s not that my kid doesn’t know the material, and I certainly don’t allow her to sit for five hours arguing with me, but there are days where she will fight for hours on end and I just can’t allow her to “win” with me backing off. If she goes into it fighting, I know what I’m going to be up against for that day and it’s a struggle because I know she’s doing it to see if she can get me to quit and do something else.

I’ve heard of Managers of their Homes and I’ve heard good things of it, so I’ll have to actually look more into it. We’ve got #4 coming soon so I’ll really have to get something figured out. I just can’t deal with a stubborn child, a new kindergartener, a toddler and newborn and allow the oldest to be reigning supreme in the stubborn realm just to get out of schoolwork.


I think the “truth” of homeschooling strong willed children ranges from :banghead: to achieving great accomplishments without parental pushing. “Strong willed” may also be “self motivated”, which is a double edged sword. They certainly can be stubborn and frustrating on days they are motivated to do something other than what you want them to do. Yet, when they want to achieve or learn something, they usually go after it with great passion.

You may want try asking only a fairly minimal amount of work in the basic subjects, then expand on the “independent studies” according to their interests. You could even re-inforce the other subjects with the “unit study” approach around what motivates the child.


This is not the truth at all. I am a teacher and attended a teacher training program which I found very valuable. Although there are courses on classroom management, in addition there are a variety of courses on curriculum and instruction (taught by professors who have doctorates in that field). I learned theory, teaching techniques, and curriculum which made me a more competent teacher.


I have had these kinds of experiences, maybe I can help a little now that we are in our 5th yr and things have greatly improved. One of my sons would once or twice a week become difficult like this, and here are some ways I changed our normal routine that helped:

  1. Start the morning with a prayer. There are some excellent morning prayers in The Catholic Prayer Book ( a tiny paperback) or what we do is pray the Prayer of St. Francis as it really helps to create a mood of charity and humility. Go over the daily Mass readings, available at EWTN.com and discuss what you’ve read.

  2. BrainPOP.com is a fun and useful website that is great for those days. You can print out a little crossword puzzle to help them remember what they learned and it’s a fun activity to do together if there are other kids around, too. It can be done for history, science, english, math, etc. We subscribe to this every year.

  3. Instead of regular English, throw out a fun or thoughtful topic and have the child write one page, or half a page, or just a paragraph, about that topic. This is the beginning of essay writing, and teaches more than you think. Then go over any mistakes together and have them make corrections, after talking about whatever good things you can find in the essay, like descriptive words, etc. Or save the corrections for another day if you are really having a tough day.

  4. Rent a movie that is based on a classic. One rainy day last year my moody, sullen teenager who flopped into the chair when I suggested a movie, ended up being quite enthralled by Nicholas Nickleby. In spite of himself, he became interested in Charles Dickens.

  5. Find a way to use your child’s interests to do school.

  6. Field trips. They can be a great relief to everyone, including Mom. Go to an IMAX film, a zoo, an unusual building, or a grocery store to find the best prices on certain foods.

  7. Grandparents. Just talking to them about the old days, how was it when they were young, etc. Or an older friend or neighbor.

  8. Play a board game, learn Chess on the computer, plant some seeds.

  9. On those really, really bad days, just take a break. Ask your child what his or her idea of the perfect school day would be. This can be a tricky conversation, but if you persevere, it could also lead to some insights for both of you.

  10. Pray, pray, pray. And remember what you are really aiming for…a saint, not a scholar.

God Bless


Myth #(I don’t remember :o ) : All homeschoolers are religious freaks who “sacrifice” “academics” in favor of religious education.

Fact: There are all kinds out there. When I taught 7th grade english at a public school, I ran into parents who excluded their children from sex ed, greek mythology units, birthday parties, the pledge of allegience, and tried to convince me to remove Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books from my classroom library (even though they completely understood that their children were not in any way required to read said books, they were simply there for those who were interested) all for religious reasons

Now that I homeschool, even though I belong to a Catholic homeschool group, the spectrum of religious observation is as wide as one could imagine. Some attend daily Mass, others only the Tridentine, some the NO on Sundays and Holy Days only, etc. etc.

Truth is, just because you’re a Catholic homeschooler, and your primary goal for your children’s education is to, as CHC puts it, “Educate them for Eternity”, doesn’t mean you’re a “religious fanatic” who is raising children unable to cope with the “real world”.


Er, as a licensed teacher, I disagree. :slight_smile:


I have to say that as a Catholic mom with kids in Catholic school I am probably more freaky than these “myths” that homeschool mom’s are… I am one of those parents who has my nose in the situation at all times and wants to know what is on the book shelves at school… I must know at the beginning of the school year what classes will be taught and I opted my children out of “sex ed” which in our parish was just about when girls get their time of the month and when boys start to get hair under their arms, need to shower…etc… I find that my hubby has handled that situation so much easier with our sons and my daughter was more comfortable talking to me about her “time of the month” than having that talked about in school… my daughter said she would be horrified to talk about that in school:D

I’m sure that each time I show up at school or call they are rolling their eyes over my requests or questions… but they have always answered my questions and let me know in advance what movies will be showed in school, books read out loud to kids, etc. so I have the option in advance to opt my child out… I’m not kidding… I can be a real “crazy” but I think that is where parents can play a very important part in their childs education and parents need to “stick their noses in” these are my kids and I have the right to know everything that pertains to them and the school has never been anything but great with us… but I can just imagine what they think each time they see me coming down the hallway:eek:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.