When it comes to a child learning at home, there tends to be a lot of misunderstanding. In fact, there are stereotypes galore. But as the number of homeschooled children in Australia continues to skyrocket, many of the most common myths and misunderstandings are being clarified. Below, we list 14 of the most common misconceptions about homeschoolers and homeschooling and explain the truth about this popular educational choice.
Homeschoolers are social outcasts
The most common misconception about homeschoolers is the idea that homeschooled children are less socialised than their peers. This is a total myth! In fact, homeschooling often includes getting out of the designated learning space, and a typical day can include family, neighbours, friends, and community members. Such daily interactions help form relationships and good communication habits. This is far more beneficial than what students get from a typical age grouped classroom environment — that is, day after day spent with classmates that have limited life experience. In 2000, the Discovery Institute conducted a study in which trained counsellors found homeschooled children to not only be “well adjusted,” but to also exhibit fewer behavioural problems than their mainstream schooled peers.
Homeschoolers play all day
While it’s true that homeschooling often leaves more time for a child to play and be a kid, it’s a massive mistake to assume that homeschooled children simply spend every day at play. Euka homeschoolers work on the very same curriculum as those in mainstream school but with the addition of relevant hands-on activities. It’s also important to remember that homeschooling enables a child to work at his or her own pace; a child who stays focused long enough to complete his or her required work quickly will have more time to play than the child who needs a little extra time. Having an educational program that is tailored to your child’s needs sets them up for success.
Only unusual people Homeschool
Every week we engage with families new to homeschooling. These interactions break the myth that only unusual people choose to homeschool their children. In truth, the top reasons for Homeschooling according to the hundreds of conversations we have include:
- to make a change from a negative school environment
- the desire for a higher quality education
- to improve social interaction
- to support a learning challenge
- to educate children during a family relocation
- to enable family travel
- to give gifted children the chance to move ahead
Parents aren’t qualified to be teachers
In recent years, there seems to be a movement away from the idea that a child’s parents are the most important teachers in his or her life. In reality, parents are just as qualified — if not more qualified — to teach their children than teachers are in a school. After all, it’s parents who teach children the most vital of life lessons. Much of this argument revolves around teaching specific subjects, yet Euka homeschooling parents have a complete educational program filled with thousands of lessons organised and ready to go. While most parents have one or two subject areas in which they’re particularly strong, nearly every homeschooling mum and dad ends up learning along the way. Fortunately, Euka is there to guide the student — and the parent — through everything they need to know.
In order to homeschool your child, you must be a stay-at-home parent
It’s easy to see why this has become a common misconception, but the truth is that not every homeschool parent stays at home. Some do, of course, and some work full time along with their spouse. Others are single parents. While every homeschooling family must overcome their own challenges, prospective homeschool families should know that there are plenty of parents who work full-time. So how do they do it? Euka provides active immediate marking of many lessons and provides carefully chosen lessons that lead to a student being self-directed with their learning.
Only wealthy families can afford to homeschool
This common myth likely stems from another myth: that all homeschooling parents can afford to stay at home and teach their children because their spouse makes enough money to support the whole family. In some cases, this is probably true, but it’s certainly not accurate for every homeschooling family. Homeschooling families come from all tax brackets, and many homeschooling parents find a way to contribute to the family finances in one way or another. Others just make whatever sacrifices are necessary to provide their children with the desired education.
Homeschooling is only successful if the student is gifted or above average
In recent years, homeschoolers as a whole have scored significantly higher on standardised tests than their mainstream school peers. Perhaps it’s this phenomenon that has led to the common myth that only gifted or naturally talented kids are homeschooled. In reality, children of all academic abilities find success homeschooling. Children who homeschool commonly do so because:
- they need more one-on-one attention
- the find school boring
- they aren’t being challenged enough
- they are struggling with a learning disability
Homeschoolers don’t learn the “right things”
Every state has curriculum requirements that even homeschoolers must prove to have satisfied. The Euka curriculum includes all of the basic subjects, plus a myriad of other topics so that a child can find exactly what’s “right” for them, while also covering all of the subjects their schooled peers cover.
Homeschooled children don’t learn as quickly or as well
The beautiful thing about Euka homeschooling is that it can be tailored any which way to suit a child’s individual learning style — something mainstream schools can’t always do. This means that no matter how a child prefers to learn, or at which pace they do so, the Euka curriculum can be used to fit their needs.
Homeschoolers can’t participate in extracurricular activities
Because homeschooled children are not constantly waiting for an entire class of kids to be ready to move on, they often have more time during the day to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, art, programming, playing outside or reading for pleasure.
It’s harder for homeschoolers to get into competitive universities
Most of the country’s most competitive universities accept Euka homeschooled students in high numbers, and even seek them out. These universities recognise that homeschooled students often come more prepared, more independent, and possessing valuable skills like self-motivation.
Homeschoolers’ only friends are their siblings
This common misconception likely stems from another assumption often made about homeschoolers: homeschooled kids don’t leave their house much. In reality, a homeschooler’s day is just like that of any other child. They study at home, yes, but they also take part in sports, homeschool activity groups, and other extracurricular activities where they spend time around other children their age.
All homeschooling families are anti-mainstream school
Many families decide to homeschool because they aren’t comfortable sending their children into today’s public education system. Still, it would be a mistake to assume that all homeschooling families are anti-school. Children are homeschooled for a variety of reasons. Some are professional actors or athletes, some have learning challenges that aren’t conducive to a loud and busy classroom, while still others are homeschooling while living abroad. Some students need to homeschool for a time due to illness or travel and then move back into school.
Homeschooled kids have to stick with grade-level standards
The simple fact is, no two children are the same. Many children are homeschooled because they simply aren’t working at grade level. For some kids, this means that they work more slowly, while others are working at a level far above and beyond their age group. The beautiful thing about Euka homeschooling is that it can be tailored to fit any individual child’s needs. For example, a homeschooled child in Grade 5 may be working on Grade 5 reading and writing, but Grade 4 mathematics. Not only is this perfectly normal, it’s even expected. We all have strengths and weaknesses. If we can build the strengths and support the weaknesses, we will enable children to develop confidence in their own abilities.