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Homeschool Misconceptions

Updated on January 12, 2012

Society’s view on homeschooling in today’s world is surprisingly ignorant. I can say this without apology because before I started homeschooling my daughter, I was part of that ignorant society.

Let’s face it, on the whole, homeschoolers are seen as religious fanatics, nature freaks, hermits or worse. There’s a good chance some homeschoolers are that and more. But there’s also a good chance they’re not. In my three years of homeschooling, I haven’t met anyone like that. Though I expected to.

We took our daughter out of middle school after just two months of it. I will get into the reasons for that at another time. For now, I’ll explain the adjustment period we experienced.

Via the internet, I’d found a homeschooling support group in my area. I was amazed to learn how many homeschool families there were in New York City. In my ignorance, I assumed homeschooling was reserved for those in the Midwest, South or even way upstate NY. Surely not in Brooklyn and Queens. I was wrong. At last check, at least 10,000 children within the five boroughs were being homeschooled.

I was also wrong to be afraid. We decided to attend an activity organized by this new Homeschool group BEFORE we made a final decision whether to make the change ourselves. I will never forget the anxiety I felt walking into the building where a Thanksgiving feast and lesson was to be held. I didn’t know what to expect and was afraid I was taking my little family into some type of ritualistic, secret society meeting.

Instead, my first thought as people introduced themselves and welcomed us was, “Wow! Everyone here is so… normal!

And they are. We are. Yes, some members of our group hold opinions and ideals that might seem extreme to others. But some – most – do not. Just like in the ‘real world’. I happen to belong to a secular homeschool support group where our diversity of culture, religion, non-religion, learning styles and such are both celebrated and unseen. We’ve learned from each other. We’ve found common ground, formed friendships, discovered new ways of teaching and of learning. Our children have enlarged their buddy lists and now have the time with which to enjoy themselves – yes, that means socialize.

Homeschooling has gotten a bad rap over the years. Ignorance says the homeschooled family shuns society and all it has to offer. That we cloister our children, allow them to read the Bible and nothing more. Dare I say there isn’t a bible in my home? Can I tell you we socialize more now – individually and as a family – than we ever did before?

The choice to homeschool is a personal one and should be made with only thoughts about the benefits to the child and family. My child, my family, has benefited in so many ways. This was the perfect choice for us and though we’re heading into our fourth year of it, I’m still learning, still growing, still amazed by all wonders the homeschooling lifestyle has to offer.

What's your opinion?

When you hear that a child is or has been homeschooled, what is your first assumption?

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    • Lady Quill profile image

      Lady Quill 8 years ago

      Thank you, Sparkle Chi! The 'stupid' part surprises me as well. I've even had friends quiz my daughter on subjects they feel she should know. I think it's our job as homeschooling families to 'educate' those who do not homeschool, letting them know we're not thumbing our noses at them, we're just looking for something that works better for our family - and we have various ways in which we think homeschooling is better. In my case, much of the reason was time. I wanted to spend more time with my daughter as she grew and learned... like we did when she was a toddler. Well... there's so much to say on the subject, isn't there? :-)

      Thanks for the warm welcome!

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 8 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      I enjoyed reading of your experience. It has been 11 years since I started my own family's homeschooling adventure. Over the years, we have met a diverse cross section of people, and have traveled across the country. I agree that our homeschooling is most often met with ignorance. Most often people think that we are extremely religious, or that my kids are "stupid"! LOL They find us to be very different than either of those when they take the time to get to know us! Welcome to the homeschooling community, and hub pages!

    • Lady Quill profile image

      Lady Quill 8 years ago

      I cannot disagree with you. In fact, I did say in my post that some people within the homeschool support group I've been fortunate to join have views others might consider extreme. I think the difference is that their views are balanced by the views of others within our group. That fact leads to your point, which is absolutely correct... the homeschool stereotype is "undeserved" because while there are the extremes within the community, the community as a whole is indeed as diverse as the public school community. Problems arise for homeschoolers when those not within the community fail to see that diversity, and assume we're a closed off group of oddballs who can't or don't want to fit into society.

    • gbychan profile image

      gbychan 8 years ago from Orange County, Southern California

      I appreciate your efforts to educate the public about common misconceptions about homeschoolers. However, I can tell you that, over the last 27+ years since my parents first decided to start homeschooling me (compared to your 3 years of homeschooling your daughter), I've met or heard of quite a number of "religious fanatics, nature freaks, hermits or worse." Yes, for the most part, it's an undeserved stereotype, but the homeschooling community has it's share of every demographic found among public schoolers.


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