When I mention I homeschool, the most common response I receive is "I could never do that"! So let's talk through some of the common "myths" surrounding homeschooling. This is a long one... BUCKLE UP!
Homeschool Myth Number 1
Myth: Your child has to do school for 4-6 hours a day.
Truth: You're the parent and can decide how many hours a day you'd like to spend on focused school time. (I know that probably just made a lot of people cringe or super flustered, but hear me out before freaking out)
A lot of people tell me they don't know where I find the time to do school with my children or that they don't have the time. But I think that idea comes from the common misconception that homeschooling is the same as public schools when it comes to the amount of time children spend there.
Depending on the curriculum you choose, you could spend anywhere from 30 minutes - a couple of hours daily on school. The amount of time spent in focused learning also depends on the grade level/age of your child, the subject, and a whole host of other factors. Some day we spend almost the whole day learning, crafting, and doing what I would qualify as "school" activities. Other days we spend a very focused hour in the morning on our lessons and that's it.
Because of the nature of homeschooling and that each child receives much more one-on-one attention, it's not necessary to have super intense, long hours every day. Kids will also get a great deal of natural learning time/experience as they proceed throughout the day with their parents cooking, cleaning, running errands, etc, so there is a lot of life experience learned too!
As a "homeschooler" myself, I learned pretty early on that if I buckled down and worked hard on my lessons in the morning, I could spend the rest of the day doing what I wanted! Let me tell you, that was HUGE incentive to work hard at my school work and get things DONE! Of course as I grew my work load became more intense and I spent longer hours researching, writing papers, etc. So it really is dependent on many factors, but one of the things that I loved about being a homeschooler is the fact that I would watch kids get on the bus in the morning while I was still in my jammies and then I would be playing LONG before they ever got off again!
Homeschool Myth Number 2
Myth: My kids won't have any friends! How will they be socialized!?
Truth: While your kids will not have that same day-to-day interaction with their peers, they will still have the chance to make friends and socialize!
Homeschooled kids have all the same opportunities that other kids do; sometimes you just have to search them out a bit more. They can still be involved in extra curricular activities either through community ed programs, local schools, homeschool co-ops, church, etc. Growing up I was involved in dance, soccer, music lessons, drama programs, choir, a homeschool co-op group, and more. I had no lack of socialization or friendships.
Not only that but I would often get asked by my public school friends how I was so easily able to interact and hold conversations with people of all ages; especially adults! Because I wasn't just limited to interactions with my own age group, I had the chance to make a wide variety of friendships.
One of the things I've appreciated about homeschooling my own children is the opportunity to foster friendships with other like-minded families. I don't mean this in the sense that I want to completely shelter them or choose their friends, but especially during these early years, I like that I don't have to worry about what language or conversations they're hearing at school, bullies, or peer pressure. As they grow they will start coming in contact with some of the harder sides of life, that's only normal. But I hope by the time they do we've already had the chance to have some conversations about what they may encounter.
Homeschool Myth Number 3
Myth: We have to be "religious" or think a certain way to homeschool.
Truth: Homeschoolers come in allllllll shapes and sizes 🤣 Let me tell you! Lol
When we joined a local homeschool co-op when I was about 12, I remember being excited and impressed at the varying levels of "homeschoolers" I met.
Jock homeschoolers. Mouthy homeschoolers. Punk homeschoolers. Preppy homeschoolers. Emo homeschoolers (yes I just totally dated myself ha ha). And yes of course there were the braid wearing, jean skirt sporting, turtle-neck type homeschoolers I expected to see but also so many other varieties!
Some parents were homeschooling their kids for religious reasons. Some because their kids got kicked out of all the other school options (I kid you not lol). Others because their child was ahead of their grade so they wanted to be able to do more academically. Some because it fit better with their lifestyle and jobs. And so on and so on.
There is no right or wrong reason to homeschool.
You don't have to be a "crunchy" mom or a Christian. And there are many, many different curriculums out there to fit any family who wants to homeschool! Not only that, but you could even choose to write your own curriculum or add books/subjects that you'd like your kids to learn about.
That's part of the beauty of being in charge of your children's education; there is on one-size-fits all and you can do it your way!
Homeschool Myth Number 4
Myth: I'll have to become a teacher and prep for hours/write my own curriculum!
Truth: Each state in the US varies on their laws about homeschooling, but none require you to be a teacher to homeschool your own children. Also, you don't have to prep for hours (unless you want to!), there are may curriculums that are open-and-go, and with the wide variety out there these days you're sure to find something to fit your family.
I've found that depending on the season of life I'm in I can spend more or less time prepping lessons ahead of time. I very strategically chose the current curriculum we're using @gatherroundsc... because I knew it was open-and-go, family style, and also required minimum prep on my part. Well wait, what does that mean?
That means if I want to I can simply open my Teacher's Guide, read the lesson, and monitor my children as they do their work. When we're all able to buckle down and focus it usually takes between 45 minutes - 1.5 hours to do the basics. BUT I can also add extra subjects, lessons, field trips, projects, etc... to go along with each lesson if I want to.
Before Zoey was born one of the units we did was on Artists; and you can BET that we went waaaaay over-and-above on that one! I borrowed over 60 books from the library and we did hands-on projects almost every day. We also did around 5 field trips to further expand on the lessons and I even wrote 1 lesson of my own 😱 (yes, I shocked even myself with that one). So that unit took us longer to cover because of that.
Now fast-forward to right after Zoey's birth. I knew I wanted to get back into the routine of doing school, but also knew I would probably be tired and DEFINITELY knew I wouldn't be up for field trips. So we took it easy. I chose a unit on Antarctic (fitting when it was mostly in the negatives this January here in MN lol) and we basically just stuck to the lesson plan for the day. Not a lot of extras.
Homeschooling really is what you make it and is never one-size-fits all. So if you're curious at all I'd highly suggest looking up the laws in your state and researching some curriculums!
Homeschool Myth Number 5
Myth: My kids will be awkward!
Truth: All kids are awkward 🤣🤣🤣
Let's be honest. No amount of socialization or acne cream can get any child through those early pubescent years unscathed 🤪 We all have our stages of awkwardness, and that's okay!
We covered friendships and socialization in an earlier "Myth Buster" so if you're looking for that info I'd suggest you check out that one specifically.
But really, kids blossom in their own timing. And some more than others depending on personality; and that's okay! We are each created individually with unique personalities and quirks; some people will just always be more awkward than others 🤷🏻♀️ Just because a child was homeschooled does not mean they will grow up to live in your basement forever or be a hermit.
Actually, one of my favorite things as a kid was to shock other kids with the knowledge that I was "homeschooled" 😳 Their eyes would grow wide and they would look me up and down with my maroon hair and mini skirt and they'd gasp, "you're HoMeScHoOlEd!?" 🤣🤪🤣
Yes friends, yes. Homeschoolers do grow up just like other children and will become their own person. Just like you can't tell which child was breastfed or formula fed, you also can't tell which adult was homeschooled or public schooled...Well, except in rare occasions 🤣 But that usually had more to do with the parent than the child if you know what I mean.