Often when people think of homeschooling, some ideas come to mind, whether your mind or your well-intentioned friend trying to talk you out of it. I have compiled a list of myths and set out to debunk them to set your mind at ease. So grab a cup of tea and get cozy!
You should read our post about Homeschooling in India where we incorporate some ideas from the ancient Indian Gurukul System of Education.
Myth #1: Not every Mom can do it
When I would tell friends, people from church, or even strangers that I homeschool my children, I was often met with the statement:
“Oh! I could never do that.”
Some moms plan to homeschool all along, and some find it has just fallen in their laps, and some have wanted it but have been too scared for too long and have finally taken the plunge–yes, I am talking about me, perhaps you can relate? However you have gotten to this place, you are here. And what you will or do understand now is that anyone can do it.
Homeschooling your children does not take any special training or a degree. It takes one simple ingredient: DESIRE. As long as you have a desire, everything else will fall into place.
Myth #2: We have to have a homeschool room
Although you may see some beautiful homeschool rooms on Pinterest or Instagram, and believe me they are certainly there, it is not essential. It does not even describe the majority of homeschooling families.
The simple beauty of homeschooling is that you can do it all your way. My mom taught me at the kitchen table. It just so happens that I inherited that kitchen table from my parents and I teach my children at the same kitchen table where I learned. My cousin’s husband just made her two beautiful desks after homeschooling for three years. Fun upgrade! Others homeschool in an RV traveling the country.
So homeschool looks however you want it to look. My only suggestion is that you have a designated place, perhaps a bookshelf, to keep all of your books and supplies. It is hard to get going with studies if we are searching for everything to get started.
Myth #3: Homeschool is Expensive
Just like anything it is wise to have a budget and that budget can be anything you set. There are several ways to get a curriculum. You can spend $800 and get a complete curriculum with extra goodies from Timberdoodle, or you can go a much, much less expensive route. Buy used, accept hand-me-downs, look for cheaper PDF versions that you can utilize on a tablet, and select a curriculum that doesn’t have a teacher’s manual. You can also purchase one set of curricula and use it for subsequent children.
For my oldest son we started with Singapore math because it was straightforward, I didn’t need a teacher’s manual, and I found it for $10 on eBay. I ended up with slightly more expensive math for my second son, Horizon Math, but we didn’t write in the workbook at all so I could use it for my next two monsters, ahem, children. There are also many ways to buy used curricula through Facebook groups, online boards, and Amazon.
Myth #4: I can’t Homeschool, I work
Working part or full-time is a challenge. But if you want to homeschool, don’t dismiss it just yet! Many parents work and homeschool, you are not alone.
First, remember that homeschooling does not take the 7 hours public school blocks out. And homeschool can work around your schedule. You can do all of your homeschools in the afternoon or evening. Just make a schedule for yourself and be consistent so you don’t get discouraged. Also, recognize that as your child gets older he can do more and more work independently. For example, you can teach a lesson in the evening and she can complete any accompanying assignment the next day while you are working.
While homeschooling when you work is not easy, it is not impossible, it just takes a little forethought and planning. You will also likely benefit from an “open and go” style curriculum as opposed to a curriculum that requires prep time with a teacher’s manual. Keep that in mind when you are selecting your curriculum.
Also, check out these Facebook Groups, they are sure to offer support:
The “Working Homeschool Mom” Club
Busy Working, Homeschooling Moms
Homeschooling Moms Who Work From Home
Myth #5: Homeschool Kids are Weird and Unsocial
I couldn’t talk about homeschool myths without including this goodie, now could I? I know it is old, because people said it when I was young, and before that, but it still exists. You think other people would have learned by now!
There are so many ways to get your child socially engaged. First of all, if your child is not an only child then there is social engagement in the home with peers, and of course, there is socializing with parents, cousins, grandparents, and so on. However, with the greatly increased number of homeschool families over the years there is no shortage of homeschool groups and co-ops. Beyond that, there is always church, boy or girl scouts, sports, music lessons, choral groups, theater, and the list goes on and on.
What I always find greatly amusing is that people think kids must be grouped by age to be properly socialized. The best-socialized kids are those that interact successfully will all ages, those younger and on up to adults. Socializing is not an issue unless you live far away in Timbuktu, then you may have a problem.
Myth # 6: I won’t have any time to myself
This may be true in the beginning, as starting any new venture often takes a little more time as you figure things out. However, after three to six months of homeschooling, you’ll have more time to yourself most days than you did before.
The younger ones don’t have to rely on just me. If I am working and they are hungry the older ones help by making a PB&J sandwich. After school is over, they all play together. I am then left to write, plan, cook, clean, read, or do whatever else is on that never-ending to-do list. The point is I feel freer now, partly because I am not worrying about what is going on at school! And I love that my kids not only play together now, but they also rely on and help each other.
Now that you have finished that soothing cup of tea, I hope you can allow yourself to not be dissuaded by these silly, and might I add, odious, myths that society insists on proliferating. Fears are intended to be conquered and you really can do this.
What are some ideas you had about homeschooling that have changed for you? And if you are just starting, check out Take Time to De-school.