Come on, we’ve all heard those negative comments. You know the ones: You can’t homeschool or: …your child won’t learn what public school children learn. … they won’t get into college. …you’ll turn your child into that weird kid in the corner afraid to talk to anyone.
Or better yet, the passive-aggressive: You can’t homeschool because you aren’t a teacher, and you’re not smart enough, patient enough, educated enough ….
Today, I’d like to offer some ways to answer those objections.
#1, your child will have gaps in their education.
Guess what? We all do. Do you know everything there is to know? No, I don’t either. But homeschooling teaches something much more useful – the ability to learn on your own. Homeschooled students are much more likely to learn independently, so that when they find there’s something they want to know, they have experience in figuring out how to learn it.
I’d like to share an example of that independent learning: My daughter’s first semester in college (in fact, it was her first time in school), she did amazingly well. When we asked her to what she attributed her success, she said that every Monday morning, she made a list on her whiteboard of everything she had to do that week. And as she accomplished it, she crossed it off. By Sunday night, everything would be crossed off and she’d start again on the next week. Wow! This is how we homeschooled throughout high school, with me creating a list for her to accomplish, at her own pace, and to check off when she’d finished. She had learned to be self-motivating at home, and carried that into college with her.
#2, your child won’t get into college.
Wrong! Just plain wrong! Period.
According to research, young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 were more likely to have taken college-level courses if they were homeschooled (74%, compared to 46% of those who were not homeschooled). https://www.hslda.org/research/ray2003/Beyond.asp. They are also more likely to graduate college (66.7% compared to 57.5%), as well as earning higher GPAs. http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2012/06/01/home-schooled-teens-ripe-for-college.
Almost every school in the country accepts homeschoolers In fact, many colleges actively recruit homeschoolers, because they tend to be self-motivated, independent, creative thinkers. And those few schools that don’t? Well, who wants their child attending such a rigid school anyway?
In fact, the majority of homeschoolers I know have gone on to college, including both of my own. For those who wish to choose the more casual approach to homeschooling high school, many homeschoolers go to community college for the first two years, which has no grade or SAT requirements (and is much cheaper anyway), then transfer to a 4-year university. Even more important, what’s wrong with a trade or technical school? Not every child should, or needs to go to college. How many young adults with a BS in creative-cultural-gender-philosophical studies are working at Starbucks, while their neighbor the plumber/electrician/computer technician is out making the big bucks? But that’s a rant for another day!
#3, you child will be the weird kid in the corner.
I gave a much more detailed answer in “But What About Socialization?” But for a brief recap: homeschooled kids have many social opportunities, learn to interact with people of all ages, and have the freedom to be true to their own personality type and comfort level. In addition, my experience with homeschoolers is that many are compassionate enough that they’ll find a way to include that shy child – even if mom needs to nudge them a little. You see, homeschooling gives parents the ability to train our children in social skill, and that is much better than relying on a roomful of other children.
As for those veiled personal attacks, ignore them. You taught your children to walk and talk, to tie their shoes and eat with a fork, to make their bed and brush their teeth. You love and care for your child more than any other human being on earth. Do you really think you aren’t capable of teaching them everything else? You are their mom or dad. You can do this … and for those areas that you aren’t comfortable teaching, there are so many people to help you out. (See “Teachers and Mentors for our Children”)
So, don’t listen to the naysayers…prove them wrong. You’ll be glad you did.
This is just a small sample of the objections hurled at homeschoolers. Why don’t you share an objection you’ve been hit with in the comments? Perhaps one of us, or another reader, will have a good comeback to share.