By Samantha Martin
It’s been going around, some of the lies you hear. I am not sure why it comes up this time of year, but it does move in cycles. In case you believe some of these common myths lies told to discredit the value of home education, well here I go with my opinion and experience.
Usually someone starts off a sentence with something like this, “I do not want to homeschool because —
1. I want my child to be socialized
This one is by far the most common lie out there. What exactly do these people want from socialization? Lots of friends to invite to parties? A child who must sit in a class with lots of children the same age all day is NOT socialization. Are you expecting them to learn great adapting skills by standing in line at lunch? By dealing with crappy bullies? Exactly what is it that makes folks think home educated kids are not socialized anyway? Home educated children are socialized with several people who are of different ages (parents, siblings, friends) and because of this they learn to interact with many different people resulting in a wide social circle. As the main parent who teaches, my kids learn many of their behaviors from me, for better or worse, and therefore tend to act a little more mature. What if you don’t have many kids at home? Well, there are coops in nearly every city PLUS I am sure your kids have a couple of close friends they can get together with for social time. What about coop and extra curricular activities? Socialization can happen in many different ways. My kids have a couple of close friends and that’s all they need. It’s immature to think a person needs more than a few friends and a family to be happy in life! I don’t buy the socialization lie at all and those who know my kids know it is indeed a lie.
2. I do not have the patience
Guess what? None of us do! We are willing to learn it though, and that requires trying. I bet at one time you couldn’t do many things until you tried and over time you learned those things well. It’s a lie to think that you must already be a patient person to educate your children. Ask any mom who does and she will tell you patience is learned by doing.
3. It’s too expensive
If you buy all inclusive curriculum, then yep it’s pricey. Like most things you can get by with very little spending and walk away with a great education plan. I always advise people to look into Charlotte Mason because it’s a great way to educate and many of the books can be found in the library. I have many friends who teach at home with a very limited budget and do great!
4. My kids would fight all day if they had to spend that much time together
All siblings get on each others nerves at times, but people would be surprised that the more time spent together the easier it is to learn to work things out. Most government schooled kids fight so much with their siblings because they have been raised (socialized) by kids of their same age all day at school!!! This “sibling fighting” is the direct result of NOT being together and becoming friends. Ask any large family who home educates!
5. My child needs to be prepared for college
This lie amazes me because home educated kids have proven time and time again to be more than ready for college. Could it be that these home educated kids have spent years studying and learning on their own and have not been spoon fed information just to pass tests?
6. I want my child to be the ‘salt and the light’ at school.
I am not sure if this is an actual lie or if some parents are just ignorant enough to think a child is prepared for missionary work. Seriously. It would be a much greater duty to raise your child at home with a Godly worldview and then send them out into the world mature and secure in their beliefs versus teaching your 6 year old to tell his friends in first grade that they should accept Jesus into their hearts. Leave the mission work to the adults, let the kids be kids.
7. I need ‘me’ time
We all need some time to ourselves, but if you had kids then sorry. “Me” time is whittled down to a sliver and sticking your kids in school so you can eat lunch with girlfriends and get pedicures is not a wise use of your time. That’s crass, I know. I don’t care. I find “me” time and still home educate. The “me” time is usually after I get kids to bed (early and regular bedtimes) or when Devin is off work and I schedule a quilt class or dinner out in advance. The idea that we need “me” time everyday is a lie.
8. I am not a certified teacher
Neither am I or most of the moms and dads who educate their kids. That’s actually a good thing because then you do not have the predisposed thinking of what education looks like. Home education does not “look” like government education and don’t forget that no matter how wonderful your kid’s teacher is, no teacher cares as much about your child’s education and future than you!
9. I am not religious
Sadly, there are many, many people who think all home educators are religious fanatics. It’s a lie! It is, in fact, a pretty hilarious lie at that.
10. My kids attend a fabulous school
I am sure they do, really. This lie is based on the notion that you think government schools can be fabulous. Like most home educators, I am biased and believe that no school is as good as an education at home where life is centered around family and real life. Your child might have a great teacher this year, but what about next year? Plus there are the other negatives that go hand in hand with a government school such as lack of creativity, age segregation, inferior curriculum, and the general dumbing down of students.
Now, before anyone gets all defensive and starts chiming in on their personal reasons to not home educate, let me state that I am not oblivious to the woes of some families. I was raised by a single mother for some time and I know that this would be a significant challenge to home educating.
I also know that there are many reasons people do not home educate. I have friends whom I love dearly who do not share the same zest for home education as me and send their kids , whom I also love dearly, to government schools. Seriously, I am not that woman who is so rigid in thinking that all my friends must do as I do.
There are many reasons to not home educate (legitimate reasons)! I have just simply discussed the lies people believe. Lies that people use as an excuse to not home educate. These are two different things entirely.
Now, did I leave any lies out? How many lies did you subscribe to?
Samantha Martin is a mother of seven who lives in Ringgold, Ga., with her husband, Devin, and seven children. She runs Barefoot Farm and writes a blog. Here’s my story about her and the Martin family.