For a good part of my homeschooling career, I held strongly to certain ideas. As a new homeschooling mom, I read plenty to prepare myself for this incredible journey I was embarking upon. I read (and believed) many of the negative things written about public and private schools. Now, years later, with my experiences and having children in school, I have learned that many of these misconceptions are simply not true. Some may be true for certain people but not for all. This is one in a series of posts on misconceptions about school so feel free to share others in the comments.
1. You as a parent know and love your child better than anyone else; therefore, you are the best teacher they can have. While it is true that you know and love your child better than anyone else, you may not be their best teacher. You may overlook things because you are with them so often that those things may seem normal to you. Unless you have done research, you may have nothing to compare them to. If you are like some homeschoolers (and I was this way), you may take a better late than early approach, and could possibly overlook a learning disability because you assume it is developmental. This happened with me with my second child. I assumed his learning and behavior differences were just him being a bit slower to develop instead of a true problem.
2. If kids go to school, they will be peer influenced instead of parent influenced. While this may be true for some children, statistics show that involved parents have the biggest influences on their children whether they are homeschooled or go to school elsewhere.
3. Having children at home can protect them from teasing and feeling dumb. When I first began homeschooling, this was a big reason for me to keep my children home. I remember being teased and feeling dumb because I was slow to learn to read and had freckles. Sadly, as time went on, I found I could not save my children from this. Siblings and home school friends teased as much as other children and even if their friends didn’t make them feel dumb, they made themselves out to be dumb if they couldn’t pick up on something like reading easily.
4. School doesn’t allow time for closeness of family life. Life is busy in this day and age. As stated earlier, involved parents are key. A family who makes a point to be close can and will. I used to think my children would be open with me and share a lot of things with me because we spent so much time together. What I found is that they still kept things from me and didn’t always want to share everything.
5. This point follows along the same lines and number 4. I thought children who went to school would not form strong bonds with their siblings. There IS something to be said for children who home school. They are able to watch siblings grow up. They do get to enjoy more of that time of babyhood than kids who go to school. But that doesn’t mean that siblings who go to school can’t and won’t develop special relationships with their siblings. My children fight much less now that they have some time apart. Absence does really make the heart grow fonder.
Next week, I will share with you more misconceptions some homeschoolers have about brick and mortar school.