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View Full Version : Weekly Poll: What is the biggest homeschooling "myth" you are confronted with?



Topsy
05-26-2010, 10:23 PM
People who aren't homeschoolers often have preconceived notions of what homeschooling is, or isn't. I'm confronted often by common "myths" that these people throw at me - - sometimes as outright judgements, and other times as honest questions.

What is the biggest myth you feel obligated to continually combat about homeschooling or homeschoolers?

You may choose more than one option on this poll.

Firefly_Mom
05-26-2010, 11:51 PM
I'd say the biggest myth that I've encountered over the years has been people's misconception that homeschooling MUST be school-at-home, complete with recess, blackboards, desks, morning pledge of allegiance and that it operates during normal school hours. Second place would definitely go to "I thought that only religious people homeschooled their kids." ;)

laundrycrisis
05-27-2010, 12:18 AM
The one I keep having suggested to me is that our kids will be too isolated. I seriously want to roll around laughing at that one. My problem is that we are gone too much, and too much of our time is eaten up by our various activities out of the house and with other kids, making it hard to get the "school" part done. Isolation isn't even part of the picture.

Closeacademy
05-27-2010, 07:25 AM
I always get "I could never do that." They seem to think that all homeschool moms are some sort of supermom rather than just regular people who have decided to step forward and do the job.

When I babysat, I had one kid who was in public school preschool who would tell us all the time that we didn't do "real" school because it was at home and not in the school building. His mom worked as a school nurse so I think it might have been coming some from that direction.

Yes, we do real school. It isn't that hard once you get a good rhythm going and figure out what you are doing.

inmom
05-27-2010, 09:47 AM
I get tired of the assumption by public school parents that my kids will be permanantly scarred by not having the opportunity to rub elbows with others at lockers in the hallway, and (GASP!!) not be able to attend prom!!! Like it even matters to them. I've always told them that if they want a nice dance and fancy clothes to wear to it, we'll rent a hall and put on a dance. They roll their eyes back at me....

schwartzkari
05-27-2010, 10:22 AM
I always hear "Oh, I could never homeschool my kids, you must have all the patience in the world!" and "how do you know your kids will get a well-rounded education?" and "what about socialization?" I've also been told that "nobody can teach a child better than a school teacher."

1. I don't have patience. I'm a parent who has learned to live with my children, lol. :) 2. What do you consider a "well-rounded" education? 3. My daughter is in her 3rd year of dance, we have a huge family and many friends, I think that counts as socialization...and 4. I am currently working on finishing my teaching degree. My children will have the best of both worlds: a "teacher" and a mother homeschooling them :)

Teri
05-27-2010, 10:48 AM
I have never gotten the religious comment, which is kind of interesting with where we live. There are a lot of nonreligious homeschoolers here.

I get, "I could never do that" and "my child is too social to homeschool".

jab300
05-27-2010, 11:12 AM
I, too, get the "I couldn't do that." Once my dh got something akin to our kids not being smart enough to attend public school. Mostly I get "So when are you trying for the girl?" when people see our four boys. :)

Snoopy
05-27-2010, 12:27 PM
Mine has been the myth that homeschoolers get no socialization and interestingly enough, I've gotten that concern more from beginning homeschoolers than from "civilians".

amphibology29
05-27-2010, 02:00 PM
We get the religious one a lot, which I just attribute to where we live. Every time someone starts discussing a religious curriculum with me and I mention that we're secular homeschoolers it's like they just don't understand what I'm saying.

paganmomblog
05-27-2010, 03:01 PM
In my area we have a TON of homeschoolers, a moajority of them are religious. So I am always getting "but you aren't Christian" from those who know my spiritual path and the assumption by Christians that I am homeschooling for religious reasons.

In second place is the "no socialization" comment. With the networking I am doing locally, and my girls are still finishing out the school year this year before being @ home, they will have no shortage of socialization!

Riceball_Mommy
05-27-2010, 03:10 PM
I mostly get comments about socialization. Also something a bit confusing that I'm not sure if it fits in a myth or not is when I'm talking about how happy my daughter is, how much she's learning or about her spending time with friends, I get "I bet she'd really like school though." I suppose that would be the myth that no matter how happy or how well your child is doing with homeschooling they'd still be better off in public school.


Also I heard a bit about prom too, but people mostly don't think about it since my daughter is in Pre-K. I was worried about that myself starting out, but it looks like there are plenty of groups that do proms and even graduation ceremonies for homeschoolers.

hjdong
05-27-2010, 06:03 PM
For me, it's the patience thing. People who know me even seem to see me as particularly patient now, sort of a thinking is believing thing. If I could only get James to believe them . . .

He's is beginning to get the "you're so lucky, you don't have to do anything all day" from his ps'ed friends. If I could only get him to stop complaning about all that nothing. . .

bean
05-27-2010, 07:48 PM
I think the biggest myth is that "you have school" at all. I'm not trying to replicate a public school environment at home, sorry. I'm trying to foster a passion for learning, and help my child cultivate compassion and love for the world and everything in it.

StartingOver
05-27-2010, 09:27 PM
I have heard them all. The one I love most is, "How can you stand to be with your kids ALL the time ?"

Melyssa
05-28-2010, 04:10 AM
I have never gotten the religious comment, which is kind of interesting with where we live. There are a lot of nonreligious homeschoolers here.

I get, "I could never do that" and "my child is too social to homeschool".

This is my similar experience. I've never encountered the religious comments but definitely the "I could never do that" like I'm a super hero or maybe a martyr? LOL And then the "my child is so social". So is mine! LOL

Busygoddess
05-28-2010, 07:10 AM
I mostly get "I could never do that," and "You must have the patience of a saint!" Though, many do automatically assume we're Christian & use Christian curriculum. I often get questions about Christian curricula, since apparently all homeschoolers use religious curriculum. I also tend to get a lot of suggestions for religious material, if I ask for suggestions, even if I specify that I want Secular materials. That's one of the reasons I was so happy to find this place.

reversemigration
05-28-2010, 09:48 AM
Not many people know that we're homeschooling yet. While there's been a bit of mild surprise or curiosity among those who do, the only comment I've heard similar to those in the poll was from my brother-in-law, who said something along the lines of thinking that only "religious nuts" homeschooled. I'm sure he's still skeptical about our plans, but he at least he's had the good manners not to be obnoxious since.

leav97
05-28-2010, 10:08 AM
My FIL informed me the only reasons people homeschool is religion or they think they can do a better job then the school.

Apparently no one homeschools because they want a different learning environment, medical reasons, bullying, flexibility, etc...

BPier12
05-28-2010, 10:25 AM
I voted for "other". We aren't "out" to too many people yet about our decision to homeschool. I guess I feel like I don't want to have to defend our decisions to people when it really isn't any of their business. The most common comments I've gotten, after a moment of silence and raised eyebrows on the part of the person I'm talking to are, "Wow, I could never do that" and "What will you do to keep him socialized" (as if taking him out of school is somehow immediately going to cause him to forget his manners, his ability to speak with others, cause the few friends he has here to abandon him, etc., etc., etc...) The one time it hurt was when I was talking to my best friend, who lives in another state, who said, "Well, it will be fine for one year, but after that you have to send him to high school because he needs (emphasis mine) to have those high school experiences of friends and the prom". I have to admit that I was shocked and did not know what to say. I remember what high school was like and believe me I did not need some of the hell I went through there.

Sorry, rant over. I guess I'm feeling a tad sensitive this morning...:p

LJean
05-28-2010, 11:22 AM
I voted for " How will she get along in the real world?" I get this in one variation or another. How can you not learn to get along in the real world, by living in the real world?

bean
05-28-2010, 06:13 PM
I have heard them all. The one I love most is, "How can you stand to be with your kids ALL the time ?"

man, this one always rubs me the wrong way... how can people *not stand* their kids?! Have a little compassion for them if they're being unruly - they're kids!

Snoopy
05-28-2010, 06:39 PM
man, this one always rubs me the wrong way... how can people *not stand* their kids?! Have a little compassion for them if they're being unruly - they're kids! To be fair, I'm perfectly happy when my teens leave the house for the whole day.

bean
05-28-2010, 06:54 PM
To be fair, I'm perfectly happy when my teens leave the house for the whole day.

I don't think that's really a fair comparison... we all enjoy nice breaks from our regular routines, and time/space by ourselves. That doesn't mean that we do those things because "we can't stand" to be around our kids, or that they can't stand to be around us...

StartingOver
05-28-2010, 06:58 PM
To be fair, I'm perfectly happy when my teens leave the house for the whole day.

I am with you on that one, but it isn't because I can't stand the kids. It is just because I need a mental break to recharge LOL. I love when hubby comes home and he takes the kids out to play. I sure liked sending the teens over to mom's for the weekend. When I was a child all I ever dreamed of was being a mom ! I have succeeded for 22 years so far.

schwartzkari
05-28-2010, 10:25 PM
I have heard them all. The one I love most is, "How can you stand to be with your kids ALL the time ?"

I've heard this several times and it actually breaks my heart when people say it! I am a "young" mother (supposedly, lol) and I had my daughter when I was 20, my son when I was 25. I made the decision to stay home with my kids and gave up the "life of partying" that most of my 20 something friends did (and some still do). They are usually the ones who make said comment. They assume that I've just gone crazy I guess. LOL. For me, spending my days with my children is the best thing life has to offer me. Yes, they do push my buttons DAILY but 99 percent of the time there is nowhere else I would want to be!

paganmomblog
05-29-2010, 07:35 AM
man, this one always rubs me the wrong way... how can people *not stand* their kids?! Have a little compassion for them if they're being unruly - they're kids!

I find that most people who have this kind of attitude act like their kids are an interference with their life. The same person will spend hours on hours complaining about what their kids do instead of talking about those awesome moments. It's like they think they are supposed to spend hours complaining about their kids or something.

Vashti
05-29-2010, 07:45 AM
The majority of the negative comments and myths I get all come from my mother-in-law who is a retired teacher. She is always concerned about socialization primarily. Every time I discuss our homeschool group day she has a huge exasperated sigh and loud "Thank Goodness" as if I keep the kids locked in the basement or something away from civilization. It's very frustrating. She also is of the opinion that only teachers can educate properly, and keeps telling me that when I'm ready, she can jump in and "fill in the gaps". Ugh.

Teri
05-29-2010, 10:37 AM
man, this one always rubs me the wrong way... how can people *not stand* their kids?! Have a little compassion for them if they're being unruly - they're kids!


I always respond, "It's true, you shouldn't try to homeschool if you don't like being with your kids. "

I do get that one a lot. I don't try to defend it though, I just put it back on them.

Shoe
05-29-2010, 11:04 AM
man, this one always rubs me the wrong way... how can people *not stand* their kids?! Have a little compassion for them if they're being unruly - they're kids!One of the reasons that I was so happy to bring my son home is that I almost never got to see him (I work evenings and he was in school during the day), so I just don't understand that sentiment. It always rubs me the wrong way too-I adore my kids, not just "tolerate" them. I mean, I value my "me" time as much as anyone, but why become a parent in the first place if you can't stand your kids? Grumble, grumble...

hjdong
05-30-2010, 12:12 AM
I had one today that I forgot about, but get quite frequently: "Whose going to test him? How will you know what he's learned?"

Ummm, 'cause I'm there?

paganmomblog
05-30-2010, 07:55 AM
One of the reasons that I was so happy to bring my son home is that I almost never got to see him (I work evenings and he was in school during the day), so I just don't understand that sentiment. It always rubs me the wrong way too-I adore my kids, not just "tolerate" them. I mean, I value my "me" time as much as anyone, but why become a parent in the first place if you can't stand your kids? Grumble, grumble...

When I first asked my girls if this was what they wanted to do, my eldest exclaimed "Yay! Now I get to see you more". Nothing makes you feel more loved knowing your tween actually WANTS you around!

schwartzkari
05-30-2010, 09:07 AM
I always respond, "It's true, you shouldn't try to homeschool if you don't like being with your kids. "

I do get that one a lot. I don't try to defend it though, I just put it back on them.

I think I'm going to use that line the next time...Thanks! lol :)

pandahoneybee
05-30-2010, 09:54 AM
I think that same way about being able to be a part of my boys lives not just at nights and weekends! Homeschooling has let us get closer as a family and both my boys never want to go back to normal school. But then again oldest is 13 almost 14, wondering if that will change? DH says never! He wants to come to my school too!

inmom
05-30-2010, 10:47 AM
I have heard them all. The one I love most is, "How can you stand to be with your kids ALL the time ?"

I also hate to hear this comment. In my head, I'm thinking, "Then WHY did you have them?!?"

Sometimes, I think parents get used to having their kids in school and/or day-care all day and don't know how to deal with them or talk with them? When I was a teacher, even before I had my own kids, I would have parents asking ME how to get their kid to behave, study, etc. It was almost like they did not even know their own child. Sad......

tessv
05-30-2010, 01:18 PM
The "other" one for me is almost always about social skills. Some people are absolutely convinced that a child can't be a happy, well-adjusted kid with friends if they're not going to "real school".

StartingOver
05-30-2010, 09:47 PM
I also hate to hear this comment. In my head, I'm thinking, "Then WHY did you have them?!?"

Sometimes, I think parents get used to having their kids in school and/or day-care all day and don't know how to deal with them or talk with them? When I was a teacher, even before I had my own kids, I would have parents asking ME how to get their kid to behave, study, etc. It was almost like they did not even know their own child. Sad......

Exactly, I hear them in the aisles as Walmart during back to school sales..."Gosh! I am so glad school is starting back ! These kids are driving me nuts." I was at the local community center Friday signing my son up for swimming lessons. There was a mother and her two children there, she was signing them up for Kids Kamp. The girl was crying, "Mom, I don't want to go. Last time the kids were so mean and we were bored to death." The mom responded with, " I don't have the energy to deal with you all summer." Kids Kamp here cost $910 for 8 weeks. I can't imagine wanting to get rid of my kids that bad !!!!!

It is so very sad. I don't understand why some of them have children either.

StartingOver
05-30-2010, 09:49 PM
The "other" one for me is almost always about social skills. Some people are absolutely convinced that a child can't be a happy, well-adjusted kid with friends if they're not going to "real school".

I love it when they have a conversation with my child, then ask me if they ever socialize? Well geez ! They were just talking to you!!

My children don't have to spend the whole day with like aged children, just to be able to socialize.

schwartzkari
05-30-2010, 10:05 PM
Exactly, I hear them in the aisles as Walmart during back to school sales..."Gosh! I am so glad school is starting back ! These kids are driving me nuts." I was at the local community center Friday signing my son up for swimming lessons. There was a mother and her two children there, she was signing them up for Kids Kamp. The girl was crying, "Mom, I don't want to go. Last time the kids were so mean and we were bored to death." The mom responded with, " I don't have the energy to deal with you all summer." Kids Kamp here cost $910 for 8 weeks. I can't imagine wanting to get rid of my kids that bad !!!!!

It is so very sad. I don't understand why some of them have children either.

I went to a Farmers Market a few weeks ago with my kids and we were checking out with the cashier. He looked at my daughter (who by the way, was behaving like an angel and standing still right next to me) and he said "How old are you?" My daughter said "I'm 5!" and then he looked at me and said "OH, I bet you can't wait for her to start school in the Fall. She probably drives you crazy!" I didn't even have to say anything because my daughter perked right up and said "My mom homeschools me!"

That's my girl :D

StartingOver
05-30-2010, 10:16 PM
I went to a Farmers Market a few weeks ago with my kids and we were checking out with the cashier. He looked at my daughter (who by the way, was behaving like an angel and standing still right next to me) and he said "How old are you?" My daughter said "I'm 5!" and then he looked at me and said "OH, I bet you can't wait for her to start school in the Fall. She probably drives you crazy!" I didn't even have to say anything because my daughter perked right up and said "My mom homeschools me!"

That's my girl :D

I love that !!

mjzzyzoff
05-30-2010, 10:54 PM
One of the reasons that I was so happy to bring my son home is that I almost never got to see him (I work evenings and he was in school during the day), so I just don't understand that sentiment. It always rubs me the wrong way too-I adore my kids, not just "tolerate" them. I mean, I value my "me" time as much as anyone, but why become a parent in the first place if you can't stand your kids? Grumble, grumble...


When I finally told me dad our homeschooling plans, this was the concern he had. "How are you going to spend all day every day with him???"

This is what got us considering homeschool in the first place! DS has over an hour bus ride and once he gets home it's 4:00, throw in another hour or two struggling through homework, (not my idea of pleasant family time) and if we are lucky we get a family meal in before bed, since he has to be up at 6:30 the next day. So frustrating.


I'll be honest, there have been times when I couldn't stand to be around him, but it's usually because I'm in an irritated mood and he's in the wrong place, wrong time!

I really can't wait to spend every day with him!

Snoopy
05-31-2010, 12:49 PM
Well I guess lump me with the bad parents who shouldn't have had kids because yes, there are days when I can't stand my teens. And yes, I AM happy that they go back to school when they do and they are happy to go back, actually. And just to point out the obvious, most of us do not realize that we'd rather not spend the whole day with *some* kids (the sarcastic, sad sack, I don't want to do anything ESPECIALLY not what you asked me to do, type) until after they've become that way :) However, I would never send my kids to school or to a camp just to get rid of them! When I selected camps for my kids last summer (including for Noah), it wasn't for me to get time alone (because it was 1/2 a camp so I had to spend an hour commuting in the car back and forth for 3 lousy hours by myself anyway) but it was for them to experience activities that I couldn't provide (archery, for example) and for Noah to get some socialization over the summer when most of our homeschooling friends take off to go visit family up North. This summer we're not doing camps (well, Summer Swim League but I'll be there with them) but my 2 teen boys will be in mandatory band camp pretty much all summer long. They're happy about it because they love band and they'll be with their friends, and I'm happy because entertaining teens over the summer isn't easy nor cheap.

Shoe
05-31-2010, 12:59 PM
Well I guess lump me with the bad parents who shouldn't have had kids because yes, there are days when I can't stand my teens. And yes, I AM happy that they go back to school when they do and they are happy to go back, actually. And just to point out the obvious, most of us do not realize that we'd rather not spend the whole day with *some* kids (the sarcastic, sad sack, I don't want to do anything ESPECIALLY not what you asked me to do, type) until after they've become that way :) However, I would never send my kids to school or to a camp just to get rid of them! When I selected camps for my kids last summer (including for Noah), it wasn't for me to get time alone (because it was 1/2 a camp so I had to spend an hour commuting in the car back and forth for 3 lousy hours by myself anyway) but it was for them to experience activities that I couldn't provide (archery, for example) and for Noah to get some socialization over the summer when most of our homeschooling friends take off to go visit family up North. This summer we're not doing camps (well, Summer Swim League but I'll be there with them) but my 2 teen boys will be in mandatory band camp pretty much all summer long. They're happy about it because they love band and they'll be with their friends, and I'm happy because entertaining teens over the summer isn't easy nor cheap.There are times when I don't want my kids around too, and I bet that goes for most parents...but they're pretty rare and usually when I need some "me" time, rather than because the kids are intolerable (my kids aren't angels, don't get me wrong). I have found that my kids are less of the "sarcastic, sad sack" when they've been home for awhile (on vacations, for instance)-the school year is when my daughter is the worst about that attitude.

I'd be concerned if the times I didn't want my kids around were more common than the times that I do want them around. Of course, my kids aren't teens yet, so maybe I 'll change my opinion in a couple of years...

(And I don't think you're a bad parent :))

Marmalade
06-01-2010, 01:22 PM
I chose "I get all of these in some version or another" although honestly I've never received the one about religion.

I wish I had saved the email my sister sent me the day after we announced our decision. It touched on all of those points. It was so full of silly things like "You know you can't go to college with just a GED" and "They won't have any friends" and my absolute favorite "I went to school just to socialize!" which I couldnt' for the life of me figure out how that fed her argument!

(For the record-she's come around...)

Angela Smither
06-14-2010, 03:57 PM
A comment that I get often when people find out that I homeschool is, "Atleast your kids will know Jesus". They don't ask, they assume that I do so for religous reasons. If they only knew, the only religion we add to our curriculum is world religous studies. Recently we explored the Muslum religion and visited a local mosque. Next we plan to explore the Budist faith and visit a local temple. The purpose of this is religous tollerence through knoledge. The second comment I get is about socialization. They assume my children sit in their rooms all day doing school work and have no friends. They seem to think that the only way children can have a social life is by going to public school. The third comment I get often is about my highschool aged daughter. They ask about school activites like sports, band, etc. that look good when applying for college. My daughter does other things that look good for scholorships. She has three years of volunteer work working with special needs children in horse therapy. Let me see, what looks better basketball or volunteer work. My rule is that when they turn 13, they have to do volunteer work with some organization atleast once a week. Lastly, they ask about prom and highschool graduation. When their highschool kid is walking across the stage for their highschool degree, mine will almost have her asociates degree in college.

jessicalb
06-14-2010, 10:19 PM
I have heard them all. The one I love most is, "How can you stand to be with your kids ALL the time ?"

That one makes me so sad. I always want to ask, "So who do you suppose is responsible for raising kids even their own mother can't stand?" Jeez.

jessicalb
06-14-2010, 10:23 PM
Sometimes, I think parents get used to having their kids in school and/or day-care all day and don't know how to deal with them or talk with them?

This is really true. But I guess, what I find hard to understand, is why parents are so ok with it. When Alex was in school full time and I worked all the time I knew I didn't know him very well, and I hated that I hardly ever got to see him or have any energy for him when he was home. I was so glad to bring him home, even though it did take a long time to get really comfortable with being together all day again.

KrysWalker
07-06-2010, 10:31 PM
Wow it's funny how everyone gets the same thing I do..."I could never do that." Why do people assume that teachers would have more patience with your children? Especially public school (ie unionized government employees who may or may not be paid enough to care) teachers who teach higher than 1st grade. My daughter is very intelligent, very hyper, and very easily distracted - it was one of a zillion reasons why we are homeschooling. My husband was the same way and the public school system couldn't deal with him and forced his mother (who was single, worked three jobs, and could never have homeschooled) to put him on ridolin. How can I do it? How can you not?

anywaybecause
07-23-2010, 12:25 AM
I hear a lot of "I could never do that" and a variation on the certified teacher. Since I used to teach high school, I hear a lot of "Oh, well it's okay for YOU to homeschool, since you used to be a teacher!" Ummmm . . . wrangling a classroom full of other people's teenagers is nothing like sitting right next to your own seven-year-olds.