Do homeschoolers get enough socialization? Are parents qualified to teach? Can my homeschooled child get into college? These rank among some of the top questions surrounding homeschoolers.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular myths so you and your family can make the education choices that are right for you.
Homeschool Myth #1: Homeschoolers don’t get socialized because they’re only around their family.
This mainstream misconception just doesn’t match reality on several levels.
First, children who are homeschooled in Michigan often have more opportunities to build relationships and engage in their communities because they aren’t confined to one classroom or building.
Hands-on learning, educational trips, extracurricular activities, and volunteerism provide a homeschool advantage to learners at every level.
Think about it this way:
A homeschooler learning about modern art can bring a lesson to life with a trip to the city museum, joining a drop-in art group, or talking with a local muralist. These activities not only provide subject knowledge but opportunities to speak with others from diverse backgrounds.
If you’re still not convinced, two studies conducted by researchers found that homeschooled children are equally “well-adjusted” and show fewer behavioral problems than their peers.
Homeschool Myth #2: Parents aren’t trained to be teachers.
The same people who taught their children to walk and talk are actually very well equipped to adopt a homeschool program for their children.
Who knows their child better than a parent?
Parents who homeschool their children already have taken the role of mentor by deciding that this is the best education option.
Online courses complement the homeschool curriculum, providing additional opportunities for parents to mentor and support their child in a one-on-one learning environment.
Still not convinced?
A quick Google search turns up literally hundreds of resources, including homeschool curriculum, online school programs, and more.
Of course, just like anything you may find on the internet, it’s important for parents to carefully review this information.
When it comes to online homeschool programs, Michigan Virtual offers a Parent Guide that answers many of the questions related to online learning.
Here are a few key items to consider when choosing the best online homeschool program for your child:
- Certified online learning programs
- Access to highly qualified, Michigan-certified teachers who provide guidance and feedback
- Variety of courses, including Advanced Placement or dual enrollment for college credit
- Customized to your child’s learning style
Equipped with this knowledge, the parent-as-teacher role gets a boost with trusted support, valuable resources, and engaging education programs.
Homeschool Myth #3: Only a stay-at-home parent can homeschool their child.
Parents who select homeschooling for their children represent a cross-section of the U.S. population.
Homeschooling in the United States, a comprehensive study by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, reveals diversity of race, income, and reasons for selecting a homeschool education.
This research also found that homeschool households include two-parent, one-parent, and non-parental guardians.
Equipped with excellent learning programs and reliable resources, families of all different makeups can successfully have their children learn at home.
Common traits shared among these families, however, are patience, self-discipline, and carefully selected courses that fit their child.
With some diligence and the right support, today’s families can enjoy the experience of the homeschool advantage.
Homeschool Myth #4: Homeschoolers don’t learn the right subjects and have a hard time getting into college.
The state of Michigan has basic requirements that all students, including homeschoolers, must satisfy in order to graduate. A parent considering homeschooling should familiarize themselves with the law, so they can choose the best option for their family.
Michigan’s homeschool law includes the following provisions:
- Parents have the right to educate a child at home in an organized educational program
- Parents assign homework, gives tests and grades these tests as well as issue report cards, transcripts and diplomas
- Instruction must include math, science, reading, English, and social studies in all grades
Since homeschoolers develop exceptional self-discipline and considerable online skills, some of the nation’s top colleges seek them out.
Just like other students, their grades, the curriculum they pursued, and SAT/ACT test scores all play a factor in college admissions.
Some additional suggestions for homeschool students include providing details on extracurricular activities, earning college credits while in high school, and the reasoning for selecting homeschool.
Homeschool Myth #5: Kids in homeschool don’t get to participate in extracurricular activities.
Opportunities to participate in numerous events abound for all children, including homeschoolers.
From youth leagues, camps, local theater groups, scouting, and church functions, the sky’s the limit for young people.
The real challenge is for modern parents who must orchestrate all the comings and goings of their children.
Homeschoolers can pursue their interests and learn new things just like everyone else.
A more flexible schedule coupled with not being confined to a school building offer these students the chance to embark on all kinds of activities.
Plus, many public and nonpublic schools welcome homeschoolers to join their peers on the field, in the music hall and clubs. Check with your local school to find out more.
In Michigan, the Gull Lake Virtual Partnership serves as an excellent example of a public school’s use of online courses to enhance the education experience.
The partnership “strives to offer meaningful and personalized learning opportunities for students to grow and thrive as they discover their own unique talents.” Fully online classes, blended learning, dual enrollment (college coursework), and early college are opportunities offered to all students, including homeschoolers.
If you still have doubts about extracurricular participation, a look at some famous homeschoolers should put your mind at ease.
Actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Love Hewitt, former national security advisor Condoleeza Rice and football great Tim Tebow all got their education starts through homeschool. Look at them now!
Homeschool Myth #6: Very few people are homeschooled.
While “big” is subjective, let’s just say that there are enough homeschoolers to fill the University of Michigan’s “Big House” over 15 times, Ford Field more than 26 times, and DTE Energy Music Theater 111 times.
At 1.7 million and climbing, homeschooling has taken hold in the U.S.
Parents report several important reasons for this increase. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, they include:
- Concern about the school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure
- Dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools
- Desire to provide religious instruction
Homeschool Myth #6: It’s cheating to use online homeschool programs.
There is no shame in adding online courses to your homeschool curriculum.
In fact, parents should relish in the fact that they have made a thoughtful investment in their children’s education.
Plus, they’ve opened up a whole new world of opportunities for advanced coursework, a variety of electives, and honing tech and time management skills.
The right online program for your homeschool student will allow him or her to explore interests while also covering required coursework.
Best of all, parents can further personalize learning for individual students’ needs.
Whatever the reason, the decision to homeschool is unique to each Michigan family. Just as each child learns and discovers differently so, too, is the journey for homeschoolers.
Equipped with the facts, resources, and support, parents can make an informed choice that best prepares their child for the future.
Offering more than 200 online courses, Michigan Virtual can provide your homeschooler with an exceptional 6-12 education.
Lines, P. M. (2000). Homeschooling comes of age.
Michigan Department of Education. (2019). Nonpublic and Home School.
National Center for Educational Statistics. (2017). Blog: A Fresh Look at Homeschooling in the US.
National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES). (2016). Parent and Family Involvement in Education: Results from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2016.
Redford, J., Battle, D., and Bielick, S. (2012). Homeschooling in the United States: 2012. National Center for Education Statistics.
Top Education Degrees. 30 common misconceptions about homeschoolers & homeschooling.
Werrell, B. (2017). 9 Biggest Myths About Homeschooling, Connections Academy