Things Homeschoolers Say That Aren’t True

Just back off if your child is struggling to read. They’ll get it eventually.
Okay, if the kid is 5 or 6, yes. But if the kid is 9, 10, 11, or even older and especially if there are other warning signs for a learning disability, definitely not. Early intervention is important in the case of a learning disability. Always assuring a concerned mom that the kid will pick it up eventually is not helpful. Better advice would be saying that sometimes just backing off works, but if the mom feels like something is wrong in her gut, go with that feeling and dig deeper.

If you leave them alone kids will eventually learn everything they need to know.
Generally this comes from unschoolers, particularly the extreme unschoolers who eschew anything that looks remotely schooly. It’s just plain not true and I’ve seen results of this way of thinking and it’s seldom pretty. It’s usually rather disastrous (think kids, with no learning disabilities, unable to multiply single digits at 13 years old because they never found a reason to learn how). Sure, some kids will indeed learn everything they need to know. Some kids are just driven. The majority are not.

All public schools are horrible.
Nope. As much as some homeschoolers hate to admit it, there really are positives to public school, even public schools that aren’t highly rated amazing ones. There are things that can be done in a public school setting that are difficult to do at home, such as high school lab sciences (which is part of the reason so many homeschoolers do those things in co-ops – sometimes set up quite like public school classrooms – or pay for other outside classes). Is there room for improvement in public schools? Most definitely. But room for improvement does not equal completely bad.

Even if your kid is just reading books all day, they are getting a better education than they would in public school.
Or, the similar statement, The worst day of school at home is better than the best day of school in public school.
Just… no. Kids learn lots in public school. Yes, you hear about the horror stories, but there’s a reason you hear about them: they are unusual and so they are noteworthy. These things are usually said to make moms who mostly are not schooling feel better. This does a disservice, particularly since neither statement is true.

Socialization doesn’t matter.
Homeschool long enough (and by long enough I mean 5 minutes) and someone will say, “What about socialization.” Most homeschoolers brush it off. The thing is, it’s not true that socialization doesn’t matter. What doesn’t matter is the fake socialization imposed by public schools. School is the only time when you’ll be in a room of 30 other kids born within about 12 months of you, being instructed by an adult, told to be quiet and not talk to your neighbor, and maybe even get punished for talking too much by not being allow to talk even during lunch (i.e. no socialization allowed!). What does matter is the real life socialization that most homeschoolers are very careful to expose their kids to. Situations with multiple ages, kids and adults. Yes, there are unsocialized homeschoolers. You know, the stereotypical awkward kid who can’t hold a normal conversation with others. But, you’ll also find awkward kids who can’t hold a normal conversation in public school, too. For some reason, though, the ones in public school are deemed quirky or odd while the homeschooled ones, well, it must be caused by where they are educated.

X curriculum/homeschooling method works for every single child.
I’ve heard this from many people about various curricula or methods, but I’ve heard it most from people who do Thomas Jefferson Education. I am very glad each person has found what works so well for them and their child. That is wonderful. However, just because something works for one person, does not mean it will work for another. Plus, if one thing worked for every kid, the public schools should be clued in because I’m sure they’d be thrilled to find a one size fits all approach to education (spoiler alert: it simply doesn’t exist).

Everything is awesome!
Sometimes everything truly is awesome. Sometimes everything is going great. And sometimes it just isn’t. Unfortunately, as soon as a homeschooling mom talks about her hard days, whether they have to do with education choice or not, or feeling a little burned out, invariably someone will come along and say, “Just put your kids in [public] school, then.” For some of us, homeschooling is actually the thing that brings stability and normalcy to our lives. It’s not something we want to give up, even on the worst days. It’s okay for homeschooling moms to have hard days, weeks, months, or years. We’re moms first and foremost, for goodness sake! We shouldn’t have to pretend everything is perfect just because advice to make things better always seems to focus on the way our kids are educated even when the problems have absolutely nothing to do with it.

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