Education Myths
By Sue Whitson, Niota, IL

1. The state has a responsibility to educate my children. That is why there are laws that force children to go to school.

Fact: Parents are responsible to see that children are educated. Children who do not have a high level of parental involvement in their education are unlikely to receive a good education. Compulsory education laws were enacted because some children and teenagers were on the streets committing crimes. People thought if they could compel children to go to school, this would solve the problem. It has not. Juvenile crime has steadily increased. In fact, in every state, the juvenile crime rate is highest among males who are in their last year of compulsory education. In addition, the illiteracy rates in the US have rocketed from near 0% among the educated population in the 1850’s to 17% among high school graduates today.

*This consisted of white males. It was not considered economical and/or proper to educate girls and children of color.

2. Making sure that children get a good education is such a complicated process that only highly educated people are qualified to oversee this process.

Fact: In states where all homeschoolers are required to be tested, homeschooled students average 80% for their grade and age level whereas public schooled students average a 50% score. When parental education levels are recorded, no appreciable difference can be found between homeschooling parents who did not complete high school and those who have college degrees.

3. A teacher’s certificate ensures that a person is qualified to teach.

Fact: If you have had a public school education, you know this one is not true. There are many certified teachers who are incompetent, neglectful and even abusive.

4. I’m not educated enough to teach my children at any level.

Fact: The only qualification parents need to teach their children is a commitment to do whatever it takes to ensure their children get a good education. Homeschooling parents typically learn right along with their children. There are ample resources from which parents can learn what they need to teach their children, teachers manuals, Internet sites and homeschool support groups are just a few.

5. Parents cannot educate at the high school level children unless they have a good grasp on high level subjects such as calculus or chemistry.

Fact: One of the basic tenets of homeschooling is teaching children to seek out information so they can learn independently. To have one’s children pass you up in their knowledge of certain subjects is a goal every parent should strive for. This can be accomplished through independent study, correspondence courses, community college classes and apprenticeships. It is not unusual for homeschooled students to begin taking community college classes at the age of 15 or 16.

6. Children with learning disabilities cannot be homeschooled.

Fact: Children with learning disabilities who are homeschooled receive 5 times more teacher/student interaction time than traditionally schooled students. They are also not segregated in the home as they have to be in traditional school systems. As a result, homeschooled students with disabilities have a comparatively higher rate of success, just as the homeschool population in general. There are organizations devoted exclusively to homeschooling learning disabled students from which parents can learn and share educational strategies.

7.Homeschooling takes a lot of money.

Fact: Homeschooling families spend an average of $500/year on curriculum, field trips and other educational expenses. By taking advantage of used curriculum, libraries and Internet sites, many families whittle their educational expenses to less than they would typically spend on book rentals and activity fees if they sent their children to public school.

8. Homeschooling takes a huge time commitment from parents.

Fact: Parents of children who are doing well in public school typically invest as many or more hours supervising homework, getting their children ready for school, and transporting their children to and from school and extra-curricular activities as most homeschooling parents. Several years ago a time study was done in Illinois of the 880 hours the state requires for a public school to receive state accreditation. 539 of these hours were spent waiting on the teacher, talking with other students, waiting in line, lunch, recess, going to the bathroom, ect. It takes much less time to teach a few children than a class of 20 or 30. Most homeschooled students accomplish in 2-3 hours a day what takes 6 hours plus homework time for traditionally schooled students.

9. Working parents can’t homeschool.

Fact: Working parents are successfully homeschooling across the US. Some have home businesses, others have baby-sitters, family or other homeschoolers take care of their children while they work and homeschool during their off hours. Many working parents who homeschool find themselves spending equal or less time than their public school counterparts participating in educational activities and they do not have to deal with the negative social aspects of public school.

10. Homeschooled students will have a hard time getting into college or the military because they won’t get a diploma from an accredited high school.

Fact: Colleges and the military are actively recruiting homeschooled students because they are typically better prepared for adult life and study. Homeschooled students typically present a portfolio of their work to 4 year universities or the military or start college at community colleges and then transfer to a 4 year university.

11. Homeschooled children aren’t eligible for scholarships.

Fact: There are all kinds of scholarships out there that are available to homeschoolers. Some even are available exclusively to homeschoolers.

12. Homeschooled children miss out on dealing with others the same age so they cannot develop healthy social skills.

Fact: Children will imitate those they are around most. If we want our children to grow up to be adults, who do we want them to be around most? Children or adults? Traditional schools have an artificial social structure that does not in any way reflect the real world. They actually foster unhealthy age discrimination and negative peer pressure. Families are set up with God’s wisdom in mind. Older children imitate their parents, younger children imitate their older siblings and older children learn to teach and have responsibility by caring for younger children.

Statistics show homeschooled adults outshine traditionally schooled adults in the area of socialization. They have better self esteem. They are more likely to be involved in government, volunteer work and own their own businesses. Among homeschooled adults the rates of drug use, suicide, depression, crime and illegitimate pregnancy are significantly lower. The results speak for themselves.

13. Homeschooled children cannot participate in organized sports

Fact: Traditional schools are not the only place where organized sports are played. There are YMCA’s, churches, summer baseball, private leagues and homeschool groups to name a few. Many public schools also make accommodations for home and private schooled students to play on their teams.


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