15 Common Homeschool Myths and Their Truths

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When it comes to education, homeschooling has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional schooling, offering families a unique and flexible approach to learning. However, homeschool myths and misconceptions still persist, often clouding the understanding of its true nature and benefits.

In this blog post, I’m going to debunk some homeschool myths that I often heard (and believed) before beginning my own homeschooling journey.

Homeschool Myth 1: Homeschooled Children Lack Socialization

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Truth: Homeschooled children often participate in community events, sports, clubs, and co-op programs, providing ample opportunities to interact with peers, allowing for more positive socialization experiences.

This is always a hot topic when it comes to homeschooling and one of the biggest homeschool myths I’ve experienced.

People may think homeschoolers are unsocialized due to a misconception that socialization only occurs in traditional school settings.

However, the quality of socialization in public schools can actually be more harmful, especially when it comes to situations such as peer pressure or bullying.

Homeschool socialization is often more intentional, allowing for positive interactions through community involvement, extracurricular activities, and diverse social settings, contributing to well-rounded and positive social development.

Related: Rejuvenating Self-Care Tips for Homeschool Moms

Homeschool Myth 2: You Have to be an Expert in a Subject to Teach it.

Truth: While expertise can be beneficial, parents don’t need to be experts in every subject. There are numerous resources, curricula, and online platforms that provide support. Parents can learn alongside their children, fostering a love of learning together.

Can I tell ya, I don’t enjoy math. There is nothing about math that I can say I find interesting. I struggled with math in school (until college and I did pretty good). But even though I can do math, I’m no expert.

With that being said, I’m still able to teach my kids math.

And a little tip here: if you’re not confident in a specific area, don’t let that hold you back from homeschooling- outsource it!

If you want nothing to do with teaching math every day, maybe check into an online program like teaching textbooks. We use them and the boys love them!

Homeschool Myth 3: Homeschooling is Traditional School at Home

Truth: Homeschooling is a flexible and personalized educational approach that differs significantly from traditional school methods. While some families may choose to replicate certain aspects of a traditional school environment at home, the essence of homeschooling lies in its adaptability and individualization.

This is one of those homeschool myths that just blows my mind.

Probably because it wasn’t until I got away from the idea of replicating traditional school that our homeschool actually started to thrive.

I grew up in the public school system so it was all I had ever known.

But learning doesn’t have to be at a desk, in a classroom, out of a textbook… any of that.

You can learn anywhere and in a variety of ways! That’s the beauty of it!

Related: Top 20 Best Educational YouTube Channels for Toddlers

Homeschool Myth 4: Homeschooling Takes All Day

Truth: Homeschooling often takes less time due to its efficiency, personalized approach, and the absence of time-consuming administrative tasks.

One of the misconceptions about homeschooling is that it requires the same time commitment as a traditional school day.

That is just entirely not true. And I’m so glad, because otherwise, I don’t think I could have made it this far.

Homeschool Myth 5: Homeschool Kids Lack Academic Rigor

Truth: Homeschooling allows for flexibility in pacing and tailoring the curriculum to a child’s learning style. Many homeschooled students excel academically and can even pursue advanced or specialized coursework.

And, honestly, it’s what you make it. Some children do really well with a rigorous curriculum while others do better with something a little softer.

Academic rigor aside, it’s not a race. We all get there eventually- at our own pace.

Homeschool Myth 6: Homeschooling Is Unregulated

Truth: Homeschooling is legal in many countries, but regulations vary. In places where it is permitted, there are often requirements for record-keeping, testing, or portfolio reviews to ensure educational standards are met.

Here in Tennessee, if you don’t belong to a charter school, umbrella school, etc., you are classified as “an independent homeschooler”. As an independent homeschooler, you do have to complete standardized testing.

You can opt out of the testing by joining a charter school or umbrella school, however, you do have to keep records.

Related: The Ultimate Homeschool Planning Guide (27 Homeschool Preparation Tips)

Homeschool Myth 7: Homeschooled Children Don’t Get as Many Opportunities to Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Truth: Homeschooled children have a wide range of extracurricular options, including sports, music, art, and clubs. In fact, homeschooling can provide more flexibility for pursuing individual interests.

If I’m completely honest here, I feel like we actually have the chance to participate in more extracurricular activities because we homeschool.

When I had the boys in public school, I felt we barely had enough time to do their homework, eat dinner, and get baths done.

Now we finish up so much earlier and can be much more flexible with how we spend our time. And it’s really freeing.

Homeschool Myth 8: Homeschooled Kids Are Isolated

Truth: Homeschooled children often have diverse social experiences. They interact with people of various ages, including adults, and may engage in community activities, field trips, and co-op classes.

I can tell ya, these boys are in no way “isolated“.

Isolated from the bad behaviors of peers, maybe, but they aren’t isolated from people or experiences.

Homeschool Myth 9: People Only Homeschool for Religious Reasons

Truth: While some families choose homeschooling for religious reasons, many others do so for academic, social, or personal reasons. Homeschooling is a versatile educational option that can be adapted to various needs and beliefs.

I do love that we have the opportunity to incorporate our faith and values in our homeschool. And while it is so important to me now, it wasn’t the reason we started homeschooling.

I began homeschooling because I have a son who was really struggling. That little, adventurous boy who loved to explore lost his joy of learning in pre-k. Yep! You heard that right- PRE-K.

He eventually got his autism diagnosis, but he knew from the first few days that he went off to school that he was “different”.

And it became very obvious to me that the school system wasn’t set up for curious little boys like my son.

Homeschooling gave him his confidence and joy back. And I’ll forever be grateful.

Homeschool Myth 10: Homeschooled Children Aren’t Prepared for the “Real World”

Truth: Research suggests that homeschooled children often thrive in college and careers. They tend to be independent, self-directed learners who adapt effectively to new environments.

This is one of those homeschool myths that, quite honestly, make no sense to me.

Also, this statement just grinds my gears. The “real world”? C’mon… get outta here with that real world crap.

I can tell ya right now that the way the world is unfolding before me isn’t a world I want my boys to be caught up in the middle of.

And, as Christians we are called to be set apart, so not being “real world” material suits me just fine.

Homeschool Myth 11: Homeschooling is Always Cheaper Than Traditional Schooling

Truth: While homeschooling can be cost-effective, it depends on the resources and activities chosen. Some curricula and educational materials can incur costs, and families may invest in extracurricular activities or field trips.

You can absolutely homeschool on a tight budget- I have. But if you’ve homeschooled before, you know there are so many shiny curriculums and resources that can get PRICEY.

Homeschool Myth 12: Homeschooled Children Are Not Prepared for College

Truth: Homeschooled students can be well-prepared for college. Many colleges and universities actively recruit homeschoolers, and these students often excel due to their strong work ethic and ability to take initiative.

Ooh, I love this topic. First, let me give you some facts…

Homeschooled students have comparable or even higher college acceptance rates than their traditionally schooled peers. Many colleges actively seek out homeschooled applicants.

According to Harvard admissions, “Each applicant to Harvard College is considered with great care and homeschooled applicants are treated the same as all other applicants. There is no special process, but all relevant information about your educational and personal background is welcome”.

Homeschool Myth 13: Homeschooling Is Only for Academically Gifted or Special Needs Children

Truth: Homeschooling can be tailored to suit the needs of a variety of learners, including those with special needs or learning differences. It allows for individualized instruction and support.

It feels pretty strange for me to admit that I actually believed this had some truth to it.

I believed if you were homeschooling, then there must be a reason, right? Like homeschooling must be for either super smart kids or kids who struggled intellectually.

And I guess I thought that if you were somewhere in the middle, you belonged in the public school system.

Granted, this thinking dated way back when I was in school, but that’s what we all kinda believed. Homeschooling wasn’t a thing, and if it was no one was talking about it.

And while I began homeschooling because my son struggled academically and intellectually, we also homeschool for other reasons. Homeschooling truly has so many benefits.

Homeschool Myth 14: Homeschooling Is a Sheltered Environment

Truth: Homeschooling can provide a controlled environment, but it doesn’t necessarily shelter children. Many homeschooling families intentionally expose their children to a wide range of experiences and viewpoints.

I don’t consider my children to be “sheltered”, but I 100% do try to limit their exposure to the bad behaviors of peers.

They see things and they know there are negative, evil, and hateful in the world. They know about controversial issues and current events. But they aren’t surrounded by it seven hours a day, five days a week.

Homeschool Myth 15: Homeschool Kids Can’t Get Scholarships

Truth: Homeschool students are eligible for a wide range of scholarships. Many colleges and organizations recognize the unique strengths and achievements of homeschooled students.

Scholarships may be based on academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, community service, or specific talents.

Homeschooled students often stand out for their self-motivation, diverse skill set, and individualized learning experiences, making them competitive candidates for various scholarship opportunities.

In Conclusion, Some Common Homeschool Myths and Misconceptions Include:

  • homeschooled children lack socialization
  • you have to be an expert to homeschool
  • homeschooling is traditional school at home
  • homeschooling takes all day
  • homeschool kids lack academic rigor
  • homeschooling is unregulated
  • homeschooled children don’t get to participate in extracurricular activities
  • homeschool kids are isolated
  • people only homeschool for religious reasons
  • homeschool children aren’t prepared for the “real world”
  • homeschooling is always cheaper than traditional school
  • homeschooled children are not prepared for college
  • homeschooling is only suited for academically gifted or special needs
  • homeschool is a sheltered environment
  • homeschool kids can’t get scholarships

Understanding the truths about homeschooling can help dispel homeschool myths and misconceptions, as well as contribute to a more informed perspective on your journey of personalized education.

And for what it’s worth, I think you’re really brave for making such a bold decision to do so.

Wishing you a zingy homeschool experience!

-Kacie

About The Author

Founder at Cherry Creek Co. | Website | + posts

Kacie is a wife, homeschool mom of 4 boys (from toddler to teen), and a sixth generation homesteader with a passion for natural and sustainable living, creating a home that educates the mind and nurtures the soul, and reclaiming our independence like our ancestors before us.

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