I have an image in my head of a meme that reads something like “I’m not always sarcastic, but when I am, someone is telling me homeschooling myths.” I suppose after hearing quite a few from distant family members over the last two years, some of the myths have become a bit like a cavity that has slowly eaten down to the nerve. Thus, sarcasm.
With all the uncertainty in our society right now, I anticipate there may be quite a few new families trying homeschooling this year. If one of those is you, then you just may find yourself hearing one of the following homeschooling myths from your great aunt Betsy or your cousin’s neighbor’s uncle. Of course, you will do the right thing and respond diplomatically, because you are just that amazing. But no one is perfect, so here also are the sarcastic responses that some small, mean part of you just might wish that you had said out loud.
Homeschooling Myth #1: “Kids can’t be socialized if they are taught at home.”
Sarcastic Response: “You’re right, mine aren’t socialized at all. We never let them leave the house.”
This must be one of the most popular homeschooling myths around, and depending on how the speaker presents it, it can really hit a nerve. Here is my diplomatic response:
Actually, our kids do a lot of socializing when they are not doing school work. This works out well because we accomplish a lot in not a lot of time since there are few distractions. As a result, they have a large block of time in the afternoon to spend doing things with other kids — things like sports, karate, 4-H, and play dates with friends. Most convenient of all is the time spent playing with the kids that live down the street. Homeschoolers also utilize co-ops, as well as online local groups that allow you to create events and meet-ups.
There is also the simple fact that everywhere we go in public results in social interaction. The library, the grocery store, the bookstore, the cafe — they all involve asking for assistance, or saying “excuse me.” The world is full of humans y’all, and they aren’t just in schools.
Myth #2: “Homeschooling is so complicated. I don’t know how you do it.”
Sarcastic Response: “Mostly while standing on my head. I’ve gotten really good at checking math problems upside down.”
Truth be told, the statement “I don’t know how you do it” can be said in two ways. The first is a genuine statement and no sarcasm leaps to mind; the second is said in a mildly insulting way that translates to something like “you must be crazy to want to homeschool.”
In response to either of the intentions mentioned above, homeschooling is as simple or complicated as you choose. There is a slew of different methods and curriculum that make each household unique. The one thing that is consistent from household to household is that homeschooling is a big commitment and responsibility…but so is choosing to be a parent.
To me, homeschooling is just one piece of my parenting plan. I am not some glorious over-achiever or a deluded weirdo, I’m just a regular parent raising her children in the way she believes is the best.
Myth #3: “I don’t know how you can stand being with your kids all day long.”
Sarcastic response: “Me either. Sometimes I hide in the dog house.”
This one actually isn’t true sarcasm. Sometimes I do hide. I think all mothers do. We don’t have a dog house, but I do have a 900 square foot garden that I love. It is perfect because children generally want to pick weeds for about 1.5 minutes before bailing out, and then it’s just me, lush green leaves, and the sunset.
It should be pointed out here that the reality behind the homeschooling myth is that we are not together all the time. See that section on socialization up above. My kids are frequently doing things that do not involve me. And when they are home, they are frequently doing something quiet, like drawing or reading. This provides very necessary breaks and allows for time to do other important adult-oriented tasks.
Congratulations on Completing this Primer
But there are so many more homeschooling myths, or typical reactions, that I have not covered. How about “Homeschooled kids can’t get into colleges.” “Parents are not qualified to teach their children.” “Homeschooled children will not know how to function in the real world.” “Homeschooled kids will be way behind public school kids.”
The list goes on and on, but now that you’ve read this primer I trust that you can come up with a sarcastic answer for each and every one of them. Say that snarky sarcastic response in your head, and then proceed in correcting the misinformation diplomatically.
All sarcasm aside, helping to banish those myths about homeschooling is a service to us all.