Reality vs. Misconceptions About Homeschooling
Written by Ellen R.
- Homeschoolers struggle with socializing.
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “What about socializing?”
The reality is that you and your family have more opportunity for socializing because you are in charge of your school schedule. Many online students tell us that they complete their school work in much less time than a traditional school, since there is no wasted time traveling to school, or wasted time between classes. Also, online students work at the pace most comfortable to them, rather than the pace of 25 other students in the class. This leaves the day open for so many more social opportunities – field trips, travel, part-time work, volunteering.
We also hear from our students who have concerns about bullying and teen drama in a traditional school. They report that their social experiences are much more fun because there is no peer pressure to go along with the group. Parents enjoy knowing that the social experiences are positive, and they can avoid negative peer pressure.
- Colleges don’t accept homeschooled students.
Actually, homeschool students attend colleges and universities across the country, including top-tier schools such as Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. Many homeschooled students have gained important life skills such as goal-setting, and problem solving. Homeschooled students tend to be self-motivated. These skills can make them well prepared for college. According to OnlineCollege.org, many colleges actively recruit homeschool students for admission.
- Homeschool students sit in front of a computer all day, and don’t have interaction with a teacher.
Choosing the right curriculum for your homeschooling student is key. There are many, such as Whitmore School, where students work one-to-one with their teacher on every lesson. While searching for the right school option for your child, look for these features:
- The curriculum is provided from an accredited educational institution
- The curriculum is not just a series of multiple choice lessons that are computer graded.
- A guidance counselor will work one-to-one with your student to create a Personal Graduation Plan.
- Teachers respond to students quickly and offer instructional feedback that improves learning and student achievement.
- Students are allowed to work at the pace most comfortable to them in each subject. Look for a school that recognizes that every child learns differently. Students do not need to be channeled into a semester schedule that regulates when they must complete a course. Instead, look for a school that encourages students to move forward in their course when they have mastered the lesson concepts.
- There are not extracurricular opportunities.
Think about all the wasted time in traditional school. Travel time to get there and back home at the end of the day; time between classes waiting for the class to get settled so the teacher can begin; disruptions and distractions during a class that take students off track; all students move at a pace set by the school district.
With homeschooling, you take charge of your schedule. Instead of English starting at 8:17 am because the late bell just rang, you decide the best time to tackle English. (If your student does not thrive at 8:17 am, no problem! 11:30 am will be just fine.)
So, less wasted time in school leaves more time for extracurricular activities. Check with your local homeschool group or your town’s recreation center for resources. There are many clubs, sports, music lessons, art lessons, and field trips available for homeschoolers.
Principal and Mom of Alina B. -2009 Graduate