By Jennifer Waddle, Crosswalk.com
Sadly, there are many myths surrounding Christian homeschooling - ones I used to believe myself. In fact, before I took the courageous step into home education, I thought only weird families chose to homeschool their children.
Weird or not, the world of Christian homeschooling is a vibrant community of believers who love the Lord and desire to train their children in the way they should go. Most are committed to instilling a biblical worldview while also teaching their children according to their gifts and strengths. The benefits of homeschooling, in my opinion, far outweigh the misconceptions.
After navigating through the myths I used to believe, I now deeply respect those who venture into this often unpopular form of education. Here are seven Christian homeschooling myths debunked.
Myth #1: Homeschool Kids Lack Socialization
Probably the most common myth about homeschooling is that children miss out on socialization and are isolated from others. However, thriving homeschool communities offer numerous social activities, including co-ops, clubs, field trips, and more.
Honestly, I've found that homeschooled kids are very sociable and less likely to be fixated on their phones when others are trying to engage with them. They are used to interacting with people of all ages and are usually happy to be part of the conversation.
While some homeschool families choose not to participate in many outside activities, their children are still exposed to other homeschool families, youth groups, and people in the community. Therefore, in most cases, the socialization piece is simply a myth.
Myth #2: Only Bible-based Curriculum Is Taught
Many Christian homeschooling families feel blessed to provide a Bible-based curriculum with foundational principles from God's Word. However, most home educators cover subjects such as art, music, math, and foreign languages that aren't necessarily part of a biblical course.
For example, homeschools that emphasize literature also appreciate the value of classic books and enjoy unit studies designed around these beloved texts. While God's Word is the most important part of a Christian's homeschool curriculum, many families participate in classes without a religious basis. The best part is each family gets to choose their syllabus for the year so long as state requirements are met.
Myth #3: Parents Aren't Qualified to Teach
This issue was tough for me when I first started homeschooling. I definitely felt unqualified, but I knew without a doubt that God was leading us to home-educate. Therefore, I spent many evenings and weekends preparing in order to provide structured, organized, and well-planned lessons.
One of the greatest blessings that came from my trial-and-error was that I was introduced to the different learning styles of each of my children. Through the book, The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias, I discovered tips, tools, and effective methods of teaching that focused on my children's gifts, strengths, and ways of thinking.
Especially nowadays, many resources, curriculums, and support networks are available to equip parents with the necessary tools to provide a comprehensive education for their children. Most of all, God provides exactly what is needed for every homeschool parent committed to doing His will.
Myth #4: Homeschooled Kids Won't Know How to Navigate the Real World
Sheltering our kids from the harmful influences of the world is one of the biggest reasons we choose to home-educate. However, our intention isn't to shield them from all of life's issues but to teach them how God expects us to respond to them.
From the perspective of "living in this world but not being part of it," Christian homeschool families are wise to discuss the cultural issues of the day and have open lines of communication for their kids to ask questions and get honest answers.
The truth is that even the most sheltered homeschooled kids are at risk of believing the toxic lies of the enemy. After all, it's part of our human existence. That's why it's crucial for parents to stand on the Word of God unapologetically and in a way that is life-giving and encouraging to their children. With the joy of the Lord as our strength and the Bible as our guide, we can teach our children how to navigate the real world with love, kindness, justice, and truth.
Myth #5: Homeschooled Kids Fall Behind
It is a common misconception that homeschooled children fall behind their traditionally schooled peers when it comes to academics. However, this belief is a myth. In reality, homeschooling provides numerous benefits that can actually help children excel in their education.
One advantage is the personalized, one-on-one instruction that homeschooling allows. With individual attention, parents are able to tailor the curriculum to meet their child's specific needs and learning style, fostering a deeper understanding of the material.
When learning delays do happen, homeschool parents can focus on the problem and find creative ways to help their children succeed. In the public school arena, struggling kids don't always have the one-on-one attention needed due to a lack of school staffing.
Another thing worth mentioning is that homeschooled children often have the opportunity to explore their interests and passions in greater depth. They can dedicate more time to subjects they are good at, enabling them to excel in those areas. Real-world learning experiences, such as internships, community service, and travel, also enhance their overall education. Unlike in a traditional classroom setting, homeschooling allows kids to progress at a pace that suits them best, resulting in a more in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the curriculum taught.
Myth #6: There's a Lack of Structure
Structure and discipline are essential components of any successful homeschooling environment. However, one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is its flexibility to create margins in our busy schedules.
Yes, daily lesson plans, deadlines, and accountability are important to ensure that children receive an education that prepares them for the future, but rigorous adherence to such lesson plans isn't always the most beneficial route for some families. Christian homeschooling parents understand the importance of structure but are also committed to their children's mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, which sometimes means taking a break.
The flexibility homeschooling allows is beneficial for sick days, travel, and extended holidays but doesn't skimp on meeting educational goals. Therefore, skeptics can rest assured that in most homeschooling environments, all the bases are covered. Many homeschooled kids graduate with honors and the opportunity to further their education.
Myth #7: Homeschooling Parents Have Limited Resources
When homeschooling was first introduced in this country, resources and curriculum choices were severely limited. I deeply appreciate the homeschool pioneers who made it possible for families like mine to succeed in home education!
Nowadays, Christian homeschooling communities are vibrant networks of people where parents share tips, tools, and resources, as well as provide emotional and educational support. There are also numerous online platforms that offer a wealth of information, lesson plans, and classes to fill in the gaps. The options are endless!
To believe there is a lack of resources for homeschooled families is a definite myth. In fact, there are so many resources it can be difficult to choose which ones are right for your family. But keep in mind Christian homeschoolers have the advantage of mixing and matching differing units of study depending on the needs of their children, which is a wonderful benefit.
Ultimately, homeschooling isn't for everyone, but for those who feel called to take the courageous step, don't worry about common misconceptions surrounding home education. I pray this article helps clear up the confusion and encourages you on whatever journey you decide to pursue.