Here is the crux folks. Misconceptions lead to bigotry in all forms. They are unhealthy in so many ways and society needs to weed them out. I just read an article about homeschooling on another blog. Of course I can't resist reading the comments. It amazes me number one, that so many people who don't homeschool themselves seem to be suddenly experts on the topic. Number two, it's shocking just how misinformed some of these people are. Number three, even those who weren't misinformed seemed to feel the need to be rude which only serves to discredit their very valid point.
I am only one homeschooler of millions in the world. I only have one voice. However I want it known that we shouldn't be blanketed in the same robes of misinformation. We are individuals. We are families. We are your neighbors.
Misconception 1: Wait for it. Socialization. Simply put the idea that one person cannot socialize when they live in the same world as everyone else suggests that they are closeted away. Now saying hey your child won't have the same social experience as mine is very true. Is that good or bad? Hmm I don't know which is better boxers or briefs? Is it not our own personal choices and experiences which will dictate how we turn out in the end. I don't think we all need to have the same experiences and indeed no one person will have the same experience. Even if we lived in a vacuum our own individual preferences in life would set us apart from one another.
Misconception 2: Parents aren't qualified to teach. Well I don't hold a teacher's certificate no. However I hold something just as powerful a healthy brain. It's with this brain I have managed to live..ahem..cough 39 years. It's with this brain I have self taught myself many things. It's with my memories of my own school experiences in public school that I choose to pick the curriculum for my children. Curriculum is as I have discovered is as rich and varied as the rainbow. It's indeed a big responsibility to pick what my child will learn. Make no mistake though I intend to do a good job at this.
Misconception 3: This one is my favorite. You homeschool therefore you have no right to make errors in grammar or spelling or any other educational subject. Well la de da. I am human. I make many errors. Sometimes I am tired. Sometimes I am to hurried to edit properly. Does that make me the wrong choice for teaching my kids. No it makes me real.
Misconception 4: Your kids won't be toughened up to the realities of life. Oh I had no idea that public school offered lessons in skin thickening. I went there but still came out of it lacking that credit. If by this strange accusation one means my children won't experience bullying or criticism then rest assured my child will be passing that with flying colors. They have experienced bullying on the playground many times. They know life isn't all buttercups and daisies.
Misconception 5: What gives you the right to choose what your child learns? They will have a one sided view of the world. This statement is laughable. You are assuming children don't have their own ideas or views on the world. Will I be the main influence? You bet! Is this bad? I hope not. I lead a pretty straightforward healthy lifestyle. My husband is a good father and husband of 18 years. We consider ourselves pretty easy going. So why do we have the right to choose what our child learns? We are given this right by our government. Thank you Canada for being free enough and comfortable enough with your citizens to realize some of us are making choices different from the status quo.
Misconception 6: You wear pjs all day and have no schedule. Really? Tell that to my kids. I think staying in pjs is a fine idea but ultimately a little unrealistic when we go out of the home so often. My kids often start their morning hopefully asking 'are we going out today?' If you had the option of dawning some comfy clothes over your business suit wouldn't you? Schedule of course we have one. Is it the same as public schools? No. We can set our hours it's more like being a freelancer. Guess what people in this world do have that option on occasion. Some days are more rigorous then others. Isn't it the same for you?
Oh I could go on but it's so tiring trying to justify all the misconceptions that swirl around homeschool. I try to smile and be pleasant to most everyone I meet. I try to teach my kids to do the same. After all not everyone has been properly socialized.
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