Homeschool Myths: Busted!

Myth: Homeschooling is a fringe movement.

Busted! There are more homeschoolers than you think.

“It’s mushrooming,” says Murphy. “There were 15,000 homeschooled kids in 1975, and there are two million today.” According to a report from the National Home Education Research Institute, enrollment in schools for pre-K to grade 12 increased less than one percent from 2007 to 2010—but the number of homeschooled kids increased at least 7 percent during the same period.

Myth: Homeschooled kids are weird because they’re not socialized.

Busted! Homeschooled kids do socialize.

They spend time with people if all ages at homeschooling groups, in their neighborhood, in outside classes like Italians or jewelry-making, on sports teams, and in volunteer groups.

Myth: Homeschooling is illegal.

Busted! Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states.

Requirements vary by state; for example, you may need to have your child tested at independent testing centers periodically or turn in portfolios of work to your state’s division of non-public education.

Myth: Homeschooling is time-consuming.

Busted! Teaching your child at home doesn’t typically take the full day as it does at school.

You can teach at your kid’s pace, and because you have only one or a few kids and not 25, you don’t have to spend a lot of time in “classroom management”—basically, keeping a bunch of kids in line Also, as your child gets older, she’ll do more of the work on her own, so you don’t need to constantly supervise her while she’s learning.

Myth: Homeschooled kids are behind academically.

Busted! “The evidence would seem to suggest that homeschooled kids are not in any way in academic trouble,” says Murphy.

This is difficult to study since homeschooled kids don’t have to take the same tests as conventionally schooled kids, and also because homeschoolers and conventionally schooled kids represent such a broad range of academic ability, but Murphy reached his conclusion based on his overview on homeschooling research.

Myth: Parents need to know everything their kids need to learn.

Busted! Parents can learn along with their kids—or hire tutors or arrange co-op classes.

Kids can also get involved in distance learning or take classes in certain subjects outside the home, such as at local colleges or adult education centers.