Myth #1: People only choose homeschooling due to religious reasons.
According to the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, only 38 % of homeschoolers do so for religious reasons, and an even lower 16% intend to provide religious instruction. The statistics show that the number one reason families choose to homeschool their children over public or private schools: 48.9% of homeschoolers believe that they can better provide a quality education at home.
When I attended my first meeting for homeschool parents, I was shocked at how well-educated the parents were. There were a few families who would describe themselves as Evangelical Christians, but an overwhelming majority of the parents were not. The lady who ran the meeting was ivy league educated (Yale), and there were two attorneys, one chemical engineer, one mom with a PhD, and a former CNN writer sitting at my table. There were people from all different socioeconomic groups, religions, and parts of the city. I found the same to be true at virtually every homeschool function we attended over the school year, so our experiences backed-up the above statistics.
Myth #2: It is harder for homeschooled students to get into college.
While researching homeschooling, I read several articles @ The Huffington Post, and one article claimed that homeschooled students are 10% more likely to get into college. I wish I remember the exact article so I could link you back to it, but they do have several articles about homeschooling on their site. In a study entitled Exploring Academic Outcomes of Homeschooled Students, Michael Cogan found that homeschoolers are not only well-prepared for college, but that they have higher GPA's than their non-homeschooled peers. They also graduate at a higher rate: 66.7% for homeschooled students, 57.5% for those who weren't homeschooled.
I was so concerned when I took Shelley to her pediatrician last summer. I knew he'd ask about school, and I dreaded telling him our plans to homeschool her. He attended Brown University and has three daughters who weren't homeschooled. When we told him, he beamed, and said he thought that would be such a great fit for Shelley and us. He also assured me that she would be better prepared for college because I understand how she learns, and her instruction would be individualized to her specific needs.
(VERY BIG sigh of relief)
Myth # 3: Very few people homeschool.
Boy was this one a shocker. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2.5 million students are currently homeschooled, and some studies say that the numbers are probably closer to 3 million. The numbers are on the rise, growing 15 - 20 % annually.
I had no idea how many people in our area homeschool until we started going out into the community and meeting some of the families. In our state (Alabama) a whopping 33 % of students are either homeschooled or attend private schools.
Myth #4: Homeschoolers spend way too much time at home.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is flexibility. Students are able to go on more field trips and pursue other talents and interests. Seventy-one percent of homeschoolers participate in an ongoing community service activity compared with 37 % of those who don't (source).
Probably the biggest benefit to Shelley is that she can compete in a horse show (she's on a team) and not have to worry about make-up work. She's able to take art classes from a professional artist as well as at a local University, and she can volunteer at local Stop Hunger Now events. Also, she didn't miss her church youth group, The Misfits, on Wednesday nights due to too much homework.
Myth #5: Homeschoolers are anti-science.
I am impressed with the quality science instruction, field trips, labs, and other opportunities for homeschoolers in our area. The reason I chose this myth is because I heard it A LOT, so I was starting to believe it.
However, according to the National Science Foundation, around 50% of Americans do not believe in evolution and 10% believe the sun revolves around the earth. You can't blame such sad statistics on homeschoolers! An overwhelming majority of Americans were educated in the public schools.
There you have it! I could be on Myth Busters! ;P
Still in doubt about homeschooling? Check out the following movie trailer made by homeschoolers.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I would like to write more posts similar to this one in order to share issues that are near and dear to my heart. Because homeschooling is such a big part of our lives, I'll post about it for the next couple of weeks.
Please share with me any myths you've heard about homeschooling. I'm curious!
Until next time…