So for this week’s blog post, I’m going to take some of the most common homeschooler stereotypes and smash them to smithereens (okay, some of them are stereotypes for a reason, so maybe I won’t smash all of them).
Homeschoolers are all social rejects/socially awkward
This is false, as a general rule. Of course, there are socially awkward people no matter where you go or which education system you analyze, but being homeschooled doesn’t automatically mean that you’re socially awkward. In fact, I would argue that homeschoolers can’t be as socially awkward. You hit a point as a homeschooler where you have to be able to explain why you and your siblings aren’t in school, and that requires speaking to an adult and explaining you’re homeschooled. There’s no better way to get over a fear of talking to adults than to explain to three or four (or five, or six) strangers in a public setting that you’re homeschooled.
BUT YOUR KIDS NEED TO SOCIALIZE
Think about it. Homeschooled kids have to actively seek out friends. They have to do a lot of socializing just to get out of the house. Not to mention we have to socialize with our siblings. Every. Single. Day. If you’re homeschooled, you know the struggle of feeling like you can’t ever be free of your siblings. Which leads me to my next point.
All homeschoolers are BFFs with their siblings
Let me start this of with a disclaimer: My sister Alex is my best friend.
However, when it comes to homeschooling families, I know very few people who would consider their sibling their best friend. Of course, homeschooling fosters closer relationships with siblings as a general rule, but again, that’s not hard and fast.
There’s no rule that says that your best friend needs to be a member of your family when you’re homeschooled. Heck, they don’t even need to be homeschooled at all. Sometimes being homeschooled has the opposite effect. Two siblings who should get along end up quarrelling because they can’t get away from one another.
Homeschoolers are super-smart
Okay, this is a slightly less common view, but it’s still fairly common to come across it. The idea that homeschoolers somehow are smarter than other kids doesn’t hold merit. There’s not a minimum IQ for homeschooling your kids. Just like in every education system, every kid works in different ways. My sister used to read sideways. My youngest sister is doing highschool math when she’s only 13. Homeschooling isn’t synonymous with brilliance.
Or, on the flip side, homeschoolers are just dumb kids who couldn’t make it in school
“Oh, you’re homeschooled. Did your parents pull you out of school?” Sometimes that’s a genuine question—a roundabout way of asking if you’ve been homeschooled your whole life. But other people will go on to comment that maybe you couldn’t make it in school.
The fact is, many parents pull their kids out of public or private school in order to homeschool. And a good chunk of those parents choose to pull their kids out because they’re falling through the cracks of the system. Maybe it’s because of bullying, or because their kid works at a different speed than others. Maybe they’re bored in school because they’ve worked ahead of the class. Just because someone works better in a less structured environment doesn’t mean that they “can’t make it” in the public school system. It simply means that they’re choosing to learn in a different way.
Homeschoolers are religious, live on a farm and have eight kids, 45 sheep and two goats
I’m a Christian. I live on a farm. I have four siblings, two horses, two cats and two dogs. I do not have any sheep.
Homeschooled doesn’t equal Christian. Yes, a good number of homeschooling families are Christian and their faith may be a factor in their choice to homeschool, but to automatically assume that a family is religious because they homeschool is simply naive.
Homeschoolers do their homework in their pyjamas
Yes. Yes. Yes. This is one of the best things about homeschooling. It’s so lovely.
Side note: Is all of a homeschooler’s schoolwork considered homework?