YES! My Homeschool Kids are Socialized!
And other beliefs. My Aunt-in-Law just gave me an earful about how I need to send my kids back to school because how could they possibly be socialized?
- •I have the unique perspective of having been a classroom teacher, a parent with kids in public school, and now a homeschooling family. There are absolutely homeschool families that are way more different than our family but, this is our experience.My son needed some extra help and my daughter was advanced. Others do it to teach from a Biblical perspective, because they don't vaccinate, they have no faith in the school system, think teachers don't do much , or any combination of reasons.
- •"Are your kids socialized? How can they be socialized if they are not in school?"My kids were so busy at one point, we had to scale back on our activities. Chorus, kids' Zumba, Washington Spy Ring Trip, science classes at our local state college, book club, art club, chocolate shop tour, farm tours, homeschool field day, history club, journalism class. Plus they go to dance and my son cheers.
- •"Are all homeschoolers religious?"No. Many of my friends and I teach secularly. We are fortunate to be in a very diverse, welcoming group.
- •"Does this mean you teach evolution?"Yes! And climate change too! I don't homeschool because I was afraid of any science "agendas" that my kids would be exposed to. There are people that do that. I think scientific facts are important.
- •"Is homeschooling even legal? Do you report to anyone?"Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Every state is different, but in NY we have to file quarterly updates about what we are learning.
- •"Does the school give you a curriculum?"No, I pick it out through careful research. As a secular homeschooler there are many resources but, I have to be careful because Christian homeschool resources are very prominent. Science and history are most effected by Biblical teachings.
- •"Do you dislike/don't trust schools/teachers?"Quite the opposite! I was a public school elementary teacher for 12 years and a sub for five. I loved my kids' teachers. They were great. I just wasn't getting a job and decided to teach my own children.
- •"Is this about Common Core?"No. I do not think public schools or Common Core are the anti-christ. I actually think the basic idea of Common Core is fine. Implementation is something that could have gone better.
- •"Homeschool kids must not be able to read, write, and do math well."Despite what parents of schooled and homeschooled parents think, neither group is superior to the other. There is a mix of academic levels everywhere. My daughter is a grade ahead in math, my son continues to struggle.
- •" You can't teach high school."Many do. There are lots of opportunities and resources for older kids. I'm currently doing a lot of research on this. Ultimately, my kids will choose.
- •"Is this so you can avoid people that are different from you?"No! One thing about our group is that it is so diverse. We had diversity in our district so it was great that we found this group. We have all religions, all styles of teaching, many POC, adoptees (which make my kids feel good), and abilities. Many of our friends are on the spectrum. It really has helped my kids to be very patient and accepting.
- •"But aren't there parents who don't want their kids 'mixing?'"Absolutely! I know one family that has been ostracized because her family is non-religious. There are exclusive Christian homeschool groups that exclude any one else for fear their kids may learn and question. We are fortunate NOT to be in those groups.
- •"Can your kids go to college?"Yes! Even though my daughter is 13, I'm already looking to see what universities will require for homeschoolers. Harvard, for example, has a list of guidelines. I am currently looking to see what state requirements are for graduation.
- •"What about state tests?"We don't have to take them. However, I want my kids to take some of the NY Regents and SATs for a transcript that can be used for college admission.
- •"How can someone who is not a teacher, teach?"There are many, many resources available to help parents. In my opinion, I think it is slightly easier if you are an educator but, you don't have to be to be successful. Like anything, there are good and not so good homeschool parents.
- •"Aren't homeschool kids badly behaved and not disciplined?"Like all kids, there are some homeschoolers that are great and others, not so much. Kids are kids. I've seen terrible behavior in both schooled and homeschooled students. No one group is "nicer."
- •"How will they ever learn to work in a group and learn from others?"This goes to socialization again. My kids are not locked in their room all day, everyday. We attend lots of activities all the time that are thought provoking and require lots of participation.
- •"Well, I could never homeschool."You don't have to. It's not for everyone. As our six year old friend said before she decided to go to first grade,"Homeschool is for some people but, not for me!"