Myth: “Familiarity Breeds Contempt.”
My experience: What a bunch of malarkey! Time spent with each other is priceless, precious and quickly passes when your children finish homeschool. My sons and I, including my husband, have only drawn closer to each other through our intimate time together.
Oh sure, if a person indulges their children in selfish behavior, allows siblings to talk to each other in a derogatory way and gives more respect to other people outside their home than their own family, I wouldn’t want to live in a home like that either.
It is true that homeschooling is at times more about parenting than it is actual academics. Homeschooling too is more stressful than any homeschool parent will admit at times. But we need to, because it is okay to be stressed and not feel that you have it all together each day. I certainly have had plenty of days like that.
Day to day living in a large household can be trying to say the least, but you have stress even if you lived alone. At home is where family members should receive warmth, comfort and love. When we stop parenting and accept negative behavior from any family member as normal, our home ceases to be a peaceful haven.
I have never been dogmatic about my choice to homeschool because I do feel it is a personal choice for each family. It is one thing to not have the circumstances at the moment to homeschool, but it’s another thing to stand behind homeschooling myths as an excuse to return to public school.
Learning how to get along with others in the outside world begins at home and not public school.
Sending your children away only mitigates any gaping hole in their personality that should be addressed immediately by the parent instead of waiting until their preteen or teen years. By that time it’s almost too late because the separation for some children gives them a feeling of abandonment.
Thoughtless words or words full of grace is your choice alone to model at home.
In my home, we always have room to improve listening to each other, sharing and giving, but I wouldn’t trade a moment away from each other for the closeness developed throughout the years.
Myth: “My child takes instruction from somebody else better.”
My experience: Ouch! This one hurts because sometimes the message a parent is sending is not clear. For example, is a parent saying that their child can’t be instructed?
What I normally find is that as children grow they need to be validated by sources outside of their family. This is perfectly normal because children need to learn how to be accepted by others. It could also be that a child is clamoring because of not having enough friends. Yes, this can happen in the homeschool world. Some children thrive and learn with plenty of people around while others learn better within a small group.
Finding the root cause of why you feel that somebody else will instruct your child better is key to finding the solution. Try to discern the true needs of your child instead of just taking as truth what they are saying. Children are uncertain at times as to what they need and feel overwhelmed too.
Not taking this as a personal affront, hard as it is, helps to clearly identify a solution that will keep you homeschooling.
When a parent totally turns over the teaching reins to somebody else because a child has been hard to teach, I find it sometimes is a parenting issue instead of a homeschool issue. Also, children can resent parents because they may not appreciate your protection.
Problems that a parent thinks will be addressed when the child is away only diminishes at the moment to return later as a more serious problem.
Myth: “How do you know what they are learning unless you test them?”
My experience: Especially for new homeschoolers, this is the hardest question to give assurance for because it requires a leap of faith—well almost. Unlike the ’70s or ’80s when our world was less digitally connected, it was harder to find stories of homeschool success. Oh stories of success existed because homeschooling trails were blazed by pioneers, but there were not easily found.
Today, you will find many stories from homeschooling parents who do not test to find out what their children are learning.
Homeschooling has been compared to rigorous, successful, private tutoring and rightly so. This too has been my same experience.
The few seasoned veterans I knew at the time I began to homeschool passionately protested that day to day teaching my sons would expose me to concepts that my sons both struggled with and mastered. I am forever grateful they had more confidence in my ability to teach my children than I did.
Teaching is not easy and it is an acquired art. Important qualifications to teaching are not just conferred by a degree, but life experiences, preparation and time spent learning on the job.
Time spent intimately day after day with your children sets you apart as as a tutor who knows exactly what her children are learning. Correcting immediately anything that my sons didn’t understand and expanding to great lengths when I needed to, I didn’t have to test to know their grade, or if they were passing or failing. My failures were immediately apparent, but so were my successes.
Why reduce the breadth of a child’s knowledge to a thirty question multiple choice test when I know right then whether they are getting it or not?
I have mentioned before that tests are just tools. If a tool becomes dull, it can become dangerous to use. If it is sharp, it can be used for a good purpose.
Tests have their value in high school whether your teen is applying for colleges or for a job. Too, a test may have a practical value in preventing reading problems. Using tests as a diagnostic tool can be of more value than using it as a measuring tool of what our child actually knows.
Throughout the years and without any prompting from me, my sons took the end of the unit tests in our curriculum. They always enjoyed using them as a review and to increase memory retention.
Now that my oldest son is doing college level work, no doubts are lingering as to the lack of my testing him in the early years. I knew what he was learning each day because I knew that I was teaching him each day.
3 Homeschooling Myths Debunked
Taking time to debunk popular homeschooling myths helps to avoid mommy guilt. Confronting head-on homeschooling myths that I have both encountered and that I hear from homeschoolers that I’ve helped through my New Bee program also deepens my dedication to homeschooling. It gives me a chance to ponder, because I know there is always room for improvement in both my parenting and homeschooling skills.
Have you encountered some of these same homeschooling myths?
Hugs and love ya,
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