In Episode 3 of The Pajama Podcast, I bust some common homeschooling myths.  If someone you know is struggling with the decision of starting to homeschool, share this episode with them.  I hope it encourages and inspires!

Referenced in this episode is my post on 7 {Easy} Ways To Help Your Child to Read:  A Peek Inside an Ex-Teacher’s Toolbox.

Scroll down to view the transcript.


TRANSCRIPT: 

Welcome everyone, this is Katrina from Rule This Roost and THIS is The Pajama Podcast!

Hey everybody it’s Katrina from Rule This Roost, this is The Pajama Podcast, Episode 3 and I am so excited you’re joining me today!

If you didn’t catch the first 2 episodes of The Pajama Podcast, episode 1 was an introduction to Rule This Roost and a little bit about my background and episode 2 was about “Finding Your Inner Peace as a Mom”.

If you didn’t catch those, after you listen to this episode, go back, take a listen and let me know what you think.

And if you have any topics you would like for me to cover, shoot me an email at katrina@rulethisroost.com.  I would love to hear from you and get some input on what you are wanting to hear.  This is a show for you, a show for moms and if you want a book review, or an interview of somebody, just let me know.  Again, katrina@rulethisroost.com.

So, in today’s episode I’m going to be busting some homeschool myths.  If you know of someone who is trying to make a decision on homeschooling, please share this podcast episode with them.

I think we are going to clear up a lot of misinformation and will hopefully help someone make a sound decision for their family.

MYTH 1

I’m just going to jump on into the first myth about homeschooling.  It’s the most common myth of homeschooling, and everyone seems to express their deepest concerns about this.  And it is….SOCIALIZATION.

How will your kids make friends if they are homeschooled?

How will your kids learn to get along with others if they are homeschooled?

In my experience, these questions come from a place of genuine concern.  People are genuinely concerned about my kids and their socialization when I say that I am homeschooling.

So, my homeschool mom status has been short-lived.  But, I was a stay-at-home-mom before that, for several years and there are different social settings that you can have your children in.  You can send them to daycare or preschool, you can go to babynastics.  There’s a whole slew of things that you can do to have your children in social settings.  And then, as they get older, they might go to public school or private school.

So, those social settings have always been there for my family.  We have always been involved in some sort of something to get us out of the house and around other people.

When you’re a homeschool mom, or a stay-at-home-mom, you do have to go out and you have to connect with other families.  That’s just the way the world works.  But, I feel like there are going to be plenty of opportunities throughout our homeschooling experience (whether it’s our wildschooling group, that’s non-academic, it’s a nature-based group, or if we are gathering with casual friends, our kids are going to interacting with other children, as well as adults.

So, honestly the thought they aren’t going to be quote, unquote, socialized, hasn’t ever really crossed my mind.

I do have to say, however, that my number one priority is a strong foundation within our family unit, because I feel like that’s where a lot of confidence comes from and that our kids will be better for it if we can strengthen our family unit for them.

So, socialization is going to come on its own, with a little bit of encouragement.  And I want to add that not all kids (whether they are in an education institution or if they’re homeschooled) will be “socialized”.  I don’t think that the school setting can change if someone is an extrovert or an introvert.

For example, I know a family who homeschooled their two sons.  They’re adults now.  One son ended up, all along, being an introvert, and one, an extrovert.  Same educational setting, but completely different personalities.  They would have probably been the same had they been in public school the whole time.

There’s not a way that you can say “schooling changed a personality in a certain way.”

I can see that in my own kids.  My 5 year old is an introvert, she likes to sit back and take everything in, she’s very quiet.  Yet, my 3 year old, on the other hand, screams “I love you!” to strangers in the grocery store.  He is an extrovert.  He smiles, he says “hi”.  He’s outgoing.

I don’t think an educational setting is going to change what their personalities already are.

Personally, I am an introvert.  I went to public school.  I feel like my social skills, being around other people, were attained when I helped my parents with their business for the first 21 years of my life.

It was a customer service business.  I was around a lot of adults.  I learned how to socialize and how to talk and how to carry on conversations.  But I’m not saying that kids do not get social skills from education settings.

What I am saying is that homeschooled children can still develop their social skills without attending an actual educational institution.

It is just a myth that has been ongoing that homeschooled children are “weird and unsocialized” because they are homeschooled and they’re not around other kids.  When, in reality, they are still around other kids and they’re still getting those social skills that everybody is so concerned about.

MYTH 2

Okay, so next let’s chat about this myth that if you homeschool, you aren’t preparing your kids to face real world struggles.

This one really tugs at my heart strings because I don’t feel like we need to be hardening our kids to face the real world.  There will be plenty of time for this when kids are adults.

I think that childhood should be about laughter, and playing, and learning through play.  There shouldn’t be this idea or thought that we need to prepare them for this “evil and dark world.”

They will get there soon enough.  Whether they’re in public school, private school, homeschool, whatever their setting is for education, there will be struggles.

The myth that our children won’t survive in the real world because they don’t  experience struggles, is ridiculous to me.

Because what struggles are we talking about here?  Are we talking about bullying?  That happened the other day to my child (who is homeschooled), that happened to her on the playground at a park.

So, she wasn’t in public school but she is still facing those real world struggles that seem to be talked about a lot when people are discussing homeschooling.

You don’t have to be within the walls of an educational institute to experience bullying, or any other real world struggle.

Now, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about– that homeschooled kids don’t know how to work together.  That it’s a struggle you’re going to be facing in the real world all the time.  Especially as an adult.

I could not agree more completely with that statement, that when you’re in the real world, as an adult, you have to work with other people.  That is true.

But, homeschooled kids also have to work with their siblings, and sometimes in a co-op setting.

I feel like for the siblings, that can be really tough, because this is a person that’s living in your home, sometimes grating on your nerves all day long, and then  (for crying out loud), you have to find solutions together and work on projects together.  I feel like that takes a lot of patience and self-control because it is your sibling.

Homeschooling comes with a lot of struggles that we have to help our kids cope with.  No one is ever sheltered from those real world struggles.

Homeschooled kids don’t get a free pass from the real world struggles, because they’re still out in the real world.  They’re still around other kids and other adults.  They’re still going to experience some ugly things, even though as kids, they shouldn’t, it still happens.  We can’t protect them from that.

MYTH 3

Another myth that I want to bust today is that you don’t know enough to teach your child.  I think this is so far from the truth.

Not only do I think that, but there was a research piece that came out in 2009 from The Homeschool Legal Defense Association and there is a graphic in this report that specifically shows that kids whose parents did have a teacher certification and kids whose parents did not have a teacher certification actually performed at an equal level when it came to academics.

So that was really interesting to me, because while I always knew that it didn’t matter, if I have a teacher certification or not, it was shown to me in black and white.

So, you don’t have to have a degree.  You don’t have to have a teacher certification to teach your child and teach them well.

Who better to teach a child, than their own parents?  Because everyone comes to the table with their own expertise and their own knowledge and their own passions.  And a child’s education can be so rich with their parents teaching them.

I am an ex-teacher.  I was also an instructional coach.  I have a teaching certificate, a principal certificate and I have  Master’s degree.

My husband did go to college, but he did nothing with education.  He does sub-contract work for a large company.  He is teaching our kids about rocks.  He’s teaching them about arrowheads,  and quartz, and putting muratic acid on them to make them shiny.  He and the kids are doing all sorts of little science experiments, just because this is something that my husband is passionate about.

I was the teacher, and I’m not doing the intertwining of these historical lessons on Native Americans and arrowheads.  He is.  He is leading them with his passion and he is bringing that to our homeschool.  He’s not an expert, but he sparked that interest in them and they are going for it.  They’re learning and they’re loving to learn.  They’re enjoying it.

And that’s really the ultimate goal, is that we are teaching our kids to be life-long learners.

Your kids are going to see through you if you pretend to know everything.  Nobody knows everything and your kids know that.

And I was in education long enough to know that not all teachers are experts.  I think back to teaching 3rd grade math and I’m thinking if I could go back and apologize to those kids, I so would.  Math was not my forte.

So, don’t think for a minute that if you send your child to an educational institute. that the teacher knows everything.

Learn along side your child and instill a love of learning in your child.

It’s not the memorizing curriculum that’s important, it’s teaching your kids to learn and ensuring that they LOVE to learn.

 

MYTH 4

The last myth I want to bust about homeschooling is that you have to spend an arm and a leg on curriculum in order to be an effective homeschool.

There may be a point in time when you want to buy curriculum you have your eye on.  Maybe you’ve researched it and you’ve read reviews and all of that good stuff.

That’s fine, but there are enough free resources out there that you don’t have to spend a ton of money on curriculum.

Especially if you are just starting homeschooling with a 5, 6, 7 year old–that is a play-based learning.  Most of childhood is that way.  But really at that age, you don’t need to be piling heaps and heaps of curriculum on your homeschool table because number one, it gets expensive and number two, it’s boring for kids if they’re not engaged in that.

I lean more toward the unschooling side of things, where we learn more organically.  That might include picking out books from the library that interest us, we’re doing experiments and incorporating all of the subjects into those experiments.  Just a child-led, interest-based learning situation.

In the article that I was reading from 2009, again, from the Homeschool Legal Defense Assocation, the median amount that was spent for a year on homeschooling was between $400-$599 for that year.  That was everything.  That was books, subscriptions, that was everything need for homeschooling.  Supplies, the whole deal.

When parents spent $600 and beyond, there was a very negligible difference.  So the difference in spending a little bit of money, and spending a lot of money made no difference in the academic performance of the students in this research.

So, the money side of things doesn’t need to be a concern.  Yes, the person who is homeschooling the children, predominantly, either needs to be working from home, or a stay at home parent, so of course that’s a different money issue.  But as far as providing resources and materials, that does not need to be a concern.

Again, there are free resources and the amount of money you are spending does not have a correlation with how much your kids are going to be learning.

I don’t plan out my homeschool a year in advnace, my kids lead the way.  Of course, they are 5 and 3 so we will have some things changing over the course of time, but we will continue to lean toward unschooling.

It’s easier to let your children lead the way and not be buying heaps of expensive books.  That way the kids are engaged, you’re not ticked off because they don’t care about this $50 workbook you just bought, so everybody is happy.

Don’t fall into the rabbit hole of expensive curriculum.

Right now we are using Handwriting Without Tears for my 5 year old, she is reading Bob Books and doing sight words and sight words are free.

On my blog post, that I’ll reference (7 Ways to Help Your Child Learn How to Read), I have some resources that are free or inexpensive.

So, there is a lot out there that you can use without having to spend all of that college fund that you’ve saved up.

Please don’t spend your life savings!  Don’t make a mortgage payment toward curriculum.

If you want to buy something, give yourself a budget, decide on X amount of dollars for the year and then the rest is up to you to create for your kids or for your kids to create.

 

CONCLUSION

I hope this episode has cleared up some of that misinformation.  I really wanted to bust some of those myths that we have heard commonly about homeschooling.

Again, if you think that this would help somebody who is trying to make a decision on homeschooling, please share this podcast.

If you have any questions, if you’re sitting on the fence, with your decision of homeschooling, you can shoot me an email at katrina@rulethisroost.com and I would love to chat with you.

Or maybe you’re homeschooling and you needed that reassurance.  Whatever it is, I hope this has been helpful and encouraging.

Moms, as I always like to say it is now time for you to……GO RULE IT!