In recent years, more and more parents have started homeschooling their children. Gifted students, special needs kids or any child can benefit from home education.

Homeschool happiness

Even with the number of homeschooling families rising dramatically, many stereotypes exist. Read on to learn the truth about these common homeschooling myths.

Homeschooled kids won't develop social skills

This is the most common myth about homeschool: Homeschooled children will miss out on the socialization of traditional school and grow up to be naive, sheltered and weird. Well, homeschooled kids don't spend their days locked in their house studying with a parent. They actually take advantage of many social opportunities most kids miss out on. Homeschooling families take advantage of cultural events, parks, museums, festivals and other opportunities. Additionally, most communities have homeschool co-ops, support groups and organizations where the kids interact with other children in their community. Maybe homeschooled kids don't have as much socialization in a noisy, crowded classroom with 25 kids of the same age, but they do have plenty of opportunities for real socialization with people of all ages. Homeschooled students can be very well-adjusted and even become social butterflies.

Read more about homeschooling and socialization >>

Homeschooled children can't get into college

Many homeschooled students take college-level classes before graduating high school. Although many colleges in the past did not accept homeschooled students, times are changing. Now, many top colleges and universities are recruiting homeschool graduates. Home-educated kids are earning degrees at rates similar to students educated in traditional school systems.

Read about the homeschooling debate >>

Homeschooling families are extremely religious

It's true some homeschooling families have made the choice for home education because of their religious beliefs. But that's not the case for all homeschoolers. Common reasons a family may decide to homeschool their children include dissatisfaction with public schools, ability to meet the strengths and weaknesses of each child, flexibility to teach what you want when you want and the ability to incorporate specific values and beliefs.

Homeschool graduates aren't prepared for the real world

Many people believe homeschooled children grow up with an unrealistic view of the world. Some say they don't have any street smarts and won't be able to handle the trials and tribulations of life when they get out in the "real world."

This couldn't be further from the truth.

Most children who are educated at home participate in sports teams, music lessons, volunteer work, cultural activities and other events outside the home all the time. They are often exposed to the "real world" more than kids who are trapped in a traditional classroom seven or more hours a day.

Read more about how to homeschool >>

Homeschooling parents aren't qualified to teach

Some homeschooling parents are very educated and others are not. Though it's probably best to have a working knowledge of most core subjects, the key to being a good home educator is to be resourceful. The amount of homeschooling resources available today is enormous. Parents have the opportunity to provide their kids with a curriculum that is more diverse and dynamic than they could ever experience in a traditional school. Kids have the chance to learn subjects in hands-on environments by visiting museums and historical sites, seeing animals in their natural habitats and traveling to experience different cultures. Most children learn more effectively by doing, seeing and experiencing things rather than just sitting in a classroom reading about it.

Homeschooled kids can grow up to become nurturing parents, productive citizens and community leaders. Homeschooling isn't easy, and it's certainly not for everyone, but many of the common misconceptions about homeschooling are far from the truth. If you are considering homeschooling your kids, do your research and find out for yourself if home education is right for your family.

More on homeschooling

Is homeschooling right for you and your child?
Homeschooling 101: How to get started homeschooling
Homeschool: Why are so many parents choosing it?

Tags: parenting myths

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