9 Biggest Myths About Homeschooling

A mother is building a solar system with her son

Many people came to realize in the last few years that online homeschooling can be a very positive and effective way to educate their children. Despite the fact that homeschooling is more popular now perhaps than ever in recent history, homeschool myths and misconceptions about homeschooling persist. Let’s replace nine of the most common myths about homeschooling with facts about homeschooling using online programs like Connections Academy so you can make the best decision for your child and your family. 

Myth 1: Homeschooled Children Don’t Socialize.

This is perhaps the most prevalent stereotype of homeschoolers. But Cecily L., whose child attends Arkansas Connections Academy, certainly busts this myth. “I didn’t realize there would be so many field trips and opportunities to meet and hang out with other kids!” she said. 

A recent look at multiple studies over the last 20 years found that children who learn at home are generally well adjusted and well-socialized. Further, homeschooled kids tend to have fewer behavioral problems than their conventionally-schooled counterparts. 

Socialization is about much more than just interacting with other children in the same age group. Instead of a child being stuck in a classroom with the same thirty students every day, a child who is homeschooled has the opportunity to connect with family, parents, neighbors, friends, and members of the community. Otherwise, socializing for virtual school learners isn’t much different from traditional school learners. 

Myth 2: Parents Aren’t Qualified to Teach.

Parents are actually the most important teachers in their child’s life, and they always have been. Parents teach their children to walk, talk, and eat, and are the first example that children look to when learning how to function in society. In many ways, parents are the most qualified people to lead in the education of their own children because trust and support have already been established. Not only that, but parents today have more resources than ever. 

Although not “traditional homeschooling,” comprehensive online school programs from Connections Academy® ensure children are taught from a professionally crafted curriculum by state-certified teachers. Our online school parents don’t go it alone, either—they have all the tools and resources amassed over many decades by a dedicated community of other parent “Learning Coaches.” 

Connections Academy parents also have easy access to certified educators and tutors to supplement the homeschool curriculum. “I’m surprised how involved the teachers are in each student’s performance,” Nicole S. said of her experience at Connections Academy’s Reach Cyber Charter School in Pennsylvania. “They have gone far past my expectations and changed my whole view on schooling!” 

A parent serving as a Learning Coach, helping to teach her online student.

Myth 3: Homeschooled Students Can’t Get into College.

In fact, online high school students go on to college and succeed at an equal or higher rate than the general population, according to IVY Scholars, a group of college admissions consultants.   Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests, the report says, and colleges actively recruit homeschooled students. 

These schools recognize the unique qualities and skills that homeschooled children often possess, such as being self-motivated and self-disciplined. 

In addition, many students who have earned their high school diploma from an online school and have been accepted by excellent college and universities tell us they learned how to be responsible for their own education and how to manage their time from their online school. These skills led to a smoother transition to college, a time when many students struggle with their newfound independence. 

Myth 4: Homeschooled Kids Can’t Function in the Real World

Homeschooled children spend every day of their education in the “real world.” One of the misconceptions about homeschooling is that kids sit at home online all day and never get to leave the house. In reality, students get more time outside and learn more about their surroundings when they’re learning from home. 

While other children are cooped up in a single room all day, home school children have the chance to get out and about, interacting with their community. Because they have a more flexible schedule, they also have more opportunities to volunteer at local shelters or nursing homes or to get involved in community activities. And that experience has a lasting impact.  

Myth 5: Very Few People Homeschool Their Kids.

The National Center for Education Statistics says that 2.8% of students ages 5 to 17 with a grade equivalent of k-12 (1,457,000 students) were homeschooled in 2019 (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic).  

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the fall of 2020, 11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling. It “represents an increase of 5.6 percentage points and a doubling of U.S. households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the prior year,” the report said.  

Myth 6: Homeschooled Kids Don’t Learn as Well.

Every child is different, and how each child understands and absorbs new information is unique. Learning at home provides a customizable way of teaching and learning for the child, which can help them learn faster than other public school children. It also means that your homeschooled child’s experience isn’t about what is best for all; it’s about what is best for your specific child. 

Amoe Charbonneau, whose son attends Lighthouse Connections Academy in Michigan, said he is taking full advantage of the academic opportunities offered by his online school program. “My son loves that he has the opportunity to take gifted and talented classes and also take classes above his grade level in certain subjects without the worry of having to go into an in-person classroom of older children,” she said. “He also likes the idea of dual enrollment once he reaches the high school level so that he can be working on his associate’s degree while still in high school. Of course, he also enjoys the benefits of being able to create his own schedule so that he can work when he feels most productive.” 

At-home learners working on their online classes together.

Myth 7: Extracurricular Activities Are Unavailable.

Homeschooling actually frees up more time for a child to be involved and active in the community. There’s no waiting for the whole class to settle down. Fewer distractions and no classroom disciplinary issues mean students can focus better and move ahead when they’re ready. Instead of having typical school hours holding them back, homeschooled children have extra time to play, relax, work on homework, learn new skills and hobbies, and participate in extracurricular activities later in the day with their friends. 

Jamie L., the mother of an Ohio Connections Academy student, agrees. “Even with an online school schedule, it left a lot of time for hobbies, extra classes like dance and yoga, as well as after school activities,” she said. “Online schooling is so much less stress.” 

Myth 8: Families Who Homeschool Their Kids Are All Alike.

A household that prefers to homeschool their child one way may approach things completely different from the family down the street who also homeschools. Just like any family, each home school family is unique. 

Homeschool families come in all shapes and sizes, including homes where both parents work, parents with a single child, parents with many children, homes where not all children are homeschooled, and homes from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. 

The reasons families may choose a homeschool education are different as well. The NEHRI says the most common reasons given for homeschooling are to: 

  • Customize or individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child 
  • Accomplish more academically than in traditional schools 
  • Enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings 
  • Provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults 
  • Provide a safer environment for children and youth 

Although their reasons for choosing to educate their children at home differ, these families share one thing in common: they want what is best for their kids. 

A traveling family makes online school work for them.

Myth 9: Homeschooling Services Are All the Same

Homeschooling services, including online public schools affiliated with Connections Academy, work with the parents to make sure they understand and can easily educate their child with the necessary support and encouragement. While one program may not be the best match for your family, there are many options available. If you do your research and pinpoint the best service for your needs, it’s possible to find the right homeschool program for your child. 

“I am very happy so far with Connections Academy,” Ada Galindo said of her child’s experience at California Connections Academy. “My daughter is thriving, and I love the flexibility. I can teach her at her own learning capabilities, and so far, it’s been phenomenal to see my daughter learn things she would have never leaned in a traditional public school.” 

It’s No Myth: Your Child Can Thrive in Online School

Have we convinced you? There’s more to know about moving your children to an online school program, of course, but maybe it’s something to consider for your family as the fall semester approaches. Find out more about Connections Academy by requesting a free online school eGuide and more information.

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