Before the pandemic, home education was rare. At the beginning of 2020, less than three million children all over the world were homeschooled. In 2021, after millions of families have involuntarily taken part in a massive distance learning experiment, homeschooling has become more of a trend.
Yet, there’s still a lot of prejudice toward this form of education. Many families were struggling during the pandemic and had it not been for student help services, things could have been worse still. Luckily, parents could always pay for essay on EssayWritingService.com and, thus, ease the burden put on them. But there were other issues. So, why is non-traditional education ‘in’ now?
To help you navigate the topic and make the best possible choice for your child, we’ve put together a list of some common myths and lesser-known facts about home education.
Myth #1: Homeschoolers Don’t Socialize
The greatest fear of all parents is that homeschooling will make their child a social outcast. Drawing from their own experience, many people still consider educational institutions to be the primary source of social contacts outside the family circle, and they don’t want to make their children lonely by taking them out of the traditional system.
What’s more, teaching social interaction is often considered one of the main functions of educational institutions. This myth is so widespread that sometimes, socializing becomes the only reason why parents who can afford to teach their kids remotely still send them to schools.
Fact: They Are As Sociable As Anyone Else
In reality, this argument doesn’t hold water. Outside the traditional system, there are ample opportunities for children and teenagers to maintain friendship and social contacts. To name a few, these are:
- keeping in touch with the neighbors’ children;
- enrolling in art/music/sports classes;
- joining a local sports team;
- singing in a choir or playing in a band, etc.
Besides, children who are taught remotely can still participate in extracurricular activities and take electives if they want to.
Myth #2: Students Don’t Like to Homeschool
Another common belief is that no child really wants to learn at home. Kids want to go to school and be among their peers, skeptics say, but lazy or weird parents make them stay away from it. The worst part is, children who learn at home are also regarded as ‘weird’ due to their parents’ choice.
There is even a whole website (let it stay unnamed) devoted to the ‘weird’ and ‘unsocialized’ homeschoolers and the reasons why parents shouldn’t do this to their kids. But are all children educated outside the system really held ‘hostages’ by their parents?
Fact: Many Students Love Distance Learning
The truth is many children – especially teenagers – love studying outside of the traditional educational system. Though ‘homeschooling ruined my life’ is one of the most popular topic-related Google queries, ‘homeschooling saved my life’ is no less frequent. So, eventually, it all comes down to personal experiences.
Myth #3: Parents Cannot Teach
The fears that the quality of education will suffer because parents are not qualified to teach are also very common. Indeed, if anyone could teach without a teaching degree, why would we need professional educators? Parents have neither credentials nor teaching experience and, therefore, cannot give their children a proper education, some say.
Fact: Educated Parents Can Teach Most Subjects (or Hire Tutors)
What people often forget is that hardly anyone attempts to teach their kids college-level curriculums. Mostly, we’re talking about primary and secondary school subjects, occasionally – high school. So, if parents have at least some degrees, it means they also know the curriculum quite well.
It also means that if such parents see they can’t explain a certain subject or concept, they understand the necessity of finding someone who can. Given the abundance of tutoring services nowadays, finding such a person is no rocket science.
Myth #4: Homeschoolers Perform Better Than Their Peers
Homeschoolers’ academic performance is a hot topic. On the one hand, there is sufficient evidence that children who were educated at home, perform a lot better than their traditionally educated peers. For example, Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., argues that the majority of studies (78%) indicate that students who were taught outside the system perform “significantly better”.
Fact: Many Homeschoolers Do Worse
On the other hand, experts point out that there is also evidence to contradict the optimistic statements. Anya Kamenetz, author and education expert, wrote in the Washington Post that “research on places where schools have been forcibly closed […] shows that the outcomes are dismal in terms of educational achievement and social-emotional development”.
There is also an article in the Harvard Magazine called “The Risks of Homeschooling” in which Elizabeth Bartholet, Wasserstein public interest professor of law and faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, warns against the dangers of improper, irresponsible homeschooling. And her arguments are quite sound. So, parents should assess their resources (time, money, education) scrupulously before taking their kids out of the system.
Home education is a controversial trend that has been on the rise for some time and received huge momentum last year by massive school closures. However, this form of education is still rare and is surrounded by many myths.
In this article, we’ve deconstructed some of the most popular common beliefs, but there are more. So, the best way to make a responsible decision is to try distance learning and see for yourself if it suits your family and your kid.