5 Myths about Working and HomeschoolingNov 14, 2020
If you are a working parent who has ever entertained the idea of homeschooling, there is a good chance that you quickly "came to your senses" and gave up on the idea - all because of a common myth.
But long before the wider world was plunged into considering how and where our kids learn, working parents were defying these myths and homeschooling successfully.
Have you ever caught yourself believing one of these statements?
Homeschooling is for wealthy stay-at-home moms
Many parents don't even consider homeschooling because they think it's one of those "privileges" for families who can afford to live on one income. When I was homeschooling my own kids while working full time in an office, I often received shocked looks from people who believed this myth and thought I was just an anomaly.
But the facts state otherwise. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), over 427,000 homeschooling families have two working parents and another 189,000 are single working parents. These figures are from the last survey published as of this writing, which was in 2016.
So let's talk about income. The most common income bracket for homeschoolers is $20,000-$50,000. We all know a few comfortable homeschoolers; however, many families who are homeschooling, whether they have one or two working parents, are living tightly and making sacrifices to do something that is important to their family.
You don't have to be a rich stay-at-home mom to homeschool. In fact, you can homeschool if you have a job, a tight budget, or both.
I need school because I need child care
The big "elephant in the room" myth is the belief that working parents have to send their kids to school for child care. However, as many parents found out in 2020, school is not child care and has no obligation to provide child care.
This doesn't make it easy to figure out. There are many struggling parents out there - especially single moms - who want to homeschool and just can't seem to figure it out. However, there are also many who have out of sheer desperation and determination. Some change jobs, change shifts, employ a homeschooler, or put together a support team of family and friends. Child care options are as varied as unique families, and many older students need limited supervision.
The bottom line is that it is a dangerous thing to be dependent on a government resource to take care of your children, as this means that they have the power to teach your kids things that you do not approve of - and there is nothing you can do about it. Many families who would otherwise warn of the dangers of government dependence and control completely miss this when it comes to the education of their own kids. (School taught us well to revere the school).
It can be painful to break free of this dependence. No one will argue with that. But sometimes the best and most important decisions in life are hard (especially when those decisions involve FREEDOM).
I don't have time to homeschool
Many parents think that homeschooling is going to add this big teaching block to their schedule. They think they have to replicate the time their kids are in school as teaching time.
But the truth is that I spent MUCH more time on homework after school with my kids than I ever spent homeschooling. Homework was a nightmare - my second job after a long day's work, and it was all dictated by someone else.
Homeschooling was family time. It wasn't all a joy, but it was certainly more enjoyable and fulfilling than homeschool.
School is stressful because it's inefficient and you have no control over any of it. You are not in charge of anything and that makes you feel powerless to make a real difference in your child's life.
Working parents need flexibility. Many jobs have limited flexibility. You do the math: if I add one inflexible system to another, does that equal more flexibility for my time or less? Let a homeschool mom help you out: you can't add two of the same variable and come up with a different variable in the answer.
Homeschooling increases efficiency and gives you more control over the process - which are both great benefits for working parents that help you save lots of time and sanity.
My kids and I argue too much over homework
Sometimes parents have a sincere concern that the homework arguments they face often are the picture of homeschool.
The fact is that you WILL have family relationship issues to deal with no matter what you do for school, and homeschooling gives you more authority and time to deal with those issues and work on your child's heart.
If there is a true problem with respect toward you, then let's be honest: sending your child away for more time with someone else will not solve it. You don't have to be powerless as a parent. You just need to be in a place of higher influence.
But this homework thing? Most homework arguments happen because the child is struggling, needs more time or different methods, and yet you have to get through that exact assignment and complete it THAT NIGHT because it is due for a grade the next day. (That is where the tension comes from).
That is just a ridiculous situation that you eliminate when you are in charge of the pacing and the methods of instruction.
Homeschooling puts you back in charge and allows you to be confident about your role as a parent.
I don't have the expertise to teach or know what to teach
This is one of the most concerning myths of all. The "expert culture" tells us that strangers with a degree in a specific subject are more equipped to teach children than their own parents.
This goes against thousands of years of culture and biblical practice that placed parents as the primary educators of their children. The idea that parents aren't qualified to teach is a NEW idea, born out of the Industrial Revolution.
Worse yet, this way of doing things has yet to prove that it can produce a better-prepared generation of adults than those who were taught by parents.
No one is better equipped to teach a child than the people who are raising him - the people who love him and understand him deeply. No one is a better expert on a child than his own parents.
When we send our kids to school, we rarely have to make decisions about what they will be taught. We've been trained to accept what is put in front of us in the form of homework assignments. Because of this, many parents feel great fear when they consider the fact that they might be in charge of homeschool content.
However, this can also be an exciting opportunity. Homeschooling parents GET to decide school content. They get to have a much higher say in what their children are learning and how worldviews are presented.
The truth is that homeschoolers have more than enough resources available for teaching help. The real problem? Narrowing it down. There are so many different methods and curriculum choices available that decision paralysis can often set in without a clear path for moving forward.
Homeschoolers have plenty of resources to help them teach with confidence.
Did any of these myths ruffle your feathers? These beliefs are often well-ingrained in our core - I certainly had to do a lot of work to get over them. But there is a blessing when you are able to sit back, take an object look, and let it sink in: you CAN homeschool!
Join our community of working and busy moms who homeschool or want to homeschool.