1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Homeschool Myths Debunked

The Facts to Counter the Fiction


Homeschooling attracts a lot of critics as well as fans. Their complaints include claims that homeschoolers is selfish and elitist -- but the facts don't back them up. Here are other common myths about homeschooling, and why you shouldn't believe them.

Homeschooling parents are not qualified to teach their children.

School girl
Tetra Images/Rob Lewine/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

An education degree isn't the only path to becoming an educator -- or even the best way to train a teacher. Homeschoolers who are themselves former classroom teachers can testify that the things they learned in college rarely apply when teaching their own children at home.

At the same time, thanks to the internet and access to public and university libraries, homeschoolers have access to all the latest research in education, just as professional educators do. And because they haven't become set in their ways after long decades, they are often more receptive to new ideas and information.

Homeschool parents want complete control over their children's lives.

The term "helicopter parent" was not invented to describe homeschoolers. Parenting styles among homeschoolers vary widely, just as they do among the rest of the population.

Parents who take controlling their children's lives to an extreme, however, are not homeschooling, even if they claim to be educating their children at home. They are abusive parents, and they are rare -- just as they are in the rest of the population.

Homeschooling doesn't provide children with a good education.

The fact that studies find homeschoolers do well in college would seem to dispel this fear. Researchers also report that homeschooled students do better on standardized tests than the general population.

Some critics also claim that homeschooling families limit what their children learn because of their political or religious beliefs. But politics and religion affect what public school students learn as well. For instance, some public school districts do not teach students about evolution because of the political and religious beliefs of the community or elected officials.

Homeschooling is un-American.

The public school system in America is a relatively recent development. Up until 1918, there were still places in the United States where children were not required to receive schooling of any kind. The first public high school in America didn't open its doors until 1820. For much of American history, it was very common for children to receive some or all of their education at home.

It's true that many homeschooling parents hold strong political views. So do many non-homeschoolers. But knowing that someone homeschools by itself tells you nothing about their political leanings. One thing is certain: homeschoolers are as American as any other families in the United States.

Homeschooling is a threat to public schooling.

The fact is, the vast majority of people in the United States are always going to prefer making use of public or private schools to educate their children. So the idea that homeschooling will undermine the public school system in this country is unfounded.

Keep in mind that there are many homeschooling families who send some or all of their children to traditional schools for all or part of their education. It's not an either/or situation. Homeschooling is, and should be, just one of many options open to families as they seek out the best way to educate their children.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.