Despite the fact that over two million families in the United States currently homeschool, the mention of the word “homeschool” brings a multitude of stereotypes and misconceptions to mind. Just like anything in life, homeschooling children to academic excellence takes work, consistency, ability to pivot, change and grow.
For children with special needs, homeschooling can truly be a blessing. Special education resources and services haven’t kept up with the increased demand. Being homeschooled often provides a child with special needs the one-on-one attention they deserve to reach optimum success. It’s time to dispel some of those misconceptions once and for all.
4 Common Homeschooling Myths;
Myth 1- Homeschooled Children Are Weird;
They are weird. But, stop by your local public/private school and you’ll soon see that it’s not just homeschoolers that are weird. Kids, in general, are weird. School (for most people) is 12-16 years of your life. If you can’t be weird, unique and have some fun, during those years, then when is there going to be a better opportunity? In reality, homeschooled kids are free from having to conform with the current trends.
Having an ample amount of one-on-one instruction with you can truly revolutionize your child with special needs life. Having that much personalized instruction is nearly impossible to find anywhere else. The world of special education has rapidly become overpopulated, underfunded and understaffed. Not the case at home.
Myth 2- People Homeschool To Avoid Diversity;
Many homeschoolers opt out of the school system to avoid a “forced” diversity. At home, you are free to teach your kids whatever you like and you are free to have them engage with whoever you like. While there are exceptions, most homeschoolers are engaged in their communities socially, politically and academically. These homeschoolers have their children interacting with people of all ages, races, orientations, incomes and cultures – without a big fuss. Homeschooling gives you a chance to get your kids involved in the real world far ahead of their peers.
Myth 3- Homeschooled Children Are Not Properly Socialized;
While this myth may actually be true for some homeschooled children, the majority are on track with or even ahead of their peers. Whether or not a child is socialized has a ton to do with activities outside of the home. There are several community options available such as; homeschool groups, church and outside activities. Often, due to increased participation in these types of activities, children who are homeschooled are more exposed to people of all ages. When enrolled in a traditional classroom, your child mainly interacts only with children who have a birthday within the same year as theirs. A tremendous benefit of homeschooling is turning out young adults who are comfortable having conversations with people of any age.
Myth 4- You’re Not Smart Enough To Homeschool Your Children;
If you’re thinking about homeschooling, you’re smart enough to homeschool! You may have to do some studying and relearn a few things (quick, what’s a reflexive pronoun?), but if you’re able to manage your household, you’re able to homeschool. The internet has made learning – for you and your children – easier than ever. If you have the desire and are willing to put in the time, you can give your kids a great education at home.
Special education services and resources are plentiful in an online world. Often viewed as confusing, overwhelming and ever growing, you CAN learn what you need to know to effectively teach your child with special needs. Again, one-on-one instruction is often the BEST method of education for children enrolled in special education. Lastly, keep in mind that you’re not alone, special education resources such as therapy, specially designed curriculum and special education tutoring exists to assist you in ensuring your child reaches academic excellence!
Don’t fall prey to the myths. Find some homeschoolers in your area. Be brave, introduce yourself. They have been where you are and will be happy for you to shadow them for a day or two. You don’t have to love their approach. Everyone has a different way of doing things and every child is different. But, do watch their kids and your kids. You might be surprised.