Welcome back to “Debunking Those Pesky Homeschool Myths.” If you missed the previous post, you can view it by clicking on the Homeschool Myths page for a full listing.
On a typical school day in the United States, 75 million children will spend a majority of their day exclusively in the company of their age-mates. However, nearly 3.2 million children will have a far different structure to their day. For these homeschooled children, their homes and families are the center of their life and learning.
Who are these homeschoolers and why do they homeschool? Are they religious zealots? Are their children anti-social or under-educated? Myths and misunderstanding about homeschooling still abound.
Myth #3: Homeschooled Children Won’t Be Able to Attend College or Hold Down a Job
The fear that homeschooled children will not only be antisocial but also unable to attend college or hold down “a real job” is a real concern for many people interested in homeschooling. But from my interactions with homeschoolers, during social encounters or in interviews, I have found that concern to be inaccurate and unfounded.
Not only is a homeschooled child statistically more likely to enroll in college than a child who has attended school, but they are also excellent entrepreneurs and disciplined, hard workers.
Many Homeschoolers Begin Taking College Classes in Their Teens
Homeschooled teens often begin taking college classes to augment what they are learning at home. I often hear of homeschool teens taking math classes. Let’s face it, unless one of their parents is a former math teacher or total math geek, by the time the kids hit their teens, math can be challenging for parents and teens alike.
The other college class of choice for the homeschool teens first attending college seems to be something in the arts – dance, art, music.
These classes often begin long before public school teens have even truly contemplated college. While high school students are still mucking their way through the basic high school requirements and stopping and starting each study every hour with a bell, homeschool students are easing into college life, while accumulating college credits far ahead of their peers.
Colleges are Showing Strong Preferences for Homeschoolers
In many cases, colleges have shown a preference for homeschoolers due to their natural enthusiasm and drive to learn. In Carl Bunday’s report “Colleges That Admit Homeschoolers” there is an in-depth list of schools who have admitted homeschoolers. These ‘homeschool-friendly’ colleges include Stanford and Ivy-league institutions such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
According to Dr. Ray’s 2003 study, “Over 74% of home-educated adult’s ages 18–24 have taken college-level courses, compared to 46% of the general United States population.” This statistic suggests that homeschooling can improve a child’s chances of attending college!
When posed the question, “On the whole, how satisfied are you with the work you do?” Dr. Ray’s study reported that over 61% of homeschool respondents indicated that they were “very satisfied” compared to a national average of less than 38% of the general United States population.
Many colleges ask homeschool parents to provide a transcript of some kind with grades assigned. How do you determine grades without testing? Simple, “I just wrote down that he had gotten all A’s,” remarked one mom. Placement testing will also identify any gaping holes in knowledge for the basics.
Homeschool Children Often Become Entrepreneurs
This is due in no small part to the fact that earlier on, homeschool children are seeking their own income, long before work permits can be issued. It appears to be a natural progression to homeschool, as parents prepare their children for the adult world, and earning their own money is a large part of that.
From lemonade stands to farmer’s markets, children are finding ingenious ways to earn income. A recent homeschooler interview I conducted yielded an artistic flair. Dakota showed me her homemade jewelry, necklaces and bangles, using dominoes as a base for the designs…beautiful!
Another homeschool interview I conducted was with Aliyah F. She cares for fifteen chickens, buys the feed, cleans the chicken coop, and sells the extra eggs for $3 a dozen on Craig’s List and at farmer’s markets.
Through ingenuity, creativity, and hard work, homeschoolers (some who haven’t even hit their teens) are finding ways to create income for themselves.
Homeschool Promotes Good Study Habits and a Strong Work Ethic
Without bells sounding every hour on the hour, or countless other students to disrupt concentration and learning, homeschool children are allowed to focus for longer periods of time on what interests them. When that interest turns to studying for a test in college or working at a job, it is honed to a sharp intent.
Whereas children in schools are required to study a certain subject at a certain time, a homeschooler will choose their subject of study. Where a school child is in effect forced to learn a subject or do a task, a homeschool child often has choice – this allows children the opportunity to feel in control of their lives and futures. That feeling of control, of self-determination, transforms into conscious choice and empowerment, infusing the child with an internal, not externally induced, drive to learn and grow and become.
Stay tuned for next week’s Homeschool Myth #4 – Parents Aren’t Qualified to Teach Their Children