Let’s be honest, it’s a difficult time for a lot of people right now – there’s a lot of fear and a lot of uncertainty.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, and no end to these stay-at-home orders and school closures in sight, it make sense that a lot of families are starting to think about other options for their children’s education.
While most of us have been conditioned to believe a school/classroom environment is the best space for educating our kids, that’s not necessarily true for all children.
In fact, these school closures have highlighted how fragile our social ecosystem really is … and how little control we have over what happens to our kids in these public settings.
This has become especially evident during these COVID-19 school closures, as millions of parents across the country are essentially homeschooling their kids now – a task that seems daunting for many families.
Of course, there are pros and cons of each type of learning environment. And Yes, taking charge of your child’s education requires some forward planning (and a lot of patience), but contrary to popular belief, homeschooling can be a healthier learning environment for many kids.
We’ve all heard the stereotypes about homeschoolers and parents who choose to homeschool their children, however, it’s important to remember that these generalizations hold little truth.
Since we’re not sure how long these school closures will last, or if these stay-at-home orders will become our new normal (especially if we get a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall), we’ve gone ahead to break down some of the biggest misconceptions about homeschooled children.
1. A classroom is the best environment for learning: Contrary to popular belief, homeschoolers do not play all day. In fact, most homeschoolers follow a very strict daily schedule. The main difference between a homeschool environment versus a typical classroom setting is not the amount of schoolwork required, it’s the time the student has to complete the work. In a homeschool environment, your child can work at his or her own pace. This is a great setting for kids to learn, especially if they have a hard time focusing or get distracted easily. When it comes to homeschooling your child, do what’s bets for your kid. If they’re a strong learner, they’ll do better independently. If they’re a weaker learner, look for ways to get them extra one-on-one attention. At Jill’s Tutors, we offer individualized online and remote tutoring for all academic levels, in all subjects. Click here to learn more.
2. You must follow grade-level standards: Something that is well-known in the education community, but seldomly discussed, is that children develop at different paces. Unfortunately, this belief isn’t conducive to a classroom environment where students must be on the same page to learn in a group setting. In the homeschooling community, many parents throw out typical grade-level standards which pressure children to perform tasks that they’re just not ready to do, like reading. Although kids are expected to start reading around five or six, many children aren’t actually ready to read until they are years older, some around 10 or 11 in age. If a child is one of the few students who can’t read or struggles to read in their classroom, it’s easy for them to become disheartened and to give up on reading all together. While children who were not pressured to read early on in a homeschool environment became avid readers on their own, no matter if they started reading early or late. In addition to creating an academic plan that’s right for your child’s capabilities and needs, now is a great time to develop passion projects. Make time in the day where your kids can pursue their own interests – whether it’s cooking, drawing, or singing -- make space in the day for activities that they’re truly interested in.
3. Your child will grow up to be a social outcast: This might be one of the biggest misconceptions you’ll hear about homeschooled children – they’ll grow up to become social outcasts. Let’s say you come out of this pandemic really liking the homeschool environment … but you’re worried their lack of socialization with other children will have negative effects on their relationships with kids their age -- there’s really no need to worry! While children who are homeschooled may not be surrounded by other children all day long, they’re still getting out of the house and interacting with family, neighbors, friends, and their community. And because they get to work on their own schedule, they usually have more time to participate in extracurricular activities. In fact, a study conducted by the Discovery Institute found that children who were homeschooled were not only well adjusted, they had fewer behavioral problems than their public and private schooled peers.
4. Only wealthy families can afford to homeschool their children: Families who choose to homeschool their children come from all tax brackets. In most cases, the family’s income has little effect on the homeschoolers performance while, on the other hand, income has been proven to affect children in the public school system. Luckily, there are so many free homeschooling resources and curriculums available online for parents. With one quick Google search, you’ll find thousands of downloadable PDFs and lesson plans available for homeschoolers of all grade levels; pick a few that work for you and work a plan from there. Prioritize your child’s greatest needs, so you don’t get too bogged down while working from home. Do they struggle with math? Concentrate on that. Do they need a little extra help? Check out different educational websites or invest in an online tutor.
5. Homeschoolers won’t get into a good college: You don’t need a traditional education to get into a good college. Most of the country’s top colleges and universities (like UC Berkley, Yale and Dartmouth, to name a few) accept homeschooled students in very high numbers. In fact, some colleges even seek them out!
While there are a lot of misconceptions about homeschoolers and parents who opt to homeschool their children, homeschooling is an excellent alternative to traditional schooling, and those who choose to homeschool their children shouldn’t be stigmatized for it.
Some of the benefits of homeschooling include …
· Efficient and effective learning.
· A stronger focus on life skills.
· A greater desire for achievement and passion.
· The parent’s ability to choose the pace and approach.
· An environment that fosters more meaningful learning.
· The accommodation and flexibility for families and children in special situations.
· Benefits to a child’s mental health.
No matter what environment you think is best for your child, it’s important that they have the tools and resources to thrive.
If you’re looking for a little help with your homeschooling curriculum or you are looking to get your child some one-on-one educational attention, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 512-598-5135, visit jillstutors.com or email us at email@example.com.