Five Common Misconceptions About Homeschooling

The belief that homeschooling is not a viable option for families is losing ground quickly. Homeschooling rates have increased significantly over the last couple of years. This seems to suggest a trend towards dissatisfaction with Public schools, at least for some parents. And unlike a few decades ago, there is data available that demonstrates how well homeschoolers perform. While there are still skeptics, there are a lot of people beginning to change their minds about the viability of homeschooling.

Yet, here we are in 2022, and a high percentage of Christians still don't homeschool their kids. There are likely a number of reasons that would explain why they don't. Some of those parents may be content sending their kids to Public school. There may be some who want to homeschool, but can't. It's possible that some don't want to homeschool their kids due to the negative perceptions that have been associated with homeschooling. While we all know that there is no perfect option for schooling, it seems that over the last few decades, homeschooling has received more criticism than it deserves. There are likely many misconceptions related to homeschooling, but for the purpose of this discussion, we've captured five.

Here are five common misconceptions about homeschooling...

  1. Parents aren't capable of being teachers

  2. It doesn't compare academically

  3. It makes kids socially awkward

  4. It shelters kids from the real world

  5. It's too difficult

Parents can teach and their kids can learn

We've been conditioned by society to believe that teaching is only possible with a credential. Yet, we know that there are parents without teaching credentials who teach their children from home. And we know that homeschoolers perform quite well. This is not intended as an insult to all the teachers who spent so much time and energy working on obtaining a teaching credential. But it's important to acknowledge that a credential should not be our greatest qualification for teaching. Yes, teaching requires a tremendous amount of commitment and dedicated work. But as followers of Christ, we shouldn't depend upon the state to determine the type of curriculum taught to our kids. Parents risk limiting a child's potential to thrive in their relationship with God, when they allow the state to determine the content of their education. So just how well do homeschooled kids perform, you ask?

  • Homeschoolers were seen to have an average standardized test score of 87th percentile as per the National Home Education Research Institute’s study.*

  • Homeschooled students graduated college at a rate of 66.7%*

  • Homeschoolers score 15%-30% more than students in public schools in the standardized academic achievement exams.*


This discussion isn't intended to spark a debate about who's better than who, but it does demonstrate that some of the criticism homeshooling parents and homeschoolers receive, is a bit uninformed, to say the least. Homeschooling does not require a teaching credential, but it does require faithfulness, discipline, tons of research, studying, and a general dependence upon God, in order for parents to succeed at teaching their kids. That being said, parents are absolutely capable of teaching their children. And homeschoolers are absolutely capable of competing academically with the very best. We ought to stop listening to the voice that tells us we can't do it on our own. We ought to rely upon God, and in many cases, other like-minded families, for guidance and direction in teaching our kids (2 Timothy 3:16).

Social withdrawal is not caused by homeschooling

Generally speaking, kids who are homeschooled are fully capable of social interaction. While over the last few decades, there have been many claims that homeschooling leads to a lack of socialization, this is a tremendously poor characterization of the vast majority of homeschoolers. There is an argument to be made that homeschoolers have more opportunity for socialization because they spend time with people of all ages, as opposed to only kids of the same (or similar) age. Of course, there are rare cases to the contrary, in which homeschooled kids are socially isolated. But this is not by any means the norm for most homeschooling families. Social awkwardness (or social withdrawal) is not indicative of homeschooling. Social withdrawal stems from misguided parenting, and/or other issues such as "shyness, behavioral inhibition, isolation and rejection, social reticence, passivity, and peer neglect". These issues can occur regardless of whether or not a child is homeschooled.

In most cases, homeschoolers aren't sheltered from the "real world". There are homeschool organizations, cooperatives, events, extra-curricular activities, and more. Many homeschool parents are followers of Christ, which means their kids are able to experience "real life" with the Church. This happens through regular Church services, Small Group meetings, Youth Groups, Kids Camps, and a whole lot more. Yes, homeschoolers can have a "real life" - whatever that means. By the way, we all shelter our kids... at least to some degree. There are certainly extremes to sheltering kids, on both sides of the coin. We must be aware of these extremes, but we are required to shelter our kids from being taught by anyone who teaches them outside of the Word of God (Isaiah 54:13).

Homeschooling is a viable option for families

There are valid reasons to pull your kids out of Public school. By homeschooling, Christian parents have more opportunity to teach their kids about the Word of God (Ephesians 6:4). Maybe homeschooling isn't for every family, but maybe it's for your family, even though that wasn't the case previously. Maybe the reason you haven't yet considered homeschooling is because it has been unfairly criticized and misunderstood for so many years. Maybe your concerned that it's not "normal" or it hasn't been around long enough. Yes, the modern homeschool movement didn't start until the 1970's. But people have schooled their kids from home for thousands of years. It's nothing new!

Homeschooling isn't easy, but it's not impossible. One of the greatest obstacles for parents to overcome is their own negative perceptions of homeschooling, including their perceived lack of knowledge and ability to teach their children. Perhaps this is also partially due to a belief that we need the state to co-parent with us in order for our kids to succeed. We seem to believe that success is defined by getting a degree and making a good living. And while those accomplishments aren't necessarily bad, our kids' success should be defined by more valuable attributes, such as their walk with the Lord, how they treat others, and the Biblical truths they learn to apply to their lives.

If you are considering homeschooling as an option for your family or know someone else who is, please review or share this Starting Strong guide from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

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