Dispelling Homeschool Myths

Like many homeschoolers my days can become monotonous. Our family likes to break the routine with an impromptu fieldtrip or just a change of scenery. However, sometimes on our adventures we run into people that just don’t understand why we are homeschooling. Just last week I encountered a woman at the dentist office with a barrage of questions based on her stereotypical views of a proper education. I recognize that this is what currently works for us and many of you. I ran across this great infographic about homeschooling today. It shares tons of statistics about homeschooling and it’s benefits. Be encouraged and enjoy!

Homeschooling
Source: BestMastersinEducation.com

Homeschool Statistics

Home education has constantly grown over the last two decades. The growth rate is 7% to 15% per year, according to Dr. Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling).

Despite what you might read in the media, home education is growing rapidly in the United States and is becoming more and more popular in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Why? There are many reasons why homeschooling is on the rise.
Homeschool statistics reveal the following as the most popular reasons parents decide to homeschool their children:

  • Can give child better education at home
  • Religious reason
  • Poor learning environment at school
  • Family reasons
  • To develop character/morality
  • Object to what school teaches
  • School does not challenge child
  • Other problems with available schools
  • Child has special needs/disability
  • Transportation/convenience
  • Child not old enough to enter school
  • Parent’s career
  • Could not get into desired school
  • Other reasons


 

There are as many different styles of homeschooling as there are reasons to homeschool. Some of the more popular are:

  • Classical Education, including the Trivium
  • Montessori Method
  • Unschooling
  • Radical Unscholing
  • Waldorf Education
  • Charlotte Mason
  • A Thomas Jefferson Education
  • Theory of Multiple Intelligences
  • School at Home
  • Accidental Homeschoolers
  • Eclectic Homeschoolers

Which style do you currently subscribe to, or are still in the “hunting” phase? It is not uncommon for parents to spend a few years trying on different styles of schooling and different resources before they zero in on the ones that work for them. I say “ones” because many times homeschoolers use multiple resources even if they subscribe to one particular style of homeschooling. In my personal experience we tried many different types of home education until we finally landed on what I call semi-eclectic unschoolers. I say semi because we are not totally unschoolers (definitely not radical unschoolers), and we are not totally traditional school at home folks either.  Many subscribe to a healthy, eclectic blend of student led and parent required. It is important to test drive theories, styles, and resources before settling on a style.

But what about socialization?   This question comes up far too often as far as homeschoolers are concerned.   How many times have you had non-homeschooling families ask you about your children being isolated?   Data on homeschool students’ activities and community involvement reveal that, on average, homeschool children are engaged in 5.2 activities outside the home, with 98% involved in two or more.  Still concerned?

HSLDA published an excellent article on Academic Statistics on Homeschooling.  A-Z Homes Cool also has a very current article about homeschool statistics.

Ideas for Streamlining Your Lesson Planning

You have chosen your curriculum and you are all ready to dig in.  Right?  Nope!  All of that great curriculum is useless if you do not have clear and concise plans for how and when you will use it.  Organizing all of the resources and materials that create a value added experience for both you and your child or children is like putting a puzzle together.  It can be frustrating when your time or space are limited.  This can be a challenge for any educator.  Often, homeschool parents have far fewer resources with which to plan.  But, never fear!  Here are a few online resources to assist you with streamlining the planning process.

PlanbookEdu.com offers free lesson plan resources as well as a premium service that allows uploads, Common Core Standards, and much more.  As far as value goes, this one was not my absolute favorite, although the interface was nice.

LearnBoost.com is one of my top three online lesson planning tools.  It not only allows you to plan your lessons in “the cloud”, it is also an online gradebook too.  Need to generate some reports or look for trends?  It has all of that too!  Best of all, it is completely free!

ClassConnect.com is all the rave among tech savvy educators.  The interface is easy to navigate and it allows you to link to your Pinterest, Sparkpeople and other accounts too.  All accounts begin with 1GB of free storage and there are a couple of ways to get ore without spending a dime.  You can share your lesson plans with others as well as get some wonderful, complete, lesson plans from other educators.  ClassConnect is my personal favorite :)

These are just a few suggestions, and new apps, websites, and other resources are popping up everyday.  Stay tuned!