7 Misconceptions About Homeschooling

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The homeschooling movement may be growing, but homeschooling misconceptions still abound. The more I talk to people about it, the more I see how prejudice and misconceptions have kept many from looking into homeschooling. Here are seven misconceptions about homeschooling I have encountered: Continue reading »

  1. Homeschooling turns children into social misfits. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. The homeschool graduates I met when I went to college in Virginia were more polite and respectful of their peers than those of us who had attended public school. They knew how to play games, came up with wonderful, clean party ideas, and could cook healthy crowd-pleasers for any occasion. A shy child will remain shy no matter where he goes to school. There’s no account for personality.

    Girl starts first grade

    My daughter on her first day of first grade

  2. Homeschooling turns children into prodigies. Homeschoolers who go to college by 12 may garner a lot of media attention, but they are hardly the norm. Most homeschooling families who are brave enough to stay the course through high school graduate average or above average learners who go to college or learn a trade. There’s nothing extraordinary about their academic achievements. They are not ready to be inducted into MENSA any time soon and they are not the bottom of the totem pole either. They are just average and, in some cases, above average.
  3. Homeschooled children who join the public school system at some point are behind their class level. Public school and private school teachers have complained to me that homeschooled children who have joined their classroom were woefully behind in academic skills. Apparently, the parents of these youngsters homeschooled them in kindergarten and first grade, maybe even second grade. By third or fourth grade, when the decimals and fractions show up in math, the desire to homeschool goes away and these parents enroll their children in the local public school. Sometimes the child cannot read or recall basic math facts. While this may be true in some cases, there are also homeschoolers who join the public school system and thrive. One of my friends whose daughter attends public school said that the questions this homeschooler asked in their class were so advanced, they could not even understand how he got there to even ask the question. It really depends on the child and the family. Some families will do their job and teach their children well, others – not so much.
  4. Homeschooled children cannot function in the real world as adults. The homeschooled children of the 80s are now adults with jobs and children of their own. I personally know helicopter pilots, nurses, teachers, CEOs, business owners, TV show anchors, lawyers, orchestra support staff, musicians, lab technicians, Navy personnel etc who were homeschooled. They are doing very well in the real world, holding down jobs and thriving in the market place. They make a difference in their community and enjoy a great social life.
  5. Homeschoolers are spoiled brats and their parents give them everything they want. A few years ago, this girl wanted to graduate with her class at the local high school in my county even though in her senior year she decided to be homeschooled. Of course, the administrators refused her request. The mom made a big deal out of it, but I have to agree with the administrators on this one. Once you are out of the system, you are out of it. The sad thing was that it got a lot of attention in the local newspaper and it created the image of homeschooling parents as “giving their children everything they want.” What I see in most homeschooling families is exactly the opposite. Homeschooled children have chores and learn a trade before they turn 13. They are raised to work with their hands and read long books. And they are never given “everything they want.” Only an irresponsible parent would do that.
  6. Homeschoolers come from super-conservative Christian families, the kind with 15 children and long skirts. There are so many secular homeschoolers out there and so many families with two children who homeschool, this misconception has to stop, once and for all. But it does not help if the TV-watching crowd only sees shows about conservative families who homeschool. I have personally met families with one, two or three children who homeschool. And they are not that conservative.
  7. Homeschooling is only for child actors or athletes. If your local school is the breeding ground for drugs, drinking, and deviant behavior, you owe it to your child to homeschool them. You don’t have to have a star athlete on your hands to decide to homeschool. If you feel called to dedicate your life to the education of your children, they don’t have to become Olympic champions (like Simone Biles, who was homeschooled in high school) or tennis super-stars like Serena Williams or her sister, Venus (who were homeschooled all the way). Homeschooling allows for the development of superior skills because of the time it frees in a child’s schedule, but not all homeschooled children have a six-figure contract with a sponsor.

I hope this list helps to clarify some aspects of the homeschooling world. What misconceptions about homeschooling have you encountered?

Thoughtful Thursday Week 11 – Dual Citizenship

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The title of this post could also be, “Why the United Nations, as an organization, is a bit of a joke” or, better yet, “How my children can study in European universities for free.” Trust me, the two are related.

In 2008, I was summoned to Memphis, TN for one of the many steps in the process of becoming an American citizen. The immigration officer who interviewed me and administered the citizenship test put me under oath and asked me to renounce my Romanian citizenship before accepting the American one. I suppose you can say that, for a few brief moments, before the magic of American citizenship was bestowed upon me, I was no land’s woman.

Dual Citizenship

Then, I assumed I was no longer a Romanian citizen. I assumed the US State Department or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services or somebody talked to the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC or the Romanian Ministry of External Affairs or somebody and communicated to them that oops, the Romanian side just lost a citizen who voluntarily came over to the American side. Wrong.  Continue reading »

On my recent trip to the Romanian Embassy in Washington DC, I was working on some paperwork for my dad’s estate. I was then informed that I was and I am still a Romanian citizen; that nobody from the American side talks to the Romanian side; that even though I voluntarily gave up my Romanian citizenship, the Romanian government never accepted my resignation from their ranks. They were never informed of it and even now, when they know about it, they refuse to acknowledge it. As far as they are concerned, my Romanian citizenship is intact.

So is it any wonder that the UN, as an organization, fails at so many projects? This is just one example of many where country A does not recognize what country B is doing as a procedure, which supposedly affects country A’s citizens.

And how is all this related to homeschooling? Well, one of the many reasons I wanted to homeschool was to produce National Merit Scholars – you know, the kind of kids that get such high SAT scores that they get a free college ride. My parents did not pay for my college degree. I put myself through college. I think I owe it to my children to help them become the kind of students that do not need their parents’ money for college. They can put themselves through college by being invited to study for free at this or that college.

I personally know homeschooling families who have achieved this and they insist they are normal human beings. As a normal human being myself, I suppose I can achieve that goal with my children, too.

It’s not just about money, of course. It’s about producing a well-trained mind, in a healthy body, with the right character. But money seems to be a huge obstacle for many who refuse to get into debt while acquiring a diploma.

Now, since I have Romanian citizenship, my children can also have Romanian citizenship. Romania is part of the European Union, so my children would be allowed to work or study in the European Union for the same fees as Europeans. The fees at European universities are a fraction of the fees at American universities. If money were an obstacle for us, or if we never achieved the National Merit Scholarship, for whatever reason, there’s always Europe. Free or low-cost education means $3,000 in tuition per year, in Leiden, Holland, for instance.

Obviously, we need to do more searching around about this topic and they will ultimately decide where they want to go to college. We have about 8-10 years before we begin to wonder which college our children would like to attend. But it’s nice to know we have international options. All the more reasons to keep teaching them three languages and getting them prepared for a multicultural life. All the more reasons to continue homeschooling, which allows me time to pour Romanian and French into them for now and a few other languages later on.

No Dress Rehearsal

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Hello there! Thanks for stopping by. I like you already.

This is my blog’s first post. Who am I? What is this blog about?

I am a teacher in a private school that is so exclusive, one must be born into it. You guessed it. I homeschool.

People homeschool for many reasons these days. I homeschool because life does not come with a dress rehearsal. This is it. My children are small only once. I love them and I like them and I want to spend time with them.

In the United States, where I live, school is seven hours a day, which means my children would spend more of their awake time with their teachers and classmates than with me. I’m not OK with that. More on that, in future blog posts.

I created this blog to record our official homeschooling journey from the beginning, as our oldest starts kindergarten this fall.

In this blog, I also plan to:

  • identify the problems a homeschooling mom may face and how to solve them
  • celebrate the joys and the a-ha moments
  • ask questions about homeschooling nuts and bolts and see about the answers
  • share what I find in my research and, maybe, help somebody in the process.

Expect two posts a week, on Monday and Friday (except for launch week, when I post daily in order to hit the cyber ground running). Occasionally though, as things happen and inspiration strikes, I will post on other days of the week as well. So be sure to subscribe via RSS feed or email or follow along through Facebook for fun updates, helpful tips and encouraging words.

Have you ever thought of homeschooling? Please leave me a comment below and…

Happy reading!