Homeschool Stereotypes

10 Aug

Here’s an amusing tongue-in-cheek video by Tim Hawkins!

The Homeschool Family

It is surprising the stereotypes that exist about homeschoolers:

  • the girls always wear denim jumpers, have long hair, and don’t wear make-up
  • they are socially backward
  • they raise some kind of livestock or poultry or both
  • they are uber-religious
  • they have a minimum of eight children
  • they eat only organic food, make their own clothes, and entertain themselves by having family sing-alongs around the piano
  • either spend their school days reading books published before 1900 OR playing “educational” video games

Some of these stereotypes are grounded in the truth and there is nothing wrong if any of these fit.  In my homeschooling experience, I have met all kinds from atheists to conservative Christians; from those who set up a school room with traditional school desks and a blackboard to those who let their kids lay on the couch or floor or wherever to do school; from those who actually do wear long denim skirts and have never cut their hair to tattoo-toting, short skirt-wearing, chain-smoking women who have a heart to teach their own kids; from those who have their children do their school work completely via computer or out of a box  to those who follow “unschooling” principles and trust in their child’s natural curiosity to teach them what they need to know.

According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the number of homeschooled kids hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from 1999, and up 36% since 2003.   (http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-01-04-homeschooling_N.htm)  Certainly the number is approaching 2 million, if not more, as the number of homeschooling families has continued to increase.  With that many kids involved in homeschooling, it is ludicrous to think that they would all fit some mold.

What’s your favorite stereotype and how do you respond to them?

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5 Responses to “Homeschool Stereotypes”

  1. chris August 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM #

    The comment I’ve heard most often of course is the classic: “But what about getting your kids socialization?!!” To which the best reply I’ve heard comes from Rod Dreher author of Crunchy Cons: “What part of todays youth culture do you really want your kid socialized into?”

    • sevenmillerz August 10, 2010 at 3:51 PM #

      Yes, we have had people ask that question of us…it must be a required thing on the part of non-homeschoolers. lol. As far as Rod Dreher’s observation, that’s exactly what I think, too! My kids have plenty of opportunity to “socialize” with other kids, but the cool thing is, we know most of the kids or at least know their families. Of course, socialization isn’t just a social life, but also developing social skills that will enable kids to interact appropriately in different situations. I think that as parents, that’s one of our main responsibilities in raising our kids.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori Now August 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM #

    Wonderful post! LOL! I absolutely love that video! I think the biggest misconception people have is that homeschoolers can’t be socialized. Of course, people didn’t really wonder about that with my kids since it seemed we were rarely at home! In addition to all homeschooling’s other benefits, for people who have kids with crazy busy schedules outside the home, the time efficiency of homeschool learning is a great way to have the time to get everything done!

    • sevenmillerz August 10, 2010 at 3:58 PM #

      I also think that one of the benefits of homeschooling, especially if you are connected with other homeschoolers in your community, is it allows kids to socialize with kids of other ages rather than just 30 (or 300) kids their same age. My kids are around kids ages 2-17 on a fairly regular basis and interact well with all of them. Plus, they know how to interact with many adults and not just in a student-teacher relationship. For us, as for so many homeschoolers, socialization is not an issue.
      Thanks for your kind words, glad you could stop by!

  3. Kimarie August 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM #

    Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I LOVE the bold look of your site here – fits with the name.

    I don’t have a favorite stereotype, per se, but we fall into several of those categories listed above. 🙂 Depending on our season of life, we’ll be hyper-scheduled and plug away at things, rarely varying our routine. Then next thing you know we will sit and read-aloud for 3 hours, barely get basic chores done, and draw all day. I tend to really enjoy any homeschool family who is passionate about homeschooling, knows why they are doing it, and continues to pursue it, no matter what. I enjoy learning new tips and ideas.

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