A mother who is employed told a friend that she really wanted to homeschool, but her husband wasn’t convinced that homeschool was best for their daughter “right now.” Tears pooled in the mother’s eyes as she expressed frustration with school officials who seemed unable to address special concerns of the daughter. Both parents admitted that local school circumstances were not satisfactory, but a solution was complicated by several issues. A little probing of family conversations regarding home school usually reveal several disagreements between parents:
- Just under the surface of disagreements is the husband’s concern with family finances. He may have become accustomed to the wife’s paycheck, and likes the level of lifestyle enabled by her employment. However, careful scrutiny of “twin-paychecks” reveals that by the time parents pay for child care, professional-level clothes, two-car upkeep, eating lunch daily at cafes, and school-related expenses stay-at-home moms who homeschool actually save money. If finances are a concern, parents are challenged to calculate actual expenses related to “working wives” verses those who homeschool their children.
- Another frequent issue is parental concern as to whether a mother can provide an adequate education — that she might not be qualified. Reality is that most children who homeschool for at least two years demonstrate higher academic competency than children of the same age group in public schools. In fact, many students who decide to homeschool are one to four years “behind” at the point when they leave public school. Moreover, curriculum providers have made homeschool easy and efficient through personalized print materials and digital formats that accommodate independent learning, enabling parents to provide more-than-adequate academics at home.
- Husbands are more likely to argue that children need socialization and athletic experiences. The assumption is that homeschoolers do not have such opportunities. The fact is, homeschool support groups provide ample opportunities for children to engage in group activities such as softball, soccer, archery, music, drama, science classes, Bible, and art classes. In fact, the most prominent misconception about homeschool is that such students are not equipped to engage in meaningful conversation and relationships with peers and adults. The opposite is usually true. Most homeschool children spend their days conversing with adults rather than peers. Consequently, homeschool students usually communicate with complete sentences rather than mono-syllable grunts and shrugging shoulders.
- Husbands often argue that homeschool children are too sheltered from society, therefore will not be able to cope with reality. That is a myth. Parents who decide to homeschool have discerned that typical public school atmosphere and curriculum tend to turn the hearts of children away from traditional family values and principles. Of the millions of families who have decided to homeschool, most do so because they are concerned about issues being forced on children through a predominately secularized government school system preoccupied with such topics as sexual identity, moral tolerance and acceptance, testing, and the assumption that government has the final authority over children.