6 Homeschooling Myths, Busted!

Homeschooling is becoming a popular choice among parents nowadays. One reason is safety, as kids don’t have to leave their homes to attend school. Another reason is convenience, as stay-at-home or work-from-home parents can closely monitor their child’s educational progress without being restricted by a fixed daily schedule. Still another is individualized instruction, for kids can study at their own pace and use their own learning style to succeed.

However, many parents, especially those who will be sending their kids to school for the first time, are still skeptical about homeschooling because of the many misconceptions surrounding it. We asked Mommy Juvy Sy, a homeschooling mom for almost 12 years, to help us correct these misconceptions by sharing with us how homeschooling worked for her and her five kids: Aaron Jayfer (Grade 10), Chesca Angelyn (Grade 8), Andrew Jayvee (Grade 6), Alfonso Jaycee (Grade 4), and Adam Jayden (Grade 3).

Misconception # 1:
Homeschooled children lack social skills.

Homeschooled children are almost always pictured in their study room at home, working on tasks in their books, notebooks, or laptops. This is why many people think that they don’t have much interaction with other people compared to the students in traditional schools. In reality, homeschooled children are not bound by the walls of classrooms and their homes, so they can communicate and socialize more with other people. According to Mommy Juvy, developing their kids’ social skills was never a problem in their case!

“I never have to worry about my kids’ social activities. In fact, I feel like we’re doing it too much! They have a lot of friends, they can join different activities, and even explore around the world if given a chance. Our typical schedule is mostly academics in the morning, and activities or sports in the afternoon. Their activities include music, theater arts, piano, voice, guitar, and ukelele, and their sports include badminton, basketball, football, taekwondo, swimming, tennis, among others. They also have Scouting once a week to develop their life skills.”
Mommy Juvy

Misconception # 2:
Homeschooled children do not get quality education.

Traditional schools strictly follow a curriculum. Here in the Philippines, this curriculum is guided by the standards set per grade level by the Department of Education. This is where all the syllabi and lesson plans for the entire school year are anchored. Teachers break these lessons down into manageable daily tasks for students. Many people think that a curriculum is absent in homeschooling, but that is not the case.

“The beauty of homeschooling is that we can choose our own curriculums, one that is super tailored to the kids’ learning style. For example, for Science, we have the Apologia for group study (family), then we have the Abeka or BJU Press or ACE PACEs for the individual. To put it simply, we have the freedom to choose. Some of my kids prefer Math-U-See, and others prefer Singapore Math. Homeschooling can be a great way to provide individualized attention and customized education for our children. It also allows for the flexibility to tailor the curriculum to our child’s interests and needs, which can enhance their learning experience and potentially lead to stronger character development.”
Mommy Juvy

Misconception # 3:
Parents are not qualified to be their kids’ teachers.

Licensed Professional Teachers execute their own lesson plans and manage their own classrooms in traditional schools. This leads people unfamiliar with homeschooling to question the qualification of parents to be their children’s teachers, most especially on subjects and topics they are not very familiar with. However, parents are ultimately their child’s first teachers, and homeschooling can be a good way to reinforce the values, beliefs, and principles that the family holds dear.

“Character is very important to our family. In a homeschooling environment, you have the opportunity to instill your values and beliefs into your child’s education, which can positively impact their character development. You can also provide a safe and nurturing environment that promotes the development of important character traits such as responsibility, independence, and self-discipline.

The beauty of homeschooling is we study together, we explore together, we study as a family. For the difficult subjects like majoring in math, we enroll them in the math tutorials on top of the math abacus for basic mastery. We can always enroll them in any tutorials. My high school kids can mostly study on their own.”
Mommy Juvy

Misconception # 4:
There are limited resources for homeschooling.

Students enter traditional school every year with a set of textbooks and learning materials. Their syllabus also includes teacher-recommended supplementary references. Because homeschooling is unfamiliar territory, some are quick to dismiss that it doesn’t have enough available learning resources. Mommy Juvy counters this with the accessibility of online resources. This means that they are not limited to a fixed set of materials for the entire school year.

“There are many good resources available for homeschooling, depending on the age and interest of our kids. Online resources such as Brightchamps, National Geographic, Khan Academy, Duolingo, Ted-Ed, and many more.”
Mommy Juvy

Misconception # 5:
Homeschooling requires less effort than traditional schooling.

The presence of a flexible schedule and the absence of scheduled major examinations make people assume that homeschooling parents and kids exert less effort in homeschooling. Mommy Juvy responds to this with the belief that parents must train their kids as early as they can “with Godly character, and everything else will follow.”

“We start with the basic. For example, the 5B’s: bed, brush, bath, breaks, Bible. We also introduce the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Our kids know their schedule, and we train them to be disciplined in their daily activities. They also have their own responsibilities at home. If they won’t be able to finish their duties, they cannot earn their rewards on weekends. The good thing about our setup is that they already know that their actions, whether good or bad, have consequences.”
Mommy Juvy

Like many teachers in traditional schools, homeschooling parents also experience burnout because of the demands of homeschooling. Mommy Juvy deals with this with daily devotions and heart-to-heart discussions with the family.

“We always ask these questions to each other: How can I improve as a mom/teacher/student? We have freedom of speech in our family. We should learn how to process and how to deal with any concerns. As a mom of five homeschooling children, I really hold on to the Lord! I get down on my knees every day and ask for wisdom and guidance for our daily activities, most especially when it comes to difficult situations. I learned how to pause, inhale-exhale, stay calm, and pray! I don’t really shout at my kids, because I believe if I crash their spirit, it would be really hard to restore. I want to preserve our good relationship and build more good memories! It’s really hard, but everything is possible with the Holy Spirit, and most especially if you know your directions and you know why you are doing what you are doing.”
Mommy Juvy

Misconception # 6:
Homeschooled children are ill-prepared for the real world.

Far from the pictures of students cooped up at home all day, homeschooled children experience the real world as they read and study about it. Take it from Mommy Juvy who has been doing this for over a decade!

“The world is our classroom! We can travel anytime without thinking of so many deadlines, and we can explore together as a family. My kids can also make friends not just with kids of the same age, but they also know how to deal with younger kids and even older people. They can also express their feelings, and that’s the magic moment with their parents because anytime and anywhere we can talk about anything under the sun. No limits!”
Mommy Juvy

One of the best benefits of homeschooling for Mommy Juvy’s children is their disposition in life, thanks to the family bond reinforced by homeschooling.

“I can say that we have a good relationship. We definitely have the best time in our homeschooling journey. It is very rewarding when some parents acknowledge us on how grateful they are to meet our children with good manners, with great smiles, and full of joy!”
Mommy Juvy

To parents who are considering homeschooling, Mommy Juvy gives these tips:
• You should know why you are doing what you are doing, and your main purpose in homeschooling your children.
• Never compare yourself to other families! Be content on what you have, in every family we have our own rules, strengths and weaknesses.
• Try to always open a conversation with your children! Be their best friend, the person they can lean on in times of needs.
• We are the best teachers of our own children. We know them better than other people.
• It is very important to know our children’s learning style (verbal, visual, auditory, kinesthetic) to maximize the benefits of homeschooling.

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