As an individual who was homeschooled from kindergarten until high school graduation, I am well aware of the biases and assumptions associated with the word, “homeschool.”
I used to be angered by the stereotypes, but I have come to understand that there is really a massive misunderstanding and ignorance surrounding the subject.
I also believe that, on some level, there are misunderstandings about privately-educated students, and perhaps even publicly-educated students from the aforementioned groups. But I can only speak from my perspective, so we will get started with home education.
“Lack of social skill”
This is the popular one. This stems from very memorable experiences that people have had with unusual people. It is probable that you have met someone who seems to have never watched television, read a newspaper, or has any social grasp whatsoever.
If that person had a very unique background or trait, it is likely that you assigned their “differences” to that uniqueness. Almost like the assumption that all redheads are hotheads, or all men are cheaters. It is an ignorance caused by the “loudest” or most distracting people coupled with the human tendency to want to “assign” people to groups. But if that unusual person also attended public school, you may begin to assign them to other groups based on where they live, if they attend church or not, or their ethnicity.
As for my social development, my parents put me on sports teams, clubs, and allowed me to “network” and make friends and go out. People don’t meet me and know that I was homeschooled right away, but the parents must be proactive in facilitating this type of lifestyle.
This one is inherently true. There are a very small percentage of home educators that have a degree in education, specifically. The connotation with this verbiage is the issue.
If you were to take the time to study and read through different types of homeschooling curriculum, you would find that they are composed differently than other types of material. The parents or tutors have to teach reading, writing, and basic arithmetic, but beyond that it is designed to teach the student to teach themselves.
Because of this design, I was well-equipped to help myself through college and teach myself any other hobbies or skills that I desired. I truly think that anyone can learn to thoroughly teach themselves if they really want to, being educated this way from kindergarten just made it easier.
“No field trips”
Or “exposure to new things.” Actually, we probably had more “field trips” than other types of students. There are homeschool groups that offer the opportunity to go on outings with other students throughout the year, but for the most part it was our “principal” who loved taking us places.
My father loved taking us to mountains, trails, activity centers, fishing, etc. Our mother was the one home with us most days, but every opportunity that Dad got, he was enriching our lives with adventures and new things.
“Harsh transition to the ‘real world’”
Until educators from all platforms begin to help teenagers get their first job, explain to them the actual hard work that goes into promoting, teach them how to budget while working and going to school full-time, et cetera, then I’m not sure anyone can say that their teachers taught them how to live in the “real world”; life teaches you that.
It is the role of the parents/parental figures in every type of household to get their children ready to grow up to the best of their ability, and most want to so that their own morals and values are the foundation.
“Feels like never leaving class”
This is a very silly one. The other assumptions are at explainable. But I can’t say that I can compare what it might have been like to be walking around my college hallways to being at home relaxing.
Yet, this has been asked of me on numerous occasions, “Doesn’t it feel like being at school all of the time?”
Not at all, however, if I weren’t finishing my schoolwork on time, then I had to complete it even if it were past 3pm. But once I had completed my daily goals, I put my books and pencils away in my desk (which was a normal desk like you would have in your living room or home office), and ran off to play or eat or whatever. I didn’t have to be quiet or read silently until my siblings were done with their work; I just had to be in a different room so that they could concentrate.
Hopefully, if you weren’t homeschooled, then you may have a better understanding of what it is like now. Please leave feedback regarding this topic or maybe assumptions of other platforms of education that we could all learn from or understand more clearly.