Throughout the years, I’ve been confronted with a number of homeschool myths. The one I have heard the most, often from my family, is the fear that my son will miss out on opportunities.
I’m not talking about things like prom and field trips. Those are important, and they’re fun, but they have never been my son’s priority. He probably wouldn’t have taken part in them even if he’d been in school.
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The opportunities that I’m talking about are things like college acceptance, being able to gain specialized training for a job, or having the chance to learn about different worldviews and cultures.
It is often thought that homeschool kids miss out on opportunities that will help them later in life.
I’m here to bust that myth. (By the way, you can find the rest of the Homeschool Myths: Busted series here!)
Homeschool Myth: Homeschool Kids Can’t Get Into College
Once upon a time, it was difficult for homeschool students to gain entrance into college. This was for a number of reasons, including the fact that homeschooling wasn’t even legal in some states.
However, we’re no longer in the 1990s. Promise!
Today, colleges across the country actively recruit and accept homeschool graduates. (My son started getting “check us out” postcards from universities when he was in jr. high.)
In fact, colleges like Harvard, MIT, and Duke all actively recruit homeschoolers.
It has also been shown that students who were homeschooled often do better in college, for a number of reasons, including:
*They often have strong time management skills, since many homeschooling families already operate on a schedule similar to what is expected in college.
*Homeschooled students are often allowed the freedom to study what truly interests them in ways that fit their learning styles. In other words, they learn to love learning. This is definitely a benefit in college!
*these students are already used to an environment filled with a wide variety of people, differing worldviews, and the challenge that comes with college courses.
In short, homeschool grads are often better prepared for college than kids in school. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, obviously, but it is a noticeable (and encouraging) trend.
Homeschool Myth: Students Won’t Be Prepared for the Job Market
This one has always kind of amazed me. I know that some schools have special programs or partnerships with tech programs, but homeschooling offers the opportunity for kids to get real-life experience.
Between my son and my students over the years, I have seen kids gain job experience in a variety of fields, including:
*Shadowing a doctor to see if medicine is the right career choice
*Gaining certification as an EMT, a cosmetologist, a welder, or a carpenter before high school graduation – and being able to earn a very nice paycheck by the age of 18
*Interning with a contractor to gain marketable skills
*Working on state and national political campaigns
*Writing and filming short movies
*Learning to form and run a ministry
Somehow, I don’t see many high schools offering these opportunities. I’m sure some of these programs are available, but really, how many students have the time to really dig into them?
Through homeschooling, students have not only the time to spend but the desire to really dig into what they are learning. And honestly, that makes a huge difference.
Homeschool Myth: Students are Isolated and Don’t Learn about Other Views
I’m sure we’ve all heard this one. Homeschoolers are stuck in their own little bubble and only learn what Mom and Dad think, right?
Most homeschooled grads that I’ve come in contact with – and I’ve come in contact with many over the years – actually have a better understanding of the world around them than their peers.
Cultural studies are a strong part of many homeschools, even in the early years; I can’t even count the number of country studies that we did!
Homeschool kids are likely to be able to tell you everything from holiday traditions to favorite meals of ethnic groups around the world, and many can locate most countries on a map.
It goes a lot deeper than that, though. As homeschoolers get older, they tend to dig deeper than their peers into things like history, literature, comparative religions and worldview, and current events.
They learn not only what happened, but why, and what the consequences of these events were. They can tell you not only what some group of people thought, but why, and what impact it had.
Because of this, many of these grads have a stronger understanding of what is happening in the world and why.
Learning through Travel
However, many of these students also get the opportunity to travel. Because they aren’t bound by a school schedule and the threat of truancy, the world really can be their classroom.
Their travel plans might take place with family, a church or missions group, or with other organizations.
For instance, my son had the amazing opportunity to travel to Turkey with his university when he was 17 on a study trip. He got to tour the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, walk through the excavation at Ephesus, and run the length of an ancient Hippodrome. He also had the chance to learn about political and social affairs in the Middle East, first hand.
One of his friends landed a modeling contract in Asia soon after graduation. He has had the chance to tour and work in some incredible locations and learn about many cultures!
My son and several of his friends have been able to minister in nations around the world, on nearly every continent. They get to bring tangible help and hope to people who would otherwise go without.
The last thing I would think of when I look at these kids is “isolation.”
I’d say they have a pretty strong understanding of what the lives of others are like!
Wrapping It Up
If you’re concerned that your student is going to miss out on opportunities…don’t be. The fact is, homeschooling offers your student the chance to be involved with whatever opportunities they feel strongly enough to take on.
If they can dream it up, chances are, there’s a way for them to get involved. Promise!