Many people do not understand homeschooling and can’t imagine doing it themselves and some are even critical of others who are homeschooling. You may hear many questions like these and will need to distinguish between those who are being critical and those who are just curious.
Common Questions About Homeschooling
Question #1: But…how will your child make friends?
Who asks it: This question is typically asked by those who believe the only place to make friends is within the confines of school walls. Don’t worry. You can disabuse them of that notion.
How to answer it: Oh, that’s funny! We are so busy working, learning and playing with lots of people that we don’t have time to worry about where we will make friends. Besides, don’t teachers often say, “We are not here to socialize!” A school’s purpose is to provide an education for children. If children make friends at school, that is just a happy bonus.
If you want to explain more: My children make friends in a variety of places—our neighborhood, homeschool groups, family-oriented events, and extracurricular programs. Happily, I don’t have to rely on a school for that. Another bonus is that my children learn to relate, talk to and make friends with people of different ages, not just those in their same grade.
Question #2: How can you stand to be around your kids all day?
Who asks it: Genuinely curious parents who have struggled with keeping their kids from being bored or unruly at home.
How to answer it: I love my kids and enjoy spending time with them. We find so many interesting things to do and to learn about and work on together.
If you want to explain more: It is surprising how pleasant being together can be without the pressure school puts on us. And, of course, I’m only human and when I need time to myself, I go ahead and take it! My children are not always angels, so there are difficult times but we are learning how to work and learn together.
Question #3: Are you a certified teacher?
Who asks it: People who’ve been taught that there is only one best way to learn—from certified teachers.
How to answer it: No, (or Yes). I know my children better than a classroom teacher with many students, so I am able to tailor the education each is getting to meet their individual needs. And, my state doesn’t require me to be certified in order to teach my children.
If you want to explain more: I have a pretty good grasp of the basics, and there is a wealth of educational materials out there designed specifically to help homeschoolers teach their children. I can get as much or as little help as I need, and sometimes I even end up learning right alongside my children. If there is something I’d rather not teach, I can also send my children to a homeschool program that teaches those classes.
Question #4: Oh, so you must be really religious then?
Who asks it: People who have been trained by the media to think all homeschoolers home educate because of their religion.
How to answer it: Answer “yes,” “no,” or “none of your business,” depending on what the truth is and your mood that day. It used to be that many people homeschooled for religious reasons, but now, homeschooling is a widely accepted way for many people to educate their children. Giving my child individualized education helps them learn better and more and more quickly!
If you want to explain more: Homeschoolers come from many different backgrounds. You will find some who are religious, others who are not religious at all, and some who fall sort of in the middle ground. It has become a widely accepted and acceptable educational option for many, many families.
Question #5: Is homeschooling even legal?
Who asks it: This question is asked by those who are genuinely curious and those who really don’t think home education should ever be legal.
How to answer it: Homeschooling is legal in every state!
If you want to give more information: Homeschooling is legal in every state, and the homeschool population is growing!
You may hear some other annoying questions during your homeschool journey, but these are five very common ones. Keep these answers ready as you’ll probably need them again and again. Likewise, be ready to tell everyone who asks that yes, homeschoolers do go to college. What annoying homeschooling-related questions have you heard lately? Let them know the positives that you get from homeschooling your children. They may be genuinely curious and want to know that they can do it too!