Eight Common Myths About Homeschooling in High School
- Thursday, November 10, 2011
There is little mystery about why the trend is changing. First, homeschooled students tend to score significantly higher on college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT. In fact, the number of homeschooled students receiving National Merit Scholarships increased 500% from 1995–2003.5
Secondly, homeschooled students tend to outperform their counterparts while in college. Studies at both Boston University and Kennesaw State University show that homeschooled students tend to have higher GPAs while in college.6
Thirdly, the independent-thinking skills possessed by homeschooled teens better prepares them for the college experience. It is odd that so many people perceive homeschooled teens as “unsocialized.” Years ago, I presented a paper at a C. S. Lewis Conference at Belmont University. There I spoke with many teens, and it was almost immediately apparent when I had encountered homeschooled students: They loved to debate about intellectual topics and it was clear that they were well read. This is not an isolated case. Michael Haverluck, in his article titled “Socialization: Homeschooling vs. Schools,” wrote: “Research presented at the National Christian Home Educator’s Leadership Conference divulged that homeschool graduates far exceeded their public and private school counterparts in college by ranking the highest in 42 of 63 indicators of collegiate success. They were also ranked as being superior in four out of five achievement categories, including socialization, as they were assessed as being the most charismatic and influential.”7
One of the main benefits of homeschooling is that it tends to produce adults who retain an intellectual curiosity about the world around them—a trait that is often destroyed in mass-produced education models. After studying 180 homeschooled students who were attending college for the first time, Dr. Rhonda Galloway reached this conclusion: “I think the edge home schooled children have over conventionally educated students—whether Christian or public—is that they’re not afraid to ask questions; they speak their minds and they have to be readers because they’re so involved in the self-teaching aspect.”8 Perhaps that is one reason that 74% of homeschooled students go on to attend college, while only 44% of traditionally schooled students do.9
Myth #4: If I homeschool during high school, my teen will miss out on important social skills such as dating.
It is important to increase social activities for teens in an effort to prepare them for college, the workplace, or marriage. Teens need to know how other people think—especially those of the opposite sex. However, it is possible to increase these opportunities while still homeschooling. Church youth groups and Christian summer camps are great options. Also, look into extracurricular activities that involve groups—local choirs or drama clubs. Just check these groups out carefully and make sure that they are properly supervised and do not expose your teen to influences they are not yet equipped to handle. You may consider allowing social media such as Facebook in these years as well. Just make sure that you are also “friended” on the account so that you can monitor activity.
Homeschooled teens can—and do—date. However, some homeschool families follow courtship principles or at least limit dating to the later high school years. There really is nothing positive that can be gained by allowing dating before the age of 16 or even later. The trend toward early dating is usually fueled by social pressures that most homeschooled teens (blissfully) are not exposed to on a daily basis, and dating at a young age often leads to the destruction of moral values and future goals. If you set the ground rules early in life, there is usually not a problem.
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