Monday, April 15, 2013

Busting the homeschool myths #3: All homeschoolers are religious freaks

Every homeschool mom needs a denim jumper!
Admit it. You have had the image of a Christian homeschool family, 14 children all lined in a row, girls wearing denim skirts and boys with their khaki pants, polo shirts and comb over hair do. Let's not forget mom in all of her denim jumper glory cheerfully leading the group in hymnals and Bible verse recitation. You have no doubt at some point heard someone assert that all homeschoolers were religious, Bible thumping freaks. It is even somewhat of a joke among homeschoolers.

In the pioneering days of homeschooling the demographics for homeschooling were quite different than they are today. Most parents who were willing to break the law and homeschool were doing so for religious reasons. It is true that the 1980's version of a homeschooling family might have looked quite a lot like the one I described above. Fashions were different and homeschooling families tended to be from the fundamental groups of Christianity.

It even comes in a kids version!
Once homeschooling became legal and more and more parent's eyes were opened to not only the secular state of the schools but also the academic failures of the schools that demographic began to slowly change. Today, the majority of homeschoolers still cite moral or religious training as their number one reason to homeschool, but as homeschooling becomes more popular the demographics continue to change. In my anecdotal experience, our local group consists of every type of family from atheist to fundamental Baptist. Chances are, you pass homeschoolers every day and don't notice because they look exactly like everyone else. Our family has experienced gasps of shock and awe when we mention we homeschool because we "just look so normal!".

Do some families still fit into that sterotype, yes. But, really, who cares? None of us should be making our judgements of other people based simply on what they wear.

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1 comment:

Angie McFarren said...

Oh, do not forget. If the mom does not wear makeup, she homeschools. That is right. I have heard it from a relative as she was looking me in eye.

There are days I do not wear makeup for whatever reason. There are many women who do not wear makeup and do not homeschool.