The Real Reason School Teachers Don’t Like Homeschoolers (and Why You Shouldn’t Care)

The Real Reason School Teachers Don't Like Homeschoolers and Why You Shouldn't Care

I have begun to realize that school teachers – as a general rule – don’t like homeschoolers. Now, please… if you’re a teacher, don’t freak out. I have lots of friends who are teachers who love homeschooling parents and the feeling is mutual – these are wonderful women whom I love, whose friendship I cherish and about whom would never say a bad thing.

My problem is not with the teachers anyway; it’s the entire educational system I don’t like.

My point is that as a general rule, school teachers have a deep distrust of homeschoolers. My point is also that it shouldn’t bother you or make you defensive as a homeschooler.

Their discomfort about homeschooling families is not about job security or anything like that. It has more to do with anecdotal evidence. The same anecdotal knowledge that we all value higher than any factual evidence.

“The plural of anecdote is not data.” – author unknown.

So you could go blue in the face telling them about how homeschooling offers the best advantages, how well your children are doing and how much time they have to focus on things that interest them, but they won’t listen to you and in the end their distrust will remain.

Why is this?

For the simple reason that their introduction – especially in the younger grades – to homeschoolers is via the failures.

Middle grade teachers, elementary grade teachers and high school teachers meet the children of parents who didn’t (for whatever reason) succeed in homeschooling, gave up and put them in public school.

The opposite happens as the grades get higher. Ask a college professor what he thinks about homeschooled students and the answer will likely be the opposite of that of a school teacher.

Dr. Jay Wile is a prime example of this change of perspective. He said he began researching homeschoolers because the brightest students in his class said they were homeschooled. He had no idea such a thing even existed! As a result of what he observed, the only condition he put on his adopted daughter was that she had to agree to be homeschooled. 

I used to want to silence the teachers who gave me advice. I used to argue. I used to debate them. I used to take it personally. I don’t any more.

Time, as they say, will tell. You don’t need to say a word.

You only have to educate your children. And let the chips fall where they may.

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Author: Purva Brown

Writer / blogger at http://TheClassicalUnschooler.com - unapologetically blending two seeming opposites.

11 thoughts on “The Real Reason School Teachers Don’t Like Homeschoolers (and Why You Shouldn’t Care)”

  1. It’s a bit like taxi drivers hating uber drivers really. Home schooling parents are real teachers, they just happen to be able to focus more on the individual, and that can only lead to a great education. Classroom teaching feels a lot like a production line sometimes.

  2. But these days SO many teachers are homeschooling our own children!

    For me, as a former classroom teacher of 20+ years, the hardest part is the transition. To go from freedom to being confined is tough on kids. To go from having your instruction personalized to being lost in a crowd, being bored, or being behind is a struggle for kids. In actuality, many former homeschooled students did come back to me behind in their work, but it has also happened with transfer students, and students from the same school. What teachers need to keep in mind is that it’s natural for all kids to be behind in some areas and ahead in others. The biggest frustration for teachers is the discrepancy that may occur in testing. That’s just part of life. The classroom is a totally different atmosphere. Try not to take it personally. To most teachers, homeschooling is foreign to their understanding. Think of it as an opportunity to enlighten them.

  3. Well…They must be wondering how could we do something (teach) that took them years of training & certifications to get ready for. Of course the training itself is flawed…and classroom management is not something a homeschooling parent needs to learn.

    1. I have to disagree with you here. You aren’t trying to teach 20, sometimes 30 kids at a time. It’s pretty arrogant of you to assume that since you can manage your own children that it doesn’t take skill to be able to manage a whole classroom full of children that aren’t your own. And this is just behavior, let alone having to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all of these students. I think attitudes like yours are the ones that rub people the wrong way.

      1. I’m not quite clear on what area you disagree with. At no point that I can see, did the author say it doesn’t take skill to manage a classroom. I did see where the observation is made that the assembly line approach to schooling is outdated and problematic, something I entirely agree with.

        I fail to see where a homeschooler’s confidence in their children’s learning translates to arrogance. One of the advantages of home education is being able to provide your own children with a wonderful, personalized education. If you want to take that as someone saying they are more skilled at public school teaching than a public school teacher… well, every homeschooling parent I know would laugh. We aren’t trying to be school teachers. We are facilitating our children’s learning. It’s a completely different thing… thank goodness!

      2. He said classroom management was one thing taught in schools of Ed that teachers do need to know and homeschooling parents do not.

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