5 Reasons People Give for Not Homeschooling Their Kids

Most of the parents my wife and I talk to, look at us like whack jobs for telling them that we homeschool our kids. We can only imagine all of the thoughts that come to their minds. All the things they would like to say to us about how our kids are going to turn out. Weirdo’s, unsocialized, dumb, and the list could go on. I’m going to list the top five reasons people give for not homeschooling their kids. In no way do I believe our decision to homeschool is superior to someone who decides not to. My wife and I both went to public school. We just chose this path based on our circumstances and observations of the direction in which our society is going.

1-homeschool-domination

1. Our kids are not going to learn how to socialize in the real world.

And you think public school is where they are going to learn how to socialize? Seriously? Did you go to public school? Because I did. Sometimes we think any socialization is good, but its not. I personally don’t want my kids being socialized from High School. Merriam Webster defines socialization; “to teach (someone) to behave in a way that is acceptable in society.”  I don’t know what high school you went to but I didn’t learn anything from my high school experience that I deem as “acceptable in society”. I guess it depends on what sort of society you’d like for your kids. In my high school (and my wife’s), people bullied weaklings, chewed tobacco in the halls, smoked weed in the bathrooms, participated in orgies both heterosexual and homosexual, cheated on tests, and threw gummy bears on the ceiling when their stoned English teacher wasn’t looking, shot and stabbed people at parties and disrespected the campus aides. The good kids escaped with their heads down, praying that they’d make it another day without having someone throw a chocolate milk carton at them from across the lunch pavilion. Yeah… maybe your high school experience was fun, but many were not, and its definitely not what I would consider a good place for “learning how to socialize.” There are schools in certain areas that are the exception to the rule and even miracles happen in bad schools. One of my favorite all time movies is “Freedom Writers”, a story that takes place in a challenging LA public school. However, if you watch that movie, it wasn’t the teacher that was the problem. It was the politics that ran the school that caused the issues.

My point is that we don’t need public school for socialization. Why not seek a more controlled environment for socializing our kids? Church and other related activities. Homeschooling co-ops and parent involved charter schools. Sport teams, clubs, extended family, and …. how about your own immediate families? Kids are influenced easy and they prefer to be influenced by their mom and dad, whom they look up to more than anyone else. But if mom and dad don’t make the effort to socialize with their children, their children will find someone else to socialize with and emulate. Read about how Mick Jaggar intends to raise your kids and how his music is calculated to drive kids to sex. (Pages 11-13)

 

2. Our kids will turn out to be weirdos.

Weirdos? Have you ever walked down the halls of your local high school? I’m not trying to be judgmental, but holy crap. There are more weirdos on high school campuses than can be counted. Kids are not going to be weirdos because they are homeschooled. They are going to be weirdos because their parents are weirdos. If there is any perception of homeschooled kids being weirdos, it is because of their parents.

 

3. I don’t have the patience

This is a common concern for moms. Especially moms that are inundated with lots of little boys. But, is there anything more important to you in your life than your kids? Would you not endure a long and tortuous death just to save them? Do you not wish that you could take the pain from them anytime they’re hurt? It is a sacrifice to teach them everyday but imagine the difference it will make. You may have a bad day and completely lose it, but just know that you can go to sleep and pray for strength in the morning. If you know it would be best for them, and you’ve observed some serious issues with the direction the public school system is going, then why not give homeschooling a try. You might find it to be easier, and more rewarding than you think.

 

4. I don’t have enough education to teach my kids.

Have you ever heard Abraham Lincoln, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin and many of the founding fathers of the United States of America? Yeah…they were homeschooled. You don’t need an education to teach your kids. All you need to do is care about them and push them. You don’t need to have all the answers, you just need to be able to help your kids know where to find them. Then you can let their imaginations run wild.

Abraham Lincoln attributes everything that he was to “his angel mother”, who is actually his stepmother. She could not even read or write. The key to Lincoln’s success was found in his ability to self teach himself. But guess who was the one that encouraged that type of learning. “His angel mother”. She pushed him to seek learning from the best books. The great minds of the world became his tutors.

Hugh Nibley, one of the most learned men of our age, holding many degrees, and knowing many living and dead languages, considered himself a “mental midget” as he studied the works of Brigham Young. Brigham Young had all but 11 days of formal schooling. Both Hugh Nibley and Brigham Young considered themselves intellectually inferior to Joseph Smith who had the equivalent of a third grade education.

Many of the founding fathers of our nation were homeschooled and then “mentored”. They received their education in much the same way Abraham Lincoln received his education. They were led in a direction by their mothers that enabled them to dive into the things that interested them the most. They were not constrained by common core, or government, or the status quo.

Electrical mastermind Nikola Tesla was homeschooled, and credited his memory and creative abilities to his mother’s genetics and influence. His boss, Thomas Edison “attended school only for a few months. He was taught reading, writing, and arithmetic by his mother, but was always a very curious child and taught himself much by reading on his own. This belief in self-improvement remained throughout his life.” Ben Franklin stopped his formal education at age 11 and he turned out alright.

Trust me, you don’t need to be a college grad or a multi-tasking creative genius to homeschool your kids. Any effort you give toward educating your children will be far more comprehensive than anything a transient public educator can teach them. Remember, those teachers have hundreds of kids come in and out of their classroom on any given semester. Even if the teacher cares a lot and is really smart…there is only so much of that teacher to go around. He/she cannot give the same attention to your kids education as you can.

Ezra Taft Benson said that “I would rather have my child exposed to smallpox, typhus fever, cholera, or other malignant and deadly diseases than to the degrading influence of a corrupt teacher. It is infinitely better to take chances with an ignorant, but pure-minded teacher than with the greatest philosopher who is impure.” (LDS General Conference, October 1970) Homeschooling allows the parent to control the purity of the teaching. Again, to reiterate…I am not saying there are not unbelievable teachers out there. What I’m saying is that politics in the school systems may cause a degradation in the quality of the teaching pool and you don’t want your child to be affected by it.

 

5. I don’t have enough time.

No one has enough time. I feel this way every day of my life. It seems like there are never enough hours in the day. People only don’t have time for things they don’t make time for. If you really want to do something, you’ll find the time to do it. You might even need to sacrifice a career or a secondary education. Tell the babysitters to go home and make the biggest investment of your professional career by taking control of your kids education. That being said, there are situations that do require your time and will prohibit you from being able to homeschool your kids. Single mom’s or financial situations are a couple of those situations. But, if you’re only forgoing this great opportunity because you want to read blogs or “take a break” during the day, it might be something that you regret long term.

There are many more than 5 reasons people give for not homeschooling their kids but these are the classics. I will have no doubt offended some readers here but that was not the intention. My goal here was to answer some of the most common concerns my wife and I hear about homeschooling. So many of our friends say that they wish that they could homeschool because they are so sick of what they hear in the news and because of the quality of education they know is taking place at their local public schools.  All I know is that I’m a guy that loves my wife even more for her commitment to homeschooling our kids. I initially balked at the idea because of many of the reasons I gave above. I was skeptical because of my ignorance. I had not comprehended the depth of the homeschooling and charter systems that are established today. She wanted to do it, and I supported it…but as I’ve witnessed it and researched it, I’ve become convinced that it is the best decision we’ve made for them so far. Our kids absolutely love being homeschooled and what I started to notice was that every kid we’d see at homeschool activities loved it too.

 

Other Concerns

Don’t worry, your kids will most likely be able to play sports on your local high school teams and they will have just as much of an opportunity to go to the college of their choice. Heck, many homeschool kids are graduated from college by the time they’re 20. Imagine the jump they’ll have on their competition.

If you have a lot of kids at different ages, then empower the older ones to become mentors and teachers to the younger ones. That will help the older ones mature and become teachers at a much faster rate.

Both parents need to be supportive and excited by the prospect of homeschooling.  It’s not something that a mom can or should do on her own. 

You will not be alone if you want to homeschool your kids. You may have no idea what kind of movement is taking place out there. Check out what the future of homeschooling looks like in this video at the Ted Talks.


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  • Liz

    Love this! I sent this to my husband who is like you were and has used all of these reasons for us not homeschooling. I’m a SAHM and can think of nothing better to do with my time than oversee my child’s education firsthand but it’s really hard convincing my husband of that. I just downloaded the Harding famiy’s ebook to read about their experience as all of their children (who are old enough) have graduated high school and college by the time they were like 16-18. It just seems to me that there is SO much time wasted at public school and with our Government being as dysfunctional as it is, I don’t know why we would assume they know better than we…

    Thanks for this post!!

  • Melanie

    Wow! Your high school sounds nasty! I am a stay home mother of five and I send my kids to public school because I think the schools are great here! Where I grew up, I graduated high school with honors so you could say I was a good student, but I never felt the need to duck around, never saw any of the things you saw in your high school. Could it be that your high school was an exceptionally troubled one? I feel like high school was where I was finally able to come out of my shell and be myself and make some true friends. I would never trade my high school experience with a home schooled one. I would have missed out on too much.

    • greg

      You were blessed. I’ll bet your high school had some issues…but you probably navigated it well. Being an honor student, you were probably focused on school. I’m not against public school like I said in the article. I just don’t believe that high school is the default place for learning how to socialize. In addition, I don’t think you can fairly say that you wouldn’t trade your high school experience for a home schooled one because you never experienced a home schooled one. I am glad you had a great experience in school! Thats what its all about and isn’t agency great!

      • Nick

        Learning to navigate through high school is precisely what people mean when they say they send their kids to public school to learn to socialize. I’m sorry, but it is impossible to go through life without running into situations you don’t want to be in and home schooing your children because you want them to avoid the difficulties of dealing with the crazy kids is illogial. it’s like helping a butterfly come out of its cocoon, though maybe not as extreme. Without the butterfly doing it itself its not ready for what comes next because it isn’t strong enough. Coddling your child and teaching them that the world is bad is fine, but not teaching them how to hande an unavoidable situation leaves your child socially handicapped. Where do you think those wierd people in high school go after they graduate? they don’t disappear. theyre still there in college and their still there everyday when you go to work and when you order your food when you buy a car or a house. even if your child comes through the gauntlet of high school a little scarred their a lot better prepared for dealing with the real world socially then they would be otherwise, you dont get stronger unless you lift weights. If youre an involved parent and foster a strong work ethic in your child then their no less smart either. You cant create a bubble because someday its gong to pop.

  • Matt

    Greg –

    First off, I completely agree with item number 2 above. Weird parents = wierd kids (90+% of the time). Secondly, I think homeschooling can be a great experience for some, but it seems to me that you are taking your high school experience and applying it to all public high schools. I don’t think that is the experience of most kids in high school. Of course, I only have my experience, experience of my oldest son so far, and the odd two or three people whom have shared their high school experience with me. People are people and as homeschooling becomes more popular the same issues, moral problems, will filter to that group. It is not a entirely a matter of location, but more a matter of morals. Those with bad morals make everything worse at home, at school, at the park, etc.
    As usual you do what most homeschooling advocates do. Focus on the bad of public education, as opposed to letting homeschooling stand on its own. This type of antagonistic approach, imo, doesn’t serve homeschooling and its positives very well.
    Also, your logic for the commentor above is correct. She can’t know if homeschooling would have been better because she went to public school. You must also therefore conceded that a homeschooler only child can’t know if public school would have been better for them.
    Your comparisons of past genius is interesting. They came from a different time where you learned the three R’s at home. Having a formal education was not a prerequisite like it is today for many jobs. I am not arguing that this is the correct approach, just pointing out a reality. I have great concerns over the education of our children. We can do much better than the current system. I see a future where the internet makes public schooling a much more home schooling experience. We are already seeing virtual schools popping up. I see this as the better approach. Virtual schools would certainly conserve massive amounts of infrastructure resources and energy resources. .

    • greg

      Matt – Thx for the read and comment. I hope you don’t see this article as an attack on public schools. It may have come across that way especially in the first point I made because of the bad description I gave of my school. I am not applying it to all schools in any way. I know that some areas are going to be better than others for sending your kids off to public school. However, keep in mind that “public” means just that. It is public, and public entities are subject to politicians. I am not as worried about the teachers and administrators as I am about the politicians that employ the teachers and approve the curriculum.

      Again, my aim was to address common myths…and in so doing probably painted public schools in a negative light. It was less about the negative aspects of public schools for me and more about the hypocrisy of those that attack homeschooling…e.g “my kids will turn out weird” etc.

      Sorry if there was an offense in this article. It was only my honest observations.

      • Matt

        No offense taken. I often come across as a homeschool antagonist, but what I want to do is help both sides change the dialog to what is great about each as opposed to trashing the other system. I love the idealism of homeschooling and how the children and family is a focus. It isn’t my choice not for what it is, but for what I believe public school can, could, and should be. I do concede they have a long way to go and yes politician do manage to screw it up more often than not.

        I am also LDS and guessing you are from out west. Schooling in the East and Mid-South (where I and my family have lived for 20 + years) is sadly better than the mountain west and west coast. (We are now in Arizona). Those areas just seem to take education more seriously.

        On a side note, I would love to see you write something about virtual schools possibly being a happy medium.

        • Matt and Greg, good dialog on both sides.

          Matt, I understand how you may see virtual schools being a happy medium. As a homeschool parent, I’d like to take a moment to share my opinion on this part of the topic.

          As the founder of a homeschool support group, I believe whether you homeschool the traditional way or do it using a virtual school, you are considered a homeschooler.

          When choosing between going to a public school versus participating in an online school, (for a parent that is considering homeschooling, but not in the traditional manner) I would definitely recommend an online school, especially for a new, nervous homeschooler. But I only recommend it as a way to get “their feet wet.” Once the family has become comfortable with homeschooling, I offer my help/advice in moving them away from an online school to the traditional method of homeschooling (where parent/child pick their own curriculum).

          I ultimately feel that a traditional homeschool is the best of all three choices merely for the fact that an online school is still a “public” school; minus the building and children. The information you are being taught online, especially with the new Common Core (CC) Standards, is full of propaganda and indoctrination. There are many other issues due to CC, which is why I would only recommend it to a parent who is too nervous about choosing their own curriculum and being their children’s teacher. However, if I meet a potential homeschooler who is not afraid of trying to do it on their own, then that’s the route I encourage them to take, because like I mentioned already, I believe traditional homeschooling to be the best of the three choices.

          • Cherie

            I just wanted to add my thoughts. I graduated in ’92. In my highschool, a student was shot and killed on the first day of my 10th grade. It was common for a group of students to walk across the street and get high every afternoon. Gangs were a dime a dozen. There were the bullies, class clowns, geeks etc. It was not a happy place. It was not a safe place.
            I began homeschooling my daughter when she got shoved into an oncoming car (after school) by known bullies who did not know my daughter, but who lived to torment others. Thankfully, my daughter was not hurt. The administration brushed it aside and tried to assure me that “next year, those students will be in high school and no longer a problem.”
            I have homeschooled for 8 years, and the past couple have been absolutely amazing! I have finally found my groove…and I love it.
            Public schools are great for the masses, but home is great for the individual. I look at it like anything else…a public restroom is great for an emergency…but I prefer the one in my own home. Dinner, I prefer to know how and what is in my food…so most often I eat in. Its the same concept. If you want to know what and how your child is learning, keep them home and DIY. Greg- great post. I needed to hear that today!

          • Greg Trimble

            “a public restroom is great for an emergency…but I prefer the one in my own home”! That is the best reasoning I’ve ever heard! Thanks for posting!

  • Leslie

    Thank you for this article. I was like you – when my husband first announced we were going to home school our child, I was against it for many of the same reasons you listed. However, I could see how important it was to him and decided to hear him out on the subject. When he voiced his concerns over the decline in quality of some public educations, especially in the area we live, I voiced my concerns about socializing, the time commitment and my biggest fear that I wasn’t smart enough to teach our son what he needed. I decided to do a little research on the available options for homeschooling and was amazed at what I found. I also talked to a few Sisters at church who told me about their positive experiences with home schooling, and even confessed that they, too, had the same reservations I did at first. When I learned about all the options available, I was sold. One thing that I found that I absolutely love is the ability to tailor the curriculum to the individual child’s needs. As a child, I was fortunate enough to have an older brother who would come home from school and teach me everything he just learned. By the time I entered kindergarten, I was way ahead of everyone else because I already knew what they were being taught. As a result, I wound up being bored out of my mind for a good portion of my schooling. I also had the trouble of moving around a lot because my dad was in the Air Force and wound up having to either play catch-up or repeat lessons when I started a new school. This was incredibly frustrating for me and not something I want to put my son through. He’s only 2, but he already knows the alphabet, how to count to 10 (we’re working on 11+), he knows his colors (and can even differentiate between light & dark colors), he’s starting to read, etc. Most of this can be attributed to my husband; as a stay-at-home Dad, he is able to work one-on-one with our son and help give him learn the things that most kids don’t learn until preschool or kindergarten. At the rate he’s going, my son will be way ahead of the curve by the time he’s old enough to start school. I love the idea that home schooling or charter schools will allow us to teach him based on where he is intellectually, rather than how old he is. I’m also thrilled to see the many options for co-op homeschooling, which basically decimates the argument for learning to socialize. I even found an LDS co-op in our area, which means my son will be able to get his spiritual education at the same time he’s learning his math and languages. He’ll be able to play with other children in the same general age range, explore the beautiful Pacific NW (just like public school kids here do with Outdoor School), go on field trips, play sports, and instead of Prom or Homecoming, he’ll have the Church dances to look forward to. What more could a mom ask for?

    • greg

      AWESOME REMARKS!

  • Donna

    I would disagree with you about single moms not being able to homeschool. We can, and many (including myself) do. It involves huge sacrifices, but I consider them well worth it. It’s much less time intensive to home school my children than it ever was to have them in the system.

    • greg

      You’re awesome for being able to do that. I just threw it out as a situation that may prohibit the ability to homeschool. Thanks for your comments! Very well said.

  • Jason

    One important factor that homeschooling offers, from my standpoint, is how flexible it is to a child’s interests and natural abilities. I was both homeschooled and went to public school, and though I was a bit of a monster at home, I can say I succeeded far better in home than at school.

    One aspect of home-schooling I think totally changed my opportunities is the idea that some cultural ideals are passed down unilaterally in public venues, that otherwise probably shouldn’t.
    Say for example, introversion versus extroversion. As an introvert, much of my issues in public school were the over-emphasis of traits such as gregarity, outgoingness, ‘fearlessness’, having a broad social network, risk-taking and thrill-seeking, etc; and the under-emphasis of other good traits, such as being genuine, meaningful communication, risk management, closer relationships, and being introspective.

    Again, to be clear, these are all good traits. But described as say in the book ‘Quiet’ (great read) the extroverted ideals are far more culturally valued; to the point, sometimes, that they are taken too far, their counterfeit weaknesses are lauded as the same thing, and the opposing good values of introvertedness are dismissed or even seen as undesirable.

    Anyway. Just as an example. But as a kid in high school, I had a heck of a hard time trying to socialize when I felt my natural tendencies to be quiet, my trouble with small-talk, etc. were character defects rather than personality traits. Throw in some anxiety disorders, and honestly you have a pretty messed up kid. It took years after high school to learn to be sociable, and that was on my own, in interests that I chose. I credit my ‘autodydact’ (or self-learning) tendencies to my mom and homeschooling.

    And granted, this was just my personal experience; but I know and have known many, many people with similar experiences; I’ve read a lot of literature by very smart people on this kind of thing. Heck, there’s kind of a craze lately (as in TED talks, etc.) about these kind of issues in public schooling. So I wouldn’t say it’s too far-fetched to state that public schooling, in general, doesn’t handle the ‘exception’ well, or generalizes education too much, or at times passes down some pretty nasty cultural ideals.

    One particular ideal that comes to mind is the idea that relationships, marriage, and sex are pretty much adult play time – not the consummate, comprehensive union that it used to mean. This is what I attribute a lot of this recent confusion about. You know, treating having kids as an unfortunate but preventable side-effect, rather than child-rearing the purpose and source of importance for marriage before sex?

    Anyway. That’s going on a tangent.
    The main point is control over cultural ideals, and flexibility for learning styles, personalities, and interests.

  • Nick F.

    Learning to navigate through high school is precisely what people mean when they say they send their kids to public school to learn to socialize. I’m sorry, but it is impossible to go through life without running into situations you don’t want to be in and home schooing your children because you want them to avoid the difficulties of dealing with the crazy kids is illogial. it’s like helping a butterfly come out of its cocoon, though maybe not as extreme. Without the butterfly doing it itself its not ready for what comes next because it isn’t strong enough. Coddling your child and teaching them that the world is bad is fine, but not teaching them how to hande an unavoidable situation leaves your child socially handicapped. Where do you think those wierd people in high school go after they graduate? they don’t disappear. theyre still there in college and their still there everyday when you go to work and when you order your food when you buy a car or a house. even if your child comes through the gauntlet of high school a little scarred their a lot better prepared for dealing with the real world socially then they would be otherwise, you dont get stronger unless you lift weights. If youre an involved parent and foster a strong work ethic in your child then their no less smart either. You cant create a bubble because someday its gong to pop

    • Public schools are artificial. When, ever, will people be segregated by age? As adults, if we don’t like an environment, we have the freedom to leave it (quit a job, move to another state, etc.) Children in public schools can’t. They’re required (forced?) to stay with a negative situation, which quite often produces resentment, discouragement, and even a sense that they’ve been abandoned by those who should help them because hey–life’s tough.

      That’s not the Lord’s way. No where in the scriptures does he say we should throw our children to the wolves and hope they learn coping skills. We’re supposed to raise children in truth and righteousness. Sometimes schools can help with that, sometimes they can’t. Parents need to evaluate for each child what’s best.

      As a mom of nine kids, ages 23-2, I’ve done homeschooling, part-public schooling, and full-public schooling–often all in the same year. I have one child who thrives in the system, a couple more for which it’s a terrible situation, and others who do half and half. We use what parts of the schools work for us and discard the rest. Every year we re-evaluate what is best for each child, and go from there. My kids haven’t had any problems in college (my oldest is finishing grad school), and they’ve actually socialized BETTER than their peers, because they know how to talk to adults, whereas most kids struggle with authority figures. (Step into a middle school–you’ll see. Even in Utah.)

      Homeschooling doesn’t have to take all day long, either. We get everything done in about three hours, and yet another one of my kids just got back his ACT score, and he’s in the 90th percentile. With only three hours of schooling a day.

      So, so many options out there. Don’t be swayed into thinking your kids have to suffer in public school. They don’t.

  • Rebecca

    that is a myth. Sheltering children gives them a firm foundation. This makes them better adults in all areas. Life gives us plenty of problems on it’s own without adding extra problems. Happy childhoods have been proven to produce more successful adults.

  • Rebecca

    Please do not say that online school is in the same category as homeschool. They are nothing alike. they are very separate. Just as private, public, and charter schools are separate categories. Online schooling is a separate category. Do not combine them because it would go against all the homeschoolers have fought to achieve in laws and understanding. As a side note. I have had my children in each of these types of schools. I use prayer to know where each of my children should be and when. I am homeschooling them all this year and am loving not having to worry about bus and vacation schedules. I would not trade this time with my children for anything. I would hate to miss their short childhood by sending them away during the best hours of the day. We learn more in 1 month of homeschool then they learn all year at public school. They have gone to other schools for many different purposes some for learning themselves, some for helping others.

  • beawesome

    Please do not say that online school is in the same category as homeschool. They are nothing alike. they are very separate. Just as private, public, and charter schools are separate categories. Online schooling is a separate category. Do not combine them because it would go against all the homeschoolers have fought to achieve in laws and understanding. As a side note. I have had my children in each of these types of schools. I use prayer to know where each of my children should be and when. I am homeschooling them all this year and am loving not having to worry about bus and vacation schedules. I would not trade this time with my children for anything. I would hate to miss their short childhood by sending them away during the best hours of the day. We learn more in 1 month of homeschool then they learn all year at public school. They have gone to other schools for many different purposes some for learning themselves, some for helping others.

  • Amanda

    I went to public school and due to both my parents I grew up with I was socially awkward and hated public school .homeschooling wouldn’t have changed that . my birthmom tried to homeschool me after school in math which i’ve been behind in for as long as I can remember.Know as an adult with a degree and having several freinds and a husband who are homeschooled I am thinking of homeschooling my children. I work with the teenage girls at church and the girls are frustred in young women’s that they have to take classes that don’t intrest them and don’t get them ready for a real world and a life they want for themselves .luckily for me I as able to find my passion in high schoolwith one class and had a second set of parents who helped me learn real world skills.I wish more people could find what they are good at and are able to be homeschooled .sadly economics prevent future for a good deal of students living Iin poverty with little to no parental help because their parents don’t care or have to work to survive. I wish homeschool ing could work for everyone. my sister in law is super smart and droped out of a charter school because she did not find the people she went to school with simulating and wanted to be challenged .for some public school is fun and best time of their lives . for some who are bullied (like I was because my birthparents didn’t know how to live social norms-they were both mildly Autistic )life in public school as a living nightmare . I think we should do what’s best for our children -if they like public school and can make friends easy and its in a good neighbor hood then let them go.if the situations bad or children are bullied or uninspired or need more time to get things homeschooling is great.

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  • Nikki

    We recently brought our children home from public school. We felt inspired that this was what we needed to do. I had never planned on doing this. It is a very personal choice. And, all I can say, is that my heart is at peace. FINALLY. Things have just clicked right into place. I’m not saying it’s easy yet, but it is so great spending so much time with my children. I can see them coming out of their shells brought on by mean kids and robot like schools. They can focus on their passions and they can PLAY as children should and they will learn so much from it. It’s not for everyone, but I know it is for us and we will all be better for it.

    I laughed out loud on some of your reasons. I have heard the same things. Some make me sad because they are oh so true. I wish every kid could be homeschooled!

    • Greg Trimble

      Right On!

  • Mike

    I loved the article. I had a hard time in High School, as the teachers didn’t seem all that interested in the students. It wasn’t the best neighborhood, so getting invested in students that were likely going to fail seems like a waste of time, and with nothing to do in town, drugs and alcohol were rampant. Add in that the school was built like a prison, and school was singularly unpleasant. It was through individual tutoring that I got all my education at a pace I was comfortable with (I graduated a year early, after starting 6 credits behind).

    That aside, Public School did have some serious positive points. My Gym teacher taught me to stand up for myself when I am getting bullied. If someone pushes you, push back, he would say, because teachers will not protect you forever. My history teacher taught us how to prioritize, how to schedule, and how to think and theorize, examining our world in new, and likely not school approved, ways. I learned how to avoid the wrong crowds with hands on experience, I could see how our actions effected people. I couldn’t have learned any of this through home schooling.

    I think that the ideal education is a community based one, with homeschooling part time and Public Schooling part time. You simply cannot recreate the experience of public school at home, but the same goes in reverse. Just my two cents.

  • Jeff

    My mother homeschooled me exclusively from kindergarten to 6th grade after which I was partially homeschooled until graduation. I firmly believe that the most valuable thing I learned by being homeschooled was learning how to learn. I had passed my mother in subjects such as math and science by the time I was 12 but that didn’t keep me from continuing to learn. I have never felt that I could not learn something because she gave me the tools I needed to be able to learn independently. In college I occasionally felt that other students had covered more material while in High School than I had but I was still able to perform or outperform my peers because of the knowledge I had of the process of learning.
    Another great thing that came from my homeschooling experience was the desire to learn. Learning is simply a part of my personal culture now and plays a huge role in my life. And because I was given the tools to know how to learn, I don’t necessarily need a classroom or a teacher. The world is completely open to people who have the tools and the desire to learn, and for me they both came through homeschooling.

  • Sam

    People get too wrapped up defending their viewpoints when it comes to the subject of homeschooling. I can’t think of another subject that sparks such close minded debate. Religious debates are tame by comparison.
    Having attended public schools I have a very low opinion of our public education system. I have one child we tried home schooling, private and public schools to educate her.
    My daughter now has one semester left to graduate from college. In the end whether your child is successful rest largely on you. Did you encourage them, and do whatever you could to help them thru their growing up years?
    Laziness is a trait of both home and public school parents. Lack of vision, and fear of the unknown, keep children from reaching their potential. When my daughter was sixteen and graduated from high school, we allowed her to travel cross country to attend the university she wanted to. We felt that since she wanted to go there, and had a scholarship, she should be able to go. My older brother who is a meddlesome idiot, told my daughter with tears in his eyes, that he feared she would abandon the values she had learned at home. I can happily say she did not. Conversely my wife and I were recently discussing a bright young man who probably could have gone to MIT. His family has been attending local universities for three generations, and he just followed in their footsteps.

  • Caroline

    Sounds like you went to school in California like I did and that is why I am for homeschooling. I let my oldest into the system because he needed the help, but now they keep diagnosing him with new things just to keep him in Special Ed and that gets them more money. I kept him home for a week when he was sick and taught him and guess what, he went back to school knowing more than had he been in school that week! Although he is still in public school he will not be attending next year since he emphatically said he would rather be homeschooled. I have a background in education from my time in school and I saw the corruptness of the education system and dropped out with 94 credits. So thanks for your article, it gave me the much needed confidence that I needed to tell others that YES I WILL HOMESCHOOL! Your points are right on with what I feel is right for my kids and I will counter with the points that you highlighted here. And I get to go fight against the school again and say no to an IEP since my oldest (who is 7 and has been deemed extremely intelligent by a child psychologist) since he doesn’t need one and as his future teacher, I see no need for one. Thank you once again!

    • Greg Trimble

      Definitely went to school in California… 🙁 Thanks for posting here! Great thoughts

  • Awesome! So glad you came across it!

  • California Mom

    Great post, and true! We love secular homeschooling our boys. It’s a pleasure to be so involved in their individualized, asynchronous education and so great that they won’t have to experience the many negative social aspects of school. When we read books that talk about bullying, or social cliques, they have NO idea what that is. I have to explain it to them. And then tell them how lucky they are that they will NEVER have to deal with that stuff until they are older and more prepared (ah, office politics!). At least they won’t have to deal with it while in the midst of forming their values and character whilst swimming through 100’s of insecure preteens and teens. We are involved in 4-h, pokemon and larp clubs, hiking groups, online classes, park days, video game sessions and other gatherings…my boys do not want for “social” interactions in the least. In fact, we should call it not-at-home-schooling, because we are rarely here!

  • kat

    good article- my one argument is point #3- that seems easy to say when you haven’t been the one to be at home with kids all day long, dealing with not only the schooling issues, but the discipline, the cooking, poop, vomit, spilled breast milk that took 20 minutes to pump, and the other endless house chores.

    I have done a lot of reading on how other cultures portrait motherhood/parenting, and one thing is clear to me- In America, parents, especially SAHMs, have somehow adopted the belief that the more you can martyr yourself, the better it is for your children. The more tired you are, the less money you have, the less time you have to yourself; of course you can have these things, only if you pay the mandatory mom-guilt tax.
    Now I completely understand that it is wrong to abandon the duty as a mom/dad, to have the focus of your goals fixed on yourself- and I think this is why there is this belief- nobody wants to be a selfish bad parent, everybody wants to do what is best for their child- I just think that running yourself ragged on impatience is NOT good for your children, or your marriage. There are people who are incredibly gifted at tuning out their children at the right time and multitasking, but not everybody; so I think to say that ‘not having patience’ is an excuse to not do HS isn’t completely thorough.

  • Joey

    Personally I’m now 16 in a charter school, to me homeschool was awful. I had maybe two friends through elementary, but right when middle school hit they were gone. I was alone, No motivation to work. Finally when I did start going to a private school I had the worst years of my life. It was all because of how socially awkward I was. I 100% blame being socially awkward on being homechooled. I still after three years of actual school have issues making friends. But it has gotten a lot better. I believe that homechooling through elementary is an awful idea for anyone, it destroys all social activity… Even though my mom always made excuses on where I made friends like, church(Everyone called me a weirdo), and friends in the neighborhood who I lost in middle school.

    I had a lot of issues growing up, maybe some of them were my abusive brother, others maybe I had mental issues. But I believe I would be a completely different and better person if i hadn’t been homeschooled.

  • Dave Nielsen

    Brigham Young and (especially) Joseph Smith were morons and con men. It’s no wonder that it’s largely religious people who want to homeschool – keep your kids away from anything that might result in thinking for themselves! …By the way, the high school you went to sounds pretty horrible and is not at all typical.

  • George Hanna

    How does the homeschooling process work? any help is appreciated. My kids are about one year away from the first one entering first grade.

  • Naopll10

    I won’t homeschool my kids when I have them because I was homeschooled or unschooled as I would like to put it. I came from a family of 13 now 14 and my parents went religious but my mother took it to the extreme. Because of her “homeschooling” me I am suffering and trying to catch up the pieces of my missed eduction and then go get a degree and work. I live in Australia, I’m 17 and left home when I was 16 with my now ex-boyfriend and are now living with my grandparents who will help me get my life on track. Before leaving home I could not wear a bikini because it showed too much skin or wear jewellery because it’s apparently unchristian, I’m now attempting to get my hopes and dreams fulfilled. Because I was homeschooled I won’t homeschool my kids when I have them.