50 Reasons Why I Could Never Homeschool

If you are a parent who thinks you could never homeschool, be encouraged: I used to be one of you. If someone had suggested back then that I should homeschool, I would have had a dozen reasons ready why I could not do it. One day, I ran out of reasons. Actually, the reasons why I wanted to try homeschooling began to outnumber my excuses for not trying it.

When my daughter was old enough for Kindergarten, I didn’t have to worry about homeschooling because it was not yet legal in my state. Later, I avoided homeschooling because I thought my toddler needed too much of my attention. Still later, it became obvious that the government’s public school system was failing both of my children, and I finally took a serious look at homeschooling. Our lives (and their education) changed completely within the next few months, and it has been a change that we have never regretted.

When people say they “could never homeschool,” they usually complete that thought with one of the lines listed below. Sometimes the line is spoken aloud, and other times it is merely implied. Still more often, the spoken phrase, “I could never homeschool,” stands alone as a substitute, a coded message, for one or more of these assertions. If you think you could never homeschool, give some consideration to these tongue-in-cheek explanations and reflect on why you feel homeschooling is not for you — be sure that you are not avoiding homeschooling for mere excuses.

I could never homeschool–

1. …I’m too disorganized. Homeschooling works with as much organization as you are willing to put forth. However, if you can keep your silverware sorted, you probably have what it takes.
2. …I don’t know how. Have you ever begun a new adventure already knowing everything about it? Like anything else in life, you learn as you go.
3. …I wouldn’t be any good at it. How do you know? Have you tried and failed at this before? If you have, then you know what problems to avoid this time.
4. …I’m too lazy. Are you saying that it is easier to get your children up, dressed, fed, and off to school at the crack of dawn five days a week, than it is to allow your children to do math in their pajamas?
5. …My husband/family won’t let me. Is that because you have run yourselves deeply into debt and need multiple incomes to keep up the payments? Or is it because of utopian ideas of what institutional schools can do for a child?
6. …I’m not smart enough. Did you teach your child to walk or talk? Did you help him learn to dress himself? Did you teach him to sing “Happy Birthday”? Then you probably have what it takes to teach him to print his name. The rest you can learn as you go.
7. …I don’t want my child to end up like that weird homeschooled kid I know. Don’t worry–your child will end up with his own brand of weirdness, whether he is homeschooled or not.
8. …I can’t stand to be around my children. This is a bigger problem that you need to resolve, no matter where your children go to school.
9. …My children can’t stand to be with me. Again, this is a bigger problem that you need to resolve, no matter where your children go to school.
10. …I want to support the local Christian school. That is an admirable goal, but is the Christian school more important than your own child? The quality of education (even at Christian schools) is far below what a child can receive at home. Also, Christian schools are populated with the thugs, bullies, and reprobates who managed to get themselves expelled from public school.
11. …I want to support the community through the public school. Again, is the community more important than your child’s welfare and education? The quality of education at public schools is far below what a child can receive at home.
12. …All my children’s friends go to public school. Any friends worth keeping can still be seen and played with after school or on weekends.
13. …I don’t have the patience to homeschool. Did you become impatient when your child was learning to walk or talk? Were you impatient when helping him learn to ride a bike? Homeschooling is no different–it is teaching new skills to the children you love.
14. …My child has “special needs.” Many parents homeschool their “special needs” children, feeling that no other teacher can understand or care for their child better than the parents can.
15. …I don’t know any other homeschoolers–I would need help. Homeschooling is growing so quickly that there are probably some homeschoolers in your area already. There are also resources on the internet for helping you connect with homeschooling families near you.
16. …I don’t want to insult my friends who are public school teachers. Right. Because their feelings are so much more important than your child’s feelings and education.
17. …I have to work. Some families have been able to adjust their work schedules and their homeschooling schedule to fit together. Other families have found financial benefits to homeschooling that eliminated the need for both parents to work.
18. …My children don’t want to homeschool. How do they know? Have they tried it before? My children loved having a fully stocked refrigerator available in their classroom.
19. …I have a degree, a career, and a corner office that I have worked hard for, and I’m not giving that up. Right. Because it’s all about you, isn’t it? But your child would like his own chance to obtain a degree, a career, and a corner office.
20. …I can’t teach algebra, geometry, calculus, or chemistry. 1.) If your child is just starting Kindergarten, you don’t have to worry about the advanced subjects just yet. 2.) The lessons are all explained in the textbooks.
21. …My children won’t listen to me, don’t respect me, or don’t think I am smart enough. Some of this will disappear the first time you answer a question as Teacher, and more will be conquered as you continue to homeschool. However, some of this may stem from bigger problems that will need to be resolved no matter where your children go to school.
22. …I have a life and social commitments, and I’m not giving those up. It’s still all about you, isn’t it? Many commitments outside the home can still be maintained–and some may be easier because of the lack of school-related commitments during after-school hours.
23. …I don’t want to wear a denim jumper, put my hair in a bun, kill my own chickens, or have 18 children. And you don’t have to. Homeschooling should fit your family’s lifestyle–no matter what your lifestyle is. Some athletes homeschool around hours and hours of daily training, and some families homeschool on the road in the cab of an 18-wheeler. Homeschooling adapts to you and your lifestyle.
24. …It costs too much money to homeschool. Many of the costs associated with homeschooling (such as curriculum purchases) can be spread out by re-using the materials for several students, or recouped by reselling the materials when you are finished with them.
25. …We can’t afford to start now; maybe we’ll start next year. Along with your financial costs, be sure to consider the personal costs to your child. In some cases, the emotional and mental anguish from one more year in public school can do irreparable harm.
26. …We might homeschool later when the kids really need it. How will you know if you’ve waited too long to start? In some cases, the emotional and mental anguish from one more year in public school can do irreparable harm.
27. …My child has been looking forward to going to public school, and I can’t break his heart. 1.) Your child is probably looking forward to either a ride on a school bus or a chance to play on the school playground. Are those more important than the quality of education? You can ride the city bus (or a church bus), visit a local playground, and then make cookies together at home (something he can’t do at school). 2.) Who is responsible for deciding what is best for the child–that child or you, the parent?
28. …I don’t want to go to jail–isn’t homeschooling against the law? No. Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states, as well as many foreign countries. Home School Legal Defense Association is consistently on top of homeschooling law cases and will support any member family at no cost. (info at http://hslda.org)
29. …I want my children to get into college. Homeschoolers are actively recruited by colleges for their dedication to excellence and self-motivated learning.
30. …Homeschooling isn’t really that important. Homeschooling can turn a poor student into a great student. Imagine what it can do for your student.
31. …I went to public school, and I turned out all right. The school you went to is no longer available. Schools are dramatically different now from what they were even five years ago. Ask a child who is currently in school what a typical day is like.
32. …I want my children to experience all the good things from public school. Again, the school you went to is no longer available, and you may have forgotten many of the painful or difficult times that accompanied your good experiences. Ask a child who is currently in school what a typical day is like.
33. …My baby/toddler takes up too much of my time. Have you found ways to prepare meals or do laundry with Baby around? Homeschooling can also be adapted around baby’s schedule, and toddlers and preschoolers love to join in the fun. There are many ways to homeschool with younger children about.
34. …My mother is a teacher! Then she should understand why you want to skip all of the undesirable elements of school and focus on personalized academics. It is a very rare grandmother who does not want the best for her grandchild. And you have the bonus that she can help teach your child how to stand in line for the bathroom or show you how to inspect him for head lice.
35. …My children won’t have any friends. Do they have friends now? They can still get together with the school friends they enjoy, and friends from the neighborhood or church will still be around. Homeschool support groups provide new friendship opportunities, plus field trips and group activities.
36. …I’m dyslexic–I can’t teach my child. Some dyslexia results from incomplete understanding of phonics and reading skills, which parents can learn right along with their students. Any other homeschooling adults would be understanding and happy to help you through any difficult spots.
37. …I’m not creative. But many other people are and are making their ideas available to other homeschoolers. Low-cost and no-cost ideas are available on the Internet, at public libraries, and through cooperative homeschooling support groups.
38. …I’m not religious–homeschoolers are all religious fanatics. Many homeschoolers have no religious preference but choose homeschooling for the excellence in academic instruction and opportunities for personally tailored learning.
39. …I want my child in the Gifted Program. “Gifted” in public school programs often means “compliant worker-bee.” Boat-rocking, buck-the-system, freethinking individuals are rarely admitted into Gifted Programs. Your child can develop his gifts and personal interests without all of the bureaucratic red tape or funding cuts.
40. …Homeschooling takes too much time, and it takes more time each year as the kids get older. Wrong. Homeschooling takes less time for the parent as the students get older and become able to work more independently.
41. …I could teach arithmetic, but I don’t know how to teach a child to read. There are many programs available for teaching reading, including some which guide everything the parent should say to the child. Teaching your child to read is much simpler than it seems and is an unbelievably rewarding experience.
42. …I want my child involved in sports. Homeschooled children are involved in sports through city recreation leagues, through dual-enrollment with public schools specifically for the sports, and through the many homeschool cooperative groups that are starting teams and hosting tournaments.
43. …I can’t teach art. 1.) “Art” must be your child’s name. 2.) Art can be taught, even if he is stubborn. 3.) Dump all of your crafty supplies on the floor and let Art loose. Library books can guide you into specific artistic techniques, but creativity is built in to all children.
44. …I can’t teach a foreign language. Excellent foreign language programs are available on CD-ROM that allow the student to hear the correct pronunciation, free of regional accents. (Have you ever heard French spoken with a Texas accent? I know a public school student whose teacher taught French with a heavy drawl. It’s funny.)
45. …My child is too active to keep up with. So you’d rather send him to a school where they will medicate him with drugs to make him sit still? At home, that child can run, jump, and play, and then do the schoolwork when his legs are finally tired and want to rest.
46. …I’m a single parent. Many single parents are finding ways to homeschool their children through flexible scheduling (of the job or the lessons) or work-at-home options.
47. …My neighbors will report me for child abuse. Do you need to be reported for child abuse? If not, try talking with your neighbors to help them understand your desire to provide your children with an excellent education. Bake cookies for the neighbors and have the children ask them about their hobbies, careers, or where they grew up, as part of a homeschool project. HSLDA will defend member families against false reports, but not homeschooling out of fear is cheating your children out of a wonderful educational opportunity, not to mention the emotional abuse they will actually endure at public school.
48. …I don’t have an extra room in my house for a classroom. You don’t need one. You can do lessons on whatever surface you currently eat dinner (kitchen snack bar, dining room table, or TV tray) and sit on the sofa for reading. Books and supplies can be stored in a box in the closet or in a corner to keep them from wandering off.
49. ...I don’t want to homeschool. It never stops being about you, does it? Is your leisure time really more important to you than your child’s education and your child’s welfare?
50. …I wouldn’t know how to start homeschooling. There are abundant resources for homeschooling, including the one you are reading right now.

I strongly urge you, if you are not homeschooling now, to give serious thought to why you have not considered homeschooling your children. If your reasons now seem as frivolous as the reasons stated above, perhaps you need to look at homeschooling as a real possibility for your family. Families have begun homeschooling as a way to care for dramatic health needs or because they had serious disagreements with the philosophies put forth in public school curriculum. However, homeschooling is proving itself to be an ideal way just to strengthen individual families and prepare children for college and the real life beyond. Besides all of the wonderful reasons for justifying homeschooling, it is just plain fun for both the children and the parents. Investigate this phenomenon called homeschooling–you may be very glad you did.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I found this blog from another homeschooling forum. I read your few entries. What a wonderful blog! Thank you so much! I am planning to homeschool my son next year. It has been a very unhappy first grade at the PS for him. He is asking me to homeschool him. We need to finish this year at school, so that I can read as much as I can & prepare myself for next year. Thank you for your website!

  2. CarolynM says:

    If this is such a miserable year, consider pulling him out now. He really won’t miss all that much if you just let him play, do fun activities together, and you read his favorite stories to him. It will be a destressing time for both of you. I went through the exact same thing, except that I waited out the school year. Wished we hadn’t. Let the healing begin. :)I also spent that 1st summer reading to prepare myself. I over-prepared when I could have just learned as we went. I psyched myself into thinking HSing would be much more difficult than it actually was! Here’s a (((HUG))) to get you started!!!

  3. Mommy22alyns says:

    Love, love, LOVE it! I especially like numbers 7 and 39 – thanks for quotable inspiration material!

  4. Shannon Marie says:

    Great Article…I homeschool in PA Love your blog!!!!! Here is my blog for homeschool issues and more.http://enzosgalaxy.blogspot.com/

  5. Jessica says:

    back in 2004-thereabouts, my older 3 kids were still in public school… my 2 oldest were in the gifted program, which I thought was a HUGE joke. Granted, the gal who taught it was pretty good, but they only met once a week (if that) for about half an hour (?!?!?!?!?!!!!!?!??) and they still had to do the same math/science/english, etc., that everyone else had to do. One of my boys got so burned out from having to do the math that he Already KNEW that he's no longer interested in math… he used to love it. Sad, eh? I could go on, but I won't…In addition to being too lazy to send my kids to school (getting them up at 6am), my then-1st grader (now 11) would come home & have a couple of sandwiches & then go to sleep until it was time to get up for school. Usually only "saw" him on weekends. At home, he could take naps!!Great article…. (and I lol'd about the person who thinks homeschooling means wearing a denim jumper & having 18 (is it 19 now??) kids!!)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE this list. I have been home educating my 4 kids for 10 years now – I love it and will not stop until God call us to do otherwise….I don't hear Him calling us anywhere else. Thank you!!!

  7. Lily of Philly says:

    You say that many parents work and homeschool, so perhaps you, or one of them can tell me just how to do it. I work 40 hours a week-in retail, with varying hours. My child is 14, and has been homeschooled for the past 7 years. So, this is not new to us, just my working full time is. Not working full time is not an option. I carry our family's health insurance.

  8. CarolynM says:

    Lily, if he already knows how to be responsible for getting his lessons done, half of your job is already done. Let his schedule vary with yours or do whatever it takes to make this work for your family. That is the key: adapting to your family's needs. There is no rule book that states education can only occur between the hours of 9am and 3pm on Monday through Friday.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you SO much for this list.Thank you for being blunt, I needed to hear it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank You so much for posting this! My husband and I have made the decision to homeschool our 2 boys and we have had much oppostion from family (we have wonderful supportive network of homeschooling friends)! The family doesnt understand why we want to do this. Thank you for giving me more courage to follow my convictions, and do what I know is best for my children.

  11. This is awesome. Thank you for your insights. I just posted this on facebook to let others see it.

  12. My sister has a 4 year old that she does a lot of extra work with because she is not happy with his preK. She works a 40 hour work week with a 45 minute commute each way and is a single parent. Her exhusband is out of the picture. How might she make HS work for her and her son for grade school? Do you have any ideas on how a daycare provider would handle a school age child being “home from school?”

    Also, I loved the post you had comparing PS to bologna sandwiches…had to laugh tho because my husband (who is anti-homeschooling) would feed our kids bologna everyday! :)

    OOOH! Which reminds me…I DESPERATELY want to HS and my husband doesn’t. My oldest is in kindergarten now…you mentioned this as a reason NOT to HS, but how do you see working around this issue? I feel a stronger, God-led, calling to be obedient to my husband, but feel a VERY strong call to HS. Any suggestions?!

  13. Ashley, some things that might capture your reluctant husband might be:
    Attending a good Christian homeschool park day. Let him see how joyful and “normal” the kids are. Cleaning up any areas of your life he might be nervous about, such as organization or getting meals done, etc. Letting him talk personally with other homeschooling dads to see that it CAN be done! Asking him to speak with a public school teacher about the realities of today’s public schooling. Finding a large homeschooling convention near you–sometimes dads just need to see the sheer number of homeschoolers “out there” to feel more comfortable. Ask him to sit in on several different grade levels to see what school is really like *today*. Asking him to try it “just for one year” and re-evaluating after one year; some families do this each year and choose homeschooling again and again, but some dads need that reassurance they are not being trampled over. Buy or borrow “How to Homeschool” books (recommended ones!) from members of your local support group. And lastly–pray. Some men simply need to see the “results” of what school did to their own child before they are softened toward homeschooling. Do not shield him from the roughness of your child’s day. Perhaps he will come around simply because he sees his child being treated poorly. Blessings to you!

  14. Anna Kinney says:

    What a great post! My husband and I both agree that we want to homeschool.
    Our daughter is almost 4 and now that we are getting close to school age i have started to get scared. My mother-in-law keeps really doesn’t think homeschooling is a good idea and my sister-in-law keeps pushing me to put my daughter in pre-school.
    I will read an article about homeschooling and get excited again and then hear those two telling me i can’t do it and get scared again.
    I decided to start looking for a homeschool group in my area but i haven’t found one yet so i started looking for homeschool blogs and found yours. I know there have to be homeschoolers around here because the school system is just awful. I will keep looking for a group and in the meantime i will check out the rest of your blog.

  15. Well according to this list I shouldn’t homeschool. I have one child who will never ride her bike and I’m really good with that… I think I can sell it on ebay. I really support your decision to homeschool but you should really rethink your attitudes towards people who don’t. Yes our national education system is a little rough in places, but we still have some decent schools, especially if you are willing to take the time to volunteer in them. We have some wonderful teachers in our school here and I know my children are getting a better education than they would get from me. I’m not saying that homeschool is better or worse than traditional school, I’m just saying that I should not be judged because I choose not to. I feel that there are mothers out there who are more than capable of doing better than the school system, I’m just not one of those.

  16. Sorry but your post makes it look like you don’t accept anyone telling you they won’t home school or that homeschooling is for everyone and otherwise you are being selfish. You don’t know what goes on in every household and what is better for each family, I respect those who choose to home school and make it work for their family but please respect others. Or is there a reason that you find good enough for someone not to home school?

  17. Vanessa, you don’t seem to realize that this blog is for homeschooling encouragement. If you don’t homeschool and don’t have any intention to homeschool, why are you reading my blog?

  18. It was linked on a page that talks about different subjects not just home schooling and I was not the only one who found it judgmental, why is bashing people necessary to provide encouragement? actually when I was still undecided whether I would home school or not it was posts like this that would turn me off, just like you assume kids who go to christian private schools are thugs I will assume that home schooling moms are judgmental and harsh. But I know is not true I have friends who are going to home school and don’t bash me fro my choices. Your post is out on the internet for everyone to read not just home schoolers, I am sure there are ways to provide information without talking poorly of people’s choices.

  19. CarolynM says:

    Vanessa, perhaps you skipped over the introductory paragraphs on this post and went directly to the list. That could lead you to assume that these comments are meant to be all-inclusive. However, your assumptions are false.

    I have many regular readers who do not homeschool, but enjoy my blog for the parenting advice and activities they can use with their children during non-school hours. If I was as judgmental as you assume, your comments would not have been published. I think this would be a good time for you to read the Disclaimer at the top of the right sidebar.

  20. Hi thank you thankyou I so needed this was having one of those days yesterday..started out good and we got our schooling done and she did well but boy o boy after that she was very naughty and I yelled and then felt bad..I think she was pushing boundaries but I felt like such a bad mother.

    Also when we went shopping she was constantly looking at the other children in the shops they are all school children all in their expensive uniforms. So I felt bad because she had missed out on her sport day as it wasn’t on and that meant by the time she got back home too late to play with the children in our street, who go to school.
    So tell me I’m not a bad mum I try so hard to teach her the PACES we are doing and I also try to do other things but i run out of ideas Praise God for your site and the childrens activities one that you send me..

  21. Re: #10 – Yes, the “Christian” schools are full of thugs, etc., that the world expelled, and often, their parents are holding something over the schoolboard, too. (They can be thugs, too.) Also: the mechanics of running any institution are basically the same and totally abnormal for any child, the options for exposure to more and more diseases is a constant, the tendency to get lost in the cracks or to be unpopular are exactly the same, the competition and peer pressure do not let up just because there is a cross on the roof. Facts are, NO ONE can love or understand your child like you do.
    Also, studies show that the kids who do best in life come: first, from homeschools; second from public schools; and third from Chistian schools. It just averages out as the worst option for results in the actual child.

  22. I love your list and it helped me to firm my decision to hs my two year old. Thank you and i cannot wait to read more posts!

  23. This is the BEST thing I have read ALL DAY! THANK YOU for writing this, I will refer people to it when they try to give me and others a hard time:) Please keep up the great work of inspiring people to give the best education they possibly can to their children – that is so awesome!

  24. I love the idea of homeschooling my kids, but have yet to find a definitive answer to the problem of needing a second income. It’s not about a perfect house or new car, it’s about affordable housing and massive student loans. Sometimes common reasons are good ones.

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  1. […] I had a long list of reasons in my head of why I cannot. I found some entertaining answers on this blog. My husband was positive and encouraging from the start… He even wanted to go to a […]

  2. […] a great list: it takes 50 common reasons people give for not homeschooling, and debunks each one: 50 Reasons Why I Could Never Homeschool. There are lots of other helpful and informative articles at the same […]

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