10 Reasons You Shouldn't Homeschool

I can hardly believe it, but I can now consider myself a homeschool “veteran.” With about thirteen years under my belt now- counting kindergarten- I’ve learned a thing or two about this whole homeschooling gig.

Normally, you find me writing posts that will encourage and inform you along your homeschool journey. But today’s post is totally honest, an authentic confession about certain facets of homeschooling. I have a a warning, a caution for you- especially if you are contemplating homeschooling or you are new to the homeschool world. Here are ten reasons, you might want to rethink that homeschooling decision.

Homeschool humor

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You don’t want to spend time with your kids.

Unfortunately, spending large amounts of time with your children is an unavoidable part of homeschooling. From the time you wake up in the morning, you’ll constantly find yourself surrounded by your children. You’ll have to spend time talking to them, reading out loud, teaching them new skills, taking them places to do fun things. You’ll have lots of time together.

As a side effect, you might just develop a good relationship and kids who enjoy being around you. They might want to talk to you. All. the. time. Be forewarned.

You don’t want to know what your kids are learning.

As a homeschool parent, you’ll always know what you’re kids are learning. If they were in school, you could ostensibly spend most of your time guessing, based on the materials your children actually remembered to bring home. But you can’t get away with that in homeschooling.

Did your child fail his science module? You’ll know it. You can’t go on blissfully unaware that he knows nothing about genetics and heredity. And, I also will share this: When you do find out what he doesn’t know, you have to be the one to remedy it (and you might learn something new for yourself!).

You hate books.

If you hate reading and wish you never had to open a book, you’re going to struggle with this whole homeschooling thing. The fact is that the kids are going to have to learn to read and understand in order to learn anything. If you hate the thoughts of opening a book, you might have a hard time with this.

It could happen, that once you’re introduced to the right kinds of books, you get over your aversion to reading. But that would mean opening and reading the book to start with. It’s a danger you’ll have to face.

You want to lie around and eat bonbons all day.

I’ve heard this idea that moms who stay home have freedom to relax and while away the hours while dads are at work. If you desire this lifestyle, you most definitely do not want to homeschool.

Homeschooling will involve working with phonics with one child, teaching math to another, listening to a third reading history, and carrying a baby on your hip at the same time. Don’t forget the need to stop to cook, do the laundry, and at least keep the piles of “stuff” in the house under control.

You might have time for hugs and cuddles with the kids, but I’m afraid there are no bonbons included.

You don’t like to get out of the house.

Let me assure you that the very word “homeschooling” is a misnomer. If you are of the idea that you can homeschool and actually stay at home, you are probably mistaken.

Co-op classes, field trips, homeschool P.E., service projects with fellow homeschoolers, and lunch at the park and playing for the afternoon just because you can- all of these can interfere with your desire to just stay home.

Homeschooler fun

You don’t like learning new things.

When I began homeschooling, I quickly learned how much I didn’t know. There’s nothing quite like reading an elementary science book chapter and realizing you had never learned that in school! And just imagine when it comes to high school history!

The only remedy to this, of course, is to learn these new things for yourself. This might involve pre-reading lessons and googling information. You’ll emerge with much more knowledge, it’s true. But learning new things can be exhausting. (And it’ll definitely cut in to that bon bon time.)

You don’t want your children to spend time together.

It’s just a fact. If you homeschool, your children will have to spend time together. Instead of older children going away to school, they’ll be at home to play with the toddlers and babies. They may actually come to enjoy playing together.

Your homeschooled children won’t be able to separate into peer groups for a large part of the day. Instead, they’ll be forced to play outside with their siblings after lunch, roaming the woods and making up games and obstacle courses.

Are you sure you want them to be forced into this?

Homeschooled kids

You love traditional “learning.”

I’ve been a traditional school teacher, so I’m always aware that my homeschooled children are missing out on learning some of the truly important things.

They don’t know to raise a hand to talk. They’ve never learned to walk in a straight line. They’re not aware of how to buy a school lunch. They don’t know that it’s not appropriate to talk or to ask questions if they get excited. And they’ve never learned the most important fact- that they should only go to the bathroom when they have permission.

You want your children to only be around their peers for most of the day.

In traditional schools, children are separated into groups by age. Your homeschooled children won’t have that experience. Instead they’ll constantly be around a variety of people of all ages.

The danger, of course, is that they’ll actually start enjoying these various groups. They might naturally gravitate toward playing with younger children at the park, or with sitting and talking to adults. And what’s even more likely is that they’ll find themselves learning from the many older people they’re around and being a role model for the younger ones.

You want your children to do school work for eight hours a day or more.

Homeschoolers are all different, of course, and all keep different schedules. But many homeschoolers find it possible to fit all of their schoolwork into a shorter block of the day – if they are at home with few interruptions that day. In fact, I’ll even confess that some homeschoolers finish work before noon- especially with elementary-aged children.

If you’re looking for longer school days, you’re going to want to stick with traditional school where they attend from 8ish to 3ish and then spend a couple of hours doing homework as well.

After all,if they’re finishing too early, they might feel free to do things like playing outside or working on crafts or reading books.

Homeschooling is fun

You want your children to be “socialized.”

Okay. I’ll admit this one is a little unclear. I’m not exactly sure why sending children to a large place full of children and putting them in rooms with children of the same age all day automatically “socializes” them. But I’ve heard this argument over and over about homeschooling, so it must be true.

If you keep your poor children at home and homeschool them, they won’t be socialized. It doesn’t matter if you’re involved in a co-op or if you go on a group field trip every week or if you sign them up for dance and homeschool PE and gymnastics or community theater.

It just doesn’t matter. Those poor children are going to be unsocialized. And you don’t want that do you?

Homeschool humor

I hope I’ve given you something to think about. These are important facts to consider if you’re thinking about homeschooling or new to homeschooling. After reading these, are you really sure you should homeschool?

Disclaimer: I have taught in public and private school, have friends who are schoolteachers and have friends whose kids go to a traditional school. Schools aren’t the great evil- but neither is homeschooling, although it’s sometimes presented as such. We all have to make the best educational choices for our family. Obviously, we think homeschooling is that for us. Enjoy this post as humor- not as criticism of any different choice.

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