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10 Things Homeschool Moms Wish You Knew

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Mom. Homeschooler. Editor. Wife. These are a few words to describe notyouraverageal. Her life is anything but average.


1. Our choice to homeschool is not a judgment on you.

We made a decision. For our family. For our kids. It was the best decision for us. For our kids. Not for you or yours. We don’t think less of you because you don’t homeschool. In fact, there are moments we are jealous of you because you actually have 5 minutes alone during the day. However, we are just trying to do what’s best for our kids. We know you are trying to do the best for your kids, too. Don’t judge us. We won’t judge you. It’s a win-win.


2. Our kids are behind in school.

It’s true. My daughter can’t spell “were” to save her life. She’s 13, for goodness sakes. My son hasn’t opened his math book in…well, let’s just say, it’s been a while. They are behind in some subjects. But, let me let you in on a little secret…your kids are behind too. Now, before you start arguing with me that your child just made principal’s honor roll, let me ask you this: Can your 17 year old change the brakes on a car? No? What have you been teaching him? Can your 13 year old plan a Bible lesson and teach a whole room full of students? No? What has she been studying?? Mine can do that and more. So, I guess it’s all about perspective. Mine may not be learning at the same rate as yours when it comes to “school” subjects, but yours aren’t learning at the same rate as mine either. That does not mean my kids are less intelligent. It just means they are learning different things than yours.


3. Our kids are weird.

You’ve seen them – the homeschoolers with their pants pulled up to their armpits and socks pulled up to their knees. They are Weird…with a capital W. There’s no way around it. That’s okay, because I’ve seen kids coming out of public school holding on to their pants, screaming obscenities at their friends as they try to light up their mini cigars. All schooled kids dress and behave like that, so your kids are like that too, right?

Don’t like the stereotype? Neither do we.

The truth is, there are nerdy homeschoolers. There are also nerdy schooled kids. There are thugs who homeschool, and there are thugs in public school. There are also “normal” kids in both settings. It’s not fair to assume our kids are all the same.


4. We really aren't all that patient.

One of the top things we hear when we tell people we homeschool is, “Oh. I could never be patient enough to do that!” The truth is, neither could we. We aren't any more patient than you are. There are days when we scream. There are days when we cry. There are days when we lock ourselves in the bathroom for hours on end. Our kids drive us crazy too.


5. We're just trying to do what's best for our kids.

We think (hope) we have made the best decision for our kids. We don’t need you to tell us otherwise. If we thought we were harming our kids or were robbing them of something wonderful, we would put them in school. We aren’t homeschooling to be controlling. We are homeschooling because we believe we are the best teachers for our kids.

Each homeschooling family has different beliefs, different methods and different reasons for homeschooling. However, regardless of our differences, we are all just trying to do what is best for our kids. We know you are too.


6. Our kids are not trick ponies.

Please don’t ask our kids to do a math problem for you or to spell a hard word for you or to compose a compound sentence for you. They are kids, just like yours. We don’t ask your kids to name the first 20 presidents of the United States. We don’t ask for proof that your child’s education is working. Please don’t insult us by asking for proof of our children’s education.

If you want to have an intelligent conversation with one of our children, then please, go for it! We are quite confident that our kids can converse with you and possibly on a higher level than some of your adult friends. However, if you are just asking for a performance, please buy tickets when the circus comes to town.

What about you?

7. Grades don't reflect character.

We are thrilled that your child made honor roll again. It’s great. Really, it is. However, please don’t think that makes your child any better than ours. Grades are just a way of measuring how much information a child has memorized. Sadly, grades don’t always even mean your kids will remember what they’ve learned five years from now. Don’t believe me? Think about your own education. Can you name the important dates of the civil war? No, probably not, unless history is something you are interested in.

While it’s great that your child is doing well in school, we don’t feel grades are the end-all-be-all of living. We summarize our children and others by their manners, their ethics and their character and not by their GPAs.

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8. Our kids are socialized.

Number one on the list of the top ten things non-homeschooling people say to us is, “But what about socialization?” People seem to have great concern about whether or not our kids are well-adjusted socially. We would like to assure you, they are doing just fine. Our kids interact with people all the time. We don’t sit around our kitchen tables all alone all the time. We go out. We go on field trips. We go to the library. We go to stores and movies and restaurants. Our kids interact with people of all ages – from babies to the elderly. Because of that, they are very well adjusted and can confidently interact with anyone at any level.

Since we're being honest here, we'd like to say that we are worried about the socialization your kids are getting. They spend all day, every day sitting in classrooms with people of the same age. They aren’t allowed to talk during class. Many times, they aren’t even allowed to talk at lunch. How is that socialization?


9. We worry.

We really don’t need you to list the "what-ifs" for us. "What if he can’t get into college?" "What if you can’t teach her the proper way to dissect a frog?" "What if a 'regular' school was the better way to go?" We worry about all these things and more. We doubt ourselves and hope we haven’t ruined our children. We have the same Mama-guilt as you. Just like you don’t want us to emphasize all the ways you have possibly failed as a parent, we don’t want to hear it from you either. Instead, we would love it if you could say you think it’s great that we’ve given homeschooling a try. Even if you think we are crazy, a little reassurance would be much appreciated. And, if you can't say anything nice about our choices, then please just don't say anything at all.


10. Our kids do "normal" things.

They aren’t missing out on Valentine’s Day parties or gym class or prom or yearbook. They will have homecoming and graduation too. We, as homeschoolers, have all those things and more! Our kids are still kids, and they still do normal things. They just do it a little differently.

We like being different. We are okay being different, and we hope you can appreciate us for our differences!


I homeschool my boys on January 05, 2017:

Why so defensive? Some of these sound very argumentative. I have been asked some of these questions 1,000,000 times as well, but would try not to answer so rudely. Maybe, you answered the way you did here, because you can't answer that way in person, but good grief, you sound angry.

zack on September 02, 2015:

this is total bullshit, homeschoolers need to have a REAL edcation, not something a mom or dad thinks is better, I am a JR in HS and a high honer role student, my GPA is 4.7/5. I was home schooled until my freshman year, I did not learn how to read till 6th grade, where I taught myself how to read because my mom thought that it would be better for me to "learn" other things, and go on "field trips" and not do school work because I was learning outside of class.

ToddandFawn on June 04, 2015:

The statement that "our kids are behind" if homeschooled is FALSE. PLEASE don't go around saying [in a public article at that!] that homeschool kids are behind. Some are, just as MANY regular school kids are. However, MANY are in fact way ahead of the school system. This is part of the reason colleges are now more likely to accept a homeschooled student over one with traditional schooling. I know you are trying to do a good thing, but please don't label our kids as being behind [or dorky/weird for that matter]. Maybe yours are, and others are, but not all are.

Al (author) from Florida on June 03, 2015:

That's awesome, Jewel! Of course I'm not saying anyone is stupid! That was my point...with homeschooling, kids can learn at their own rate. I'll bet there are things you and your friend know that kids in school wouldn't know, and I'll bet there might be things they've learned in school that you haven't learned yet. We all learn at different rates. Even kids in "regular" school learn differently. If you go to school in Tennessee, you'll learn on a different schedule than kids in California. (For instance, in 9th grade in Tennessee, I wrote a full length term paper. In 10th grade in Florida, my class learned to write a 5 paragraph paper.) That doesn't make kids in one state smarter than the other. It just means they are learning on different time tables.

Jewel on June 03, 2015:

Sorry, but my best friend is 14 and a senior in high school. Are you saying she's stupid? She takes college classes at delta college. I'm 14 and going into college classes. Sorry, but none of these are true.

DonnaGA on June 02, 2015:

I'm a homeschool mother. As I read this article I had several issues with its verbiage. Especially #2. When tested, my boys actually score several grade equivalents ahead of their 'assigned' grades. As someone else said, this article is an inaccurate representation of homeschooling.

jan crow on January 22, 2015:

I was home schooled and loved it but I can see many pros and cons and believe the need for home schooling it is a case by case basis. My belief is some children will thrive better in a public or private school and others need to be home taught, even in the same family as was the case in my family growing up! Unfortunately after reading your post, I feel you give home schoolers a bad name and make it look like a negative thing. You have a defensive, judgemental and even self righteous tone, you also don't speak for the entire home school community and should have prefaced as such. No wonder people judge home schooling parents and their kids. You obviously are very passionate but could use a softer approach in educating others about your decision. It's your business, so just be confident about it and know what you are doing is what is the very best for your family no matter what others do. And please give others who parent and teach different than you the same respect you demand.

Anthea on January 20, 2015:

Found this post via a braying critic who posted a skewed critique on her anti-home edding blog. Your article has been misread by those who wish to find fault.

Mea culpa. I am not 'practically perfect in every way', either. Makes you wonder how they let me teach secondary level English for 12 years :)

Al (author) from Florida on January 19, 2015:

Well, then, thank you for giving the rest of us something to strive for.

not behind on January 19, 2015:

No way will I apologize for showing other homeschoolers what is possible.

Al (author) from Florida on January 19, 2015:

@not behind - I humbly apologize to the entire homeschooling community for saying homeschoolers were behind. That actually was not exactly what I meant by the statement - my point was we work on a different timetable. There may be times our kids appear to be "behind" since they are not learning the exact same things at the exact same ages as schooled kids, but they are still learning. This doesn't make them behind - it just makes them learning different things. However, the public perception is that kids are behind if they don't learn multiplication tables in 2nd to 3rd grade, dividing fractions in 4th grade, etc.

Perhaps, you owe the homeschooling community an apology as well for painting a picture of perfection in your home. I'm sure there are things your kids struggled with. If they haven't, they will at some point. By claiming perfect SAT scores and brilliant children, you may have actually just discouraged another homeschool mother who is trying but struggling.

Regardless of whether my kids have learned at the same rate as yours or not, my children and I have worked our butts off too. I don't appreciate the insinuation that those who are "behind" have not worked as hard as your children and the perfect children you know.

AncientBlue on January 19, 2015:

I homeschooled both of my kids. One always wanted to go to public school but when she went down to the school to attend football games she was amazed at how she was treated. She came home and said "Mom, thanks for homeschooling me. I had no idea." I told her that I just didn't want her to go through the experiences I went through as a child.

My other one never wanted to go. Both are well adjusted adults at this point.

BTW, we are non-religious and I have never locked myself in the bathroom. Neither one was ever behind on academic subjects. Of course, because they are different people they excelled at different subjects. All in all it turned out well and we are a much closer family because of it.

not behind on January 19, 2015:

Behind in school??? LMAO! Our homeschooled kids were National Merit Finalists, got PERFECT SATs, all finished exclusive universities and have doctorates from elite universities. I personally know other homeschoolers who have done the same. I'm talking about places like MIT and Duke. Plus they have plenty of practical skills, as well. You owe homeschoolers who worked their butts off to do their kids and the movement proud a huge apology for this false, generalized statement that homeschoolers are "behind."

Bestie on January 18, 2015:

For the inquires about how her children feel, they are both thrilled with being home schooled. I've been from changing both of their diapers, to both of them working in my Real Estate business. They love living a real life with school being just one part of that life.

MacAllister Bishop from Bonne Terre, MO on January 11, 2015:

I loved this article. A lot of this is true for me. I am my own worst critic when it comes to homeschooling my children.

Katie on January 11, 2015:

A lot of people seem to take issue with the academics portion of this list. I think it's being taken out of context. She's not saying her kids will NEVER learn to spell properly, just that they're learning at a different pace.

That's something I can relate to, and I bet parents of public school kids can, too. I remember my mother trying to help my sister with her math homework on fractions for hours and never getting through. Fractions didn't click for her until she got to high school--when she was ready. No one learns the same way or at the same pace. And not everyone is good at the same thing.

My husband and I both went to public school. My husband is one of the smartest people I know, but he can't spell properly to save his soul. I graduated 4th in my class and gave a speech at graduation, but to this day I don't know all my multiplication facts. Meanwhile, my homeschooled children have their deficiencies, too. My daughter is a terrible speller. My son is dyslexic and is a struggling reader.

What does this prove? It proves that all human beings, regardless of how they're educated, have strengths and weaknesses. This post's author has been brave enough to share the ones within her family.

I could fill a book with all the things I want to say in response to the comments under this post, but I have just two words for the author: Thank you!

Big Daddy on January 10, 2015:

Go Cowboys!

Sydney on January 09, 2015:

public schoolers would probably feel like they need to defend themselves too if people came up to them every day telling them their decision was awful too.

HS&PS Mom on January 07, 2015:

Simply, if you don't agree, don't read it! If you do agree, STOP thinking you have to defend yourself! Either way, if you (and I use the term loosely) ADULTS don't have anything nice, constructive, educational, or uplifting to add....then take your mother's advice and be quiet!! To ALL of the negative Nancys here..SHAME ON YOU ALL!

Kay on January 07, 2015:

So, perhaps a better title would be '10 Things This Homeschool Mom Wish You Knew' :)

mombryan on January 07, 2015:

I find it very interesting, here in the comments, that the accusations of stereotyping and everyone claiming that it's all about the children... then immediately touting the accomplishments of the children (from both forms of school, mind you), and measuring their worth as parent/teacher by these accomplishments. I read the article, the whole thing, actually, and I could relate to quite a few points as a homeschooling mom. I'm not really claiming total agreement, but I believe that's the point. Everyone is different, she's speaking from her own experience, but it's kind of the same for a lot of moms. It is sad when the homeschooling experience isn't awesome, I feel for those kids, but it doesn't mean everyone's experience will be the same, so your projecting isn't fair. I will admit, my reasons are purely selfish. I want to know my children. And I want them to have time to enjoy life. The amount of time spent waiting in a public school setting is astronomical. They wait for everything. And I am sorry (though I'm not really apologizing), but the ten minutes it takes to wait for the school bus, the lunch line, the teacher to come answer their questions, those add up. And I want to spend that time with them instead. I want to know them, I want to see their face when they understand something, I want to be there when they develop their own ideas and tastes and discover their talents. I know a lot of that can be done after school too, but I want to be there the first time. Another point I want to make about socialization regarding a homeschool class room vs. a public school classroom is the variation in age. True, this cannot be possible for all situations (but a lot of parents attend co-ops where this would be the case), but my "school room" resembles a one room school room of days gone by, before public schools created peer groups. Older children learn patience for the younger, the younger are exposed to the education of the older and find interest in schooling before their official schooling has begun. There is a lot of reciprocal benefit there. And I would say the strongest plus is communication. These are all societal benefits that a homeschool room can provide. Just points to ponder...

Hettie on January 07, 2015:

Jeannine, thanks for you comment. I agree wholeheartedly. As a homeschool mom I also found this a harsh and baseless list. I highly treasure my kids education and work like crazy to make sure they excel in ways that ensure them a great future. Much of that is based on the fact that I was homeschooled through high school and received a superior education in all areas. We do not home educate for any other reason than I love all of the resources available and the extra free time it affords my children to read and pursue extra curricular activities without becoming frazzled. And just a note, I haven't screamed and hid in the bathroom, yet. And educational neglect is never ok, I don't care what kind of school your kids attend.

Jeannine on January 06, 2015:

I think it is a mistake to try to speak for such a diverse group of people. We are not all homeschooling for the same reasons, so we do not all have the same things we would wish for others to know. Your overall tone in your piece and comments was off-putting and divisive.

My children are keeping up with or are ahead of their grade levels across the board. I would feel that I was not doing my due diligence if I failed to ensure this in the absence of legitimate reasons it might be difficult (learning disabilities etc).

Also, though we are a Christian family, we are not homeschooling for religious reasons and this is true of a substantial segment of the homeschooling population. So the idea that a child's ability to teach a Bible class makes up for other deficits is obnoxious even to me.

I don't mean to be harsh - you may have just been trying to dramatic. It wouldn't have been a problem if you had just spoken for yourself and not the rest of us.

Steve on January 06, 2015:

A parent is just that. You make the decisions for your children. One of our biggest problems in our world right now is letting kids decide what they want. Be a parent not a friend. Kids should not have a vote for if we let them choose they would all be eating cake and ice cream at disney world.

Ann on January 06, 2015:

Some good points, but I do have to take issue that kids in regular school have to sit still and not talk to each other all day. Many schools these days sit the kids in groups and do many group projects, work things out with each other, help each other....learn to work as a team, or at least work with other kids they might not know, who may think things out differently than they do. That's an important skill to have when out in the workplace.

Kay on January 06, 2015:

I love to share the story of the time we put my son back in school in fourth grade. We had just moved. We met with the Principal. She seemed a mite skeptical when we told her he had been homeschooling the last two years. She patted my knee and told me, "Don't worry, we'll catch him up." My husband and I just looked at each other and didn't say a thing. She took my son off to test him. Came back a bit later and asked if I was a teacher (Well, I homeschool...duh...LOL) because (her words) "he blew that test out of the water". We then asked her what that school could do for our son. She assured us it was the best and they'd find ways to challenge him. Sadly enough, he ended up doing coursework he'd completed in the second grade. We left after the first semester. Many successful homeschoolers transition back with no problem but many more just homeschool until college.

Rachel on January 06, 2015:

Homeschooling worked for us!

JubieDoo on January 06, 2015:

@Christin-So you have never had a problem with any if your transfer students? I went to a different school every year while I was growing up. The school I attended in 2nd grade didn't start multiplication until 3rd grade. The school I attended in 3rd started it in 2nd. I struggled from that point on in math. Did I attend subpar schools? No. Could the same be true for the parents who "drop of and say fix my kid"? I delayed certain subjects, progressed other subjects, and omitted certain things. Why? Because that was what was best. If I do that and then for whatever reason have to place them in school the next year, it does not mean I have not done my job. I did it differently than you or the school you teach does. As I sit here today, with a high school diploma, a BA in secondary ed, social science, and an MA in counseling, human relations, I think back onto what I truly use and remember. I do not use algebra...not in the way we used it in class. I do not diagram sentences. I can generally get the decade correct on historical facts. I remember that chlorophyll (sp) makes a plant green. I remember Romeo and Juliet and the Gift of the Magi. I remember typing class. I also learned how to research. That is pretty much it! I do not care if my kid attends college or not. I prefer they do not because, like I, they will be paying a student loan until they die. I want them to know life skills. I want them to know Gods word. I want them to know how to treat others. I want them to be a productive citizen. There are MANY paths to the meet that.

I am sorry that some homeschool children, who are at a different point in their education, have disrupted your year as you work to align them with other students but that by no means should be an indicator that a parent has not "done their job". They just did it differently and focused in other ways.

Al (author) from Florida on January 06, 2015:

On the flip side, I can't tell you how many children I've seen who were pulled out of school and were so screwed up from going. All they had learned was how to hate learning, and it took months and years for their parents to get them interested in the natural process of learning again. It certainly goes both ways, which was part of the point of this article. What doesn't work for some kids works beautifully for others. That's why I will make the choices for my children, and the parents of your students can make their own choices for their children.

Just so you know, my kid can also spell BRAKES. Just because I said he had not opened a math book does not mean he has not done math. There are certainly other ways, more realistic and more hands-on ways, to learn math. I can tell you he understands more geometry than I ever did as a public high schooler. Though I could regurgitate facts for a test, I had no clue what any of it meant. He understands it, because he is actually learning geometry through using geometry. So, as a teacher, you do YOUR job with your students, and as a homeschool teacher, I will do my job, in my way and on my terms.

Christin on January 06, 2015:

Ok well I have both sides of the coin. First I have a child that has gone to private school her whole life and is an amazing young lady, and yes she can change the brakes on her car and she teaches a 3rd grade Sunday school class...imagine that we sent her to school and she can still manage to do things. It has nothing to do with what system of education we chose it has to do with the time we invest in teaching her. I also have a 5th grader who was in private school for a while and we are now homeschooling. He was bored and needed other learning adventures that the school could not offer him. He is able to do math and science problems and can even change a tire on a car (he is only 10 so there is time yet) Here is my problem. I am a school teacher. I can not tell you how many homeschool kids I see enter into the school system (I am in a private school) that their parents drop off and say "fix my kid" because they (the parent) didn't do their JOB while homeschooling. Great your kid can change the breaks on a car, but if they can't do math then they can't balance a check book. Wake up people. Regardless if you homeschool or choose a formal education YOU are responsible for your kids education. So do your JOB. If your kid is in school, insert your self into their learning, teach them things outside of a classroom subject. And darn it all if you are homeschooling teach your kid how to add, read, what chemistry and physics are. They need a balance, your homeschool kid who "doesn't open their math book in I don't know how long" is going to suffer in the long run, trust me I know I see it all the time. My point is be responsible parents and be in control of your child's education. I sick of both sides complaining just do you JOB!

JubieDoo on January 06, 2015:

Wow! After reading these comments, you are clearly casting your pearls before swine. She actually revealed deep honesty and many of you bashed her. So she stereotyped, big deal! You just did the same. We all have opinions and stereotypes. Is she so bad that she expressed them? No! I was privates schooled, homeschooled, and public schooled. She pretty much nailed all of it. I guess the truth hurts for many of you. It shouldn't. Lighten up...PLEASE!!!

Air on January 06, 2015:

Choices on school are varied, but I believe all moms love and wish the best for their kids. For those who scream at their kids often, well often it has nothing to do with the kids, agree? p.s. I sent my kids to school before, homeschooling at the moment, and plan to send them back when I find a very good one and my kids are ready. Life's too short for any stress.

Stacy on January 06, 2015:

I think that I better understand what you were trying to get across now. Thank you for your reply. I know several moms that make light of the fact that their kids are behind and fall into stereotypes. I make myself crazy with fret that I'm going to send my kids out into the world unprepared. The upside is that it keeps me working extra hard to train up my kids in the best way I can. It sounds like you are doing the same. So, good for you and keep it up. Your kids will thank you for it one day.

Donna on January 05, 2015:

To the individual who thinks I need to be educated:

Please see information and link below

Public School Involvement Choices

for Children Not Fully-Enrolled in an Accredited Public or Private School

(this includes Iowa home educating parents)

In Iowa, there are three basic levels of public school involvement from which to choose:

Home School Assistance Program [HSAP]

Accredited public schools in Iowa have the option to provide a HSAP.

If the resident public school provides a HSAP, parents choose whether or not to enroll.

Schools receive state funds for each enrolled student.

Enrolled students are assigned a supervising teacher employed by the school.

Dual Enrollment

All public schools in Iowa must provide the option to dual enroll.

Parents choose whether or not to dual-enroll.

Schools receive state funds for each dual-enrolled student.

Dual-enrolled students can access textbooks, classes, extracurricular activities, standardized testing, and other such resources through the school.

No Involvement

Parents can choose not to enroll their child at any level in the school.

I was unable to find specific percentages. However, I do know that a minimal amount of funding is allocated to my assistance program while a sizable amount is given to my local public school if my child participates in sports and or academics - more than enough left over to be used by the school for other purposes.

Donna on January 05, 2015:

I know exactly how my state runs funding. Are you actually aware of how funding is handled for dual enrolled students in each and every state? I didn't even mention which state I live in; yet, you tell me to look up how funding is allocated. As a participant in our state's homeschool assistance program, I declare each year if my child will be dual enrolled for sports or sports/academics or neither and funding is then granted to the assistance program that my child participates in AND the public school if my child is participating in sports and/or academics. So, yes, my local school does see money (my tax dollars) for my child. Having my child only participate in one class rather than being fully enrolled is indeed a benefit in funds to my local public school. Furthermore, I highly doubt that other states work differently - that schools are forced to accept home schooled students, but not provided any funding for their participation.

ScotHibb on January 05, 2015:

1. Our choice to school our kids is not a judgement on you for homeschooling yours.

This entire write up is passive-aggressive. The truth is, if the Bible Belt states had public schools that weren't the worse in the nation, there would be far less homeschoolers. Here in the NY/NJ tri-state area the only homeschoolers I know live in towns with "rough" schools they wouldn't dare send their young Caucasian kids to.

My brother's wife homeschools 4 kids. If I lived in Texas and couldn't afford the best private prep schools, I too would homeschool. But I don't. I live in North NJ, wife is a stay home mom, kids are in school and advancing rapidly since we continue teaching them at home. Best of both worlds. And BTW, my daughter was leading a study at the age of 7.5.

ScotHibb on January 05, 2015:

Yes, my kids are on honor roll, and know how to fix a car and plant trees, they correct adult grammar while changing brakes.

My question is this...if you are so secure n your decision to homeschool, why write this?

April on January 05, 2015:

I'm a second generation homeschooler and while I did have my moments of begging to go to school, it all worked out fine and I'm now homeschooling my own kids. I wouldn't go so far as to drop the academics in favor of life skills, but each to his own. In our home, we focus on a mix of both.

Homeschooling is NOT for everyone, but that doesn't mean people need to judge those who choose it. Unfortunately, it seems that many parents are determined to bash anyone who doesn't choose their view when it comes to raising children.

pitzele from Pennsylvania on January 05, 2015:

This is a wonderful list. A friend of mine posted it on our homeschooling email list and sent it out (which is how I found this hub!). Sometimes you just have to put it in plain language so people who do NOT homeschool can understand also.

Donna do some research on state funding in schools on January 05, 2015:

Donna you need to look into basic economics regarding most public school systems. Schools are funded based on the number of students who attend class each day. You are not freeing up funding for other students to do things based on the fact that your child isn't there full time, because the school isn't being paid for your child! I'm not bashing homeschooling in any way because of this (I was in private school my whole life), I'm just merely pointing out that your reasoning is flawed. That's all.

Al (author) from Florida on January 05, 2015:

Actually, I have homeschooled my children with excellence, pride and complete devotion. Sure, I've made mistakes and had bad days. Any mother who says she hasn't lies to herself and to others.

My kids don't fit the stereotypes either. That was the whole point, though this point seems to be lost on many people who did not actually take the time to read my words. We, as homeschoolers, are put into so many stereotypes. My article was an answer to those stereotypes. It amazes me how many people have read it as my personal admission of my own failures. I haven't failed. I'm an awesome mother, and I have awesome, smart, witty, wonderful children.

I'm not making excuses for my shortcomings. I'm human. I have flaws. So does every other mother, whether she homeschools or not. No child is perfect. No mother is perfect. No family is perfect. Period.

Kay on January 05, 2015:

This list had me really pondering my own list last night. I wrote up my own list: What a can of worms you have opened my friend :)

Stacy on January 05, 2015:

This post just makes me sad. Homeschooling is a ministry that we give to our children. We should do it with excellence, pride and complete devotion. We will fail and come up short, but accepting that is not the answer. My kids do not fit these stereotypes and that is a conscious choice on my part.

Don't make excuses for your shortcomings and worries as a parent and teacher. We all have them, whether we homeschool our kids or not.

Homeschool Mom on January 05, 2015:


I'm sorry your mother failed you. I myself was failed by the schools. Because I didn't learn like the others, I was a burden and shoved in the corner and sometimes in the utility room. I dropped out at 16 after reading my file, which said I was unlikely to graduate and after being told repeatedly by teachers I wasn't smart enough. One even called me an idiot. This was in the public school system. So it can go both ways. You were given a raw deal, just as was I. It doesn't mean all HS is wrong or that all PS is wrong. Again, I'm so sorry you had the struggle you did. It took me a very long time to realize I was smart and could learn anything I set my mind too. I'm raising my children to be life long learners. " Education is the kindling to a flame, not the filling of a vessel." - Socrates

Bob on January 05, 2015:

My family home schooled and I loved it. My siblings and I have all gone on to college and are doing well in the "real world" thank you very much. My parents had to brave many stereotypes because they chose to go against the grain, and I appreciate that this post attempts to address some of them. Thank you for daring to be different!

Annie4lorida on January 05, 2015:

Goodness, I'm amazed at the negative comments on here from formerly homeschooled kids. I only intended to homeschool my three through elementary and actually encouraged my kids to try out school when they got older. My son did transition to school in 7th grade with no problem. However, his younger sisters have so many friends thorough the two co-ops we are involved in and like their teachers and classes so much, they continually refuse to take me up on the offer to go to "real" school. They both excel with academics and play on a competitive soccer team. The older one is doing dual enrollment now (as a sophomore) and should have her AA (or be close) when she graduates high school. She just has no interest in doing the traditional classroom thing, nor does her sister, but I'm always open to that possibility if they so desire. I'm so sorry that some of you had negative experiences, but there are many, many other kids who love their homeschooling friends and the freedom they have as homeschoolers to travel with their families, explore their interests and take advanced courses that may not be offered in a traditional school setting.

Donna on January 05, 2015:

Oops - I apologize. My comment was directed toward Larissa, but I must have typed her name in the "Your Name" box rather than in the comments section.

Donna on January 05, 2015:

I have no idea why the above comment is listed as being posted by Larissa - I posted it :)

Larissa on January 05, 2015:

Your situation is very sad. You would be in the minority in my community. Home schooling is certainly not one size fits all, but I've homeschooled my kids for 10 years, and I have yet to meet one child whose parents didn't have their best interests in mind - searching for the best curriculum/teaching tools, and participating in all sorts of extras. Heck, I have a hard time saying no to things when I see so many families around me participating in something my kids haven't tried yet. My kids have taken small group home school ice skating lessons, been on Math Counts, Science Bowl, Future Problem Solving, and Mock Trial teams, taken guitar, flute, and piano lessons, participated in ballet, basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, etc. We done many other things on and off. Our family is not the exception in our community, but the norm for a home schooling family. Most families know that home schooling is a LOT of work and don't enter into home schooling unless they care tremendously about their children. However, I am sorry to hear that your experience was not a good one.

Kaikan on January 05, 2015:

Meh, even though there are some interesting points here, I am not a big fan of one person being the voice for a group and representing them in such a way. It may or may not reflect some accurate points, but it sure doesn't represent my communication style and what I would like others to know about my family.

Not a big fan...

Coolmom9 on January 05, 2015:

Vicks 3

Then please stop requiring me to pay for your public schooled children's education. As long as I pay taxes that fund public schools, my kids have the right to do sports/music at them.

Larissa on January 05, 2015:

I would very much like to know how this mothers children feel about their homeschooling experience. No matter how great you think it is as a parent, your child is the one living it. And no not ALL parents "want what's best for their children" In fact some parents straight up don't give a shit what is best for their kids or what kind of schooling/education they do or don't get. I went to homeschool grpups, field trips, etc and I never once knew a kid that was being home schooled who loved it and was doing it because they wanted to. A lot of them begged their parents to send them to public school and the parents absolutely refused. My narcissistic homeschool mother cared only about one thing, herself. She was not trying to provide us the best education possible and she couldn't possibly have cared any less about her children being g socialized or in any way prepared to live life in today's world.

Donna on January 05, 2015:

CLC - Not all homeschool parents are like your parents and the school system fails to provide a great experience/education for some of their students as well. I have one daughter who is dual enrolled - homeschooled and taking college classes through the state for free as a freshman because she excelled in a home schooling environment. I have another daughter who thrived academically at home, but asked to be dual enrolled and then to be full time at our local public school. I'm sorry to hear that your experience was not a good one - especially because education is very important. However, many homeschooled students wouldn't have it any other way.

lena cook on January 05, 2015:

ok some points sounded a little defensive to me , but maybe its just me …..there is no doubt that some people homeschool for wrong reasons …… We home schooled for 3 years grades k-2 , part of 3rd . My hubby traveled and honestly i just wanted to have freedom to go with him as family , we did and it was fun . My kids actually did tons fun stuff , classes , activities that i found (free or low cost ) When we had our 3 rd and 4rth kids , it got to be tougher . I could not get out much , keep school work organized and was very tired as our 2 younger just would not sleep . We prayed about it , talked to our kids and put them in public school. even though i am not a teacher and was c student myself in school , our kids tested above average in school , had zero issues with social stuff and made tons of friends . I miss being free to travel with hubby and do fun stuff (boys refuse to do any after school activities as they say they are tired) but thats what is right for our family right now . However we still teach them life skills at home , because i believe it's not just for homeschooling kids :)

CLC on January 05, 2015:

I love how no one asks us how we liked being homeschooled. It's always about the mom. Newsflash: your kids have to live with your decision that it wasn't important to have the basic skills to be a good citizen who can read a bill and decide what is a good law and what is bad without a Jim Jones stepping up to inform the sheeple how to think.

Yes, being able to read and write are skills only kings and queens really need. Too bad you have decided that your children need not be able to participate in the self government that has been established in this country. As long as they can be good worker bees for you.

I was lucky to be born with an innate desire to learn. Where my mother failed me every step of the way, I worked around her to learn regardless. I taught myself to read and write and think independently.

She did absolutely nothing for me. Just handed me the books and tried her darnedest to keep me too busy with chores to be able to use them because she set up her household in a way that was too overwhelming for her to handle on her own.

Thanks but no thanks.

Annie4lorida on January 04, 2015:

Legal Cat,

While I enjoyed reading this article, appreciated the author's honesty, and could relate with much of what she said, please don't assume that all homeschoolers are of the same mindset regarding the importance placed on traditional academic subjects. As a homeschool mom, academics has always been a huge concern for me. I actually chose to homeschool all of my kids when my second child was entering kindergarten. She was gifted and WAY ahead, especially with reading. I was afraid she'd be bored in a classroom setting. It turned out to be a great decision for us. She has excelled academically, and just scored in the 99th percentile on 2 out of 3 PSAT sections (as a sophomore and with no test prep whatsoever). Two other kids in our co-op (that I know of) have made National Merritt Scholar in recent years. One just got accepted into med school and the other just began at an out of state university on a full scholarship. By the way, my kiddo still volunteers in the church nursery and works with kids at VBS, but we definitely focus on academics as well.

Donna on January 04, 2015:

Vicks30 - When parents choose not to participate in ALL of what is being offered by their local school, more money is available for those who solely use the public school system. I would think the last thing public school parents want is all home schooled kids enrolling full time at their schools using up resources. ALL parents are free to make the choose to "have it both ways." Do you know there is a huge trend for public schools to offer on-line school? Why? Because it says schools a TON of money. My state is, in fact, running advertisements to promote this cost saving option. I have no doubt that those who have to balance the school's budget LOVE home schoolers. You don't know my reasons for home schooling my kids. I wouldn't make the assumption that your public school isn't very good, but that it is "good enough" for you as a parent and that is why you choose to send your kids there. I have one daughter that attends public school because it is a good choice for her. She was home schooled through 6th grade, and teachers are constantly telling me how they LOVE having her in class, while sometimes complaining about the other children in her class to me. I have another daughter who is home schooled, but plays on the basketball team. Not sure what is going on at your school, but EVERYONE who wants to be on the team, is on the team on my daughter's school. She isn't a starter and certainly receives no favoritism. There is no doubt about it: home schooled kids playing sports or taking a class or two at a public school are helping to save precious money for much needed resources at your local public school.

farmmom on January 04, 2015:

I am a little confused on the derogatory comments of this page. If you do not like the style of her writing or what she has to say, why follow? Your comments are do nothing to build up. Very interesting.

Vicks30 on January 04, 2015:

Donna- Why do you want it both ways? Everyone's taxes go toward those things. Even people who don't have children in the school system. If public school isn't "good enough" for your kid, no part of it should be. Example: Home school kid wants to play on the team. The coach better put the kid on the team or possibly face a discrimination lawsuit. THIS now keeps a kid that GOES to the school off the team. How is that fair?

Donna on January 04, 2015:

Vicks30 - Part of my taxes pay for my child to participate on the baseball team, music and art at the local school. The other part of my taxes go to school the non-homeschooled kids in my community - I'm okay with paying for that. Why, then, would you ask me to stop "forcing" public schools to provide services that I've paid for with my tax dollars?

Jill Hart from Weston, Idaho on January 04, 2015:

I homeschooled 2 of my 5 children all the way to high school. The older of the 2 graduated early (at 16) and made almost straight A's the whole way through. The second started high school at 13. My youngest begged me to go to public school when she was in the 3rd grade and she excels.

In the beginning I thought it was all about doing school at home. As I got older (and I started out old to start with) I came to realize it is more about developing human beings that can contribute to society in a that makes both them and society happy. I agree with "the Sister" all the way.

Vicks30 on January 04, 2015:

That's great, but please stop forcing public schools to allow your child on the basketball team... or come to school for music and art.

Al (author) from Florida on January 04, 2015:

Thanks, big sis! You tell 'em. ;-)

The Sister on January 04, 2015:

So sometimes I feel the need to stick up for my little sister..... :)

This post is not a bash public school, private school, charter school. It is also not a rah, rah Homeschool. Did you people that are saying it is insecure, bigoted, argumentative even read the darn title? It is 10 things HOMESCHOOL Moms wish you knew, not 10 things homeschool moms think you are doing wrong. Geez!

I am the older sister to Not Your Average Al and we have totally different parenting styles. Sometimes, I question if we were raised by the same people. LOL!

My kids all 3 attend public school and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have no desire to homeschool and think that I would kill my little darlings if I was trying to teach them. Does that make homeschooling bad? NO! Different strokes for different folks. That's what makes the world go 'round!

My kids may be able to recite the periodic table, know how to work a geometry problem 6 different ways, or know all of the capitals to every country in the world. (Wouldn't that be a hoot?) But, my sister's kids know how to do some real life things like fix a car, determine the best/ least crowded days to do fun things, and coupon like demons! Does this make either of our kids better than the other, no.... they are different... and we need different. Wouldn't life suck if every child was aiming to be the President of the United States or the Head of Time Magazine? What if they all wanted to be mechanics, soldiers, or dog catchers? (Mama always said we need people to scoop dead dogs off the road.) We need different children with different knowledge bases to make this world we love continue. (AND I AM NOT SAYING THAT THE HOMESCHOOLERS ARE THE WORKER BEES... Notice I didn't say who wanted to be what, but you may just see my niece on a ballot one day...)

Public school, private school, charter school, virtual school, homeschool... Can't we all just get along!

Big sister stepping off her soapbox.

LoriB on January 04, 2015:

I hated this! It comes off as insecure, sad, and argumentative.

Pj3 on January 04, 2015:

Unfortunately, while some of the things she says make a lot of sense, other statements serve only to further perpetuate certain stereotypes

Suz on January 04, 2015:

11. Sacrifice

We might not be wearing the latest fashion, driving the newest automobile, or subscribing to 140 plus channels of cable TV. We won't have the biggest house, or be following the latest fad or even own the fanciest gadget. We also won't have the biggest Christmas, birthday or anniversary gift to give. Nor will we be Keeping Up With The Jones. Our yards will not look like a golf course, nor will our flower beds be full. But what we will have are children that will know how to live on a single income and know how to budget accordingly. They will know how to shop, and how to cook. They will know self-reliance. They will learn entrepreneurship. They will know the sacrifice their parents had to make to give them all they have. Don't judge me on what I don't have. Judge me by the fruit I bear. Some turn out better than others, but don't judge me by your bias.

Kelly on January 04, 2015:

At Michelle 735: 100% agree!!!!

christi on January 04, 2015:

Shes not judging public/private schools or defending her decision to homeschool. She talking about very real sterotypes homeschooling parents deal with. It's unavoidable if you venture out of the home during normal school hours and these statements aren't always made by individuals with school aged children.

Michelle735 on January 04, 2015:

My daughter is 10 yrs old. We do 6th grade work at home. I just feel like it is the right thing to do for us. I have never cried or locked myself in the bathroom, even though I have smaller children...LOL! I am sorry for anyone who wasn't homeschooled properly :( It can be a wonderful thing, but it is a lot of work. I get the same people saying negative things to me as when I was breastfeeding my babies up to a year old. I tell them what I always have! It is none of my business what they think of me! :) This is what is right for me and my child(ren). Besides ladies, we should build each other up and not rip each other down. It is a hard job being the Mama!

Gerri on January 04, 2015:

Mac, that was certainly not an effective job of homeschooling and it's had a huge negative impact of your life. As a mom who did homeschool, I feel bad about that.

You are aware and interested in learning. That remains very much open to you, as long as you read and pursue the knowledge. You might try some adult-ed classes for basic language and math skills, or look for that style of textbook to study from yourself. Where you have been or where you are today does NOT determine your ending.

LegalCat on January 04, 2015:

Ok, so there's this 13-year-old girl who can't spell the word "were." But that's ok, because she's really good at planning Bible study classes. Thanks for confirming everything I always suspected about home schooling.

Mac on January 04, 2015:

I was homeschooled up until seventh grade, no matter how much I begged my mother to let me go to public school. I daydreamed about being able to go to school, like I'd read about in books and seen in movies. Being able to socialize with peers outside of church. I couldn't even divide, and I barely understood multiplication. I had no idea what a paragraph was. My mother expected me to learn everything on my own, with no explanation. Because she often did scream and lock herself in the bathroom, because we drove her too crazy to even deal with. That's just what your kid wants to hear, isn't it? Mom yells at you when you ask how to do subtraction because you drive her crazy. Great plan. I'm in my twenties and still struggling to get into college.

And socialization? What socialization? Doing normal things? As if. My mother wanted my sister and me to be different. She wanted us to stand out. Her perfect little angels who were too good for this sinful world.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Mary lee on January 04, 2015:

I have some of my best friends homeschool and they are doing a terrific job!! If I was younger and could afford all the special services my grandchildren need. I would probably homeschool them. But because God is gracious we have found a school that incorporates alot of homeschooling values. I agree that everyone should take care of thier own children and mind thier own business about mine! Aolt of you nay sayers also e,xpect the school to be the only one to educate your children leaving you free of that responsibility. Hows that working out for u and then?????

Sarah on January 04, 2015:

This was very real. Thank you!

princessdy on January 04, 2015:

I absolutely love what Apple said. I think this article was very unimpressive, and would never change my mind about home schooling.

Stacy on January 04, 2015:

Yep...this lady is very insecure. I never understand why homeschooling parents need to defend themselves and judge others. Just be confident in your decision, be quiet and move on.

Apple on January 04, 2015:

Ibhad hoped by reading this article the author would inspire some empathy in the non-homeschooling reader- the title made it sound as if that's what she wanted. Instead I'm going away thinking that this mom cares very little about formal education and her children excelling in subjects such as math, literature, etc.- what's most important to her is character and "practical" skills. Also, she gives the impression (wether intended or not) that she DOES judge public or private schoolers, even though she says she doesn't. If this article was supposed to be simply about things that non-homeschool families didn't know- she's failed. If its a backhanded defense or list of reasons to homeschool, she got her point across. Either the author has a lot of anxiety and insecurity about homeschooling or she is just a bad writer.

Jamie on January 03, 2015:


Maple on January 03, 2015:

You don't like public schools .. And you don't want to spend a penny on private schools .. :(

Jessica George on January 03, 2015:

You have officially contradicted yourself on various points. From I'm not stereotyping to obviously stereotyping how much the schooled child knows. While many points are valid, it came across as judgmental biggitry. Way to go!

Aimee on January 03, 2015:

Haha! True!

Al (author) from Florida on January 03, 2015:

Only 342, Aimee? I'm in the thousands... :-)

Aimee on January 03, 2015:

I echo Andrea's comment to Ronda. Read the title. If you would like reasons for why we choose to homeschool, let me know. I have about 342. And more join that list every week!

Mrs. Smith on January 03, 2015:

Yes, yes, yes!!! If only I could show this to some "well-meaning" family members. :)

Andrea on January 03, 2015:

Ms Wintheiser, I believe the title is things homeschooling mothers wish others knew...not ten reasons to homeschool...having spent about 25 years in some form of familiarity with homeschooling, I find this list to be very accurate to questions and comments that homeschoolers face.

Misty on January 03, 2015:

I would also add that not all Homeschoolers are religious zealots. :) I feel like I have to say we homeschool, but not THAT kind of homeschool. We are not all like the Duggars or some of the others the media likes to hype up.

Chrystina Swain on January 03, 2015:

THANK YOU!! As a homeschoing mama for over 5 years- yes to every point!

Ronda Wintheiser on January 03, 2015:

Sorry, but I think these are some of the most lame reasons to homeschool I have ever heard.

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