Homeschool or Not? Why?

Updated on October 16, 2012
L.M. asks from Chicago, IL
30 answers

I'm very interested in hearing your perspective either for or against homeschooling.

I think it can be a contentious subject, with strong points of view either for or against. And I'm very curious as to how parents arrive at their decision. I have my point of view, for sure, but will not state it initially, as my intention for this post is to have an open dialogue, not start an arguement based on my opinion. I will commit to updating my SWH with my point of view later.

So do you home school?
Have you considered it?
Why or why not?


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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses. I'm not considering home schooling my children. My daughter loves school and her friends at school. She does very well in a structured environment and at home would probably be distracted, especially with her little brother home as well, whose only job it is to play and have fun all day. Our approach is to add to what she is learning at school, at home, to reinforce those lessons. Teach her good study habits and to realize that learning is more than just getting the worksheet done and turning it in.

While I'm very educated myself, and I certainly know the material academically, there are ways to present it and reinforce it for long term memory retention that I'm fearful I would miss.

So why ask if I'm not considering it for myself? I see responses on this site, and in talking with other moms in my community, the subject comes up at times. Often, moms are saying things like home schooled children become completely self involved (narcissistic even) and become to believe that everything revolves around them, or the mom just doesn't want to wake up early to get her kids to school so it's easier to do it at home, or the kids are socially inept because they are not allowed in social situations where they will meet other kids to learn those tough and painful, but important, life lessons.

I could not believe this was true, as I think home schooling is a MAJOR effort and complete responsibility on the parent. Your childs education is one of the MOST important things parents provide and if you mess it up, your kids are going to suffer monumentally. I can not believe any good parent makes this decision lightly.

So I was hoping for perspectives from parents who actually home school, so I have a different perspective, other than the negative ones I've been getting.

Thank you!

Featured Answers



answers from Tampa on

I would personally never do this, but I have seen cases of parents that do an amazing job homeschooling their children. I have also seen homeschooled children that seem lacking in social skills. I think that it just really depends on the parent as to how this works...and if a child is receptive to learning in this manner.

I don't think that I would have enough patience to do this myself. I have a Master's degree myself, but I don't believe that I am strong enough in all subjects to teach effectively. Essentially, I want my children to have the best learning experience and I know that I am not it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I was home schooled growing up... And it was great for me. I just wish I had a better program. Now a days they have programs like connections academy and k12 virtual academy that are accredited and are part of the public school system. I now have children of my own and plan on home schooling them at the end of their second grade year ( in my state; TX ...these programs start at 3rd grade...but, in other states its k-12th). So for now they are attending public school. What I like about these programs and so many others is it allows you to give them such a healthy social life. There are group activities that they have and social groups that home schoolers can get together for events. With so many children leaving public school I'm seeing more and more groups available for social interaction.
I think home schooling has really changed since I was a kid... I would recommend k12 virtual academy.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Personally, I am not a fan of homeschooling. I think many kids don't focus as well or act disciplined enough when their teacher is their parent. They act out and try to get away with more when they don't have a formal teacher.

Also, while I do know that homeschooled kids have many social opportunities, including meetups with groups of other homeschoolers, I still think there is something to be said for the social aspect of school. I think it is important to learn how to work with others in the classroom, collaborate on projects, etc.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on


I don't understand why homeschooling can be such a contentious subject. I do what's right for each of my children and it may not be right for the next child. I would NEVER dream of telling someone it's the right decision for I have no idea why people get their panties in a wad that I homeschool. That being said, I have a friend who homeschools 3 of her children and 1 goes to school. All of them are super happy. Also, my kids are not using any of the tax money I pay for their education. We file a PSA (Private School Affidavit) so we are not using tax money that the charters do. My tax money goes to the local schools that they are using, so in reality, it's benefitting my local public schools and the children who attend.

We homeschool. My son did pre-school at a private school. He did summer school ( 6 weeks - 1/2 day) at a Montessori. Then he did Kindergarten at a public school with a dual immersion program. He was 4 when he started and was totally ready. He could read, write and speak Spanish AND English by the time he graduated from Kindergarten. On the ride home, he sighed and said, "Thank God I never have to go back." My husband and I were in shock. We explained that he has just begun....12 more years...and then some. He said, "Can't you just homeschool me?" Ummm....I guess. I wasn't sure. My husband was dead against it. We were both frightened of letting our son down educationally. We looked into and took the leap.

It was been an amazing journey. My oldest is 9 and in 6th grade. My 6 year old is doing 1st and 2nd grade work. My 4 year old is doing Kindergarten work. They all learn differently and we know what works best for each of them. My oldest likes to read, so his curriculum is more literature-based.

I also work outside of the home and my husband is a SAHD this past year. I organize the curriculum and my husband and I both teach. We both have our strengths and weaknesses. Our son took an outside writing class this past year. He got a lot out of it and it was great. His class had 6 other homeschooled kids and she expected a lot. She's been teaching writing for over 20 years. My 10 and 6 year olds took a fabulous painting class for 2 years. It was at 11am and there were about 30 homeschooled kids in her class for that hour. We have co-ops, so like I would teach Anatomy or Chemistry and another person might teach knitting. We don't all necessarily teach all of the subjects.

My kids get up in the am (around 6am) and sit at the kitchen table, often before I am even up or back from Pilates. Usually they are done with their schoolwork by 9 or 10am. We/they play, read, help with chores, go grocery shopping, taekowndo, swimming and soccer for the rest of the day.

We have no busy work and they can screw around or get to the task at hand. It's up to them....and how the rest of the day plays out. Usually, they get down to business without much prodding.

Our field trips are awesome. We travel a LOT. We spend our money on real life education, rather than a private school, etc.

Last September, we traveled to Oregon and camped for 2 weeks. We hiked to the rest of the lighthouses along the Oregon coast. (A trip we started 2 years prior.) We visited the Oregon Caves and when we got back to the parking lot, I administered a test, which they all passed with 100%. The test was from the Oregon Caves website for teachers. It showed me how much they listened to the docent and comprehended. That would have been SOOOO boring to read about it in book!

This past May, we spent 2 weeks on the East Coast - Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. We went to Cape Cod, Boston Harbor, JFK Library, Sturbridge Village, Philly to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin's gravesite, Betsy Ross' house, etc. We finished the trip by flying to Niagra Falls and then flying home.

Our kids have life skills and are not afraid to use them. When our oldest was 6, we went to NY for 10 days and we showed him on a subway map where we needed to be. He figured out where we were and told us on what lines we needed to change. We also asked him how much money we needed - so he figured out it was 5 tickets and $3/ticket. He told us $15.

Once again, we don't tell people what they should do for their children, but this is clearly working for our family. Our kids like each other and rarely fight. They are the most social kids you could meet.

The standard question I get is, "What about socialization?" My response is, "You say that like it's a good thing. Have you seen what goes on in schools today????"

I don't protect my kids from things. I want them to experience things and help them navigate through life's waters. If I felt like school prepared them for more than the SATs, I'd reconsider.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I homeschool my three. And this is my 6th year homeschooling.
Socialization is no issue. My kids are out and about in the community socializing with people of ALL ages ALL the time. The idea that my five year old needs a bunch of five year olds to teach her how to behave doesn't sit well with me. If you meet my kids there's no way you'd think they are not "socialized." Plus, they get classroom "experiences" at church and in classes they are in. They don't need to be in a single aged classroom for 6 hours a day to understand how to behave in groups.

I chose to homeschool because my time with my kids is fleeting. My 11 year old is going to be GONE too soon. I also want them to have time with their family. They have a grandma they get to visit quite a bit and tons of family away from us and they get more time with them since we're not limited by the school calendar. I also hated what I saw around me in families: kids gone ALL day, then running around after to after-school activities, then homework. I didn't see much quality family time or meals. Does this mean this is how all school families are? No. I just worried it would be a struggle for us. Finally, my husband has a job with an ever changing schedule. If he works weekends and the kids are in school all week, they'd have no time together. So for me it was a FAMILY and LIFESTYLE decision.

We do school 5 days a week, approximately, but the actual days vary. We have extra-curricular activities. We are done around lunch time with afternoons for PLAY. That's another thing I love: my kids get to PLAY. Free play, not structured by someone else. They also help around the house. It is super important for me that they learn life skills. In fact, they are required to do their chores BEFORE their school work.

Also, I know lots of families where both parents work and they still homeschool. My husband works full time and I work part time. It's definitely possible.

Is homeschooling for everyone? No. But there shouldn't be an argument AGAINST homeschooling or AGAINST traditional school. It's wonderful that there are CHOICES for each family. I don't want you telling me I can't/shouldn't homeschool so I sure as heck am not going to tell you to pull your kids out of school!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Nobody should be arguing about it. If they do, then they are just trying to stir up trouble.

My viewpoint is that some moms are cut out for it. Some are not. Some have great reasons for it, and some don't. Some kids can really benefit from it, and on the other side of the coin, the way the mothers go about doing it, the kids don't lose out from homeschooling. Some moms' programs aren't really programs, and they don't do enough academically or socially with their kids.

I remember one mom writing in asking how to teach her child to read. Her grammar and spelling were actually very poor, and several people wrote in asking her why she wanted to homeschool when she didn't know how to teach her child reading and writing. They were blunt, but they were right. (She was very defensive. I wonder how successful she was...) I do think that moms like this woman are totally unprepared for the great responsibility of preparing a child for the rest of their lives.

I think it's a big responsibility and should be considered as such. It's like a real job too, and the real test is if your child will be ready for college years from now. Not only is the child responsible for the hours of studying. The mom is responsible for lesson plans that take many hours of preparation and lots of planning.

The good thing is that a resourceful mom, someone who IS treating it like a job and is very responsible (and sorry, educated), can find some really good resources and support with a big homeschooling community.

I hope this helps. I worked hard with my kids to get them school ready, including a lot of early intervention for my younger son. I did not want to homeschool my children, however. I chose to work hand-in-hand with their teachers in school and advocate for them while they were young in order to make their school years happy and successful ones. However, I know homeschooling moms who love this and their children thrive. If you decide to go this route and are serious about working hard to teach them the best that you can, I'm sure you will be successful.


9 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

We chose to homeschool. I don;t believe there is a one right fit for any family and we need to be respectful of each other's choices. We have many reasons for homeschooling but here are just a few, since you asked. :)

1. socialization - There are studies coming out that have shown that OVERALL homeschooled kids are turning our better socialized than their public schooled counterparts. Studies show as adults a they are more involved in their communities and churches, succeed more in their places of work, and are more politically involved. Studies as kids show they are equally well able to interact with peers their own age as their public schooled counterparts and with the added bonus of being better able to interact with older and younger kids and be able to hold conversations with adults better. Now this being said, this in NO WAY implies that kids in public or private school can't be just as successful in these ways or that you won;t find homeschooled kids who aren't as successful in these ways. This is just an average as a group.

2. Academically - Our kids can work at their own levels as little or as much as needed on any given day. They are free (in our home) to follow their interests to their full extent and have a say in what they would like to learn about.

3. Time - Our kids have more time to enjoy their family, friends, and childhood. Academics simply don't take as long as it does in school. They are finished in 3-4 hours and free to play and explore other interests at their will. They also have more time to learn about real life and learn useful real life skills, like housekeeping, cooking, car maintenance, gardening, carpentry, sewing, etc. They have more time to be involved within the community in a wide variety of things, as well.

4. Family - Time with family is very important to us and we get to spend a lot of time with our kids. We treasure this time and the close relationship we have and all the great memories we make with our kids. We know families who send their kids to school still make lots of great memories. The extra time is simply one of the pluses for us. :)

Ultimately the decision is individual and based on what works for your family.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

I can't help but be suspicious of your motives for posting this. Do you really want to know and respect the reasons why parents choose a certain academic path, or are you using this as a platform to tout your own negative opinions about homeschooling? Forgive me if I am wrong about my assumption, it's my experience talking!

Homeschooling doesn't need to be a contentious subject. Conflict on the issue usually stems from ignorance, and believe me, I've heard every reason why homeschooling is "bad". Most of the time I struggle not to smile or laugh out loud at people's rants against homeschooling because they are so far off the mark.

The fact of the matter is that homeschool, public school and private school all have wonderful attributes and parents who make the best choice for their individual families are all on the right track. I appreciate Dawn and Laurie's refreshing opinions on the subject!
I have homeschooled my kids thus far but we are always open to enrolling our kids in our local school. We are very active in our community and know that it would be a smooth transition if we ever decide to stop homeschooling.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I do not plan to homeschool, but I do have friends who have and are homeschooling. Some of those same friends have less than stellar grammar and math abilities, so I find it kind of scary that they are teaching their own kids. Personally, I think that if you live in an area with decent schools and that does not systematically teach values that are grossly in conflict with your own, then homeschooling isn't the best option. Teachers are trained professionals who have been taught how to teach. Every parent does NOT have the skills and knowledge to teach, and teaching your own children can be even more challenging. In addition, there's a reason that teachers are licensed to teach different grade levels and receive degrees that prepare them to teach different grade levels. An elementary education major isn't going to be teaching teenagers. I tend to think that in a good school district, it's a bit egotistical to think that we can do a more effective job than the trained professionals.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I know it would not have worked for us because, I am not smart enough to challenge our daughter. I am also not a natural teacher. She and I can butt heads when we become frustrated.

Our daughter loved being with classmates each day. She also adored her teachers, she liked having her own school, her own place to go and participate. I think she liked the break from us also.

She loved the structure, the rules. The activities. I just know I could not have provided that for her.

We loved being a part of our community. I was very active in her schools, We are still great friends with those families, the Principals, the teachers and their families. We also liked supporting our schools and making sure we left them even better, than they were when we arrived. I am still asked to be on advisory boards, to give suggestions for improvements. Our daughter has been asked to mentor students, to speak about art. college, volunteerism.. We are very involved in these communities, even to this day.

Now I do have a cousin with 5 children. They live on a ranch and her children have blossomed with their home schooling. They helped design and build the barn that they first lived in, until they could build their home.

Once they had finished building their home (incredible) , they then worked on designing, the water control on their land.

They grow their food, milk their own cows, have chickens. They only eat organic even grind wheat and bake bread and make tortillas every day..

Some of the children are vegetarian and have been working on a cookbook!

They are very active with their Homeschooling community. They have students come to their ranch, they participate in all sorts of activities, like Debate, acting, music lessons..

This works perfect for their lifestyles.

I am glad as families we have these choices. But one size does not fit all.
I am very impressed by successful homeschooling families. I just know there was no way, I could have taught our daughter as well as her skilled and amazing teachers.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

When are you planning on gracing us with your opinion?

I homeschool. I tossed it around the last couple of years, but at first (like before kids) I thought it was just the ultra religious and fringe types and I never thought I would. My kids just weren't happy. They would fight me every morning to send them. My son had started in on hating school. His once stellar academic performance was suffering. I was in both kids classrooms twice a week last year. My sons class was fine but his mood and attitude had suffered since the day he started kindergarten. I had a few heart to heart with his teacher and told her I was considering homeschooling and she thought it would be a fantatstic fit for him. My daughters teacher last year was MEAN. She also clearly had a bias against boys. I did tell the school. My daughter constantly felt sick and complained of stomaches all the time. She was also so painfully shy that it broke my heart. This year we started homeschooling. My daughter has done a total turn around. She hasn't complained of a stomachache in WEEKS she also has really blossomed and come out of her shell. She has made new friends (with other homeschoolers) and it turns out she is a real math whiz. My son has come a long way too. He is starting to get a positive attitude back and has overcome some of the anger that was ruling his life. Overall everyone is SO much happier. I have a kiddo that will be kindergarten age next year, I will not be sending him. My kids get along better and our lives are no longer hostage to arbitrary school breaks and weeks or HOMEWORK. I don't know how long I will homeschool. My kids are fairly young now (2nd, 4th, and a preschooler) but I am SO glad that I have this chance now.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I think our decision was to have one on one with our kids learning in all areas. If they struggled with math you could spend more time on it and if one was advanced they could move on and not wait for the class to do all the wasted things during the day. We also could incorporate our Biblical teaching during the day in subjects. Our kids didn't take advantage of it but the community college lets kids take high school college classes that count as high school and college. ( I know many public schools have classes there that also count as college.) I would just say be sure you pick a curriculum that works for you and your child. Be sure you get involved in other programs for sports and activities. I taught our last 3 kids to read and that was such a joy to sit by them as they learned and read out loud and all are great readers. It's fun and yet it's work and you and the child have to be willing to do your part. My kids are all grown now but I did homeschool 6 of them at different grades along the way, some longer than others.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Homeschooling is another option to educate our children. I am happy we, homeschooling moms, have that choice.
I homeschool 2 children (6 and 12), I am a former sales manager and former college professor, (in my original country, but I did work H. a little bit with college students). We use a classical approach, a classical curriculum, if you are interested in knowing a little bit more about what many homeschooled children study, you can google Kolbe Academy Home School (Catholic/Private School), this is what we use; however, there are many, many other good different curricula for every family, and every learning style. Some families use boxed curricula and some others don't, and still they do an excellent job on their own. By the way, I have to say that most of the moms, I have met during this journey, do not have any special certification or something alike, but let me tell you, they are doing a fabulous job with their kids, and I am not amazed, not surprised at all because moms know their kids better than anyone else.
I don't want to go in deep about my reasons for home schooling my kids since I don't want to hurt others' feelings; however I can tell some of the reasons I have, among many others for homeschooling my children:
I want my kids to be well prepared for their future and I feel fully capable to give them that.
I want them to be ready, to know how to take tests, to know how to listen and take notes,
I want them to know how to overcome obstacles,
I want them to know how to write an essay about a book
I want them to read no longer for pizzas certificates but for the motivation of learning and having fun
I want them to know how to understand and listen, to know how to write, really write.
I want them to understand and embrace Math and those "difficult" subjects without saying in a near future" : "I am sorry, I am not good at it".
I want them to like learning and being the best on what they do....I could go on and on.....
I never imagined I would be doing this.......never ever...but I am doing it!!! and I have no regrets at all.
I am not afraid with the myth of is exactly that: a myth. I was concerned about that, but after home schooling for 4 years, I realized that my kids have more friends, real friends (even myself!) than before. They do sports, they play a lot, they participate in homescholing events and non homeschooling events. They have friends from PS, private schools and other homeschoolers.
Are the kids actually learning? No doubt. My older kid takes quarterly tests and quizzes as part of the curiculum, and also takes national tests (not required in my state, but I want him to know how he is doing), and he is so glad and proud to learn that he is doing great.....above average.
Patience???? I learned to develop patience..I had patience and enthusiasm with other moms' kids (which I enjoyed!), and now I have patience and enthusiasm for my own kids! So, no problems there....
The hard part is balancing housework .....I do it....but requires a lot of organization and work ..Thanks God my husband helps with homeschooling as well.This is a family thing, absolutely!
In summary, I love home schooling, my kids love it as well. We have a nice schedule; we take vacations whenever and wherever we want, we don't have "snow days", we have Religion and Character Study among others of course, we do not miss school because of strikes or developmental meetings, we don't miss school because of PJ's days, but we take time to recover if we are sick or if we want to enjoy the holidays....Is it easy??? No, it is not..we are a normal family, with ups and downs.....we just have faith and work hard....We are a successful homeschool family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Hi! We are homeschoolers, Homeschooling is not a thing you do, it is a way of life. Homeschooling has given Steven and Sarah the freedom to explore things they are interested in, learn in a more in-depth manner than schools have time for, and take time to truly "get" the things they might be struggling with. It has given us, as a family, the time to do many things we would never have been able to do tied to a school.
I love my kids, I also like them, spending time with them is not a torture. I personally can not understand why you would want to send them away just as you can not understand my enjoying having them here.
We have no "socialization" issues, my teens are capable of coming into your home and carry on a discussion with your five year old daughter and your 85 year old grandmother. They spend time in a real world, not a segregated one. They are involved in the community in many different ways and still have time to hang at the mall (man, it was cold when I went to pick Sarah up tonight!).
I find it amazing that people are so willing to say homeschoolers are not as well educated as schooled children, they all seem to know a poorly homeschooled child. I, in turn, would never say to anyone that their schooled child is uneducated but I certainly have seen it among my kid's schooled friends, I find it terribly sad. Somehow it seems to be alright for people to say homeschoolers can't teach but have you looked around? I think it is your children being let down. But I don't tell people that... until now.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I live in a district with very good schools. We are homeschooling.

There are multiple reasons but to put it simply: kids learn best naturally, when their interests and curiosity guide them. Schools are set up to school, I.e. normalize and standardized. They were never established with real education in mind, and because of this, they are unable to provide an environment that is the most conducive to education.

I saw this first hand when I taught at the university level, my HS kids were so far ahead of their peers it wasn't even funny. I taught education majors, btw, and I didn't meet many that even cared about learning! And this was a top rated school!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I do homeschool. I spent two years as a private school teacher in WI, two at a suburban school, and eight in a socio-economically disadvanted school in the suburbs. My daughtere spent two in a private and one in a public. Our school was not making AYP, I saw from the otherside of the desk what the schools could or not willing to admit they could not do. The politics was getting in the way of my child getting a proper educaton (being able to work at her instructional level not grade level). She was board in the second grade and taking naps without her teacher's knowledge. I made the final decision three days before I was supposed to go back to my own teaching job (mid-level). It was a big jump in to the deep end I felt. I thought to myself all the same questions everyone else did about socialization, academics and teaching my own children (my daughter and I butt heads!).

Then I educated myself. I learned that my daughter is more socilaized now than when she was in the public schools (main reason we pulled her out-she is Aspergers/Gifted and was not being taught social skills for school). I was tired of fighting for things she was promised, and having to educate the school on basic educational lingo. I knew I could do a better job. We are involved in three groups wich all have coops (cooperatives). I teach six classes this year. This our third year homeschooling. My daughters 10&5 have plenty of opportunites for classes. The are offered more than what most schools can even dream of in most cases. You will hear people critique the bible belt people. My response to that so what, if they chose to teach there children in that manner if that is what the parents want. It is there freedom to do so. People who don't get out and socialize just don't. As for the academics, the current reseach states that the homeschooled children are perfroming 35 percentile points higher (this was scientifically done). Public schools have had to market reasons or persuasive statements that support they are the better option since the first public schools opened because before that EVERYONE homeschooled. They needed to kids in school to have $$$. This has not changed so, you will hear many overgeneralized statements about one or two people know in their lives and know very little about what goes on behind closed doors. Otherwise, I love it! I love that my children are with me. I don't wish them to go back to school anymore (that ended after the second year), I look forward to spending everyday with them (and I am normal I do need breaks) and my relationship is far better because of the intimacy in learning. The relationship between my kids is better too (they are five years apart). We have a very family focused life now. We live in a competive society, thus the political differences in opinion on homeschooling. You will need to decide if you want your kids at home with you where you are the board of ed., teacher, principal....OR, let someone else make those decisions.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

We homeschool and love it! I've heard people make the comments that only professionally trained teachers are capable of teaching, but statistically speaking, the majority of kids who are homeschooled are taught by parents who are NOT professional teachers and their test scores as a whole are WAY above that of the kids taught by "professionally trained teachers". So that pretty much proves it doesn't take great training to teach. It only takes a dedicated parent who loves their child more than anything and would do anything to help them learn. It's a complete myth that you need to be "trained" to teach. I went through college as a teacher and believe me, anyone who cares about their child can learn to teach that child - and probably BETTER than any professional teacher, since, as the parent, you know your child best. On top of that, the BEST teachers out there don't profess to know it all so they can spoon feed kids. They simply know how to motivate kids to WANT to learn and give them the skills needed to learn independently - which any parent can do, regardless of knowledge. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It just seems like it would be boring---for me AND them. Do I really need to be with my kids 24/7 and vice versa? I think we would drive eachother nuts and I am closer to my kids than pretty much anyone that I know. A little separation is good for adults AND kids. It also gives the kids the ability to develop the independence which is EXTREMELY important for development.

I also really think that the parent should be qualified. A family just moved to our neighborhood who had homeschooled and it turns out their kids are way behind grade level and need remediation now in our public school. She never realized that she wasn't doing it right. Not saying it CANT be done right but I think its more difficult than most think.

If my kids were having issues at school, like bullying, thne I would do a cyer school for them so I am not 100% opposed to it. Or if my district were unsafe.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

While my girls go to public school I do not feel it is the best education. I have met some teachers that are worth their salt and others that are not so much.

I also do not believe that homeschooling is ideal either. I know that I am not perfect and I feel my kids would only be as strong in subjects as I am strong.

I also feel that education is much more than the books. There is the social interaction. While a lot of homeschoolers have social circles I don't think that is the same as a child going to school and navigating the social scene independently.

Not that you asked but I'm sure private schools have the same downsides as public school.

My final thought on the subject is that even when you send your children attend a regular school our job is not over. What your children get out of it will be in direct proportion to what you put into it. I'll never forget a mother telling me on the soccer field that her child did not understand _____ and it was not her job to teach it to her. WTH?! How do you think her child is doing overall in school?

So bottom line I feel that whichever path you feel is right for you, be proactive and actively involved in your child's education.

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answers from Boise on

I have 4 older ones that attended public school. No complaint, great teachers, great education and would do it again in the same situation.

Then the budgets sunk and so did many of the things I like about our public school. Many of the great teachers were let go, many of the classes were cut and then they went to 4 day school weeks, which sound great, but created another set of problems. The school days went to 9 hour days with only 50 minutes of that being outside activity and 30 minutes of that is for lunch. Some kids were eating lunch as early as 10:30. One cafeteria for both elementary, middle and high school. Plus most elective classes were cut, and kids could pick art or chorus. That's it. and nothing else.

So we decided last year to do a trial homeschooling run with K12, it's structured and has real teachers if you run into problems. It works great, offers lots of electives and means my kids spend half of their day doing school work versus most of their days and only getting home in time to eat, do homework and go to bed.

Next year, if the school district pulls itself out of the bind my kids will go back to public education, but until then, homeschooling is the best option for them.

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answers from Grand Forks on

We have excellent public schools here. My boys both thrive in public school. It would be wrong for me to take them out of public school and homeschool them. There is no way I could provide the social interaction that they get in school, or the resources that they have available to them in school. They are in French Immersion, and since I am not fluent in French I could not teach them French. They have an award winning music program and both sing in school choir and participate in a drum club. They both participate in intra-mural sports. The older one is in divisional choir and musical theatre as well. I realize you can put kids in these kinds of programs outside of school, but it would cost a fortune. It's free at school. The money I save can go to university. I would hate for my childs first introduction to a classroom be in university.
I am not saying I am against homeschooling, but in my situation it would definitely be the wrong thing to do.
Did I mention the incredible art program? Last year we had two famous local artist come out to teach the children their crafts, one taught them to make tile mosaics, the other taught them to weave Voyageur sashes.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I wish I could. DH is dead set against it.

The public schools are so-so. There are 26 kids in a class (California 3rd grade) and 1 teacher. 26 different learning styles and needs. And 1 teacher. And 1 teacher following a state curriculum. It's pretty basic.

I've done private schooling for my other child for 2 years. That was not ideal either. I think homeschooling can be GREAT if it's done right.

In my area, there is an active homeschool community. There are homeschool co-op classes (writer's classes, history, lego engineering, history, field trips, math) so the burden would not be on me for every subject.

It is totally do-able. I think homeschooled kids do have many benefits. My kids would be less stressed as well. And they could DEEPLY delve into subjects. Vs. textbook learning in middle school, which is skimmed fast, test and then move on to the next subject. This is hardly ideal.

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answers from New York on

I would never home school. I would rather move. I have one child and that would be so much pressure on me. I take my son everywhere and we learn all the time. Even when he is playing, he is learning. We also love to cuddle and just hang out. I don't blame parents though when they do make the decision to home school. I think for most people, it is not the first choice but if the traditional schooling options are not available, then parents do what they can. I have never heard of or met a social deviant who was home schooled.

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answers from Dallas on

I thought about homeschooling my kids when my oldest was entering preschool. I decided against it for several reasons.

First and foremost - I work, full time, enjoy my career, and I'm not going to change that. I would not make a good stay at home mom. My husband and I had this conversation not long after my first was born and decided that I should stay a working mom. Besides we couldn't live without my paycheck (even subtracting the costs of childcare that we wouldn't need)
Second, I don't have any education background. I appreciate that there are some programs that do most of the teaching but I wouldn't know what to look for at all if my child wasn't progressing as they should.
Third, my kids are much better in a structured learning environment. While some are better with the homeschool environment and can see the distinction between school and home life my kids cannot. Home is free time and I like the feeling of separation. My oldest understands that when she goes to school she is there to learn, home is for play.
Fourth and probably most important. Social interaction. My daughter goes to school and daycare and doing this has taught her to build relationships easily. She was very introverted before school but is now a social butterfly. She works well in groups, wants to be involved, and generally enjoys meeting new people not more than ever. I was afraid that if we home schooled this skill would be delayed and in this world it is essential to have the social skills.

My daughter goes to an exemplary school and is doing great. She is getting experience in technology I would not have been able to provide and is thriving. As my husband puts it "we can supplement anything she is weak on at home" and we do. Our dining room has two whiteboards and we do homework in there all the time. We help with her homework and I don't lose the involvement in her work when we do this.

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answers from Sioux City on

I homeschool. I taught for a long time in public and private schools before having children and I thought homeschooling was crazy!!!! Then I had my own children and moved to a new location. We sent them to both public and private schools and I just wasn't impressed. I still hadn't planned on homeschooling, although I saw more and more of my friends pulling their kids and teaching them at home. There was a point that I just became to frustrated with the schools and thought this is ridiculous and pulled the kids. I still had no intention of keeping them home long term. I had planned to keep looking for a school that met my standards. Once I got them home and began teaching them and saw how much more they were learning, I really began to enjoy having them around. I also liked the freedom to choose curriculum that fits each individual child. We are Catholic and I get to incorporate our faith into our daily lessons, which is awesome. We have the freedom to take vacations when ever we want and we aren't tied to a school calendar. We move at the pace of each child, so in some subjects they are way ahead and in others we have slowed so that they can spend the time they need to really soak up the information. Now I can't ever fathom putting them in the schools we have available to us. I would never say I wouldn't put them in a school system if the right one came along. I try to stay open to all possibilities.

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answers from Kansas City on

I guess if I had to choose a side, I'd say I'm against it, but maybe what that really means is it's just not for me. I feel like going to school is about much more than learning academics and I feel that is really important. I know homeschooling is much different than it used to be and there are ways to still be involved with other kids, etc., but I still advocate going to school.

Also, and I know things aren't this way as much any more, but a lot of people did/do choose to homeschool for religious reasons and to be honest, I'm not an advocate of that either. Truthfully, yes, I want my children to have the same religious beliefs that I do, that's why we go to church and have the discussions that we have...but I also really want them to know there are other religions out there and that people make other choices. I want and encourage the exposure to other experiences which I think you don't get in homeschooling as much.

When I taught I had a boy in my class who had been homeschooled through 2nd grade and I got him in 3rd. He was a very bright boy with excellent manners, but he was a wreck at socializing. He had a very difficult time with the other boys and was an extremely sore loser. We struggled all year on some of these skills with him, which affected more than just PE class, let me tell you. He was in our school through 4th grade and then his mom chose to homeschool again, and honestly I didn't think it was the right choice for him.

On the other hand I worked with a teacher who homeschooled her kids until college and they seemed well rounded and were very successful in college. Plus she was one of the most amazing teachers I'd met.

I think homeschooling is an incredible responsibility and you have to be dedicated to much more than just academics.

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answers from Chicago on

We do not homeschool, but we consider it on a regular basis.

You mentioned that you were very curious how we arrived at our decision. Frankly, choosing against homeschool was a matter of logistics and circumstances. I was a SAHM for three years while I studied for my LBSI, and I became a special educator two years ago. My son currently is in kindergarten at a private school. We enrolled him in the full-day preschool program at his school while I finished my student teaching requirements. We LOVE the school. I didn't expect to love it this much for my son, but it seems to be an excellent fit for him at this time. We plan to keep him there as long as this success continues.

My son has always been motivated to learn and do things because he wanted the payoff and/or he wanted to please his parents. For this reason, we felt that he and I would be a good homeschool fit. Now, in school, he is motivated to learn and do for himself, his parents, AND his teacher. He is able to check what his peers do, and he appears to be motivated to do as well or better than them. Is this a good thing? I'm not sure, yet. I haven't decided how this competition will effect him in the future, but it may change our decision to homeschool. His self-esteem is one of our highest priorities, and we recognize that schools do not place the same value on it.

Because self-esteem is important to us, we don't blindly succumb to the "schools offer socialization that you can't get in a homeschool" way of thinking. Bullying is an aspect of the socialization that schools offer, and it is unacceptable to me. Additionally, as a SAHM, I was able to teach my toddler in the moment. When he took a toy, I coached alternate behaviors and respect. When someone hit him, I encouraged him to speak up for himself and make choices. Schools are punitive regarding these matters and damage is ignored, which results in missed opportunities for emotional growth.

I fear being unable to meet his academic needs. If/when we decide to take the leap, I will have a lot of research and networking to do. I keep my ear to the ground so I'm not completely lost, but I have so much to learn about the process.

I enjoy the parent network of my son's school, having met some wonderful, like-minded parents. I trust that we could create a similar network of homeschoolers, if needed. We are in the Chicago suburbs.

I find your choice of words baffling: "I have my point of view, for sure...." If you are sure, exactly what is your intent for this post?

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answers from Cleveland on

This is our first year "home" schooling. I say "home" because my children are enrolled in a public online charter school. They still have teachers to answer to or answer questions. They have live online classes that they can attend if they need. All of their lesson plans are done for me. All of our course work, computers, printers ect. is supplied. There is on average two events per week that our kids can attend locally where they can interact with other kids. We pulled them out of our local public school for a number of reasons, everything from bullying to lack of being able to meet their advanced academic needs. So far we all love the program and love having them at home!

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answers from Missoula on

I just finished reading The Year of Learning Dangerously by Quinn Cummings. It was a great read describing one family's decision to homeschool their daughter. If you are interested in the subject you might enjoy it.



answers from Portland on

We do not homeschool, but I considered it for my daughter when she started 3rd grade and seemed to be having difficulty. She needed a lot of assistance from us to keep her on task and focused, but this year it's like she flipped a switch and she's a responsible student and gets her work done on time. We stuck it out in the public school and she is doing much better in 4th grade. I'm very thankful. The school district we are in is wonderful, so it would have been a waste if we had to pull her out. Plus I work from home and can't imagine how much time I would have been taking out to help her with her work. I would have, if I needed to though.

From a social perspective, I'm glad she's in public school. She is shy and needs to push herself more than she would have if we homeschooled. My son wouldn't survive for more than a week doing homeschooling. He's the kid who walks into school and everyone yells his name with glee. Think the old TV show Cheers when they yelled 'Norm!'. It's exactly the same. He needs to be around lots of people.

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