10 Reasons Not to Homeschool

1. There is no “how to”. You have to make your own decisions about what is important in education. You have to read lots of books and do lots of research to ultimately to figure out who you are, and you will soon learn, there is no “right” way to educate.

2. People will always ask you why you homeschool. Then you have to deal with their questions somehow. This. Never. Ends.

3. It is very likely that someone you love will absolutely hate the fact that you are homeschooling, and will make it clear. Wouldn’t it just be easier to do things the way your family expects you to? You’d get along better with them if you do.

4. You have to create your own social networks and be able to make friends without the constructs of a school setting. And the kids have to learn how to get along with people in the real world. The real world is scary sometimes, and it’s not always easy to know how to meet people.

5. You will have to answer all of your kids’ questions. And sometimes, (ok, maybe often), you’ll have to admit that you don’t know something. And you can’t say, “Ask your teacher tomorrow.” Instead, you will have to say, “Let’s look it up.”

6. The first step to successful homeschooling is to let go of everything you ever knew about education, and to start from scratch. If you really like how school works, you may be surprised at how different homeschooling is from that version of reality. Sometimes, that causes smoke to rise from the ears as two sets of gears try to go in opposite directions.

7. There are a million things to buy out there. It’s easy to get sucked into the “it’s for our kids’ education” trap. And beware homeschool conferences. They are like going to an endless mall of educational materials and ideas. If you go to too many of them, you may even be coerced into speaking at one.

8. Even if millions of parents have homeschooled before, nobody will be able to tell you what to expect. Homeschooling is like being a parent – every family is different and you’re going to have to become your own expert and do a lot of research. Sure, it’s possible to homeschool without research, but that’s like parenting without thinking about why you make our choices. So, once you’ve decided to homeschool, you will be spending just as much time as your kids with your nose in a book, or doing on-site research (park days and info nights). In fact, in the beginning, you’ll probably be learning a lot more than your kids are. That is a very tiring.

9. You run the risk of filling your house with books, magazines, science projects and pencils. You may need to convert part of the bathroom into a library. And what’s worse, is that whenever someone starts talking about a topic, you won’t be able to stop yourself from saying, “We have a book on that! Here, let me go get it.” People will either stay away from you to keep from being told all the nuts and bolts about taking a radio apart, or they will always be bugging you for help on their school science projects because they know you have all the books and info (and experience).

10. You are free. Completely and totally free. Do you really want to be free?

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5 Responses to “10 Reasons Not to Homeschool”

  1. Laura in CA :) Says:

    Hey, you changed your look back!! I’ve liked both of the themes I’ve seen…they each go well with the thinking nature of your blog. 🙂

    Well, I _love_ your list!! It needs to be a permanent thing…like the 10 Commandments or something…that all potential homeschoolers should read! 🙂 If homeschoolers had a national headquarters, these could be engraved somewhere there! 🙂

    You hit all the points right on the head! Maybe there could be an ammendment to add that you will have to rethink what a clean house is?? And, that you will find that you have almost no ‘me’ time, but find that when you get it, you don’t need as much as you think cuz you’ll miss your kids!! 🙂

    Then again, we don’t want to really scare them away!! 😉

  2. Mark Weiss Says:

    You got me thinking, which is the idea, right? See here.

  3. Chris Mahar Says:

    I especially like reason number 10. After 9 years, freedom is our over-riding reason for continuing to homeschool. But there are plenty of people who can’t even imagine the idea of that much freedom. It terrifies them that they could be free, and it terrifies even more that others can handle this freedom when they can’t.

  4. Eireann Says:

    Very thoughtful look at homeschooling. Like I always say…JUST DO IT.

  5. Tracy Says:

    I live in UK. My daughter was bullied for three years at Primary School, so I took her out for the last few months before she went to Secondary School (which I chose EXTREMELY carefully) at 11 years. I still think I know more than the teachers (meerkats are NOT related to prairie dogs, birds and people ARE animals, the hollowness of the chocolate Easter egg DOES NOT represent Jesus’ tomb). It’s amazing how much support and information there is on the internet, and clubs of all sorts for children help them learn to get on with people. I’m prepared if I have to do the same again, and I wish I’d done it sooner!


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