Real Cons of Being Homeschooled

For kids, what’s the real cons of being homeschooled?

1. People making assumptions about your knowledge, experience and social skills.

2. People will quiz you and ask you “academic” questions to “see if you are really learning”.

3. Sometimes, public and private school kids snub you, even though they are supposed to be learning how to “get along with everyone” by being in a classroom setting. (Homeschool kids might snub you too if you aren’t doing the “right” kind of homeschooling.)
4. Whatever your homeschooling experience, it will be completely different and unique compared to any other child you’ll meet. You’ll grow up to completely own your individual experience.

5. If you grow up and you are missing some kind of knowledge or information, you can’t blame it on the schools. You can’t even blame it on your parents. Because you’re free, and if you don’t study something, it’s your choice. In other words, homeschooled kids grow up to own the responsibility to gain the knowledge they need to succeed, from the day they start homeschooling all the way through life.

6. Public/private school kids have one authority, or sometimes, two authorities, telling them what it means to be successful and how to go about it. Homeschool kids have everyone telling them how to be successful – experts, parents, other homeschoolers, books, random people in the street, the news. Since homeschoolers are free to choose what it means to be successful, that means there is a HUGE array of choices, and, it also means that people will see it as an opportunity to try and make you go their way. Moreso than in school, because in school, there’s really one one “right” choice, and one ultimate authority – grades.

7. It’s easy to get a big head. And it’s easy to look down on kids who aren’t homeschoolers. This is a trap that some kids fall into, especially if their parents are very critical of school. Public school kids can fall into this trap as easily as homeschooled kids. The difference here is, that homeschoolers who feel that anyone who isn’t a homeschooler is beneath them, is disrespecting 99% of the population, and cutting off a major source of learning. Public school kids who direspect homeschoolers are only dogging 1% of the population, and public school kids perceive to miss out on very little, since they probably hardly ever come into contact with them. So the con here, is that homeschool kids are human too, but that humanity, since it’s outside the system, can’t be so easily swept under the table as it is so often in public school. So, if you like to disrespect people and belong to a group that thinks they are superior, homeschooling is gonna be rough.

8. People will want to know what grade you are in, where you are going to college, if you plan on ever going (back) to school, what you do to “learn how to get along with others” and basically, want to make sure you aren’t weird. It’s gonna be hard to avoid being on the defensive. These kinds of questions get asked of parents, but the older kids get, the more the kids get it too. Homeschoolers have to be ready to talk about it, or learn how to get out the conversation politely if you don’t want to.

9. Many of the things that school kids take for granted are harder to come by for homeschoolers. They are not at all impossible, but it often takes ingenuity, resourcefulness and creativity to achieve the things that school kids do without giving it a second thought: getting a driver’s license, going on a field trip, accessing resources such as science labs and teachers, attending community college classes, sports, after school enrichment classes, etc. Homeschoolers have to learn tenacity, resourcefulness and how to redefine problems in order to access these things. It’s not really hard, but it demands a completely different way of looking at the world, and an ability to be open to different paths to the result.

10. The last con I’m going to to mention for being homeschooled is that often times, mom and dad drag you all over the damn place just to learn something. They take you to conferences, take long drives out to see stinky flowers, and have this unnatural love affair with Google. And guess what, no matter how long you resist, no matter how long you claim the lameness of doing things in order to learn, it’s gonna eventually infect you too. And then you’ll get caught up in it, and you’ll be a life long learner too. And when that happens, you’ll never see the world the same again. And for a while, some of the other kids who don’t see the world this way, just won’t get you, and will think you’re weird. And you might be. But, the truth is, all kids going through this stage are weird. Only, homeschoolers KNOW it, and can’t hide it, while school kids, have more chance to hide it or run away from that weird stage that we all go through.

So, there you have it, my list of cons for the kids that are homeschooled. Feel free to comment.

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14 Responses to “Real Cons of Being Homeschooled”

  1. Melissa Says:

    #10 made mad roll on the floor laughing. Great list, Tammy! Rock on……

  2. Melissa Says:

    A very refreshing change from the usual list. As much as I loved college, love work, and expect to love grad school, I do miss being homeschooled pretty frequently.

  3. dancingboysmom Says:

    Unnatural love affair with Google…you are hilarious. I just finished Googling “epicontinental seas” with my oldest. The dictionary we own was just too inadequate for my tastes. 😀

    #2 bugs the heck out of me though. It really shows just how bad off our society is. They assume the ONLY place learning can happen is in a box with a few windows and a door and a person with a degree standing in front of a group of children who have been sequestered against their will telling them what they should think.

    Thanks for allowing me the use of your blog for my soapbox. 😉

  4. Just Enough, and Nothing More The Real Cons of Homeschooling « Says:

    […] If you like this entry, you might like The Real Cons of Being Homeschooled. Posted in Advice for Newbies, […]

  5. Krystal Says:

    This is good… I’m googling stuff all the time. LOL. And that was even BEFORE I had kids. I guess I’ve been hooked on the lifelong learning thing since high school which is when I discovered for myself that learning can be fun, and interesting too. Hello internet!

    Numbers one, two, and three really bug me because they happen SO often that it’s excruciating, and makes me want to be a hermit. lol. I didn’t learn how to “socialize” really until I got out of school, and into the REAL WORLD and that’s what traditional schoolers just don’t understand. Yes, it’s important for kids to play together. No, they don’t need to know how to do it ALL THE TIME. When they enter the “real world”, they’re going to have to know how to behave with adults, in adult situations, as ADULTS. This IMHO is the most important thing to learn when “socializing” comes around.

  6. abby Says:

    wow. love affair with google. my father has one..he tells me to google football players, musicians, etc ALL the time. ahhaha number 10 is so true.

  7. Mary Says:

    I disagree with dancingboysmom, so you are saying society wants you in a box with windows and all that… but you are teaching your children in a box of your own. same idea. and hey society never said thats the only way to learn, thats just how it developed – From hired people in rich family homes teaching to the preference of schooling with other children. If society is sending children to schools, then they obviously agree with it or have no other option due to work in order to financially support their families.

  8. Hikari Kamihoshi Says:

    All I have to say about number ten is that out of my household, I’m the one with the Google Love Affair…
    I Vegetarian Recipes, Stuff on Musicians, TV Shows, Random Celebrities even if I don’t give a flying fart about them, Stuff on Musicals, Etc Etc. I Google for the sake of Googling, which is rather depressing at the young age of 14.

  9. Trella Says:

    Stumbled upon this by accident–a love affair with Google? Is that really a good way to teach? I’m glad my teachers took the time to teach us how to do real research (scholarly journals, and gasp–books!) And I expect the same for my kid. Parents without educational schooling are unqualified to teach, and sadly, unfireable.

  10. Jim Says:

    Trella,

    I agree with you regarding the value of books (I am a homeschooling stay-at-home dad of three boys) and do not use the internet as a means of instruction. But the world is changing pretty quickly and Google is an incredible resource that allows me to explore areas of interest that I would never have the time to “research” in the traditional sense of the word. Discovering and processing information now requires skills that didn’t even exist twenty years ago. “Research” and “Internet” and “Social networks” are in some ways now synonymous, especially for the most specialized fields where it is critical to quickly share information (I intended to split that infinitive). Keep an open mind.

  11. celeste Says:

    I am trying to figure out which way is best for our family. I am worried about what he will “miss” out on that is positive, and hoping that he will “miss” out on the negative stuff. I am conflicted and appreciate this page with real cons from a kid that was homeshooled vs. another plug for the homeschool. I need real info not spins on which way you feel. This seems to get me that.

  12. Katy Says:

    Notice: this is pretty long, but I just wanted everyone who is interested to know about the possibilities of homeschooling. The pros and cons. So if you really are considering being homeschooled read this:

    I am a freshmen and I am homeschooled. I do a kind of homeschooling over the computer. It’s called “Virtual Classes.” It is more scheduled then the traditional kind of homeschooling. I have my first class at 8am (Algebra) so I log in on this website and I have a list of my classes their. When it is 7:45 I will have the option to “enter” my class, so I click that and I am in this new browser with the rest of my “classmates.” At the being of class I can send notes to my classmates. (like instant messaging) You can see a list of all the kid’s names next to these icons. (Each “student” can change his/her icon, from smiley face, raise their hand, thumbs up or down, to green light,(go faster) red light (go slower) etc.) So then our whole class is made like a slideshow, the teachers make up a powerpoint and they present it to the class. Then they can write on the board. If the teacher asks a question or the student has a question they raise their hand and the teacher clicks on them and then the student can talk into their microphone and also write all over the board. So after class I log out and then can log into my next one and so on.

    I am pretty sure that the Virtual Classes are only available for 4 or 5th grade and up. Besides the Virtual classes there self paced classes. But I prefer the Virtual Classes, because they are easier, and keep you on track. That way I don’t have to worry about making myself do everything, the teacher tells you what needs to be done. Just like in regular school, except WAY better!

    I orginally decided to be homeschooled because I was ease dropping on my parents and heard them talking about letting us be homeschooled. We had just moved on to a 3 1/2 acre farm (=) pretty small, but bigger then the average house that’s for sure) So they were wondering if it would be better so we could help out with our horses. So anyway, I got to try it out first in 6th grade, and it was nice. But I was really bored because I was by myself all the time, except for my mom being around sometimes. And I was doing Self Paced classes then. I don’t recommend them. I would fall behind because I didn’t like to push myself to get it done. So I decided to go back to school for 7th grade. Then my sisters were tried homeschooling when I was in 7th and they did the some Virtual Classes, and they loved them. So in 8th grade I cam home with them and we were all homeschooled and did the virtual classes. They were really great compared to self paced. So now I am a freshmen and decided to stay home instead of going to public school high school. I have so much more free time to do stuff outside and to help out with all of our animals. Plus, my parents just bought a store, so when I have off I get to work and make money! I can’t wait until next year and I get my license though, that way I will be able to go places during the day too.

    The only thing is that the virtual classes fill up really fast so you MUST get in really early! I managed to get all virtual classes which is the best, that way I don’t have to worry about any self paced classes.

    My only con about homeschooling would be missing out on meeting new people in school. I still have friends from activities. So if you are thinking about being homeschooled all I can say is do a lot of stuff. (sports, clubs..) Just so you aren’t getting really bored at being at home all the time.

    I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST!!!

    You only have classes 3 days a week!!! Four hours a day!! (depending on how many classes you have, not including languages)
    You have the option of having 50min classes three times a week (Mon/Wed/Fri) or 130min classes twice a week (tues/thrus)!
    All classes are taken over the computer. WHICH DID I MENTION IS FREE!! AND SO IS ALL OF YOUR BOOKS, PRINTER, INK, HEADPHONES, AND INTERNET!! EVERYTHING YOU NEED! All you do is turn in your internet bill and you are reimburshed.
    As far as PE is considered you just need to make a list of all your hours of physical education. Every time you go for a walk, right it down, play basketball? Right it down. And that’s pretty much it.
    The School is called PaCyber Cyber Charter School. It is just for Pennsylvania but they have very similar schools in other states too.

    Go here: http://www.pacyber.org/ to learn more

    I feel like I am missing something…ummm..well I will post anything else if I remember about it.
    All I can say is that Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, you have to be pretty independent but the Virtual Classes makes it easier. For example, my little brother is still in regular school because we don’t think that he is responsible or independent enough to handle homeschooling. NO OFFENSE TO HIM OR ANYONE ELSE INTENDED!

    So definitely check out the website and talk to people about it before you make a decision.

    I have my younger sisters at home with me so I am not lonely so also take that into consideration before you make a choice.

    The cons at the top of the page are not true for all Homeschooling programs, mostly just the orginal ones. I am very happy where I am now, with good grades, free time, and nice teachers!

    Good luck everyone! I will try to come back to see if anyone else has questions! So if you do have questions, post them and I will try to come back! Hope this helped!!

  13. Nicole S. Says:

    (Forgive the capitals…I am not certain if this entry box is html-compatible, so I capitalized where I otherwise would have formatted. ;P)

    I felt a little insulted by this. I wasn’t homeschooled. I wished I could have been–in my early private school, I was bullied physically and picked on verbally. In my later public school, I was finally able to avoid most of this, so the story has a happy ending with me having gotten straight A’s (and one A-) in college so far. I had many friends who were homeschooled because my refuge was my faith community, which had some youth programs that drew kids from all sorts of backgrounds. I never felt like I was better-educated than they were, they never felt like they were better-educated than I was (or if they did, I was certainly wrong about them, and they hid it VERY well for all those years!)

    I know that sometimes people can be cruel, and maybe that’s why some of those sounded so touchy to me…and I do, of course, understand that they weren’t directed at me personally. Certainly, if you’ve ever been a victim of number two, for example, I would understand some annoyance. However, I would consider numbers five and six HUGE PROS, not cons at all! And for a potential con…the only thing that my homeschooled friends complained about was loneliness and not being able to “get away” for a while when they needed a break from their parents. Sometimes parents and kids get angry. I never had a problem “making up” with my parents after a fight–though I basically had a dream relationship with my parents, somewhat of a goody-two-shoes, I suppose…but it helped me get through school with good grades, no drugs, and a great start for college with 10 classes worth of AP credits and dual-enrollment classes, so it was worth it in the end I suppose. If my parents and I argued–be it something dumb like waking up late too many days in a row (I was tired? =P) and almost not making it to school on-time, or something more serious like accidentally setting the pot on fire because I forgot that the handle was wooden and couldn’t go in the microwave, after a day at school I’d been away and distracted long enough to come back cool-headed and discuss things with them more reasonably (and so were they–my dad was really stressed with work and didn’t mean to get so upset over a simple mistake sleeping in that day…and on my part, I apologized REALLY sincerely for the pot? It was really an accident! I was trying to help with dinner?)

    For the loneliness, though…the brother-and-sister pair I knew did wonderfully–their mother was involved and spent a lot of time making sure they had all the opportunities to socialize that they want. Her older son already graduated (same-track with his public-school age-mates, a year or so before I did) but her daughter is a couple years below me and will also graduate along with her age-mates. While Phillip didn’t want to go to the “home-school prom” that was held here in our great city, maybe his sister will. Who knows? They both have friends of their own.

    The other friend wasn’t as fortunate–she started out in private school, moved to public school, and then to homeschool. We were close friends for years, but it was hard for her to get out because her parents run their own business and didn’t have as much time to help her get to and from social events. Eventually this was solved by letting her get involved in sports. Her teammates and the games they went to all over state (they did pretty well) eventually let her have plenty of friends…but for that first year or two of homeschooling, she would be devastated when I saw her that she “had no friends” and was “alone” very often.

    …I don’t expect most people have the same issues, either. But there are a lot of POTENTIAL cons for ANY version. Trust me–I’d be plenty happy to spew the cons for public and private schools for you at any time…if my mother had been a secondary school teacher instead of primary-only, I would have begged her to homeschool me to help me escape some of the torment I suffered (she almost pulled me in 8th grade because of a particularly bad bullying episode–and in 6th grade, I DID beg her, knowing it would only be that last half-a-year that she could teach me, I was so desperate to get out). Still, there are pros and cons for everything. I went to a fantastic (academically) elementary school, and I’m extremely proud of the quality education I got there–I have known since I was nine the different classifications of adjectives (including demonstrative and articles–which ARE adjectives, though people forget sometimes!) as well as how to properly use semicolons (just a couple of surprising tidbits that even some of my fellow college students do not completely understand! And only the tip of the iceberg of what I learned in that wonderful class. The teachers there were fantastic.) I have read, dissected, analyzed, and drawn unique conclusions about classic literature and done intense, multiple-day labs in chemistry and biology (because of school-switching, I actually ended up with biology 3 times between middle and high school, but it was for the best–now it’s my major, and I’m loving every moment of it.) Since my high school was public, I was able to get signed-off by the principal because of my high GPA to do dual-enrollment for free–school vouchers paid for everything, and in return I only had to give the school the textbooks when I was done and maintain my good grades while I attended the additional classes in which I enrolled at the local community college. Sure, there were problems–but there were GREAT things, too!

    …and I know that it’s the same thing with homeschooling. It’s not that I don’t want children who are homeschooled to be proud of it–they should be! It takes a different kind of dedication, and can lead to a much more diverse and versatile educational experience, full of opportunities that the inflexibility of the standard licensed private- or public-school cannot hope to offer. My mother actually pulled us out of school once a week until we were six to give us educational experiences like libraries, museums, etc. because as a teacher (with a master’s in special education) she understood only too well the importance of really stimulating a young mind and instilling a love of learning in her children.

    So…maybe you HAVE, in fact, earned some bragging rights for home-schooling, and your children have as well, for BEING homeschooled…and all of you should certainly take advantage of all the wonderful possibilities with homeschooling (and I’m sure you are!) …still, nothing is perfect, and we “traditional”-school-system kids and parents aren’t so bad, are we? Give us a chance, won’t you?

    Wishing you peace–from my heart, to yours. =)

  14. Michelle Vogel Says:

    This is my first year homeschooling our three kids. It was difficult at first dealing with what I felt were accusations. I felt as I needed to defend our decission. We have wonderful public schools close by. Our children were in wonderful local private schools for years. They have an excellent educational base & love learning. We made our decission based on how fast they are growing & how lttle time that we have together because of sports, drama, life… This has been an amazing year so far (& challanging). There are so many wonderful benefits to homeschooling (field trips, flexibility, ability to socialize with peolpe of different ages…). The problem is that there are also so many benefits that you can only get in a school setting. I am so happy that my children have been able to experience both. As long as they have parents who are involved, who love them & are able to show love & respect for others & their decissions those kids will do well. It takes a strength to do something different. It takes a bigger stregth to not become defensive & to see the benefits of other options even if they are not your own. What will we do next year. God only knows. As long as we rely on His strength & not our own it’ll be another great year.


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