Why Home School

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I've found that there are a lot of misconceptions about home school, children that are home schooled, and parents that home school.  I'll admit, before I became a home school mom, I held some of these misconceptions myself.  I want to work to give you facts and the truth about home schooling however.  Are there going to be exceptions?  Yes, aren't there always?  If you want to skip the Q&A section, there's a list of articles at the bottom of the page you may find interesting.

1) People say home schooled kids won't be socialized.

Answer: What does it mean for a child to be socialized?  It means they communicate well with others, interact well, and don't come off as too terribly weird to 'normal' people, right?  People think that the only place a child can learn to interact and communicate is at a public school, but it's not true.  In most areas there are home school co-ops and groups on Facebook where home school parents put together field trips, play dates, joint classes, and get togethers for kids who are home schooled.  Not only that but most home schooled kids are enrolled in things like karate, gymnastics, choir, and group music lessons where they're around other children their age at least once a week.

This year we've had so many opportunities to get out and do things with our local homeschool group that we've had to turn a lot of things down so that we'd have some time just to do school.  We've taken field trips to local farms, public services like the police and fire departments, the local military base, national parks, wildlife refuges, and too many other places to list.  We are a part of Girl Scouts, baseball, homeschool choir, and homeschool art classes.  There's a homeschool living history fair and homeschool science fair to participate in. Mom's and dads organize large group playdates all year long, swimming trips, sledding trips, and holiday parties (so far this year we took part in a harvest party with 75+ people, a big Hannukah party (we got to learn about the Jewish customs and traditions including dancing), and a Christmas party.  There are also curriculum swaps, and the 2 hours a week we spend hanging out at the homeschool program.  The kids participate in local plays, and also put on floats for the many local parades (we have gone several times both with Girl Scouts and the homeschool group).  There is more to do but we simply don't have the time.

Many (not all) homeschoolers are also Christian and attend church, meaning the kids are a part of Sunday school classes and youth groups.  Home schooled children also have friends in the neighborhood, from church, from co-ops and other classes that they get together with, even if those other kids go to public school.  Let's also not forget that these home schooled kids get to communicate with their parents and other family members like cousins and siblings.

According to the Huffington Post, "Home-schooled students often spend less time in class, Kelly says, giving them more opportunity to get out into the world and engage with adults and teens alike.  "The socialization thing is really a nonissue for most home schoolers," he says. "They're getting a lot of it."

To read more about the socialization issue see the article: My Homeschooler Is So Unsocialized.

2) People say parents who home school are just too lazy to get up and take their kids to school every morning at 8am.

To the person who says that I say: Do you know what a home school parent does on a daily basis?  Put yourself in their shoes.  The public school parent takes the kid to school or puts them on the bus, then goes to work or stays home, then picks the kid up after school is over and maybe helps them with their homework (I almost never got help with mine growing up when I was in public school).  

The home school parent wakes the kids up, gets them ready for the day, makes them three meals a day, teaches them all day, plans field trips, does all the lesson planning themselves, plans social time, grades the work their child does, figures out ways to deal with behavioral problems during the day if there are any, has to actively seek out answers to questions the child has (this is an all day process people).  There is a lot of work that goes into home schooling your child, and is definitely not the easier of the two options.

3) People say home schooled kids are too sheltered.

I say, I'm pretty honest with my kid.  She's 5, she doesn't believe in Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, or the Easter bunny.  She's aware that there are bad people out in the world (stranger danger and the like), she's aware where her food comes from (no we're not vegetarians, but she knows about the slaughter of animals for meat... she calls deer peperoni 'dead deer' for pete's sake), she knows it takes a man and a woman to make a baby... the list goes on.  Do I want my kid exposed to guns and violence at five years old?  No, that's not sheltering her, that's being smart.  

Do I want her knowing about teen pregnancy in Kindergarten?  No.  I remember when I was doing student teaching at a private Christian school and one of the Kindergarten girls was talking all about how when she turned 15 she couldn't wait to have a baby.  The influence reaches around from kid to kid.  Will I talk to my kid about sex, drugs, and alcohol when she's old enough to take it in?  Yes, when she gets into high school we'll have those discussions with her, that doesn't mean I'm sheltering her though.   Just for the record, parents in public schools try to keep bad influences away from their children as much as a home school parent does.

4) People say home schooled kids won't do well in college.

Not true. According to educationnews.org "College recruiters from the best schools in the United States aren’t slow to recognize homeschoolers’ achievements. Those from non-traditional education environments matriculate in colleges and attain a four-year degree at much higher rates than their counterparts from public and even private schools. Homeschoolers are actively recruited by schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Stanford University, and Duke."

And according to the Huffington Post, "Students coming from a home school graduated college at a higher rate than their peers­ -- 66.7 percent compared to 57.5 percent -- and earned higher grade point averages along the way, according to a study that compared students at one doctoral university from 2004-2009.  They're also better socialized than most high school students, says Joe Kelly, an author and parenting expert who home-schooled his twin daughters."

Just some food for thought on the college issue.

5) People say parents aren't qualified to teach their children.

Whoah, parents aren't qualified?  There's over 2 million home schooled children in America alone, and in America they're graduating at higher rates from college than public school kids, and scoring higher on state standardized tests than public school kids but the parents aren't qualified to teach them?

Edweek.org says, "One study of more than 11,000 home-school students found that students typically score 34 to 39 percentile points higher than the average student on standardized tests (Ray, 2009). Another study found that 25 percent of home-schooled students were enrolled one or more grades above their age-level public and private school peers (Rudner, 1999). These findings mirrored the study showing that home-educated students scored, on average, at or above the 84th percentile in all areas on standardized achievement tests (Ray, 2009)."  

If those parents aren't qualified to teach, and their kids are scoring higher on average than public school students, than the public schools are in real trouble.  Most of the time home school parents aren't just 'winging it' anyway, they are going on a set curriculum, of which there are hundreds to choose, both religious and secular.

6) People say not all parents can afford to provide a good home schooled education.

Think again.  The average home school family spends only $300-$600 dollars a year on curriculum as opposed to the $10,000 spent per public school child by tax payers.  But there's also the possibility to get your curriculum free.  Many states and school districts have a home school branch which offers you a choice of several curriculums which they will provide for free.  There are also so many free home school resources out there online to help you supplement the curriculum you have that it's not even funny.

7) People say parents home school because they don't want their children to learn about evolution, sex, or other secular themes.

Sigh.  If anything, most Christians teach their kids about evolution vs Creationism just so that they can go out into the world and be prepared to tell others why they believe what they believe.  It doesn't make much sense to send them out into the world with no knowledge of the other side of the argument.  Also, home school parents (especially if they're Christian) don't want their pre-teens or teens out there having premarital sex, so those conversations tend to come up rather than be avoided.

8) People say home schooled children are really miserable and want to go to public school but their parents won't let them.

No.  That's just ignorance as to the reasons why people home school.  There are so many reasons.  Yes, some home school for religious reasons, some do it because they feel the public school system is broken, but sometimes people home school because there are medical issues for the child or parent, behavioral issues, bullying issues at school, the parents want to travel with the child, the child was behind in public school, the child thrives better in a home school environment... the list goes on and on.  

The truth is, I've met a lot of home school families in my life whose kids have gone in and out of public school.  Sometimes the family feels it will be a better fit for the kids to go back to public school, so they go back, and then the kids either want to go back to home school, or their grades start slipping in public school again.  Generally I find that home school families aren't committed to do home school for the rest of their lives, but rather are committed to do what is best for their student at different stages in their life, whether it be public school, private school, or home school.  I find that home school parents are also usually very in tune to their child's desires and open to talking about what they can do to achieve those dreams.  I think it's more likely that if a home schooled child went to their parents and said, "I want to go back to public school," the parents would seriously consider it and possibly say yes, as opposed to a public school child going to their parents and saying, "I want to be home schooled..."


I'm not saying that if you home school you're better than if you send your kids to public school (I certainly don't think that), I'm just saying, be open minded about home school instead of just assuming certain things are true.  That's why I wanted to cover some basic misconceptions I've heard, and put some facts out there in answer to those misconceptions.  I believe in doing whatever is right for your child.  If they thrive in public school, great!  If they thrive in home school, great!

Links to useful relevant  articles:

Number of Homeschooler's Growing Nation Wide - Education News 

Homeschooled Students Well-Prepared For College, Study Finds - Huffington Post

Top Five Misconceptions About Homeschooling - Family Education

6 Homeschooling Misconceptions Erased - Simple Homeschool

Home Schooling - Education Week

Also take a look at these Home School Infographics:

Homeschooling by the Numbers [Infographic]

Click image to make it larger and easier to read.

I would post more info-graphics but there are too many and I don't want to overload anybody.  Do a Google search if you want to see more.
I also want to direct you to: The Public School Parents Guide To Homeschool Parents.  It's a great read with info on homeschooling for those of you who are interested in taking a look inside a homeschool parent's brain for a few minutes.

What are some things you think about home school?  Do you have questions about home school?  If you're a home schooled child or home school parent, what are some of the things you've heard people say about home school?  Let us know in the comment section below.

Tags: homeschooling how to start, where to start homeschooling, how to start homeschooling my child, how to start homeschooling your child


  1. I agree with most that you cover here. I would like to ad that I wish to homeschool my children because I want my husband and I to be their primary influence. I also want to share the learning experience with them, to be the first to capture their passion for learning.
    Currently I work full-time and I am expecting our second child. However, homeschooling is something my husband I have already decided we will do (my husband is big supporter) and currently we are pursuing a plan to financial stability that will allow me to stay home once my oldest is at preschool age.
    Meanwhile, I am reading books, following blogs, and researching articles to prepare myself for this adventure. I must say that the more I search, the more strongly I feel about homeschooling.
    I don't intend to homeschool in order to shelter my children (if I felt that way, I would be home with my son now instead of sending him to daycare). I am learning that it's essential that I know and understand my motives to homeschool, and sheltering my children is not it. I do want to protect them, but outside interaction is important as well.
    Anyway, you have a good blog going here. I will save you in my favorites and continue to follow you :)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts

  2. I'm going to start sending people to this article. My family keeps trying to talk me out of homeschooling even though my boys are doing well with it and are ahead of where they're supposed to be in the curriculum. I didn't realize about the colleges. Good tools to stick in my pro-homeschooling arsenal when people tell me I'm shouldn't be doing it. Thnx

    1. Glad I could help! I think family members are usually just concerned that the kids are going to 'miss out' on something from public school or will be behind. Sending out facts helps alleviate their fears (hopefully).

  3. Thank you for this post! I especially like the last reason. I took my kids out of public school, and they have enjoyed being homeschooled much better than being in public school. Two of my kids were in 9th grade when I started homeschooling them. At first, they were very reluctant and unenthusiastic about it. They are doing 10th grade now and have said to others how much better being homeschooled is---they get to take their time when they need to, they get to be more thorough if they want to, they are more relaxed and I believe they are more able to share what they have learned. I will never regret taking my 4 children out of the public school system. It was the right choice for us.

  4. This is a great post! Succinct, accurate and not judgmental towards non-homeschoolers. What a great resource to keep in my "back pocket".

  5. Love this! I have heard almost all of these myths and I have had to let it go. I am currently homeschooling 2 children (with 2 more who are too young) AND I have a 9th grader who is now in public school after being homeschooled until now (and she is doing great academically and socially). My daughter is proof that homeschoolers can meet and exceed public school students and that it is a valid option. I wish more people would see that homeschooling opens doors and opportunities instead of seeing it as limited and narrow-minded.

  6. Good article! Thank you. I love seeing the statistics that support homeshool as well as hearing the experiences of a real life homeschooler.

  7. I love this! I've been thinking about homeschooling and it seems so daunting but private school is just too expensive and we will not do public school. Whenever mention homeschooling, people give me the strangest looks. The idea that parents are not qualified to teach their own children is not only offensive, but dangerous. That's the way it was done for most of human history, and while I give lots of credit to teachers, almost all parents are capable of directing a child through a decent curriculum. For me it's not the fear that I can't do it as much as giving in to the idea that my entire day will be occupied by teaching. But then again, my kis are worth it! Thanks so much for this.

    1. We did private school for one year when she was in pre-school and it was expensive, and that was with me working at the private school. For the most part my family has been pretty supportive about us homeschooling. Or at least they haven't given us any grief about it. I'm not sure how many kids you have (we only have 1) but we don't spend the entire day teaching. I do have my daughter all day long except when I'm at work (now working nights), but we only do school for about 3 hours a day (4 hours if it's a slow day). We are usually done by lunch time at noon. Then again as a homeschool family, we take every opportunity as a teaching moment, so if my daughter asks me a question about what a word means or how something works, I stop and explain it to her even if school is done for the day. Some families do homeschool all day long, and others don't. We only do school 4 days a week for about 3 hours a day, but then again we also go through the summer so we can get everything done in a year. It all depends on what you're doing, how you're doing it, what curriculum you're using, how fast the kids can get through the material and still understand it, and what your goals are. Each family is different and it's about finding your groove and then just diving in and getting it all done. Let me know if you have any questions or want to talk more about getting started.