Do Homeschooled Kids Actually Like to Be Homeschooled?

The thought that kids could not like being homeschooled never really crossed my mind until I realized it was at the forefront of public school parents’ minds when they looked at my children.

Why?

Because many parents believe children miss out on things when they are homeschooled.  But, what people don’t realize is that there is a totally different culture to homeschooling (at least homeschooling that isn’t based on a public school mentality).

So, as you read through my children’s responses to why they like being homeschooled, think about that culture shift.  None of these answers were coerced and I asked each of my children separately so no one would be influenced by another’s answers.  Needless to say, I smiled.

why my kids like being homeschooled

1.  “Because I get to learn about God.”

2.  “Because I get to spend time with my parents.”

3.  “Because I get to learn stuff with my family.”

4.  “Because I get done faster than if I was at public school.”

5.  “Because I get a customized education.”

6.  “Because I have time to learn about the things I really want to learn about.”

7.  “Because I get to do the things I learn about.”

8.  “Because it’s fun!”

9.  “Because I get to be in an environment with people who are well behaved.”

10. “Because I get to learn life skills and other useful things.”

Any of these a shocker to you?  Take a moment to ask your children why they like to be homeschooled!  You might be pleasantly surprised by their answers!

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51 thoughts on “Do Homeschooled Kids Actually Like to Be Homeschooled?

  1. Ok, but what do you do when they don’t ? My 7 year old (oldest child) has been begging me to let him go to school for about 2 years. We live in a country where homeschooling is not very popular and most of his friends (from church, etc) go to school. The only reason he wants to go is because he doesn’t know what school is like and they tell him it’s wonderful. I try to tell him he would have to stay put in a chair for a much longer period of time, he wouldn’t have as much free play-time, that we wouldn’t be able to change his curriculum based on his interests and abilities (he’s dyslexic, so finding a reading program that worked for him was a lot of work)… I tell him I went to school and then was homeschooled and that homeschooling was so much better, and that his father went to school from K to 12th but that he would have prefered homeschooling… but he is still not convinced…

    • I’ll be honest, when my son was your son’s age, he too wanted to go to school because he was curious. We just kept telling him we loved having him home and that all the things he thought he was missing by not going to school were not really much at all. We also played up the fact that we had freedoms others did not. We did implement some things in our home that were school-like (see the buttered noodle comment left by Nicole – classic!), but we just kept doing what we knew was right. Now at 14, he has seen what the public school has produced in his peers and wants nothing to do with it. It aggravates him to have to try to work with kids who don’t take responsibility for their actions, interrupt others, and never take anything seriously. It has definitely been a growing experience for him. Keep doing what you know is right, Rebecca!

  2. This is my favorite! “Because I get to learn about God.” THAT is what they won’t get if they are not…..but, what we can wrap them in….while we travel this path!

    • That was my sweet 6 year old who has always had quite a heart for God. It was the very first thing he said when I asked him. :)

  3. This is great! One time I asked my 5 year old if she liked being homeschooled and she said no….because at school her friends got to eat buttered noodles for lunch! Buttered noodles!?!?!? So I make them for lunch once a week and she’s a fan of homeschooling again!!

  4. Amy, I appreciate this thoughtful list from your children. Having been a parent of a public school child my list was extra special to me today — I found that my daughter did miss some of the “school” things in the beginning, but it didn’t take long for her to love this lifestyle. God is good!

  5. Wonderful list. And you are so right about homeschooling being a different culture. So wish those who choose other schooling methods could understand this simple fact. Thanks for sharing.

    • It is even sadder to me when homeschoolers do not embrace that culture fully. What wonderful fruit there is to be had!

  6. I have to admit, as a former homeschool kid, I did not like being homeschooled…at least, I didn’t think that I did. And I eventually went to a small charter school where I graduated. However, looking back, we had a blast! And I fully intend to homeschool my children.

  7. I loved being homeschooled! After 7 years on public school I was happy to be free- free from people who teased me, free to be myself, free to finish school early and do something I enjoyed. I also enjoyed the extra time I got to spend with my Mom and even my three brothers. :D I was also in private school for 2 years. That just wasn’t my thing! I spent my last year as a homeschooler again. :) Now my son just finished his first official year as a homeschooler.

    • I like that you said you were free to be you. That is something sorely lacking in public school where even the misfit fit a mold. :(

  8. My 6 year old is still asleep so I’m not sure what she’ll say about homeschooling when I ask but I’d guess it will be a favorable answer. She has indicated to me that she enjoys being homeschooled, though she knows no other way.

    Me however, I went to public school for K and then my mom pulled me out and homeschooled me from 1st on up. So having been the homeschooled kid, even the one who was pulled from public school, I can tell you was very glad to be homeschooled! I HATED book learning, but I LOVED actually BEING homeschooled because it meant that someone safe who I knew really loved me was there to help me in my weak spots- Mom. If I had gone to public school all the way I’d have been diagnosed with ADD and held back. Because my poor mom was willing to do anything under the sun to find a curriculum that I could actually learn from without great difficulty, even if it meant trying several a year, year after year after year, I actually wound up completing highschool at 15 and getting my GED (scored 98th percentile or above in everything so I wasn’t flat out stupid after all) and the official graduation ceremony was that next spring. I was again thankful for being homeschooled so that I COULD double up and graduate early once I found the motivation for it. I was thankful to be homeschooled because the only bullies in my home-school were my siblings and the teacher could actually do something about it to teach us to get along. I was thankful to be homeschooled because we got a school holliday for birthdays and grocery shopping trips! :) So many good reasons I was thankful but it would take all day to list.

  9. My kids are too little to articulate this well but my oldest (4.5) already tells me constantly that she doesn’t want to go to school. She doesn’t want to leave me. That’s for “other” kids, “bigger” kids (but she doesn’t want to go when she’s bigger, either).

    Recently I told her a holiday was coming up (right before Memorial Day) and asked her what she would like to do for fun. She excitedly said, “Homeschool work!!” THAT’S her idea of fun! She’s doing phonics with the babysitter right now while I am working because she begged me. Seriously. My kids LOVE homeschooling!

  10. My children make it clear to me that they would be very angry if I sent them to school. My oldest especially likes that she gets to take swinging breaks during school (and she is 14!). :-)

  11. Neither of my kids have any desire to go to school. They realize that they have a tremendous amount of freedom. I’m so grateful that they don’t feel that they are missing out.

  12. I stop and ask my little 5 yr old girl this question and she does prefer to learn at home. She love getting to read in bed early in the morning and see her beloved robo hamster, new kitten, and senior dog everyday while learning our lessons. We are a different breed, homeschoolers.

  13. I remember when I was younger, probably eight, and my brother was six, that our dad would threaten to send us to public school sometimes. It scared the living daylights of us! We had no idea what public school was, but we knew that we liked being homeschooled and that being sent off to some strange place to learn all day was NOT what we wanted.
    I am extremely grateful to God and my parents that I was homeschooled from birth to graduation (and I’m still learning!).

  14. just asked 15 yo favorite part of homeschooling:
    Flexibility in schedules
    Taking field trips
    I can take the classes i need (instead of what the school thinks i need) for as long as i need until the work is done instead of feeling rushed or spending an hour doing nothing.
    Food is better
    Homeschool Academy internet is faster.

  15. My children would say the same things! It is such a blessing to have children who love to learn and want to learn – and who, most importantly, want God first in their lives! Wonderful post!

  16. My kids were very happy to homeschool, and neither ever actually wanted to go to school. When they were little, I babysat a girl and with perission from the teacher, I volunteered several times at her school and took my kids with me… they got to participate and take part in several days. It was a great opportunity. My kids were surprised at how fast the kids had to get each activity done so they could move on to the next one… the kids would put whatever they hadn’t finished into their homework folder… and it was everysingle thing they started. Even their coloring page ended up in their homework folder except for the ones that just quickly scribbled some color over everything so they wouldn’t have to do it at home.
    My son decided and then informed my at 6years old, that kids didn’t actually learn anything at school the teacher just gave the parents things to teach at home.

    My kids really haven’t missed out on anything. They have tried sports, though they preferred karate and horsemanship, they have been to many dances, our community has all county dances for highschoolers, they have gone to our local school every year for picture day so we could have “school pictures”. We joined part time in a parent partnership program with the local school where they have taken science classes with other kids their age, choir, guitar, drama, spanish, sewing, art etc all of which are so much fun done with other kids. Ok, choir is pretty much impossible with out other kids LOL! Oh we also did boy scouts and girl scouts, where they both learned and gained so much life experience, knowledge and skills.
    Anyway… my kids were very appreciative of all the opportunities they had that their public school friends did not have.

  17. I know my children do. They have said as much multiple times. They got very upset when they thought, for some odd reason, they were going to now have to go to public school. They have no fear of public places, no fear of people, and so on, but they just really love homeschool.

  18. This post is so appropriately timed for me. I need the encouragement today. I had my girls write down their responses (still waiting for 15 yr. old son to answer). It made me cry because both of them put ‘being with mom’ as their no. 1 answer. I needed to hear that because I’m questioning what I’m supposed to do next year. I want to homeschool again but I want to be at home more. We have been participating in a few classes through a special homeschool program through our school district. There are some great things about it but overall I feel the conviction to pull out of the program so our days aren’t chopped up so much and so I’m doing what is truly important. I’m making steps in that direction but my son isn’t as open to the idea.
    Most Christian homeschool kids that he’s around are heading in the direction of doing a program where they can attend community college as a junior & senior, earning highschool & college credits at the same time. I’ve heard some teaching about these programs that I agree with and so I’m hesitant. Then I question myself and wonder if I’m being too legalistic. My son would be one of the only ones around here not to do it. Ultimately I want what the Lord has, not what everyone else is doing. Sometimes I feel like I’m always going against the grain. Makes me think that I’m crazy at times!

  19. My 7 1/2 year old (rising second grader; he’s been homeschooled since day one) said he likes being homeschooled because “I get to spend all day with you and if I weren’t homeschooled I’d only get to spend like, half the day with you!”

  20. I was homeschooled from 1st through 12th and it seemed the older I got, the more people, both extended family and friends, seemed to worry that I was being forced to be homeschooled and that I would rather go to “real” school. One thing they always brought up was prom – like one single night with dancing would be worth giving up all the benefits of being at home! I never really had any desire to go to school and I hope I create a family culture where my kids don’t either.

    • I went to public school and went to the wonderful prom both years I was allowed. If I had the choice, I would go back and do it all over by being homeschooled so that I could have avoided prom! Bad memories!

  21. I don’t think they’d want to hurt your feelings by telling you otherwise. Most homeschooled kids are curious about school–why wouldn’t they be? And they DO miss out on things–just as public school kids miss out on things, too.

    I don’t think your kids would tell you anything other than what you want to hear (kids are smart!) But most 12-year olds don’t want to spend all day, every day, with Mom. Maybe that’s what’s best for them, but they generally don’t want it.

    • Grown up homeschooled kid here! :) If I had disliked being homeschooled, which I didn’t, I most certainly would have told my mom, in the hopes that I could convince her to let me go to public school. In fact, one of my siblings went through a stage of hating being homeschooled in their late teens and TRUST ME, there was zero hesitation there when it came to making that fact known. ;)
      Really when a kid doesn’t like something how many times do they actually keep it to themselves. I’ve never met a kid who wouldn’t make sure everyone knew that they didn’t like vegetable x or hated homework or didn’t feel like going to t-ball practice. Children really aren’t known for their unselfish denial of self. Kinda part of what makes them children.
      When it comes down to it, SO WHAT if the kid doesn’t LIKE being homeschooled. I know about a million public schooled kids that don’t LIKE going to school either. Some that BEG their parents to homeschool. I know kids that don’t like vegetables, don’t like to use the toilet, don’t like to say please, don’t like to take turns… I could go on forever about things kids don’t like. The point is that kids don’t always like what’s good for them. That sibling of mine who hated being homeschooled for a while? Got over it, grew up, and plans to homeschool their own kids someday.

    • Oh, my kids are pretty candid with me about everything. In fact, I read them your comment and the two oldest (11 and 14) said, “Oh, we’d tell you, mom!” lol They are amazing kids and we actually do all enjoy spending time with each other. :)

  22. Well of course they like it…they don’t know any different! This whole post is just begging the question. My kid enjoys public school because that is what she knows. If your children are brought up hearing you say how evil public school is, and how awesome homeschooling is, and they have never experienced public school, how could they possibly make an informed decision or opinion?

    But I suppose that is the point, you don’t want them to have an individual opinion or make their own decisions unless they are exactly the same as yours.

    What a ridiculous post.

    • I’ll bet you think your kids should agree with you on whether or not they should eat their vegetables, drive under the speed limit, and not do drugs. Oh the horror of a parent raising their child up with their own values! *gasp* There’s plenty of time for a kid to grow up into an adult capable of making their own decisions before they need to stop trusting their parents to guide them. When is it they say a child’s brain and ability to use logic and reason is fully developed? 25 years old? For what it’s worth I was in public school and home school and I had friends from both sides and I was very thankful to be homeschooled. Still am. And I’m definately over 25 now… ;)

      • I tend to agree that a lot of home schooled kids have no idea what they miss out on. I also find that for most people who insist kids don’t miss out on activities are usually that type that were never that athletic or involved in sports teams. I can honestly say it would have been tragic if I hadn’t attended public school. While being a top student some of my best childhood memories are track and field trips with all 30 kids all heading out of town to compete, also just pickup games at lunch like backyard football. These were my glory days and I loved competition. In fact one of my biggest regrets and my father’s as well is that I didn’t grow up in a bigger town where I could have joined an organized high school football team as our town was too small. I’ve always wanted to play and he’s always wanted to watch me play.

        In general I have a hard time seeing where competition really comes into play in home school and I believe competition brings out the best in most people. While my parents encouraged me to study hard I can’t help but feel that those friendly rivalries between classmates helped me to do even better. If my friend got a 98 and I only got a 96 I tried that much harder the next go around.

        Oh and I did join actvities that were outside of school. I was in karate for 11 years and did go to tournaments, but honestly even though I enjoyed going with my father I can’t look back at it the same way as those trips with all the other kids my age.

        • Interestingly enough, my husband played high school and college football, ran track, and played bball, and I was a cheerleader, played volleyball and ran hurdles. So, we do not fit your theory. ;). Homeschooled kids have many opportunities for healthy competition and teamwork (the 2 things I hear most people feel they miss out on). But that is another post.

          • I’m sure there are exceptions. Just saying in general. I know in Canada it can be hard to even have a football team period if you’re not in a big city. I don’t remember ever seeing any home schooled kids that were allowed in any of our high school sports teams.

            I still wonder how much healthy rivalry there is in the actually classes themselves. There was always that extra push for being the top student in the room of 30 kids, not just top student of some other kid you hear about taking the same class somewhere else.

        • I don’t know how it is in Canada but in the US, homeschoolers are allowed to participate in sports at their local public school and the public schools are required to let them. My homeschooled brother hated being homeschooled until he was a teen and joined a local public school sports team and then he changed his mind and realized how good he had it. ;)
          As for rivalry, siblings have plenty of rivalry. I graduated at 16 and then my siblings didn’t want to be outdone and graduated early too. My own motivation came, not from rivalry, but from being just plain sick of book learning. I wanted to be done the required learning so that I could start spending my time learning what I was interested in and not having to worry about passing classes anymore. I was bored. This I got motivated and worked extra hard and finished early. There is plenty of motivation to be had in homeschooling families. What is motivating isn’t going to look the same for everyone.

    • Molly,
      Oh my…
      I had to reply to your comment. I just decided to homeschool my 2nd grader. He knows exactly what public school is like because he has been there since kindergarten. He has been begging me to homeschool him. His work is nowhere near challenging or interesting enough in the public school and he is bored out if his mind.
      To say that homeschooling parents want their children to be exactly like them is laughable. Public schools are unbending. It has been my personal experience and my sons experience that public school ignores, stifles, and even rejects true uniqueness and individuality, development of common sense and independence, and undervalues each child’s natural strengths.
      And God forbid a child has genuine questions that challenge what the teacher is trying to shove into their heads. Inquisitive minds get shoved in the corner. Even my 7 year old son can see all that (on a more basic level, of course) and he wants out. Public school may be just fine for you, Molly, but its not just fine for every person on Earth BECAUSE we are all unique and different.

  23. To Molly- Most homeschoolers are out in the community, participating in many activities- boyscouts, girlscouts, 4-H, art classes, dance classes, band, orchestra, drama- these are NOT kids that “stay home with their mom all day everyday” and are afraid to say what they like or don’t like. There is generally NO concern about socialization, sometimes it is a matter of too much fun socialization- there are so many things out there to do, see, and join. We have to work diligently to make the time to stay home and learn!

    Most of us don’t bad mouth public school either… we all have various reasons for homeschooling, mine was my kids very different learning style- my son had to be up and moving, letting off energy in order to concentrate, and he is a social butterfly, he would have driven a teacher crazy, and he would likely have felt stifled and in trouble a lot! My daughter was extremely shy and to this day hates to be in noisy crowded places. We chose a small parent partnership program, with small classes that I could attend with her for a while until she was comfortable. My son has lots of friends and acquaintances from all over the county, my daughter has 3 close friends that she like to see one at a time.

    Some kids love and thrive at public school, some do not. We are just telling you that both ways are perfectly fine, and if kids are perfectly happy to homeschool because that is all they have ever known, then you have perfectly happy kids. If they are happy going to public school, awesome you have perfectly happy kids. All kids get annoyed with their circumstance sometimes…mine when we started algebra- he hated it, but that doesn’t mean its time to do put them in school, or take them out…it’s just time to teach some perseverance.

    Homeschooling is the very opposite of not wanting our kids to think for themselves… we are the parents who, for whatever reason, got brave and went against what was “normal”. We did think for ourselves, and all the homeschool parents I know teach their kids the same… think for yourself attitude…what is it? Why is it working or not working? What can you do about it?

  24. Hi, I have just finished my first year homeschooling my 5 kids (5th, 4th, 2nd, K, preK.) I pulled them out of a not-so-terrible public school, so it was hard to justify it to my family. Anyway, I had a question from reading through some of the comments. You said, “It is even sadder to me when homeschoolers do not embrace that culture fully. What wonderful fruit there is to be had!”
    I’d love to find out what that means!! It gives me a happy feeling of “there’s more?” :)
    I’m doing my best to “retrain” a new way of schooling to my public schooled kids. I’d love to learn more about the “culture” of which you speak. :)
    thx

    • I would encourage you to read 2 of my favorite homeschooling books: The Christian Homeschool by Gregg Harris and Educating the Wholehearted Child by Sally Clarkson (you can find links on my Homeschooling page: http://www.raisingarrows.net/the-homeschooling-mother/ ). Homeschooling at its best is NOT school at home. It is a wonderful culture of family. I do hope to elaborate more later on this summer, but right now my morning sickness brain is not allowing for that. ;) Many blessings to you on your journey!