Why My Homeschooler Doesn’t Want to Go Back to Public School

There are so many strong opinions out there about homeschool vs. public school.

I have met a number of people who disagree with my choice to homeschool my 2nd grader, kindergartener, and preschooler.

A few have come right out and said it, but others are more passive in their disapproval.

I think they honestly just feel bad for my kids because they are homeschooled.

“Your mom has so many control issues and weird religious notions that you can’t even have a normal childhood. Poor thing.”

I make a point to tell people who ask about homeschool vs. public school that my daughter has no desire to go back to public school.

That comment always causes people to raise their eyebrows and look surprised. They seem to struggle with their next question because they just weren’t expecting to hear that.

When I decided to pull my oldest daughter from public school and start homeschooling, I made a point to  included her in the decision process.

I was a bit reluctant about homeschool initially, but from the beginning my oldest thought it was a great idea. She asked if we could pull her from kindergarten in the middle of the year and start right away.

Um, no. I wasn’t that ready yet.

Anyhow, I have taken the time to check in with her every now and then and ask if she is still happy to be homeschooled.  Does she ever think about going back to public school?

Every time I have asked her that, she has given me an emphatic, “I never want to go back to public school!” She says it in a tone that reads, “Are you crazy?!”

Really, why?

Yeah, I kind of wondered the same thing too.

I started to casually ask her why she was so sure that she wanted to continue with homeschooling.

Was it because I was such an amazing, fun teacher? (Spoiler Alert: No)

I was very careful not to suggest any reasons or sway her in any way.

So, here is what my second grader had to say:

1. “I get to see my family when they visit.”

Public School Vs. Homeschool - homeschool kid has time to play with grandparents

She loves the fact that when family comes to visit, she doesn’t miss one minute with them.

No having to go to school in the morning, get to bed early on a school night, finish homework or projects – all her time is free because I schedule our calendar around the visit.

Truth be told, I schedule it that way so that I can enjoy the visit too!

My husband has a job that requires us to move often and we live far from family. When they come to visit – it is a real treat!

We are all so thankful that not a moment is missed because of having to follow someone else’s calendar.

2. “I can take breaks whenever I want.”

She loves having the freedom to tell me she needs a break.

Sometimes its because she’s hungry, thirsty, has to run to the bathroom, wants to play with her sisters, needs to move her body, or she just needs to clear her head after an intense lesson.

Sometimes though, she is really driven and wants to speed through the day and take NO breaks!

(Wanna know how to foster that attitude? Check out this post about Getting that Work Done)

I usually have to step in then and tell her that no breaks may not be the best idea…or produce the best work.

Either way, she loves being able to step away from the classroom and just be a kid.

When she was in public school, I think she became really tired of doing so much seat work and having to be “on” all the time for her teachers.

In fact, she would often come home and have an uncharacteristic tantrum, I would send her to her room, and then I would find her asleep in her bed.

School just wore that child out.


3. “I get to go outside and play!”

A lot of those breaks are trips outside to play.

We are blessed to have a rather large front and backyard, so my little homeschooler loves to run and play with her sisters, daydream, garden, and have picnics.

We are also blessed to live in a community with a lot of homeschoolers. They are all usually done with their work around 1pm, so they have hours and hours to ride bikes, play, and be together.

I can’t help but think how much healthier and happier my kid is now that she has so much more free time, fresh air, and exercise.

She no longer has to deal with 1 or 2 recess breaks on the same playground and homework to do when she gets home.

4. “There are no girls like Jenny”

Public School vs. Homeschool kid being bullied at public school
So her name is not really Jenny, but my daughter did have a bully or “frenemy” in kindergarten.

This girl became quite a distraction to my daughter’s learning. It became such an issue that I reached out to the teacher and the school counselor had to get involved with the girls.

Now that we homeschool, this girl is used as an example in many of our Bible and character lessons. I never mention her, but my daughter always seem to say, “Oh, you mean like when Jenny said {fill in the blank}”

Yes sadly, this girl’s choices always seemed to be a good example of the opposite of what I am trying to teach my girls.

Anyhow, my oldest recognizes that she now learns in an environment that is free of judgement or distraction. No concerns about girls whispering, what she’s wearing, or who is playing with who these days at recess.

She can ask questions and not worry about being made fun of. She can get the answer wrong and its no big deal.

Even at her young age, she recognizes the freedom she has to just be herself.

5. School Stress

I don’t have a direct quote for this one, because my daughter mentioned it hours after we talked about the first three. She seemed to have a hard time opening up about it, but still wanted to share.

She said one of the things she hated the most about public school was that her teacher had an app that she could use to tell parents about student behavior.

I had the app too and it would notify me when my daughter received a green smiley face (she did something great!) and when she got a red sad face (she broke a rule).

I remember the app and I thought it was great. I never got angry with her when she had a red face – they were rare.

Apparently the pressure to hold up that green smiley face was crushing for my perfectionist child. She said it was embarrassing when it was announced to the whole class that she had to have a red face sent home.

In hindsight, I see that this is actually tied to the need for breaks which was discussed earlier. 7 hours is just too long to expect 5 year olds to be quiet, orderly, and productive.

I love that my daughter is now taught in a place of rest. She knows I unconditionally love her and that she is safe with me and her family.

When she breaks a rule, there is no need to shame her. I talk to her and provide consequences, but they are not shaming.

What about you?

If you are curious about homeschooling, but terrified that your kid will hate it, you are not alone. I had the same concerns in the beginning!

My daughter did not mention these things, but I have three quick points to share that I think have played a huge role in why she enjoys being homeschooled:

1. Their social life is just as important as their academics

A homeschool mom is also the social coordinator for their children. You hold the keys (literally) to their friendships.

No, I am not saying that you have to “socialize” them or they will be weird. I am saying that people are relational and they were designed to need friends.

Doesn’t it feel amazing when you get off the phone with a friend who just understands you? Your kids feel the same way when they see their friends! It just looks different.

I will tell you that it is a lot of work to haul my kids to all the extra things to see their friends and play with other kids.

All of the play dates, sports practices, scout meeting, co-op classes, trips to the park, and lessons can make my introverted heart a bit weary at times. But I know all of those interactions feed my kids’ hearts!

Definitely keep the social calendar in balance with the rhythm of your family – don’t go nuts and put a different kind of stress on yourself!

Just make sure your kids know that you value their friends and will work to maintain those connections.

2. Maintain the balance of mom and teacher

Public school vs. homeschool : Mom playing with homeschool kid

My first year of homeschooling I did not understand this at all. My daughter would say she wanted to spend time with me during breaks of school or other times of the day and I would be mystified.

Didn’t we just spend hours together this morning reading your history lesson, playing that fun math game, and working on that science experiment?

I wanted to get chores done around the house and spend time with my other two younger girls – why was my daughter’s “love bucket” not full after all that time together?

It eventually dawned on me that my time as teacher does not translate into “quality time with mom.”

I needed to become very intentional about how I managed those two very different relationships of mom and teacher. I didn’t want my daughter to feel like school work sucked up all the time she had with her mom.

If this area of your home is out of balance, that is a recipe for homeschool disaster. Definitely prioritize  intentional time with your kids every day that is not related to school.

3. Approach their school work with positive reinforcement

The battle over school work can obviously put a huge strain on any homeschool family.

Every kid is going to have days that they are just not wanting to do their work. Kind of like when you look at your “To Do List” and you just want to take a nap.

I believe it is essential to have a plan to motivate kids to do their work. Using only negative consequences to make kids do their work is another recipe for disaster.

My daughter has a sticker chart that I designed to motivate her on the days she just doesn’t want to do things. Every sticker represents a reward she has earned by completing quality work with a good attitude.

This simple chart and plan really work!

As an example, my daughter did not get a sticker recently because of her bad attitude and sloppy work.

I didn’t get angry, I just told her that this wasn’t going to cut it for what I expect from her. We talked about the day and ironed some things out. She demanded to do school the next day – even though it was Saturday – because she wanted to earn that sticker back!

The reward connected to it was that important to her!

Recap + Free Printable

Homeschool vs. Public School is a hotly contested debate for many people. Are you trying to decide how best to educate your children? Not sure if your kids will go for it? Hear my daughter share in this post the benefits of homeschooling and why she never wants to go back to public school. Plus I share tips on how YOU can have a successful homeschool that your kids will love!

Homeschooling has been an incredible blessing to our family!

We have experienced so many benefits, that I actually started this blog to help other moms get the courage to start homeschooling!

You can get started today and download my “Ultimate Step by Step Getting Started with Homeschooling Checklist.” 

It is an awesome tool that I developed after stumbling around in the dark to get my own homeschool started. You will be ready and confident on Day 1!

You can download it for FREE today when you subscribe to The Simple Homeschooler!

You will receive Monday morning emails from me full of tips, encouragement, laughs, and support. I love being able to share what I have learned and what is working in our homeschool!

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Read Next: 

Trying to decide about Public School vs Homeschool for your children? This article is for you! A former teacher answers questions about her experience in the public school system and how she is now teaching her 4 children at home.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Jennifer | 5th Mar 20

    Thank you for your post. I’m an aspiring Homeschool mom….my daughter currently is in preschool (age 4.5) and I’m finishing graduate school. I graduate in Spring 2021; by that time I plan to homeschool. I am not looking forward to peer drama…my daughter is only in preschool and it’s starting. For example, my daughter already feels left out and sometimes doesn’t feel accepted by the other kids. My heart breaks. We’re a Christian family and so we teach her what the bible says (to love God and love others) and what that looks like…so she is still learning that not everyone is kind or loving. It breaks my heart when my daughter holds on to the opinion of her peers instead of what us, her parents, think. One problem I’m seeing is that my daughter’s teacher is not seeing the issue in the same light as me; the teacher seems to think that because my daughter does interact with the other kids everything is fine. But my daughter interacts in order to feel apart and sometimes she does things that she knows is not the right thing to do (at the risk of fitting in). Any suggestions? What did you do?

    • Lauren | 8th Mar 20

      Hi Jennifer, That is a rough situation. When I was going through a similar situation with my daughter in kindergarten, I told my daughter to stay away from kids who were hurting her feelings. That didn’t work. We were powerless to keep her from being in this toxic circle and had no idea how to parent her through it. On the bright side, she learned a lot from the experience about how to treat people and how it feels when you’re treated badly. If your gut is telling you that this is too much for your little one to carry, I would pull her from preschool and not blink an eye. Please read my post – Why I Quit Homeschool Preschool to see why preschool is really not worth the money, time, or aggravation. Have your baby home with you and avoid all the negative social affects you’re dealing with. Please don’t hesitate to email me at lauren@thesimplehomeschooler.com if you have any other questions. Saying a prayer for you right now Jennifer as you work through this! 🙂

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