A stressed out mom sitting on the edge of the bed, kids jumping on the bed behind her. Text overlay - 9 Major homeschool disadvantages.
HOMESCHOOLING

9 Reasons You Shouldn’t Homeschool Your Kids

Homeschooling has its ups and downs. There is no need to tiptoe around the truth; we can be honest here, right? Now that several (looong) years have gone by since we started to homeschool, it’s time to get real.

I hate homeschooling.

I know. I’m as dumbstruck as you are.

Or maybe it’s not that I hate homeschooling per se, but perhaps I’ve finally discovered certain homeschool disadvantages that I never knew existed.

Look, homeschooling has obvious undeniable benefits. Homeschooling IS awesome. Truth be told, every day I consider myself lucky for being able to homeschool my kids, and I don’t see us quitting homeschooling anytime soon. But the truth is…

The life of a homeschooling parent can get pretty INTENSE.

9 Reasons you shouldn’t homeschool your kids

#1 Constant chaos

Show of hands: who loves to listen to the ode of sibling drama over the silliest things of all things silly all day long on repeat starting at 7:15 a.m. sharp? Exactly. I would pay money to drink coffee in peace.

Without the yellow bus taking my kids away for the day, my hopes of mental clarity are fading away faster than an inflatable swan floating down the Mississippi River.

#2 You’re never, ever, EVER alone. Everrr!

No matter what your approach to homeschooling is, be it strictly school at home or radical unschooling, let’s be honest here: you are stuck with your kids. Every day. All day long.

If long-term lack of privacy and zero personal space isn’t enough to score you your very own legally prescribed bottle of Xanax, then I don’t know what is. I’m surprised they don’t hand these out when you’re initiated into a homeschool group or a co-op.

It’s like living with the Gremlins, but worse.

hate-homeschooling-never-alone

I love my kids. But I clench my fists every morning in jealousy of all SAHMs on our block who drop their kids off at the corner of the street and kiss them and smile and wave and won’t see them until at least 4 p.m.

#3 On-call cafeteria lady

Preparing 385 meals and snacks each and every day and cleaning up after said 385 meals and snacks each and every day? Hate it. HATE. IT. And just for the record, I used to love to cook.

Look, I know I’d still have to feed my kids breakfast and dinner and make a sack lunch for them if they were in school, I’m not an idiot. But they were born with two hollow legs each and the reverberation of “I’M HUUUNGRYYY MOOOOOM” makes my skin crawl 7 days a week for the vast majority of my waking hours.

hate-homeschooling-always-hungry

#4 Constant mess

Oh dear God, the constant mess.

Did I mention the mess?

The mind-numbing hamster wheel of managing the growing mess with your kids at home 24/7 is exhausting. Sucks the life out of me. It’s debilitating, really, for a neat freak like me. How much is a boarding school in the Swiss Alps?

#5 Knowing that I can make them. Or break them.

Both education-wise and on a social level.

Are there important skills or things I’m forgetting to teach them? Am I paving paths for success or the unemployment office? Will my kids hate me one day for not bringing them to their full potential?

hate-homeschooling-make-or-brake-the-kids

The weight of my kids’ future well-being rests entirely on my shoulders, and I won’t know the extent of the good OR bad I’ve done until my kids are all grown up. At which point it’s pretty much too late to fix anything major like screwing up someone’s whole life out of LOVE.

It’s all on me. And it sometimes scares the crap out of me.

Related: 11 Most Popular Homeschool Questions (Answered)

#6 Being the Worst. Person. Ever…

The super-un-fun mom that’s relentlessly enforcing barbaric tasks like no more copycat burping at the dinner table, teeth brushing at least by lunchtime?!, capitalizing every street name on every envelope in the pen pal pile because, come on, how many times have we gone over this?!

Yup, all courtesy of the homeschool mom. Day in, day out.

#7 Kids can be lazy, know-it-all, back talking, eye-rolling MONSTERS!

So here’s the thing. The emotional security of homeschooling doesn’t only bring out the good in homeschoolers, it also brings out the bad and ugly. And you can’t pretend it didn’t happen and let the principal or a teacher worry about that.

Some days I’m flat out struggling with trying to be the best parent I can be, but that’s not even the scariest part. Having other homeschool parents paint vivid pictures of the hell called Homeschooling A Tween Girl is.

I’m terrified.

#8 It’s hard to find balance.

Like, REALLY hard. Balance just doesn’t come easy when you score the unlucrative gig of a homeschooling parent.

Well, let’s see here… Homeschooling is like volunteering long hours at a position with high demands and no lunch break in a company that’s perpetually disorganized and low on staff.

Honestly? Homeschooling sometimes makes me want to jolt out of my house screaming and hitch the first truck ride for my solo backpacking stint across South America.

I’ve put my sanity on the back burner for now. We’ll see what comes out of it.

Belize sounds nice.

#9 “Oh you gave up your career to stay at home and homeschool your kids?! That’s niiice…” [Gives me THE LOOK.]

Fair enough. But I’m not going down without a fight.

I actually know quite a few females who have gotten out of the “full-time mommy gig” by purposely finding a job to commute to daily, the farther away from their home, the better. Their numbers are growing.

People need to realize that being with your kids nonstop is not for the weak. Stay-at-home moms that don’t have help can have incredibly tough lives.

But honestly…?

Being with your kids nonstop AND being solely responsible for their well-roundedness and education AND keeping them fed and alive for all these years should score all homeschooling moms a straight ticket to heavenly lounge no matter how many husbands they’ve tried to kill along the way.

There you have it.

The ugly side of homeschooling.

All the reasons why I hate homeschooling, often at least once a day.

Honest and uncensored.

Are you familiar with any of these homeschool disadvantages?

Do you have a love-hate relationship with homeschooling yourself?

If you’re here reading this post because you’re having a total “I HATE HOMESCHOOLING!!!” moment and you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to juggle housework, homeschool, and just, well… life… HUGS. Here is what I want to suggest to you (it helps me stay sane, maybe it will help you, too).

Make a list of all the BENEFITS you see in homeschooling your child(ren). Think about all the things you and your child love about homeschooling, no matter how big or small. It could be anything from allowing your child to learn at his or her own pace, more play time and exercise, avoiding an underwhelming school district, adhering to specific health or emotional needs of your child, there are no limits. (Here are our homeschool benefits.)

Seeing the bigger picture of the positive impact that homeschooling has on your child can help you ground yourself and work around the negatives. It can be a real eye opener (it was for me).

Do you hate homeschooling???

It’s OK to not love all homeschooling moments and every minute of homeschooling. What’s not OK is feeling enslaved to the idea of homeschooling, whether you have put that upon yourself or through an action of someone else such as your spouse.

If homeschooling no longer brings purpose to your family or if the load of homeschooling brings more stress to you than you think you can handle, it might be a good time to consider other educational alternatives. Quitting homeschooling is not a failure. It’s a healthy outcome to an unsatisfactory situation.

Final thoughts:

Homeschooling isn’t always all sunshine and rainbows even though many homeschool blogs or homeschoolers themselves might make you feel that way. In fact, homeschooling can be super hard and stressful, especially if you don’t have the right kind of support.

Let’s talk! Tell me why you hate homeschooling or what you dislike about homeschooling the most. Assuming you’re not reading this post solely out of curiosity… Which is totally fine.

PS: If you’re a more put-together homeschooler than me and still pretty sane after years of running the show, I’d LOVE to know your secrets! 🙂

A child writing in a notebook on the floor. Text overlay - 9 reasons you probably shouldn't homeschool your kids.

21 Comments

  • EJ

    I see this is an older post but thank you. I’m also in the boat of having my husband being hardheaded about homeschooling— and it’s secular homeschooling, he is an atheist! So he’s not even using God’s will as a reason but he is a diehard libertarian, borderline anarchist (not really but he hates so much government stuff, feels that schools are outdated because they were originally designed to groom children for child labor in factories, and can bury me in facts and statistics so much I start to want to run into traffic myself. Also we have one 6 year old with autism and our 4 year old is likely on the spectrum too, plus I highly suspect ADHD. I myself have mental health diagnoses from trauma (including childhood trauma) and the screaming and chaos is really having a bad impact on my mental health but it seems to fall on deaf ears. He keeps saying he will make the schedules and do the work (to his credit he has been teaching them their letters etc) but I want at LEAST to have in-home help for the autism and behavior issues and it’s like banging my head against a wall to bring it up to him. I can’t work due to health issues and due to my mental health problems (what the hell, I’ll reveal it to you— Complex PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder, plus I recently got my own diagnosis of Asperger’s at age 40 after being undiagnosed until after my son was diagnosed. I’m in active recovery for the BPD (doing various therapies including DBT, etc) but I have a disorder that makes it difficult for me to maintain emotionally regulated. To shield the kids from this when I can I end up hiding in our bedroom (my husband runs a business from home so he is always here and we do have help from my father in law) but I feel like with no structure and barely any routine we are just raising wild children… they do go to a 2 hour long Montessori based playgroup twice a week (that I had to push for) and they have transition anxiety and tantrums before and after (although the teachers report they do wonderful while there.) I feel strongly that there is some other way to do this but all I can think of (and only sometimes feel serious about) is divorcing my husband and getting the courts to order the kids to go to school and get the right assessments and treatment. Anyway sorry to ramble on all day, I just found this blog this morning after multiple screaming sessions that started at 5am when I googled “I hate homeschooling” and this came up, and I needed to vent… I feel trapped in The Circus of the Damned (that’s actually a book title for an urban fantasy novel about vampires but it sums it up pretty nicely). Thanks for reading this, although I’m not sure you will see it since the post is several months old. Hats off to all moms who can homeschool and still stay sane (relatively speaking 😉).

    • wholesomechildren

      Hi EJ! I’m so glad you shared your story! Yes, I wrote this post last year fueled by yet another bout of an irresistible urge to send my kids to school, but I can assure you I’m still here and read all the comments. It breaks my heart that you’re not getting the help you need and that you are struggling with your situation. One thing I would suggest is writing down the benefits that you and your kids are getting from homeschooling and the benefits you feel they (and you) would get if they attended school, and if possible, have your husband do the same. This might help you clear your mind and it can present some real debating points. It does sound like you have a husband problem on top of The Circus of the Damned (Ha! I love that connotation!) situation, though I can see where he is coming from (he sounds like the rebellious nature I am), and his viewpoint is based on wanting to give your kids the best start in life. Would he be open to partial enrollment for art, gym, music, things like that that are not so heavily curriculum-based, at least in the future? Provided your school district allows that. This could give you some much needed time to reflect, rest, and heal your soul, though it would require enrolling your kids into school and your husband might have a hard time getting past that. Do you have any non-biased supportive homeschool groups around where you could connect with moms in a similar situation and bounce ideas off of one another? IF you’d even be interested. I can completely understand that homeschool groups aren’t for everyone (and there is nothing wrong with that). Homeschooling has its ups and downs which is a normal progression (or I tell myself, haha), but man, it can be HARD when it gets to be too much, and the only thing that can make it worthwhile is seeing all the benefits. If the benefits aren’t there, it’s an obligation, a chore, an added stress that no one needs. Hugs from me, stay in touch, send me a message anytime you feel like it, I’m only a click away. I hear you, EJ, and I get you. And I want you to know that you are an amazing mom!

      • americansrretarted

        homeschooled kids far smarter berter off . But dumb enough to bring kids to public private schools they going to end up being enslaved brainwashed by our capitalist society too stupid to open eyes see lies public private schools teach. go ahead keep being lost in our captalist society be forever ensared in it. Not that i care becasue i not a dumbass that let my kids be brainwashed by our capitalist pig dog schools spread lies about if stay in school we get good paying jobs. Pathetic americans their so stupid to think their captialism sociaety helps them when it suck them dry to be left to rot.

        • wholesomechildren

          We homeschool, so if your comment is directed at me, I’m not seeing your point? I’m with you on the indoctrination point, 100%.

  • Jennifer

    I really do hate homeschooling. My husband insists that God has called me to homeschool, so he won’t let me put the kids in school. He also doesn’t feel called to help out, so it’s me and 11 kids. In fairness, the oldest just graduated, and the younger 2 are preschoolers, so I only have 8 in grade school. The constant stress, chaos, fighting between kids, and knowledge that we’re always behind just drives me nuts.

    • wholesomechildren

      Wow, Jennifer, 11 kids? You are my hero, sister! 11 kids??? ONLY 8 in grade school? 8!!! And here I am, complaining about the toll homeschooling (no, UNSCHOOLING) my TWO kids takes on my sanity every once in a while… [blushing] An unwritten code of conduct in homeschooling is (or should be) that the homeschooling parent has (and should have) the final say over whether homeschooling will carry on or not. Your husband has no right to manipulate you into thinking that God has called you to do whatever, you and only YOU know what’s best for you and your family because you know yourself and your limits and you are the one directly involved in homeschooling. Even if you were at some point enthusiastic about homeschooling, things change and so do priorities and there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing your mind. NOTHING. It’s not a failure, it’s a way to maintain harmonious family relationships. And that’s very important! If your husband tries to run a tight ship and you’re not able to send your kids to school, I’d declare an unschooling strike. That should take some load off you (though… with 11 kids…can it? That’s still a super job!), and I have a feeling your husband might not be too impressed to which you have the perfect solution – send the kids to school! Your husband doesn’t own you or your opinions or feelings, and if he refuses to help you, sorry, but he is losing his voting rights. On a related note – fighting, chaos, stress, yup, that’s enough to get a homeschooling parent in a straight jacket, been there done that, but don’t ever feel like your kids are behind – because… behind what? Some random standards that the system created to keep all kids in line and to maintain some sort of order? Homeschooling is hardly ever a failure in terms of cultivating successful, intelligent, moral, ethical, and very decent human beings, which totally beats any curriculum and teaching/learning to the test. If you want to chat, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at wholesomechildren (at) gmail.com. I’m here for you mama!!! [HUGS]

    • Wiser Now

      My adult children do hate me for schooling them at home. It’s about perceptions. They are intelligent broad-minded people who see their lack of formal school experience and lack of Gr 12 diplomas as insurmountable barriers. Some are on the Autism spectrum and have zero insight into how that would have impacted their success in formal schooling. So it’s my fault now that they did not go to university straight out of high school and are working in jobs they are not happy with. There’s such a lack of insight and such a strong flavor of entitlement. They tell me they should have been able to school where they would have had great teachers who would have inspired them to reach their full potential. They refuse to admit to any possibility that they might have ended up with more teachers like the one who pushed the oldest to resource room, telling us he would likely never read. Amazing how he ended up acheiving good grades in post-secondary studies as an adult and works as a professional. Still, he angrily tells me I ruined his life.

      • wholesomechildren

        Wow, mama, I’m so sorry about the level of resentment you are getting from your kids for choosing to homeschool them. You have valid points, these are all things your kids may yet have to mature into to fully understand the bigger picture. They could have been equally disappointed had they have done formal schooling, but hindsight is always 20/20 and it’s always easier to put the blame on someone else. Being a mom is not an easy job! [HUGS]

  • Regina

    Thank you for writing this article. I love my children, and I’m proud that we homeschool, but I think that it’s so easy with all the content out there (blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc) to begin to feel like you’re doing something wrong because you struggle. Homeschooling is a struggle for me, and it actually boosts my morale to read about others struggling with the same issues. It helps me feel less like I’m doing something “wrong” and more like this is part and parcel of the homeschool life. I can completely relate to all your points, except for #5 – no fear here. My trick to not feeling anxiety about their future is to not try to envision or impose what I view as “success” on their life. Maybe they go to college. Maybe they don’t. I keep my eye on the smaller, more close to home goals like family-centeredness, getting outside, and fostering curiosity. I don’t want to impose, I want to open horizons, and to do so, I choose to explore alongside them.

    • wholesomechildren

      Happy to boost your morale, Regina! I’m glad this homeschooling ramble of mine has been helpful to you and others. I usually get in trouble for being this honest, LOL. I think it’s definitely easy to go down the rabbit hole among all that homeschool fluff, especially if one doesn’t have the right support to share (and to laugh) with – so don’t. Don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole. The downs of homeschooling are part of the package though maybe not as pronounced for some? (I dunno.) I wholeheartedly agree with you on thinking outside of the box and not getting caught up in mainstream societal indicators of measuring success. 🙂

    • Georgianne

      As another year of homeschooling doom is about to begin, I tackle the stack of curriculum to decide who does what this year. I’m so sick of this damn job, that I have nothing left for it. I just sat down and Googled “I hate homeschooling” just to see if other mothers will admit it. Voila! Here you are!
      It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  • Donn

    Thank you for writing this! I’m so here right now. I’ve been homeschooling for 5 years and I just dont want to do it anymore! I have 3 and I am identifying with points 6 and 7 HARD! It isn’t easy in this day and age to be honest like this, as the previous commenter shows how pompous other moms get when you are. So thank you for being real for those of us who just feel at the end of our rope and very alone surrounded by moms who choose to judge and not understand.

    • wholesomechildren

      Donn, thanks for reading this homeschool rant! 2 out of 9? You’re ROCKING this!!! 🙂 I figured I’d have to put my big girl pants on if I decided to hit publish on this post. (Hate those pants! haha) But, I owed it to myself and to anyone else feeling even remotely the same way. If you ever feel down, talk to me! I’m here for you! 🙂

  • Keo

    I get it. I am new to Homeschooling also, well, kind of new. but i get the ups and downs, it gets crazy because i have five children. but i love it. i just take one day at a time. my husband is the reasoning voice so he keeps me in check sometimes.

    • wholesomechildren

      Keo: Hats off to you for homeschooling FIVE kids! You’re a rockstar!!! You’re right, one day at a time is the perfect way to tackle homeschooling – I love it! Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. 🙂

  • Brie

    Have you stopped to think that all this “hate” your pouring out here is being projected on to your children. You have deep lower-self problems that clearly need to be addressed. Your children will do better not to be surrounded in all the “hateful” energy. Very disturbing article.

    • wholesomechildren

      Thanks for your comment, Brie. I appreciate it, and I have added a disclaimer to the top of the post. I’m doing OK, thank you, except for often running low on coffee and high on chaos – both of which I’m diligently working on. How long have you been homeschooling for? Would you be willing to share your recipe for sanity?

      • Krissy

        I know this post is older… but wow. I can’t get over the judgement Brie had about your post. She obviously googled hating homeschool like the rest of us. I think most people have a love/hate relationship with having to be both parent/caretaker and teacher. It’s incredibly hard for me and I’m actually looking at sending mine back to school it’s so hard. Not all of us can be the ray of happy sunshine Brie must be. Lol!

        • wholesomechildren

          Thanks for your sincere empathy, Krissy, and HUGS – I hear ya’! The truth is, homeschooling IS hard. It gets easier eventually, before it gets harder again, over and over again, haha.

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