5 Reasons to
Not Homeschool

Woman deciding

I’m offering 5 reasons to not homeschool because I really want you to think through your personal motives and resources before you make this decision. I’ve seen it more than once while counseling parents about their curriculum choices…

They don’t want their children in public school—for a variety of reasons—but they also don’t really want to take the responsibility for their children's education.

“I’m looking for something he can do on his own,“ they say. “I’m just too busy to spend a lot of time on this.”

Sometimes even those with young children have this attitude and as time passes, I watch those children fall through the cracks ...perhaps not even learning to read...then eventually getting put back in public school and testing behind their peers, struggling to catch up, and never having the chance to love to learn at all.

Here are my top 5 reasons to not homeschool:

  1. Husband and wife are not in agreement about teaching the children at home...
    Wives - No matter how much you want to home educate your children, it will not work for your family if you don’t have your husband’s support. You may be the one preparing and teaching the lessons, but you will need his support in prayer as well as emotionally and financially. Also, your children will be much less likely to cooperate if they don’t sense a united front from Mom and Dad.

    And husbands, unless you plan to stay home and do the teaching (and I know several successful homeschool dads), your wife would be carrying the bulk of the burden and should always be given the option to not homeschool if she doesn't have a heart for it. You really need to make this choice together.

  2. You haven’t yet taken the time to count the cost.
    Please, please don’t rush into this decision because your friends are doing it, or because it sounds like fun. (Even though it can definitely be a lot of fun!). You must have a personal conviction and commitment that will carry you through the days when you want to pull your hair out. For the sake of your family, your reasoning must supercede your emotions.

  3. You are not willing to learn patience and perseverance.
    Homeschooling is a personal sacrifice of time and energy based on love. It takes careful planning and a willingness to ‘go the distance’. You will not have the luxury of allowing your feelings to dictate whether or to not to homeschool on a particular day. It will always be easier to just postpone school 'til tomorrow when you don’t ‘feel like doing it’ today, especially when your children aren’t in the mood either.

    As time goes on, you will be stretched, challenged, and discouraged. You will doubt yourself, your choices, and your sanity. Those things are a given. I've never met a homeschooler who didn't have to deal with them. But ultimately, if you ‘stay the course’, you will be blessed… It is so very worth it!

  4. You are unable or unwilling to live on one income.
    That’s right! In order to give your children the kind of education they deserve, you will need to plan on being home full-time!

    I’ve watched moms who try to work while homeschooling. Guess what happens? They are stretched in too many directions and yep, they burn out!

    If you are planning to hold even a part-time job while teaching school, especially K-6, you may be better off choosing to not homeschool. When some children are older, they may be much more independent and self-disciplined in their studies, freeing you up to get a part-time position.

    Please be sensitive to whether or not your children are ready for this ... maybe do some temporary volunteer work to try out your being gone and see how well they carry on by themselves.

    Please realize this - not only will you need to set aside enough time to teach each subject so that your children do not feel rushed or stressed, but you will also want to spend a good amount of time in choosing and adjusting your curriculum to meet each of your children’s needs.

    This means at least some time spent in research and study on your part. You will probably find you want to do at least basic lesson plans so that you can see what you’ve covered and how much is left to accomplish... and to give your homeschool some kind of legal record (required in many states). Again this requires regular blocks of time (though once you have it set up, it won't take as long to maintain it).

    And just as importantly, in order to give to your children consistently, you will also need to find time to rest and be refreshed yourself.

    So please prayerfully consider with your mate what changes you will make together to make your school a priority. It can be done! Our family is living proof. You can read our homeschool story on the Your Hostess page :)

  5. You are not willing to be involved in your children’s education.
    If your current idea of home educating is to choose a curriculum that your children can do by themselves...and just monitor their progress from a distance, ...well, you may or may not be able to do things that way...depending on how independent a learner each child is, but even if they can handle it ... you and they will be missing out on so much.

    I’m not talking about never using workbooks...some children love them. And I don’t mean to say it isn’t sometimes necessary and beneficial to use workbooks and implement independent study when you are teaching multiple children at different levels. I just don’t want to see you and your child miss out on the blessings of learning together!

    I love watching moms who are planning hands-on activities to blend into their daily lessons. They are choosing to not homeschool from a distance and as a result, their own thirst for knowledge has been rekindled. They are so enthusiastic and passionate about their chances to influence their children’s lives — to give them a love of learning. And I believe that has to be the ultimate goal should you choose to home educate.

I hope I haven’t discouraged you completely...that isn’t my intent. I just want to be sure you seriously consider the impact that choosing to homeschool will have on you and your family. I believe you should have a clear idea of what you would be getting into… before you start. And I want you to know, that even if your friends are doing it, if the timing and circumstances aren't right for your family - it's okay to choose to not homeschool!

So after reading '5 Reasons Not to Homeschool', please also read (if you haven't already) the article above - ‘8 Blessings of Homeschooling’ - in order to balance this one and further help you in your decision-making process.

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