You Might Be a Homeschool Mom If…

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Written by Adrienne Bolton of The Mommy Mess.

It’s Tuesday morning. There’s no bus to catch or car line to make. The clock on the oven reads 9:00 a.m., yet everyone is still in pajamas.


One of my kids just asked for pancakes.

As I get the bowl and flour out, I can’t help but wonder. Will my kids make it to work on time when they grow up?

Homeschool mom life can be so strange. As much as I love it, some days feel like we’re living in The Twilight Zone. Here are a few ways to know for sure that you’ve crossed over to the other side.

You might be a homeschool mom if…

You only visit crowded public places Monday-Friday.

Call me spoiled, but I just can’t do places like theme parks, movie theaters, or museums on the weekend or holidays. Not when I know I can go during the week and only have to deal with a fraction of the crowd (and sometimes the price). I try not to say these things out loud because they make me sound like an awful person.

People have ever quizzed your kids.

Is it just me, or do homeschooled kids seem to be subjected to a round of school-ish questioning that non-homeschooled kids don’t have to answer? It’s as if people assume homeschooled kids not only enjoy all school work, but they also like talking about it.

Person: Oh, you’re homeschooled!? So tell me, what’s your favorite subject?

My kid: Lunch. 

You’ve ever had to explain what a “co-op” is.

Co-op. I agree. It’s a weird word. Although, I never realized just how strange a word it is to some people until I started attending one. It never fails to get a “Co-op? What’s that?” kind of response from non-homeschoolers. There’s just something about the idea of dozens of homeschooling families meeting for a common goal that really surprises people.

Your home decorating abilities are basically non-existent.

Instead of cool art or trendy family photos, you have maps on the wall in the living room and a large white board hanging over the dining room table. Your book shelves are actually filled with books, and your coffee table accents consist of loose leaf notebook paper and eraser shavings.

The start of every holiday begins with a quick Google search of the history and meaning behind it.

Me on every holiday ever: “Hey kids! Did you know…”

My kids: “Ugh. Moooom! Stop trying to teach us stuff!”

You’ve ever worried your neighbors might call CPS.

I admit, the thought has crossed my mind.

Mama likes to grocery shop when the stores are empty! (See point #1.)

Even though my kids are old enough to stay home alone, I don’t really like advertising that I might leave them during traditional school hours because I’m afraid people might get the wrong impression. Yes, they’re fully capable of being home alone and working independently for a few hours, but non-homeschoolers think it’s really weird if you homeschool your kids and leave them home alone during the day.

Your kids expect Sunday breakfast every day of the week.

My kids have such a warped sense of when moms should make a big hot breakfast.

This expectation is both endearing and annoying. I mean, I want my kids to look back and remember the made-from-scratch pancakes and all, but sometimes I wish they would just grab a pop tart or drop a frozen waffle in the toaster. Anybody?

You can’t reserve a library book online because you’ve exceeded the $5 maximum late fee allowed. Again.

Ok, so maybe you’re an unorganized procrastinating homeschool mom like me. Either way, your local library loves you. I never want to know how much money I’ve spent in library fines. Ever.

Your house is a mess, the laundry needs to be folded, and you forgot to take something out for dinner.

Even though you’re a “stay at home mom,” the home part of your job seems to be crumbling around you. Let’s face it, moms! Sometimes the school part of our day sucks the life right out of us and we just can’t do it all!

What telltale signs make it obvious you’re a homeschool mom?

This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.

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Adrienne Bolton is a freelance writer and veteran homeschool mom. She began homeschooling in 2009 to meet the needs of her oldest son who struggled with the public school setting. Her boys have had different experiences with homeschooling, but both have thrived in spite of her. Her oldest son transitioned from public school after fourth grade and her youngest is 100% homegrown, having never stepped foot in a traditional classroom. Now with one son in college and one working his way through high school, she is proof anyone can do this. She writes with humor and heart, peppered with occasional snark and sarcasm. When she is not writing or working you can find her with a good book in hand, snuggling her massive Pitbull fur baby, or making something yummy in the kitchen. She loves to cook, bake, and be outdoors in the sunshine. The beach is her happy place and she's a true flip-flop wearing Florida girl. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

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  1. Your kids look at you (and shrug!) when someone asks them what grade they are in!

    If you’ve ever counted your kids attendance at a birthday party (Sky Zone, swim party, etc.) as P.E.!

  2. The home decorating made me laugh! Our living room has book shelves, 3 desks with computers, and maps on the wall, plus a cozy couch to read all those books by the fireplace.
    Great post everything you said is true…I am a homeschool mom!!

  3. If you can’t put a book on hold at the library because you’ve maxed out at the 50 mark on all three, four or five cards.

  4. These are so true. When I finally finished homeschooling, I didn’t even know how to decorate my house. We were accustomed to the homeschool mess instead. πŸ™‚

  5. What I find funny–we got to an “Away School” 1x a week. Its called a tutelage because its all day, we hire teachers, teachers set a syllabus & assign the work, etc. But its easier to just call it a co-op to most people because NO ONE has an idea what a Tutelage is, and co-op is coming more and more common. πŸ™‚ But yes, relate to so much of this. I love that I can go grocery shopping during the day without kids and I love that we can visit places when they’re not as busy.

  6. Loved the coffee table contents. Mine currently is home to a 3D puzzle, several sets of storytelling cards, Logic Links, and someone’s drawing. And there is considerable stuff around the floor near it!

    Another fun one is when you end up at a class or workshop and an adult asks your child to line up with the group…what’s a line?

    1. Lol…the line! My kids were recently at a homeschool class taught by classroom teachers. They wanted the kids to line up and oh my, that was a chore as none of the kids could figure this out…nor cared and the teachers couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t. I laughed so hard watching them 😁

  7. All of this!! I can so relate to all of it. I got a good chuckle out of “Your book shelves are actually filled with books, and your coffee table accents consist of loose leaf notebook paper and eraser shavings.” We just cleaned off the coffee table after months of this type of coverage!! It won’t take long to get covered again, I’m sure πŸ™‚

  8. Oh! I know! When your 7 and 9 yo wear costumes to the grocery store. In April. And don’t. Even. Care.

  9. Someone asks what grades your kids are in and your response is, “Ummm….well, for math it’s XX and for writing it’s XX, but for history I’d have to say XX….”

  10. Funny, and often Too True list! We also flunked home decorating. To the point that following a visit from the leak detection guy, who left a curious trail of red tape markers across our living room floor and into the kitchen, I explained their purpose to a neighbor who stopped by and kept glancing at the meandering pieces of tape. She remarked, “Oh, I thought it was some homeschool thing.” My reputation precedes me!

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