In the blog world, we hear a lot from homeschooling moms, but not so much from their students. I often have people find my blog by searching things like, “Do kids like being homeschooled?” or “Why do kids like to be homeschooled?” So, I asked the folks on my Facebook page to ask their kids why they liked being homeschooled and let me know what they said. I asked mine, too, and compiled the answers for you.
I heard some of the same answers a lot. Some were pretty unique. Some got my added commentary, and some stand alone. So, if you’ve ever wondered why homeschooled kids like being homeschooled, here are the results, in no particular order after the first two, of my really unscientific poll.
1. Sleeping in. It appears that the number one thing most kids like about being homeschooled is being able to sleep late. Now, before all the haters get up in arms, I asked kids. Did you expect academic answers?
And, rest easy. They’ll still be able to get jobs when they’re older. My daughter, who graduated last year, now has to be at school – and often work on the days she doesn’t have school – much earlier than she ever used to get up. She has adjusted just fine. Many studies have shown that teens need more sleep and schools should start later to accommodate them. See? Homeschoolers are just ahead of the game.
2. Doing school in their PJs. Again, I know there’s a whole school of thought out there that people work better when they get dressed for work and even lots of homeschool families don’t like the stereotype that homeschoolers stay in the pajamas all day – but don’t tell these homeschooled kids that!
There are a lot of them who like that perk very much. Our family is half-and-half. Josh and I are usually dressed – though, when it’s cold there are lots of days I stay in yoga pants all day – but the girls are generally in PJs. (Okay, not Brianna anymore. She’s graduated and going to cosmetology school. They’d probably look at her funny if she showed up to school in her jammies.)
3. It’s safe at home. I thought that was such a telling response and kids gave this one more than once. No matter how much people may accuse of sheltering our homeschooled kids, they see the news, and they are very concerned about school shootings. I know lots of young kids in public school. Those essential lock-down drills are incredibly unsettling. My heart breaks to know that kids anywhere have to practice hiding under desks in case a shooter ever comes to the door.
4. They can spend time following their interests. No, they’re not just talking about video games. They’re talking about music, art, computer coding, cooking, photography, archery, and a wide variety of other interests.
5. The food is better.
6. The field trips are awesome.
7. The teachers don’t pick favorites. (Just for the record, that might have been my favorite response.)
8. They don’t have to be confined to a classroom. School can be done anywhere – even in the tree in the backyard.
9. Freedom. Freedom includes being able to: go to the bathroom when you need to, go outside when you want to, eat when you’re hungry, listen to music while you work, or take a break when you need to.
10. They love having educational choices. Homeschooled kids say they like being able to:
- Delve into their favorite topics
- Have some input in choosing their curriculum
- Follow their interests with electives choices
11. Kids love being able to work at their own pace and level. They can take their time when they don’t understand something or move quickly through the material when they get it. They can work at, below, or above “grade level” depending on their needs. And, they don’t have to wait until everyone else is finished to move on.
12. Hot chocolate during math time or hot tea during history. Hey, sometimes it’s the little things, especially when it’s as cold as it’s been around here lately.
13. Being able to do school in princess dresses. This was the answer from one respondent. I’m sure it holds true for pirate and superhero costumes, as well.
14. No bullies.
15. Being able to do school with pets. Have you seen the recent studies that show that reading to dogs helps improve the proficiency of struggling readers?
16. Homeschooled kids enjoy being able to go places during the week without fighting crowds. Their moms like that one, too.
17. Kids and parents alike enjoy family read-aloud time.
18. One-on-one teaching. One respondent said it best, “Because my mom is my teacher, she will explain things multiple times, multiple ways until I understand it.”
19. Flexible schedules.
20. Doing classes with friends. Yep, you read that right. So many people still think that homeschooled kids are isolated, but there are so many opportunities for them to work with other kids in a classroom-style setting, whether it’s classes for homeschooled kids, an organized co-op, or just a couple of families getting together to work on a few subjects.
21. No homework. Don’t misunderstand – they don’t mean having less work than their traditionally schooled friends. Instead, they’re referring to having a schedule that allows them to get their work finished before outside activities, such as sports or dance so that they don’t have to rush home and do homework before bed.
22. Reading great books.
23. Being able to pray, read the Bible, and talk about God.
24. Homeschooled kids love being able to be themselves. I have to share this one quote from a 9-year-old girl because I thought it was amazing: “One of the best things about being homeschooled is that I get to be the real me, and not have to hide my gifts. My thoughts can be my own, and I get to think and discuss and move and explore, and not be forced to memorize stuff…I just know stuff because I get to think about it and make it matter to me.”
25. Learning for the sake of learning. They don’t dread school – they enjoy it.
26. Spending time with family. One five-year-old said, “That we don’t have to miss [mom] at all.” Doesn’t that just warm your mommy’s heart?
27. No uniforms. Well, unless you count the PJs.
28. Seeing the world from a different perspective. I just have to share this comment from Facebook follower, Alicia: “When I was 20 years old I nannied for an American family in France. One day we were at the military museum in Paris, and there was a cross-section of an old battleship and I took the five-year-old I watched and showed him all the different things on the ship: the cannons and artillery, the mess hall, etc. His mom (who was an engineer) sat back and watched and afterward thanked me and said it would never have occurred to her to point all those things out to him. My favorite thing about being homeschooled is that it never occurred to me see things like that and not share them.”
29. Spending time with the non-teaching parent. So many parents work shifts other than the typical 9 to 5. These working parents often miss so much time with their families. Homeschooled kids can spend time with their parent whenever that parent isn’t working.
30. Going on vacation during the off-season. Yep, homeschool moms like that, too.
31. Not having to catch the bus before the sun comes up! That probably goes along with sleeping in, but kids specifically mentioned not having to catch the bus early so many times that I included it.
32. No busywork.
33. Getting to surf when the waves are good. I only saw this reply once, but it was so unique, it made the list.
34. Not having to worry about peer pressure or being popular or labeled.
35. School breaks can include video games and TV.
36. Stress-free mornings.
37. Kids can incorporate their interests into learning. Lego and Minecraft are two examples of hobbies that many kids have that can easily be made educational. But, don’t suck all the fun out of it, Mom!
38. No bad language from other kids.
39. Having a later bedtime. My kids can attest to that.
40. They can get academic help when needed.
41. Not having to be medicated. This was from the kids with ADD/ADHD.
42. Having lots of room to be creative.
43. Enjoying close relationships with siblings.
44. Being able to work with fewer distractions.
45. Young homeschooled kids appreciate using treats for math manipulatives. They can add, subtract, multiply, and divide with M&Ms (or whatever) – and eat them when they finish!
46. Not getting sick as often. Definitely!
47. No mean teachers. This one made me smile – though sometimes my kids get the mean teacher. Never for a whole school year, though.
48. Homeschooled teens like learning time management by scheduling their own schoolwork.
49. Plenty of time to eat lunch. My oldest used to hate having to gobble down her food. Most days, it came home uneaten because she didn’t have time.
50. Birthdays are school holidays.
What would your kids add to the list?
If one of the things that your homeschooled kids love about homeschooling is getting together with their friends, you might enjoy my free download, 52 Weeks of Homeschool Group Activities. Over that last decade or so, I’ve planned dozens of events for our local homeschool group, and I am happy to share those ideas with you! I have put together a 22-page guide to planning activities for your homeschool group – whether it be a formal group of a few hundred or an informal group of a few families.
52 Weeks of Homeschool Group Activities offers an idea for each week of the year, loosely organized by season, along with planning tips for events and field trips and it’s a free download for Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers subscribers.
To get your copy of 52 Weeks of Homeschool Group Activities for free, just enter your email address below to subscribe for the WUHS newsletter and free download. You’ll receive an email with download instructions.