Why I Decided Not To Homeschool

I live in Knysna, a gorgeous town where so many of my friends have opted for homeschooling their children. These kids range from nine to 17 years old and they do well – on all fronts. I’ve heard that homeschooled children can have problems with social interactions or with taking responsibility, but I really haven’t seen that with my immediate group of friends (I’m not only saying that because they read my blog). Still, when faced with the decision of what to do with our daughter, we opted for public schooling. Here’s why:

1. I like the type of discipline that she gets at school. Putting her finger on her lips or facing the possibility of detention works with her. And it wouldn’t work at home. Staying at the table for an extra 30 minutes wouldn’t phase her as much as it would if she knew her friends were all playing on the field outside. The rules around sitting quietly, walking in single file, wearing a school uniform or putting your hand up to speak are generally done away with (for obvious reasons) in a homeschooling environment. But, they benefit her. And they’re not personal; they apply to every child around her. This is good preparation for life.

Kate at sports day
The face of happiness – Katie loving sports’ day at school

2. She loves the interaction. She has close friends that aren’t at her school and she’s asked to be homeschooled, but she still really loves spending time with the other children during her school day. I use the drive home every day to ask about her highlight, her lowlight and who she showed kindness to. Without fail, her highlights are a long list of fun games or hilarious stories; while her lowlights are almost never anything more than someone borrowing her pencil for “too long”. In short, she’s having a good time.

3. Routine rules. I know that the parents that rock homeschooling have a strict routine, but that’s just not the kind of mom I’d be. I’d swap school for an important errand or be lenient about the hours when my mom comes to visit. And then, it would all fall apart. I just know it.

4. It would bore me to tears. I really admire 1) teachers and 2) the moms that can tackle homeschooling. But, I’d rather drive a nail through my eardrum than go over a three times table for the 12th time. I realise that this is about me and not her or schooling.

5. It makes the time we spend together more special and enjoyable. I love my job, it feeds me in much more than just a physical way. By getting to do my work in the morning and then have a more flexible afternoon with her, I know that we are enjoying a less stressful time together.

I don’t expect others to agree with me or to base their choices on mine. I have loads of respect for parents that have chosen to homeschool their little ones for any variety of reasons. And, maybe things will change when she’s older. But, for now, we’re both far happier for the decision to stick to a traditional school.


6 thoughts on “Why I Decided Not To Homeschool

  1. An interesting take. But as a homeschooler, working mom and ex teacher, I can tell you that you seem to have he wrong idea of what it takes.
    As a teacher I disagree with point #1, because it implies that kids at schools are automated robots. It may seem that way but teachers encourage individuality as well. As a homeschooler I think that removing the “groupthink” frees up my daughter to commit to leaning and taking responsibility for her learning rather than depending on the group activities norm schooling insists on nowadays.
    As for social interaction: homeschooler have been proved to do more of it in less structured environments than norm schoolers. For example: my daughter has Learning oriented group trips to museums and the like with her homeschooling group up to 30 times a year. That’s assuredly more than norm schoolers.
    Invites to parties, play dates etc flow from that donuts bit alway educational, but since I’m secular howmschooling and am preparing her for a career in science and medicine I prefer the exposure to others to have a add on benefit of being educational.
    Thanks for sharing your POV . I enjoyed having a chance to talk to those who choose norm schooling.


  2. Hey Amelia,
    Well it seems we had this chat not too long ago and I have to agree with you on all aspects. I also admire any mom that can homeschool but I know, for a fact, I would not cope. With 2 active boys I knew they would benefit by structure of school. I was however willing to change if the need arose and it didn’t. I now have one son nearly finished school and I can’t say that I could have done a better job of schooling him. I think it truly depends on the type of child and the circumstances each parent faces.

    Well done to you for sticking by your decision. And just to add you have made a super mommy.


  3. As parents, we all make decisions based on what we feel is good for our children. Our kids were in public school for a few years and it took us a good year or so to decide if homeschool was for us. After talking it over and researching we decided to give it a go and we’ve never looked back. My kids have said they missed a few good friends they had but they would never want to go back to school. If you child is happy and thriving in public school then that is a good thing! If you love you job then that’s a good thing too! I wish you both much success and sticking to what you believe is best for your family.


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