How Can Homeschoolers Handle Being with Their Kids All Day?

Anytime I meet someone new and disclose to them that I homeschool, their immediate reaction is to recoil and ask, “How can you stand being with your kids all day?” I’m going to admit that at this point in my life, I cringe and think, “How can they think it’s okay to say that?” I’m not going to pass judgment on these people, however, because I’ve been there.

Since we’ve all grown up with the routine of children being separated from their families for 35 hours a week and 36 weeks a year minimum, it’s a valid question. As a society, we just aren’t used to being with our own kids anymore because we’ve grown so used to them being gone most of the time in school or daycare.

So how do we do it? 

Do we have superhuman patience? You can ask my kids that question. I’m going to say that’s a big ‘no.’ Ahem.

Abnormally obedient children? Now’s my turn to answer. Another big ‘no.’

My answer is probably going to shock you, so I’ll just come out with it…

You get used to it.

The more time you spend with your children, the more immune (for lack of a better word) you get to having almost constant movement, noise, questions, and messes.

I know I’m probably scaring some people off with that description, but I want to make it abundantly clear, that those “inconveniences” have become endearing to me.

Does that mean it never bothers me? Of course not. Everyone has bad days, and everyone needs to be alone sometimes. But those feelings are not the focus of my life. It is not all about me.

It is all about our family.

Even more importantly…

One thing that most people don’t think about is that, in the case of children being withdrawn from school in order to homeschool, the kids need time to get used to being home, too. And I’m telling you, after children are out of the school atmosphere for a while, their behavior completely changes.

Unfortunately, parents of kids who attend brick and mortar schools often only see the worst behavior of their children- the leftovers, if you will.

Think about it. School students are inside a building all day, usually seated and being bombarded with tedious and repetitious work. Many of these kids stay after school for sports or after school programs. These kids have been going and going all day, and by the time they get home, they are exhausted. They are crabby. They just want to veg out and be left alone. Instead, they end up completing hours of homework and are incessantly barked at about finishing their chores.

I’d be cranky, too.

Unsurprisingly, the parents of these kids tend to think, “Wow. My kid really needs an attitude adjustment. He’s just horrible to be around.”

Is it any wonder that people automatically assume it would be a terrible idea to homeschool their kids? 

But that’s the thing. For the most part- there’s always an exception to every rule- homeschooling changes family relationships for the better. There’s less hustle and more savoring the moment. The ordinary stress that accompanies school all but vanishes in a homeschool atmosphere that embraces the freedom that comes with home education instead of replicating a traditional school day.

The more you’re with your kids, the more you’ll enjoy them.

Shockingly simple, isn’t it? But that’s the beauty of it. You don’t need to be a superhero or have androids for kids. We’re all ordinary people, just like you, who have realized how much easier life can be without school.

That, my friends, is how we can handle being with our kids all day.




Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

56 thoughts on “How Can Homeschoolers Handle Being with Their Kids All Day?”

  1. I enjoy it because even as a working parent, I now spend way more time with my kids than I used to. Typically, they’d leave the house at 6:30am for morning care or the school bus. Then aftercare til 5pm and sports or Kumon. We wouldn’t get home til 8pm to do it all over again. As a working parent, homeschooling is rather freeing and allows me to enjoy my kids and work.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Maybe I’m weird, but I have always enjoyed my children’s company and was one of those moms who preferred play dates where both moms stayed and preschool co-ops because then I was a part of the experience. Sending my kids off to every day Kindergarten never felt right to me. I only did it because that was what was expected by society. Now I would encourage any mom who feels as I did to homeschool. We’re so programmed to send our kids away from us at a young impressionable age, but that doesn’t mean it’s what’s best!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Shelly, I have missed you! I haven’t been blogging enough, too many other things going on. Anyway, another crazy insightful post. I never thought about the part of going to school kids unleashing their frustrations on their parents. It helped me that I never sent my kids to school, so it just kept me on the revolving hampster wheel that began after the birth of my first child. I love the chaos that comes with the children, and really miss it as they are gone more and more. There are so many positive blessings that come from God in homeschooling our children.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was wondering where you’ve been! I hope all is well. You’re so blessed to have had your kids home with you from the beginning. I think it really deters a lot of the negative feelings parents get towards spending a lot of time with their kids.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am so glad I started all the way through. My husband and I discussed homeschooling before we even got pregnant, so my mind was just always geared for it. I think at this end of things, with kids graduating out, that my time seems like a strange thing to deal with. But now I am getting into the “time” groove and starting to have Lisa fun. So glad to be back in contact with you!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post : )

    My Mom always LOVED having us home whenever we could be. Homeschooling was illegal back then, and I remember she’d be SO sad at the end of summer holidays. She was a widow with several children, so it’s not like it was all easy! Now, I homeschool and I LOVE having my daughter home all day. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have never ONCE wished for her to be somewhere else.

    I’m always shocked when people ask me this question (altho I’m sure that I don’t hear it nearly as often as those of you with larger families). It’s like they’re implying that my kid isn’t lovable!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ah I always felt sick about losing my kids. I remember walking into the school to register him and being almost frozen. I didn’t want to part with him for one moment. I was acting excited so he would be ok. Then again it turns out that was the only time he was in a public school lol. I am like you, I wonder how parents can dread holidays and no school days. No judgement but it does make me stop and wonder.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I LOVE this post!! I mourn for the childhood’s of all these institutionalized kids!! Thanks for pointing out they are just tired and cranky!! AND, their bodies are crying out for physical release!! And yes, they miss their parents too! And wonder why mom and dad hates them so much, that they sing and dance when they go back to school. I was guilty of some of this when my girls were younger. Now I realize how horrible it was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the beginning of the school year, Fox News was showing a video of a mom jumping up and down and cheering when her kids got on the bus the first day of school. They all thought it was so funny, and I was thinking how sad it was and how bad her kids must have felt if they saw it.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This is a fabulous post! Thank you so much! I was one of those “I’ll never homeschool” people. I remember enrolling my first child in preschool (we lived overseas where preschool was half-day, 5 days a week), and being shocked that instead of being thankful for the break, I really missed him. I preferred him home with me. I quickly felt that burden of school drop-offs and pick-ups, his exhaustion afterward, the inability to take days off and travel when we wanted. After a year I pulled him out to start homeschooling, and three more kids later, I’ve never looked back! Like you said it isn’t always easy, but God has given me so much joy having my kids with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You hit the nail on the head. I, too, wondered how I’d handle the lack of daytime privacy I had been used to. We had adopted both our children (brother and sister) at the same time. They came to live with us when he was five and she was nine. They were foster children for the first two years, so we had to have them in school. My husband wasn’t ready to keep them home for school for those first four years, but then the Lord literally twisted his arm and our homeschooling began out of town with no warning. Hubby needed us to help him while he recovered from shoulder surgery. He was on contract in Seattle at the time and we were visiting him over Easter vacation.

    I soon learned that we got to know each other in a new way after homeschooling gave us more time together. As you said, we have a less structured and less tiring day because there is no busy work and no need to sit down and be quiet all the time. The children had more time to learn practical skills by helping at home, making me less stressed. It used to be that everyone was tired after the long school day. I got tired providing the transport to private schools. As homeschoolers we could travel together when Hubby had to leave town and we could turn our travel into history and geography field trips which were fun for all of us.

    I lost my son in an accident the summer before we were to start high school. I was thankful I’d been homeschooling and had the opportunity to spend so much quality time with him while he was in grades seven and eight. Had he been in school those years I would hardly have seen him. He was active at church, active in scouts, and had many friends he liked to spend time with. There would have been homework on top of that. Believe me, it’s much harder not to be able to spend any more time with your children than it is to get used to spending time with them. When you don’t have it, you really miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are so right! I would add that it’s not just getting used to each other or being with each other when we aren’t exhausted from everything else, but practice! It takes practice to have a good relationship, and if you don’t prioritize that practice, you’re bound to annoy each other. Homeschooling makes time for that practice.

    I wrote more on that at the beginning of the school year:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. People ask me that every time a vacation begins: OMG what are you going to do for 2.5 months! And I’m like, ummm, chill out? I won’t have to wake up early and rush him to school everyday or force him to shower and sleep on time everyday. so yeah, chill out! I believe every human being has their own stuff that drives them, and for most, it isn’t having kids around all day. It’s fine either way.

    Loved your post!



  11. I have to say– I agree with you completely about getting the kids’ leftover behaviour. Ours had gotten so bad, we honestly wondered whether he hated us– finally we realized he just hated school. In about a month the difference in his attitude was so amazing– you wouldn’t have thought it was the same kid! It took everything he had to keep it together at school. Once he got home, he had nothing left. He didn’t know how to tell us, and the complaints he did make, I just took as , well, all kids hate school right? I only wish we had taken him out sooner – I feel like we totally got our sweet boy back!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for this article! We took our kids out of public school three weeks ago and just about no one knows yet. I know I’ll get a lot of this sort of question. My children have already changed so much in three weeks! They’re so much happier!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So very, very true. My children (most of them) have attended public school at various points. And yes, I definitely “got the leftovers” when they got home. Not to say that we don’t have our days now, but I enjoy them so much more, and their creativity is flourishing. Their bond as siblings is flourishing, too. Family is the forge in which we learn life skills like patience with others, forgiveness, helpfulness, kindness… I will be the first to say that homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but for us it has been priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this! I find that I have plenty of moments to recharge during the day while my kids are busy drawing, playing outside, etc. And they don’t crave or demand so much of me as school kids do of their parents, since they have plenty of time with me. It truly is a different dynamic. Homeschooling is a lifestyle. A wonderful lifestyle!


  15. My MIL railed at me one day about unhealthy it is to homeschool, it just isn’t right to be together that much. Her kids went to school all day, changed into play clothes, stayed out until dinner, then bathed and went to bed. She didn’t coddle her kids!!!! I speechless and not surprised. Afterall, I was married to one of her kids. I knew the end result.

    I wouldn’t trade the time spent with my son for anything

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! My in-laws aren’t quite so up front about it, but my father-in-law has told me more than a few times that he wants our kids to graduate from the high school he and all his kids went to. What’s the point of having kids if you’re never with them?


  16. so well said and so so so so true! my son is changing daily and thriving in home education he is getting to be himself again and it is so true and so tragic about how much these poor kids have to do and be at school…

    Liked by 1 person

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