10 of the Most Frustrating Homeschooling Comments I’ve Ever Heard

And why they frustrate me!

10-of-the-most-frustrating-homeschooling-comments-ive-ever-heard

A few months ago I was at a family function chatting with a very sweet member of the family I don’t see very often. She was very curious about homeschooling, which made me happy because it’s obviously my favorite thing to talk about. After conversing for close to thirty minutes, she asked me a series of questions that I’m sure other homeschoolers have heard often, but still surprised me and, frankly, frustrated me. I didn’t let on, of course, and answered as politely and honestly as possible, but that one conversation really made me aware of all the false notions circulating about this educational choice that just don’t seem to go away- even when the answers are right in front of you.

While I’ve heard dozens of homeschooling myths, today I’m sharing my list of the: 

10 Most Frustrating Comments About Homeschooling

(and why they frustrate me!)

1. “How are your children going to learn to play with other kids?”

This was one of the questions asked by the relative. I was a bit flabbergasted when she brought it up because the entire time we were talking, we were watching my children playing and having a good time with their second and third cousins that they never see. I pointed that out to her, but I don’t think she equated it to “school socialization” which so many people seem to place on a pedestal for reasons known only to them.

2. “How do you know your children are smart enough?”

As opposed to….? I have to admit, I really didn’t get this question because school doesn’t make children smart. Children considered by society to be “intelligent” are generally born that way. I replied that I know this by interacting with my kids on a daily basis, but come on. Smart enough for what? To be doctors? Lawyers? Chefs? Moms? And I hate to point out the elephant in the room, but public schools aren’t exactly known for pumping out kids who are “smart enough.” Their precious standardized test scores are evidence of that.

3. “How will your kids learn if you only use books from the library?”

I almost spit out my drink when I heard this one. Really? Really? What’s wrong with library books? They’re colorful, interesting, plentiful, and cover a huge variety of subjects, as opposed to textbooks which are dull and are written only to teach- not to induce any genuine interest. I think a better question is, “How will your kids learn if they only use textbooks?”

4. “How do you know if your kids will do well on standardized tests?”

Okay, first I’ll tell you how I answered that:

“I don’t know that they’ll do well per se, but up until this point they’ve consistently scored an average of two grade levels above where they should be, and this is without test prep. Keeping them interested is so much more valuable than drilling them continuously.

Here’s what I wanted to say:

“I don’t care how they do. Standardized tests are a useless waste of time. I’m more interested in giving them an education that means something.”

5. “What makes you think you know more than a teacher would?”

I never said that I do. What I do know is that not even the best teacher knows everything, and I have the gift of working on a much smaller teacher-to-student ratio. I also happen to love to learn right alongside my kids.

Besides, does anyone else see the insinuation behind that question? If school didn’t make me “smart enough” to teach my kids, why would I send them there, too?

6. (To my preteen daughter) “Do you know how to read?”

Yes, we actually had a neighbor who asked my then-12 yr.old daughter that question. The funny thing about it is that my much younger kids used to sit outside reading aloud to each other all the time, right within his earshot, and he still felt the need to ask my older daughter that. When she told him that she knows how to read, he gave her a chapter book and instructed her to go home and read it and come back and tell him about it. Three years later, we’ve never once opened that book.

7. (Again, to one of my kids) “You can’t go to college.”

The mother of one of my daughter’s friends said this to her. I truly wish that people who don’t know what they’re talking about would just not say anything at all. My daughter was upset for quite a while after this comment, and she was only 9!

8. “Someday your kids are going to have to enter the real world.”

Oh. My. Goodness. Do people not see the irony in this statement? Institutionalized school students must sit in a building for 30-40 hours a week and learn about “the real world” from the pages of their textbooks and power point presentations, while homeschooled students are out experiencing the real thing.

9. “If you let your teens sleep until noon, how will they learn to get up for work when they have a job?”

I can answer this one with experience now because my oldest daughter who happens to be my latest sleeper now has a job for which she frequently has to get up bright and early for. She uses this wonderful invention called…an alarm clock.

I’m being silly, but this is another question I just don’t get. People learned to get up early waaay before compulsory schooling ever became a “thing.”

10. “Letting your kids stay in their pajamas all day is going to teach them to be lazy.”

Ummm, I’m pretty sure it’s only going to teach them how to be comfortable. Sheesh.

 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned as homeschoolers, it’s keeping our senses of humor, so- even though comments like this make me shake my head- we really do think they’re funny and have a good time discussing them.

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear what odd homeschooling remarks you’ve heard. Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

57 thoughts on “10 of the Most Frustrating Homeschooling Comments I’ve Ever Heard”

  1. We have experienced these questions and more. I have to agree that they can be aggravating, and at times infuriating. Along with uninformed questions we were regularly asked, I particularly disliked this reaction: “Ummm….that’s not a profession…” In response to children who say they want to be home-school parents when they grow up. I was home-schooled for all twelve grades and my Mother is still teaching my younger siblings. It doesn’t “pay” but it has proven it’s worth in preparing us each for our own “professions”. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shelly, this is wonderful. So many bizarre things to say to you! No judgment on their part, either. LOL #1 – Oh my goodness – open your eyes! And #8 – Isn’t it crazy how people think that schools are the real world?!? Thanks for tackling these questions for us with such insight. Can’t wait to share this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s amazing how people who attend “real school” don’t understand what homeschool is and devalue it. Every homeschooled child I met was always above their grade level and it’s making me consider homeschooling my children when they’re older. There are other factors in me wanting to homeschool because I know as a fact that you don’t learn enough in “real school” since teachers have to stick to certain agendas, regardless of the students interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So far, reactions to me homeschooling my boys has been minimal. I only really officially started this year with my oldest, but I have had mention the socialization thing… But as I look at my boys, there’s no need to worry. They learn how to handle conflicts by playing together – plenty of conflict there. lol. And my oldest has no problems going right up to strangers and telling them a story about his day. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post made me smile! As a homeschooling mother of 8, I get lots of questions about homeschool AND family planning. I’ve learned to answer sweetly or humorously (depending on the situation) over the years, but inside I must admit I am often frustrated and perplexed. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it’s funny that people think teachers know more than a regular mom or dad. This is simply not true, except for whatever area of expertise they might have. But the parent also has areas of expertise. Learning together with your child is enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hahaha! I have gotten almost all of these comments and we have only just started. My mind always goes blank on a reply because I really just want to call them an idiot. The comment on the library gets me the most riled I think. Most kids in public school have only ever been to their school library, with it’s pre approved selection of appropriate books.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. #6 – How did you not … I don’t even know. I’m sitting her trying to think how I could have expressed my anger at his utter stupidity and pointed out, in the same breathe, that he was public schooled. LOL!

    #8 – A recent experience: My daughter at cheer camp with 160 other football players and cheerleaders (she was the only homeschooler), and I hear the coach tell another student “You don’t want to be homeschooled. You need socialization. When you’re homeschooled, you’re always sitting at home alone.” I wanted to point out, “But..we’re here. Is this my living room?”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can imagine your frustration. Esp#8, most of what is taught in school is hardly relevant in ‘real life’ later on!

    There was a cartoon where a child asks her father teaching her complicated maths “will this be useful to me in the future?” to which the father replied “of course! One day you’ll be sitting and teaching your own children this!” haha!

    #practicalmondays

    Liked by 1 person

  10. #3 is HILARIOUS!! Heaven forbid your child is educated from the THOUSANDs of books available at the library compared to the few selected for each grade level at a public school.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so true, and hilarious! I too have had similar questions like these. Within the past 9 years, I’ve been asked, “How can you teach all those kids?” I have 4 children of my own (ages 11-18…my oldest just turned 18 Christmas Eve, and he’s a senior this year) and I have a small daycare. I became a single mom in the midst of our homeschooling journey. Keeping kids is the easiest job for me to do at hone, at least for now until I can replace my income with something else (maybe blogging full time). At any rate, they’re all learning together. My children work independently while I do short lessons with my preschoolers. The point is, it can be done! Usually people ask people who are already doing what they think can’t be done. How ironic is that???!! Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t stand the judgements thrown my way! My kids wound up like me… they don’t learn in a public school environment. The kids are crazy & “worldly”. After years of bullies & mishaps & my daughter being told by another 1st grade student the name of a sex website I pulled both outta school. I waited a few more years, after she finished 4th & my son 2nd. I can’t recall any questions other than ones you pointed out. However, I get judged because I was a high school (2nd yr in 9th grade towards the end) dropout. I moved out on my own @ 16 & worked for a living. At 18 I took a G.E.D. test & passed. Since I kept failing 9th I consider I had like an 8th grade edu in public. Actually I failed thru elementary but they never made me repeat because they said I was bright & intelligent. H.S. doesn’t do that. So I must have been a smart kid all my life. As a musician, singer, and artist I learned differently. I had my own way and got by, barely, by their standards. When I started homeschooling my mom, an English major, was impressed with my resourcefulness & capabilities! So was my dad, who was a certified teacher and taught in public school. My children are just like me. Why not give them an opportunity I was never given. With all of the technology these days it’s quite easy. They love Science & Computers. They want to be ITs and Programmers. It has been 3 yrs now. We get to eat my homemade meals instead of school breakfast & lunches. Don’t have to wake up when it’s still dark outside. Don’t need designer clothes, backpacks, etc., which saves a lot of money. They learn real life skills such as cooking, doing their laundry, managing their own money, soon bank accounts and more. Children can socialize when they visit the park playground! No need for school to teach them that. My kids never were treated right at the school by other kids anyway. I can monitor and have a part in their socialization skills if I homeschool. We get field trips like school has. We get to use the restroom as soon as we need it instead of waiting for the teacher’s permission. Countless times my children had accidents in their pants as they weren’t “allowed” to go until class was dismissed for something. We have unlimited access to water so they don’t get dehydrated. Getting a swig from a fountain a few times a day isn’t sufficient enough. So many perks with homeschooling. No teachers to deal with, no STAAR or TAKS testing where kids & schools feel pressure & get judged for the results. Take breaks when we need them as long as we want. Basically, anyone who doesn’t have the chance to homeschool their children should be jealous and/or disappointed. I truly think this is the way God meant for our children to learn; directly from their parents and others in the village (neighbors). It takes a village to raise children. I’ve witnessed & experienced the public school village and I don’t trust it to raise my children. My choice. Leave me alone if you don’t agree. You do with yours what you want and let me do with mine as I choose to. Friends and relatives seem to be the worst about it. Oh well. The world still thinks i’m worthless because I have a G.E.D. instead of a H.S. Diploma and never went to college. I am successful with what I have and get by with what I make. It is sufficient enough for me and my kids, and satisfies my Father in Heaven. That is all that is important in this life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are as passionate about homeschooling as I am! I agree with every single thing you’ve said. You brought back memories about being able to use the bathroom. When my oldest was in middle school, he used to come home barely able to hold it any longer because the school only allowed them to go once a day. In fact, they only had one restroom unlocked in the entire school. I remember calling the school and telling them that if he ever got a bladder infection, they were getting the bill. It didn’t help. Nothing changed. Homeschooling really is the only way to go, in my book. It should be a no-brainer.

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  13. I was really blessed by your post. I am in my second year homeschooling and feeling the passion for teaching my own kids draining away. I hate to say it, but all it took was one person telling me that what I was doing/not doing with my first grader was not good enough. “She deserves better than this. How long are you going to try to homeschool? If she were in school…” Her words hit me like an avalanche. I just started to self doubt and wonder if my kids, my husband, my house, my life would be better if I sent them to school. It’s been a rough month. Funny thing is, I AM a state certified teacher with a graduate degree in Ed. WHY do I think someone else could do better? Anyway, your comments made me laugh. And that’s what I need to do every time “I homeschool” is a conversation stopper or brings on the ridiculous comments!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You’re going to ruin your children. I am a certified teacher, entrusted to teach hundreds of kids and qualified to teach at any school. But I will ruin my own kids by being their teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We have homeschooled for almost 20 years and have graduated 4 of our 14 children. Questions asked: “How will they learn to stand in line?”; “When will they eat a school lunch?”; “When will they talk to other adults?”–You just answer politely and move on. I do find it interesting that it is never about what math program you use but the crowd control and socialization stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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