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

And why they frustrate me!

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.

86 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 3 people

    1. Dedicated to the 18-year-old public high school graduate who can’t read!
      If your children don’t go to public school…?
      1. But if your children don’t go to public school, how will they learn about drugs? How will they ever get the chance to try pot, meth, crack, etc., and become addicts and/or dealers?
      2. If your children don’t go to public school, where will they learn to bully other kids? Where will they learn the hateful, discriminatory things to say to kids who are skinny, fat, tall, short, nerdy, or not extremely intelligent? Where will they learn how to push and kick children with disabilities, children with different clothes, hair, skin color, or accents, children whose family is on welfare or whose parents are in jail or whose family doesn’t own a car or a computer?
      And where will they learn to do all these things and know that they can do them whenever they want because the teachers and school personnel will never realize how much this happens in the school and will rarely try to stop the bullying or give consequences to those who bully.
      3. If your kids don’t go to public school, how will they ever feel uncomfortable or ashamed when they have to give a speech in front of class, knowing that the other kids will make fun of them the whole time? How will they learn to walk around in fear because at any moment, some other kids will trip them or spill food on them, or grab one of their textbooks? How will they ever learn to have low self-esteem by hearing other kids constantly call them nerd, idiot, a racist term, a disability term, or smelly, sweaty, pimple-face, ugly-shoes?
      4. If your kids don’t go to public school, how will they ever feel ashamed or awful in a way they don’t quite understand when other kids say “show me them things” or “we saw that stupid valentine you gave her” or “tell me whenever you want to” or “hey, look at my brother’s magazine!” ?
      5. If your kids don’t go to public school, where will they ever get the chance to feel humiliated and horrified about their bodies and made fun of in the bathrooms or in the locker rooms?
      6. If your kids don’t go to public school, where will they learn to say mocking things to other kids, to shoplift, to go to other kids’ houses and have a party when the parents aren’t home, and where will they learn to do sexting?
      7. If your kids don’t go to public school, where will they learn to do all these things so that they fit in with the cool kids?
      And where will they learn to say nothing to a teacher or to their parents when other kids do mean things to them every day, because no one ever listens or believes it is awful, and no one feels that they can do anything to stop this hurtful behavior?

      Liked by 1 person

  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 2 people

    1. I homeschooled my kids (hi kids!) more than ten years ago. I can’t believe this silly attitude is still going on! It’s stupid … and horrifying. Who started the rumor that homeschooling, public school, and private school are all in competition? oops…boarding school? It’s 2018 !! How about if some pub schoolers took time off and were homeschooled for a year. Or if homeschoolers took time off and went to public school for a year. And then they each returned to their original schooling. Big deal. These are simply alternative methods of education, each excelling/need to improve in different areas. It’s the same with “thinkers”/humanity-driven/non-religious homeschoolers said to have a rivalry with “religious” homeschoolers. Who promotes this? STOP IT ! Public school teachers versus homschl parents, pub sch kids versus homeschl kids. Can’t we all just get along? And share. And teach each other. Percentage of homschl kids and pub sch kids who became drunk and disorderly/rich and famous oh stop it.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Productive Mompreneur, do consider it! My kids got their schoolwork done early in the day so they could pursue lots of other things, like playing musical instruments, inventing things, sketching… and when they got excited about what we were studying, we could go with it and “live there” as long as we liked. We weren’t stopped from learning by having to go to the next class. We could immerse ourselves in a time period or in a language. We could dress, eat, sing, and craft the place or time. It. Was. So. Cool!


  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

    1. And I’ve seen plenty of what I consider inappropriate books in school libraries! I loved being the curator of our home library, and discussing books and teaching my kids to consider what they’re reading. To discern what the world view is of the author. Not to simply take it for truth. Once discernment is developed, they can figure it out themselves.

      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!


    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 2 people

    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.


  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 2 people

  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

    1. Yes because we never go anywhere where we have to stand in line, she is officially locked in our basement since we homeschool.

      And I hope she never has to eat anything as fast as a school lunch.

      As for the talking to adults, I just usually laugh and walk away…
      Last yr we were at a family reunionand my then 4 yr old is talking about politics with about 10-15 adults. One of my like 3rd cousins was a few minutes later talking to me about how smart she is , yadayada…She says “yeah in school you are going to have to fight for her you know that right” I respond with “we are homeschooling her for this and many other reasons.” No crap she looks at me and says “how will she learn to communicate and debate politely in groups?” Before I could stop my mouth it said”really you can’t be that stupid. You just held an entire conversation with 10 other adults and my 4 yr old about politics. O can’t possibly imagine how she will ever learn those things.”

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I was homeschooled all the way to ninth grade and it was miserable. After feeling friendless, sheltered, and lonely, I became almost suicidal and my parents agreed to try public school. I now have friends, a lot of them, and I’m on track to graduate from the public high school. Homeschooled students aren’t “out there experiencing real things,” that’s a lie. If you go to real school, the social aspect is unbelievable. You learn how to deal with people. You learn people skills. Homeschooling does none of this. You learn about life. You make friends, the kind you see everyday, not just distant cousins at family reunions. And it is harder to get into colleges.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you had such a miserable time being homeschooled. Fortunately, most homeschoolers’ experiences are very different than yours. It is so important that we as parents see to it that our kids have ample opportunities for hanging out with friends and participating in the community. I’m glad you’re having a better time in school. As for getting into college, every homeschool graduate I’ve met got into the college of their choice with nary a problem.


  17. Whenever I get questions and comments like these, I like to reply “Well, I can tell public school did wonders for you!” Thankfully strangers and my in laws always have nice things to say for homeschooling, it’s only my family who make the woefully inept remarks. My husband also got a bunch of rude remarks from coworkers. We have no idea why people think public school is so great. I don’t even care if that makes me sound elitist, the benefits of homeschooling have already started showing in how close my family is and how my kids interact and how quickly my son is advancing in schooling.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yes to #8 especially! We JUST started homeschooling kindergarten and besides the socialization comment (she plays endlessly with her brother all day) we get the whole “not preparing for real world” comment. People are afraid of what they don’t understand and didn’t themselves experience. I’m glad there are those of us out there empowering each other to keep going and know that we CAN teach our kiddos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. When i told my fellow schoolmates i was going to be homeschooled i was honestly so happy telling them because i wanted to get away from school and the stress it put me under however they were never really my friends as they didn’t support me in a lot of things and that became even more obvious once i saw their reactions. Many commented that i would get lazy, wouldn’t ever have anyone to talk to and i wouldn’t have any friends. They also said that i would be less smart and would probably be miserable without them. I have friends outside school who supported me and one who is homeschooled and we skype each other a lot for normal conversations or if we want to learn something together over skype. I actually weigh less than i did in school because i go on regular runs because i can because i have TIME and i am not lazy i am comfortable being able to wear trackybottoms and a vest top rather than an uncomfortable blazer, jumper, shirt and pants. I am so happy without them and being away from school has made me so chilled. I honestly love being homeschooled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear your viewpoint. I can’t help but wonder if maybe your friends were feeling a twinge of jealousy and were taking it out on you with the negative comments. Thank you so much for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I went into a convenience with my son a few months back and the lady behind the counter commented that my son was not in school today (of course in the form of a question). I replied that he is homeschooled. She then began questioning my certifications and then followed up with the typical “socialization question.” I then advised her it was not necessary to have a teacher’s certification to homeschool in Florida and we socialize at church.” It is amazing how people’s minds are skewed in regards to homeschool.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Shelley,
    Im an older Momma now, in fact today is my 55th birthday. I Home Educated three of our four children. I started when I didnt even know what Homeschooling was. The late 90s and in Canada. The Principal of the school our children went to suggested it for my sistuation. We have a pretty big family on both sides and a big church we attended, so our decision to go the road less traveled was frowned upon. Lots of rude remarks like,” well, whats next a commune?” But because My husband and I stood our ground on any decision weve made most refrained from making their remarks. But not all. Oh yeah they know how to ask literally uneducated questions and make invalid insinuations on or about “my Kids”, not theirs, mine. Ive had every question or remark you can imagine asked. “How will they know how to work, or get a job? How will they know how to talk to people? Will they learn how their body works? What will you teach them? When are you gonna get a job? Well after the first few yrs of 13, I decided to be semi rude and say, “asking questions like that tells me you are just misinformed about what Home education is, and maybe you should read up on it before you settle on a judgement, on our decision to home educate, our children.”
    We Home Educated for 13 years. Our youngest son first, we started the second part of his grade one year while we left our youngest a girl in public kindergarten. Then the next year we kept both home to do grade one together. In grade two their older sister going to grade eleven wanted to finish at home, already an honour student. Our oldest wanted to stay in public school and graduated from there.
    In conclusion, not everything in life is perfect, certainly not with the public school systems or not all kids should be Home Educated. But I am a huge believer that the parents know the children best and if mom is home the kids will thrive and learn and develop their minds better there especially in the world we live in, if she is able.
    Our children have all graduated with acedemic diplomas, then graduated from Bible Colleges with Theology degrees and one a music major. Then on to University, all three. Do not fear Home Education or the misinformed people especially relatives. Be kind but stand in assuredy that you know what is best for your children. The world has forgotten that.
    All of my children are social, very intelligent, kind, they all had jobs since about 14 yrs old, beautiful vocabularies with no filthy talk for fillers when conversation dulls, they cross socialize all ages, they pay their bills, are conciencious individuals , they all can drive and on vehicles, cook, READ and write, public speakers, they volunteer, they know about their country and others countries in the world, theyre well traveled and truly the list goes on. And they were all Home Educated!!!
    Families, all of yours will be like this too!!!!!
    From Your Number One Home Educator Fan!
    Ps. Numb fingers make spelling errors.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The most bizarre/laughable comment I ever got while homeschooling my two sons was from a strongly-opinionated proponent of public school: “How will they ever learn to stand in line?”

    “Ha!” burst out before I could stifle it, and I was briefly bereft of words before I answered with questions. “Have you ever been grocery shopping? Or Christmas shopping? Or been to a water park? Or waited for a table at a restaurant? Or waited for movie tickets? Or theater tickets? Or waited for an empty bathroom stall at church? Or waited in line for a bubbler (water fountain)?”

    I was also asked by a relative whether our boys ever saw other kids. I confess she caught me in a bad moment, and I said, “Oh my no, we are hermits. We never go anywhere. No karate lessons, no playing with neighborhood kids, no play dates, no AWANA Bible club, no church or Sunday School, and absolutely no birthday parties.”

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Geez, I am a college professor, the daughter of a college professor. My daughter is now a college professor. Yes, my younger kids are more than capable of going to college IF they want to. Who said that college is for everyone for that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

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