7 Reasons School Is Not an Option for My Homeschooled Kids

My kids don't have a choice about being homeschooled, and they're okay with that.

Last week I published the second of two posts listing the many reasons that I believe homeschooling is better than school.

So, it should come as no surprise to you when I say that, unlike many other homeschooling families, my kids do not have the option of going to school. (At least until they go to college.)

One of the beauties of homeschooling is the freedom for each family to do what is best for them, so I am not in any way denigrating homeschooling parents who always keep the possibility of school on the table. I used to feel the same way. In fact, I actually did send my kids back to school for two years, so maybe that’s why I’m so adamant now about not doing it ever again. 

During the time my kids were back in school, my eyes were truly opened to the differences in my kids and in our lives from when they were homeschooled and when they were not. After the initial honeymoon period, it wasn’t a pleasant time for any of us. Although it’s been almost six years since I withdrew my kids from school for the second and final time, I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I hear that someone’s child has decided to go to school. Not because they’ve made that decision, but because it reminds me of a time I don’t ever want to relive.

I do want to say that my kids are totally okay with this. They’re happy being homeschooled, and I hope it stays that way. 😉

Since I often hear people’s reasons for giving their kids the choice of attending school every year, today I’m sharing…

7 Reasons School Is Not an Option for Us

1. As the parents, we know what’s best for our kids.

Parents know what's best for their kids

This may sound akin to because I said so, but that doesn’t make it any less true. You know that “grass is always greener” adage? Kids sometimes feel like that, too, and, with homeschooled kids, they can begin to feel that way about school. Oftentimes, when you try to get to the root of why they want to attend school, reasons like this come to the surface:

  • They get to eat lunch in a cafeteria.
  • They have recess. (They don’t understand that it’s like 15 minutes long and not everyday.)
  • They get to wear backpacks.

Even when the reasons are a bit more serious, like the yearning to make new friends, to our family, there are ways to deal with it that don’t involve enrolling our kids at the local school.

2. There’s a real safety concern.

Schools aren't safe.

Schools aren’t safe anymore. At all. Between ever-increasing incidents of bullying, assaults, bomb threats, and school shootings, I honestly don’t know how people can feel confident that their kids are safe when they put them on the bus every morning. I know there are people that will tell you that schools are safer today than ever, but when your local middle school has police officers patrolling the halls and parents have to have their driver’s licenses scanned before entering the building, you know something’s up.

I know the chances of anything major happening are small, but when it comes to my kids, I’ll err on the side of caution.

3. Public education has an unhealthy obsession with standardized tests.

Our nation is obsessed with testing.

Although I pulled my kids back out of school after two years, my oldest daughter asked to remain in school. She was doing well and in all honors classes, so I agreed. To be honest, since I was so rigid about recreating school when we first started homeschooling, she grew to detest homeschooling. In spite of that, at the end of her 8th grade year, she asked me to please homeschool her for high school. Her reason? Our district’s mania over test prep and standardized tests.

These tests are a waste of time. The only thing they are successful at is stressing out students and teachers, alike. I’m not willing to let my kids’ formative years be wasted in order for them to be the guinea pigs of the state. Sorry.

4. I can raise my own children.

Parents should raise their kids. Not schools.

I never liked the idea of the schools acting “in loco parentis” because, even when I didn’t have complete disdain for public education, I never completely trusted them. To be quite honest, when my kids were in school, I often felt like the secondary parent because it always seemed like I was answering to the school, rather than the other way around.

God gave me these children. It is my responsibility to raise them, and no one else’s.

5. My kids began to have behavioral issues when they were in school.

bad behavior because of school

Like me, my kids aren’t perfect. One thing I did notice, however, when they were in school was that their attitudes completely changed. They talked back, argued constantly, started using street slang, and basically lost their zest for life. This happened for two reasons:

  • They picked it up from their classmates.
  • They were so tired and overstimulated from being in school all day that they literally didn’t have the energy to try to behave.

Trust me, I refuse to go through that again.

6. We are at odds with the values being taught in schools.

schools immoral

As Christians, we are finding that our values are being degraded in the education system more and more with each passing year. Whether it’s through the curriculum or school policies, the educational establishment is at war with Truth with a capital T. I will not stand by as my kids are taught things that go against everything we believe in. It’s bad enough that they are bombarded with these things through TV shows, movies, and social media. I will not add fuel to the fire by allowing schools to have access to my kids, too.

7. Our family can be central, as it should be.

family first, not school

When you have a child in school, between after-school programs, extracurricular activities, and homework, the most important thing- family– is what suffers the most. It’s hard to build lasting familial relationships when there’s never any time for…well…family time.

When my oldest daughter was the only one left in school, she used to come home and sit in her room for the rest of the day. I barely knew her. Now, she’s almost 18 and one of my very best friends. We watch shows together, go for walks, and just talk- about our dreams, our common interests, our disagreements (The high school debate team ain’t got nothing on us!), and sometimes just plain goofy stuff. She’s a completely different person than she was when she was 13. And I owe a lot of that to homeschooling.

Whether or not your child has the choice about going to school or not is completely up to you. Only you know your kids well enough to make that decision. These are the reasons that we will never ask our kids if they want to go to school. Homeschooling has brought us far too close as a family to risk losing it again.

What about you? Do you leave school as an option, or do you feel like I do? I’d love to hear your reasons why!


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.

64 thoughts on “7 Reasons School Is Not an Option for My Homeschooled Kids”

  1. I am very supportive of your stance on this. If I had never had to put my children in school, at least one of them might still be alive today. I’ll admit there were other bad influences I didn’t see in time, but had I been able to begin homeschooling as soon as the children came into my home at 5 and 9 as foster children, bonding might have occurred with my daughter before she became a teen. We adopted the children two years after they came, but the county was not supportive of homeschooling as long as the children were still in foster care. It took my husband a bit longer to come on board with homeschooling, but finally, the Lord literally twisted his arm while he was working on contract out of time and we needed to move out of state with him and care for him after surgery before the school year was over. After that we were all on board with it until my daughter became fifteen. But that’s a long story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shelly, we are so alike! It’s the same for us, returning to public school is just not an option, period. And for all the same reasons you listed. Plus, my son hated school from the get-go and he was 6! He values his freedom too much and actually feels sorry for his public schooled friends. My daughters begged to be pulled out in middle and high school, they loved being homeschooled the rest of the way and both plan to homeschool their future children. And even though I never say anything and totally respect other parents, I’m always sad to hear of a homeschooled kid returning to or trying out public school. It just makes me cringe! And it’s because of all the negative things I see going on in our schools today. Things I simply cannot tolerate.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree, Shelly. But so many parents and grandparents today are skeptical of anything but traditional education. Just today someone told that I’m an “exception” since my daughter got into college! 😂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, I could write a book here about this subject, but I’ll spare you. Without a doubt, I wholeheartedly agree with you! I went to public school, but I never put my kids in ANY school. I joke with them that they can go, to which they reply, with a quick, “Uh, NO!”
    Let’s just chat about safety and nonsense (not like tomfoolery, but real nonsense). A few months ago, a 6 year old boy was shot and killed in my area. They were outside at recess (that your kids love for some strange reason–and yeah, you can tell them I said that!). And at the school my kids would have gone to elementary school a horrible thing happened last year. A precious little 6 year-old girl was fiddling around with her sandals (she probably thought they were pretty and wanted to wear them to school), and since she wouldn’t sit still, the first grade teacher made this little one THROW HER SANDALS in the TRASH and walk around barefoot the rest of the day. Gross and how the heck is this allowed?! I agree with you that something’s up. I could NEVER, EVER, NEVER send my kids to a place where they could possibly get shot!
    School is not an option, but it’s not an option my kids want either. We are very real with our kids and I think it’s important to explain the WHYS of decisions we make.
    Look, there’s just not enough time in the day to undo the humanistic teaching that our kids would get in public schools. Not enough time. This is a fact. Can some kids make it out unscathed? I’m not sure yet. It’s a little like standing in front of a speeding truck asking the Lord to protect you (yeah, this is an actual argument I’ve heard–that the Lord will protect your kids anywhere). I don’t think we are to tempt the Lord. I think we are to obey Him and train our children up in the Lord. When you send them to public school (and understand exceptions apply here), you are telling them the Lord is important, just not for education. He’s not that important.
    Yes, I’m having trouble sparing you the book. *Sorry*
    I gotta say the biggest thing I see from my kids is the freedom to be who they are. No peer pressure, no fitting in. Now, I can say that most homeschool co-ops and groups are even succumbing to this model, so we just need to use caution, even there.
    But, my favorite story about opposition I received is one I have to share. I was about to start Kindergarten with my dd, and an acquaintance I had (who was a high school math teacher–at the school where my kids are zoned to attend) said with all the disdain she could muster, “What makes you think you are qualified to teach Kindergarten?!” Since this coming from a woman who calls Cracker Barrel, CRACKLE BARREL–maybe that’s why Math teacher. That’s why.
    Wait…am I still on topic? Thanks for the article.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What an awesome response! That is so horrible about what’s going on in your schools. It’s not any better here. Several years ago a 6 yr old boy was sexually assaulted by a 10 yr ols5in the school bathroom. A girl was raped in a stairwell at one the high school. Another girl was shot in the leg outside the same school. I honestly can’t fathom how so many parents unquestioningly send their kids to school.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I went all the way through the school system. Did I get a good education? Yes, I did. But am I still, at nearly 40 years of age, still trying to get some of the lies I was taught out of my head? Yes, I am. I would never subject kids to the kind of humanistic brainwashing I received…and we all know it’s a whole lot worse now than it was when I was a kid!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Fully agree. We pulled the kids out of school at 5th, 4th, and kinder, and we’ll never go back, for all the reasons you gave in your article. One of my kids was bullied, one had a teacher pushing ADD meds, and we began to fear for my youngest’s safety because of another child’s behavior toward her. I’m not one of those moms who talks about watching the bus go past and dreaming about putting my kids on it because I know firsthand what the schools are like, and it’s nothing that I want for my kids.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I can’t say I’ve ever told my kids they can’t go to school.. in fact my oldest son wanted to look into attending high school and so we scoped it out with him but I had no qualms about pointing out all the ways his life would change– homework each night, long days of school, loss of free time, etc. Hoping he would choose to stay home because I did think it would be best for him and I am happy that he has decided to stay home. I guess school is open as an option but one I really don’t think my kids will ever take us up on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. School isn’t an option for ours, not that they want it! Our 14 year old is more than happy to be here, he loves the time it gives him for reading for pleasure, plus gardening and cooking. Our 10 year old knows he couldn’t play with his building blocks during class time. No figurines sitting on his maths book or ‘helping’ him with English would be devastating! Our daughters are both planning on homeschooling their children. Our boys are looking forward to eventually finding wives who want to homeschool.
    Our eldest daughter worked as a teachers aide in the local Christian school. It’s a small school and only had 2 classes when she was there (K-2 & 3-6). She felt so sorry for the fidgety boys who really needed to run around outside for a couple of hours before doing any book work. There is no way she wants that kind of restriction for her children!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am a recovering public school teacher – nine years in the system before my kids were born. I knew as soon as I saw the system from the inside that my kids would never be subjected to it. I grieve for every child who is.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I am a little more… firm… in my thoughts. I have seen what God’s opinion is on this subject through studying the Bible and accept God’s opinion on it. Therefore, I believe that it is a commandment from God that every Christian completely withdraw from the public school system, and that to keep your children in public school is sin. Further, I have never seen a single person that was relying on God to provide what they need to follow that command fail to be successful. I am a single mother and have sacrificed so much for homeschooling – if I can do it, anybody can!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will admit that when it comes to Christian families, I firmly believe they should keep their kids out of the public education system. I’m honestly shocked at how many send their kids to these schools without a second thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. School is not an option for my children either. My husband and I are agreed that we want (and that God calls) our family to be the central influence for our children. We feel like schools are opposed to that and found that to be our experience in schools, so we plan to keep our kids at home until college as well. . . .I even find that some homeschool co-ops can be negative influences in some of the ways that you describe in the article, but that’s a different topic for another day. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I absolutely agree with you. Unfortunatley, keeping my daughter homeschooled may not be up to me anymore.. (A long story involving a very controlling father and undoubtedly, just as horrible court system, as the p.s. systems). Our fate will rely on the results of a court ordered standardized test through the p.s. system. I’m pretty sure this isn’t even legal. Regardless of all of this madness, it only confirms my beliefs on homeschooling to be true and whole heartedly hope that we can continue. Thank you for this article. It’s always a pleasure to hear from other homeschooling families with their thoughts and experiences.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I, too, do not have the option to send my son back to school. For us, the reasons are a little different. My son has ADHD and several learning disabilities. Due to the ADHD, he has a very rigid and inflexible view of academics. It’s all or nothing for him. If he doesn’t master something, he gets very upset and may have a meltdown. It’s something we have been working on for a couple years now through therapy and behavior intervention plans. The school district’s solution to this was to stick him in a classroom with 5 or 6 other children who have severe behavior problems (usually violence) and that is unacceptable to me. He’s not permitted to socialize with anyone else in the school, is not allowed to have recess or lunch with anyone other than those 5 children. Since he’s been home, he no longer swears, he has stopped threatening suicide, he doesn’t have to deal with bullies, he smiles now, he’s not constantly in a state of stress and he’s an all-around happier kid. So, school is literally not an option for us. This is why we started homeschooling. I had never thought about it before it turned into my only option. Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I could not agree with you more on this subject. My daughter (15) used to complain all the time because she wanted to go back to school but that is not an option. She wants to socialize and hang with her friends at school. One of her friends informed her that she was crazy & she would love to homeschool. I was very reluctant to homeschool my children in the beginning but now I’m so happy that we do. With every headline or policy change it confirms our family’s choice to homeschool.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I agree. And I would add
    8. Now that I have learned, through homeschooling, the true history of our nation, I would never allow any government to educate my children.
    9. Now that I have learned that the founders of public education were socialusts whose goal was to remove children from their parents as early as possible and train them to be loyal workers for the government, I know that the entire system is flawed from the foundation and cannot be repaired.
    10. Now that I understand the principles of both economics and liberty, it would hurt my conscience to accept an education for my children that was funded via gambling (lottery), covetousness (the desire for wealth redistribution), and legalized theft (forced “charity” through taxation).

    Liked by 3 people

  14. 100% agreement with your viewpoint. My DS8 was in PS for 2 years. Bullied by teachers, shunned and told to be put on ADD meds. It was finally his peers who cornered me and told me the problems. The scary point, I was in the classroom 3 out of 5 days a week watching him trying to find the problem. His teacher was demoted to asst teacher and the asst teacher was moved to a higher grade bc she could not deal with the K level. Stupid unions and protectionism, if as a parent I did this my child would not be with me, but the school system can condone it. As a matter of fact, his K teacher “earned” her full teaching status back within 2 years. Go figure. We are beginning our 3rd year at home and will not think of any other options. He is thriving. He does have ADD but not on meds as most I work around that and offer lots of physical exercises and learning opportunities.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. We unschool, but my 7 year old went to school for less than a term last year and it was horrible. I agree with the overstimulated and tired. He also picked up bad behaviour and started being nasty to his siblings. All back to normal now thankfully.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I feel like I could have written this..almost. While we do not homeschool for religious reasons, we do homeschool for all of the other reasons you listed -behavior issues, protection, values, testing, etc…Plus, I really, love learning alongside my kids and going on adventures with them. We were all missing that togetherness when they went to school and now that we are homeschooling, our hearts are full. We love this crazy little life we’ve crafted. Thanks for your words of confirmation!


  17. I had never considered homeschooling until I started working in our public schools. The lack of discipline is what first pushed me into looking at homeschooling. The more I researched the more I realized that homeschool would work much better with my husband’s schedule and what I desire for my family.
    I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and what I was taught about how kids learn is the exact opposite of what you see in classrooms.
    I love being a SAHM and homeschooling seems to be a natural continuation.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I was shocked the first time I mentioned homeschool to my hubby he said “as if public school was even an option?”… never in a million years did I expect that! It’s the only way for us and our kids wouldn’t even consider going to traditional school.
    We’ve seen the village and don’t want them raising our babies to be like them!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you for a well thought out article! We have homeschooled our kids all the way through…. and I taught in a Christian school before I had kids… and I went to a public school when I was in school… and had great grades…. I have experienced all 3 options and I am totally in favor of homeschooling for my family. We have graduated 4 of them so far and are still homeschooling. What a blessing it has been to us… travel for multiple surgeries for child #2 years ago, meant taking school on the road… the WHOLE FAMILY went to the surgeries and we turned these into amazing homeschool field trips and also did our regular bookwork…and were a testimony to the people around us as our kids learned in public… (not everything was wonderful, of course!) we would have been so distant from each other if the kids had to stay in school while one parent took a child for surgery…. and on one surgery trip, we were gone for 5 WEEKS! I’m so glad we could all be together during that time. What wonderful memories and what character building times as we went through some really hard times. God used it for good though and we are very close as a family. We have done lots of family projects… put in sidewalk, paint the garage, etc… and it is good to work together. Anyway, I could say lots more, but I will just say thank you for the post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I really appreciate your perspective because you have experiences on both sides of the “to homeschool or not to homeschool” decision. I have been hoping to find a reasonable blog about this subject. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We had a rough year homeschooling my 8 year old. New baby and a toddler to contend with, a late term miscarriage and the aftermath of it, and a homeschool group we committed to that just didn’t fit at all. The focus needed on all parts, especially my son, was not there. After one week at the summer school program near us, my son is ready to dive into homeschool as soon as it is over so he doesn’t have to go back in the fall! He loves that he has met friends there, but he has complained about the excessive waste of time, and has talked about how he is keeping up with the 12 year olds in math, but if he focused he would be beating them in the games they played. Sending him to a free public school program for just one summer month is producing a much more motivated homeschool kid for me!

    Liked by 2 people

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