Help! My Child HATES Being Homeschooled!

5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

What to do if your child HATES homeschooling

If there’s one thing I know about homeschool moms, it’s that we love to focus on the good things that happen during our homeschool time.

In our efforts to express to people how much we love this way of life, we can sometimes forget that people, especially other homeschoolers, need to hear the negative aspects, as well.

Today I’m going to set the record straight on one thing…

Not all kids adore homeschooling. 

In fact, some children will go so far as to say that they hate it. If you happen to be the parent of one of these kids, I’m going to offer some encouragement to you today.

Firstly, I would like to point out that every child has good days and bad days. I’m guessing that homeschoolers who never complain about their school work are few and far between.

So today’s post isn’t necessarily about those kids who occasionally grumble about homeschooling when they’re in a bad mood. I’m talking about the kids who fight you tooth and nail every single day and sometimes outright tell you how much they despise learning at home.

My child hates being homeschooled!

Yeah. They do exist.

A knee jerk reaction to this often involves sending the child back to school. And while that decision is entirely up to each individual family, I really feel the need to point out one thing:

School probably won’t work much better.

Oftentimes, the children who refuse to cooperate with their parents do so because they are exceedingly strong-willed. They don’t like being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. In cases like this, obviously a traditional school setting will only make things worse.

So what should you do? There is no easy answer to this question, but for those of you in this situation, I’m going to share with you….

5 Things You Need to Ask Yourself If Your Child Hates Homeschooling

1. Am I providing ample time for my child to explore and develop friendships?

Homeschoolers need time to explore

One of the things I like most about homeschooling is that it allows me to bring some structure into an otherwise chaotic household. That being said, it can be extremely easy to add too much structure.

Homeschooled children need time to explore the world around them, pursue their own interests, and develop lasting friendships. Just as with kids in brick and mortar schools, if you overschedule them and plan out too much of their time, they’re going to burn out, and it will show.

2. Am I too focused on imitating school?

Homeschooling is not school at home!

I think it’s fair to say that most homeschooling parents today went to some sort of traditional school, whether public or private. Since that is the educational model most of us have grown up with, by default it becomes the method we try too eagerly to replicate at home.

Keep in mind that the reason schools operate the way they do, among other things, is that they’ve got 20-30 students in each class and very little money to spend. What this results in is a very tepid, boring approach to learning. Compounded by the fact that schools are now focusing more on standardized test scores than actual teaching, why would anyone try to imitate that?

Kids simply aren’t meant to sit still for 6-7 hours a day doing worksheets. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to let your kids move around, take breaks, and pursue learning in a way that interests them and fits their learning styles.

Don’t invite public school techniques into your home. Take advantage of all that homeschooling has to offer.

3. Am I guilty of Homeschool Legalism?

homeschool overcompliance

Don’t know what that is? It’s pretty straightforward. If you are more concerned with checking off boxes, completing curriculum, and never deviating from your lesson plans than you are with family relationships, this might be you.

Never, ever forget what it is that you’re doing. You are HOMEschooling. Never let the “school” part of your day overtake the “home” portion. Never.

You are a mom (or dad) before you are a teacher. And that’s the truth.

4. Am I too worried about what other people think?

Don't worry about what others think

Do you find that the only reason you’re doing a lot of things in your homeschool is because you’re trying to live up to someone else’s standards? Do you find yourself freaking out and adding new subjects when you hear about all the great things other homeschooling families are doing? Do you frequently compare your kids with the public school kids in your neighborhood?

Stop. Just stop.

What works for one family may not work for another, and that’s okay. Really. Your family might be awesome at something that other families could never handle.

Don’t steal the joy in your homeschool by believing that you have to be like everyone else.

After all, isn’t that one of the reasons you don’t send your kids to school? To salvage their individuality?

5. How is my attitude while we’re homeschooling?

Be a happy homeschooler!

I’m the first to admit, that I have my days that I am just not a happy homeschool mom. Rest assured that it happens to everyone. What you need to remember, however, is that your attitude will set the tone for your homeschool.

Yes, your attitude.

How often do you smile or laugh while you’re helping your children? Do you find that you’re feeling grumpy more than you’re feeling joy?

You will never have a happy homeschool if you yourself have a hard time being pleasant. I’m not telling you to be fake and just pretend. That won’t help anyone. All I suggest is that you intentionally try to be positive and encouraging while you’re in the midst of your daily homeschool routine.

I find that we moms can often be grumpy simply because we’re worn out or stressed. If that’s the case, take a break and just enjoy your kids.

Moms with kind hearts and good attitudes often have kids with kind hearts and good attitudes.

Just give it a try!

Dealing with a child who hates the homeschooling lifestyle can be discouraging, draining, and stressful. Before you throw in the towel and send your child back to school, consider what I’ve written today. 

Your child just may thank you for it.


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.

19 thoughts on “Help! My Child HATES Being Homeschooled!”

  1. Good questions!

    I would also ask myself: why am I homeschooling? And to ask that question in a positive way. There are reasons why we all have chosen to homeschool, and asking that question can help you remember why you went down this road to begin with. I think this is especially true if your child went to a public or private school to start, and then you decided to pull them. Visualizing your goal may help you get through the trying times.

    For example, I know the association, lack of quality education, sub par curriculum, an awful first two years of public school, and an unhappy child/student in the public school system (just to list a few!) all played big parts in my decision to homeschool next year. So when we are having a rough day, I’m planning on reminding myself why I chose this for us, and why I thought and think it is the best option for our family with the best of intentions for my son and his educational experience. As was brought out in the post, strong-willed children do not seem to do well in the typical school setting. They are bright kids with strong opinions about everything, and the school system has a tendency to want to break them of those qualities. While they are challenging qualities, they are great qualities if you can train and teach your child how to control and balance them as they are getting older. I certainly do not want to break my child’s spirit, which is yet another reason I am pulling him from public school after this school year!

    Maybe others will disagree with me on this, but I also don’t think homeschooling works for every family simply due to our personal and unique circumstances. So I think that is another thing to take into consideration; am I spreading myself too thin? If so, is there something I can let go of so I can continue homeschooling?


  2. Lately we have started my son in e-learning, which is an extension of homeschooling. My son doesn’t hate homeschooling, he hates ANY schooling! However, with e-learningk-12 he guides himself through his lessons on his computer. (yes, we had to buy him a lap top) We’ve home-schooled him his whole life, other than about 2 years ago when we tried putting him in Catholic school – that lasted about 5 months, then out he came! We were back to home-schooling, only this time we did it all online and self led. Great post!


  3. Shelley, once again you’ve hit the nail on the head for me! You seem to be reading my thoughts and intuitively answering my cries of help with your posts. Thank you! You really have given me hope for my families homeschooling future, once again. We are finishing out our first year and it’s been rocky, but we are getting into our groove. A friend recently said it normally takes an average of 3 years to really get the hang of it and I’m determined to wait it out because I truly believe I’ve been called to do this. It does make it hard when my very social, eldest child (and only daughter), refuses to do her work and informs me daily that she HATES homeschooling. Might I add that she hated the private school she was in last year and begged me to homeschool her. She has a case of the “grass is always greener” syndrome. Anyways, you have made some valid points and encouraged me today. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great post! I think this list is relevant not only to kiddos that are frustrated with homeschooling, but parents as well. I did almost every single thing on this list. I tried too hard to copy a homeschool classroom when I first started (I got so jealous of these cute homeschool classrooms that other families would post on Pintrest), I would be uber focused on what I was teaching/creating portfolios and documenting everything (that is so exhausting!), and worrying ALL THE TIME about what everyone else thought.

    It’s funny, but the best homeschool days that come to mind is when I let all of this go and we school were we land (living room, grocery cart, on the beach), and usually its after a great day outside or spent doing things together. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some good points… I want my children to grow to know and love the Lord more than anything else.. so that is reflected in homeschooling also… they need to learn math and other subjects, but making the Bible real needs to be true even then.. as a lifestyle. By the way, it seems that most kids HATE taking a bath sometimes too… but we still make them do it. 🙂 Thank you for your post..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have had two boys who have hated school. With my oldest, I made the mistake of thinking it was “my fault” and so I sent him to school for one year. He hated that even worse. I’ve realized that some kids are just not going to fit into an educational mindset without a fight and with this last little bucking bronco, I’m just trying to make school as customized to his interests as possible while still getting in all the necessary foundational material.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post, Shelly! Sometimes as human beings, we’re so uncomfortable being uncomfortable that we immediately try to solve the problem. Sometimes, however, growth comes from working *through* the problem, not running away from it!
    Terrific questions/points to consider – definitely worth sharing!!
    Aaaaand, we’ll be featuring it at tomorrow’s Coffee and Conversation 🙂

    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If your kid hates being homeschooled you should give them the option to go to public school when they are old enough to attend high school (or maybe middle school) and let them see if they want to go back to homeschooling after they’ve tried public school. If you don’t, they’ll resent you when they’re older.


    1. That would be up to the individual family to decide. Many parents would be fine with that. Others have very strong convictions against public schools. My question to you is, should every child who hates school be given the option to be homeschooled, instead?


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