What Is Relaxed Homeschooling?

Part 1 of the Relaxed Homeschooling 101 Series

Relaxed Homeschooling 101

I’ve learned something about myself these past couple years of blogging:

I can have a one-track mind.

I tend to go on and on about things like relaxed homeschooling, yet I realized that I’ve never actually defined what it is- at least not in a way I’m satisfied with.

The fact is, embracing the relaxed homeschooling lifestyle literally saved our homeschool. Would I have quit homeschooling if I had never discovered it? I honestly doubt it because I’m no fan of the school system, and I know what it’s like to have kids enrolled in that mess, BUT it helped us to uncover a sense of peace that can only come when you know you are doing what was willed for you all along. It enabled us to find joy in our learning and contentment as a family.

Relaxed homeschooling has been a gift that I’d love to share with you.

Starting today, I’ll be publishing a 3-part series called “Relaxed Homeschooling 101.” I’ll be covering:

So let’s get started. 🙂

What Is Relaxed Homeschooling?

Relaxed homeschooling is known by several names, such as simple homeschooling, minimalist homeschooling, and even hyggeschooling, but the foundation remains the same.

I tend to think of it as a hybrid of eclectic homeschooling and unschooling. While it will look different for each family, relaxed homeschooling, simply put, is a homeschool environment that offers an element of structure with ample time for children to follow their own interests.

One of the basic tenets of relaxed homeschooling (and unschooling, for that matter) is that children learn best through life, whether it’s through pursuing their hobbies or simply going about their day absorbing whatever comes their way.

This may sound very similar to unschooling, because it is, but for varying reasons, relaxed homeschooling families supplement this leisurely learning approach with more structured lessons, which you won’t find in an unschooling household.

Some reasons people may choose to add this bit of structure may include:

  • the need for routine in their day
  • accountability
  • a type-A personality (like me) that likes to have some sort of plan
  • living in a stricter state that requires more paperwork (although I will add that unschooling is legal in all 50 states)
  • wanting to give their children a good foundation
  • wanting to introduce their children to topics they might not otherwise be exposed to

What does this structured learning look like?

Again, it will look different from house to house, but the majority of relaxed homeschoolers tend to focus their structured learning time around the 3 Rs- reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

Other resources used may include:

Additionally, relaxed homeschooling families are often very intentional about keeping their lessons short. After all, spending 5 or 6 hours a day on school work wouldn’t be very relaxing now, would it?

A few months back, I made a video in which I gave a rather thorough explanation of what relaxed homeschooling is and how we implement it in our large family homeschool. I encourage you to watch it if you have any other questions. 🙂

I’ll see you next week when I discuss how to set the stage for a relaxed homeschool. Until then, God bless and happy homeschooling!

If you’ve been on the lookout for a relaxed homeschooling community, join my FB group!


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.

18 thoughts on “What Is Relaxed Homeschooling?”

  1. I love your definition of unschooling in your video. I’m not on Facebook, but I hope your relaxed homeschool group is a success. So many can benefit from your example. You rock homeschooling, Shelly! 🙌🏻

    Liked by 2 people

      1. This is our 4th yr of HS here in Italy with a 12yr old and a 7yr old and I simply love your approach and your perspective. It helps me a lot and I’ve been learning so much from what you say and do. The only thing that tears my heart apart is that (in Italy HS it’s been around only for a few yrs now and most of the people I know still think that it isn’t legal while it is:-) the Ministry of education has decided that the ONLY way to check if HS families are educating their kids is to have kids face a mandatory EXAM each year with a written test on Italian, maths and english and also an oral test on other subjects.
        Most of italian HS familes hate that because even if you believe, with all of your heart, that you want to HS your kids with the least structure and really let them get deep into subjects or their own interests…there’s always the scarecrow of the exam…that EXAM…and as the yrs go by, it becomes more and more difficult.
        I’m praying with my husband, though and trying to interact with the local school director on this matter and we are preparing some lapbooks to make it more fun and easier to handle. Thanks for all your insight, you such an inspiration to many. Keep up the good work! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. YES! Relaxed homeschooling has been amazing for our family. We do an extremely relaxed version of homeschooling with interest led learning at the forefront. The difference between regular school and online school (which was still quite regimented) and what we practice now is very obvious and quite amazing. My kids have an intense love of learning that wasn’t there before. Previously it was such a burden to them. Thanks for posting this and reinforcing the benefits of relaxed homeschooling!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You just defined our homeschooling style! I typically refer to us as “almost unschoolers” because while I love the unschooling philosophy we just could not embrace it as a family no matter how many times we tried. We do that bit of structure.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. We referred to our style as an eclectic one: 9:00 – noon = 3Rs then 1:00 – 3:00 = electives and independent study. Our school went by the name PSA (Plenary Scholastic Academy).

    But if I was to do it again, I’d choose the the handle of “hybrid homeschooling” … just too catchy and trendy to pass up – “HHS”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seems like your post came just in time…it seems like it’s pretty current. Love finding these type of posts. I have been struggling with trying to do natural methods of helping my ADD kids, hs and get the house organized from us moving last summer, plus I blog too 😵 Feeling behind and battling myself with schooling at home vs homeschooling. Its a big mess for sure. While working towards doing the GAPS diet for the ADD some people in that community suggested relaxed schooling while I get a hold on things. Thank you from people like me who are coming to terms with their type -A personalities. Learning that it really is ok (4 years into this) to make your own path and not follow others, even other homeschoolers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad this has helped. It seems like we have a lot in common. I also have an ADHD child (and a couple others I suspect have it), and I’m also a type-A mom who really struggled at first with letting go of the school mindset. You are so right in that it is totally okay if your homeschool looks different from others. Every family is different, and that’s how it should be.


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