This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclosure for details.

Pros and Cons of Homeschool

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of homeschooling, how it fits in with doing what’s best for YOUR family, and the fine line between explaining your decisions and defending your life choices.

The pros and cons of homeschooling. Doing what's best for your family and not explaining it to anyone.

You’re homeschooling? How lovely. WHY would you want to do that?

Going against the mainstream opens the door to big questions about big life choices to random strangers at the post office.

You’re so brave. I could never do that. Is that even legal? Home all day with your kids? Do you think your kids are too smart for school? Do you think you’re a better teacher than real teachers? Do you not trust schools? Do you hate teachers? Are you teaching everything? What makes you qualified to do that? How will you know your kids are learning? Are you going to do this forever? Are you completely insane?

For us, homeschooling is a lifestyle choice. A big, life changing decision. We put a lot of thought into it, talked it through, and decided that this is the direction we want our lives to take. The pros seriously outweigh the cons.  There are sacrifices, but they’ll be well worth it.

Doing What Works

We don’t fit the typical homeschool stereotypes. You know what they are. We are your completely average, right down the middle class, suburban family.  There was no big event that pushed us to choose homeschool over public school. We aren’t anti-anything or pro-anything in particular. We are just a family trying to do what works.

Pros and Cons of Homeschool

I’m a list-maker. When I started thinking about homeschooling my oldest son, then only just turned 4, I wrote a massive pro and con list. I was shocked when the pros flowed right out of the end of my pen. The cons were harder to think of, and after just five in the con column I was out of ideas.

Pros: no rushing out the door, they see Dad every day even when he's working evenings, a natural transition from stay at home mom to homeschool mom, lots of exercise, no siting in a classroom all day, we won't have to spend hours a day waiting in a car line, individualized education, healthy lunches, they can move at their own pace, they won' tbe labeled or classified, time to visit museums and study in nature, time to explore interests, I don't have to collect box tops, no bullies, I feel confident teaching, no fighting to get ready on time, more time outdoors, flexible time off, no standardized testing, make our own schedule, less likely to be around peer pressure at a young age, work toward subject mastery, no age-innapropriate academic pressure, they can get as much sleep as they need, no notes about behavior, memorable field trips, I love spending time with my kids. Cons: cost of curriculum, supplies, and enrichment, have to go out of our way to socialize, hard work, kids 24/7/365, loss of potential full time income.

Deciding to Homeschool

Why We HomeschoolThe decision was fairly easy to make after a little research and a lot of getting-over-myself. I’ve found the most difficult part of homeschooling has been a “con” I hadn’t expected: Explaining – sometimes downright defending our decision to homeschool.

I understand the curiosity. Before I started this journey I knew exactly one homeschooler. The majority of people I talk to know zero. None. It’s  new. It’s strange. Outside the norm. Something you hear about on TV – and not in a good way. Only around 3% of all school aged children are educated at home.

I may be the first weirdo homeschooler you’ve ever met, but I won’t be the last. Alternative schooling is on the rise, whether it’s traditional homeschool, virtual school, a hybrid, or something in-between.

The Hierarchy of Curiosity

Homeschool MemeNot all curiosity is created equal. Not everyone is owed an explanation. I’m looking at you old lady in line behind me at Pack and Ship. Did she just? Did she say? Oh no she didn’t.

Family and Friends

People close to you will range from passive to confrontational, but whatever their reaction, know they care and only question us out of genuine concern. These are the questions I don’t mind.

Everything is gonna be okay. I promise, I won’t screw up the kids any more than I was going to five minutes ago. I’m just doing it a different way.


People you sort-of know who feel like they knew you before you completely blew their mind. Oh-my-god-you’re-homeschooling-I-can’t-believe-it-you-of-all-people-why-would-you-ever-do-that?!? Then quickly, How nice for you.  

Look Acquaintances, you didn’t know me as well as you thought you did.  I didn’t mean to startle you with my odd behavior, so I’ll answer this way: It’s what works for us. It’s what we really want to do.

Homeschool Haters

Haters. You’ll get those. The eyebrow raise that says, I’m surprised you’re not in denim bib overalls, wearing a bonnet, riding a goat.”

post-45769-cheers-to-my-haters-meme-Imgur-gdeG.pngHow to identify a Homeschool Hater:  They don’t call you by name. Your new name is “The One Who Homeschools.” They say things like, “Sometimes I’d like to keep my kids sheltered, too.” Or they hint around that it’s nice that you can “afford” to do something like this.

Clearly this says more about their frame of mind than it does about my lifestyle.

Embrace the haters. Let them spur you on. To them I say, Oh yes, we homeschool. We homeschool so hard it’ll make your head spin. 

Random Strangers

People you run into on the street, at the bank, in the toilet paper aisle of the grocery store… they’re going to ask a lot of personal questions and will see a lot of resting bitch face.  I’m just here to buy some stamps. Stop questioning me and my kid and mind ya business. qdf7asa9z1vgq

Not everyone is so combative, but meeting people outside of education and homeschool that are both knowledgeable and accepting is infrequent at best. I’ve only been at this for a short time, and I’ve already had some thrilling experiences with the public.

I’m sure the questions will continue, at least for the foreseeable future. I have to go to the bank tomorrow, groceries on Tuesday. 

Looking for your homeschool tribe? Find moms just like you – 100+ places to find homeschool support online.

What to say and what not to say when you meet a homeschool mom

Follow The Homeschool Resource Room on Pinterest

3 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Homeschool

  1. Terri Torrez says:

    I wonder if it’s because of where I live (a progressive suburb of DC) or maybe the fact that I work full time, but by far the most common reaction I get is – isn’t that a huge amount of work? How do you do it? Generally the people I meet seem envious that we can make it work. Of course there are always the exceptions. 😉

Leave a Reply