4 reasons NOT to Homeschool your kids.

Here are my reasons for why you shouldn’t homeschool your kids.

1. Limited exposure – I know some homeschool people see this as a plus I would say it’s a negative it is very easy to be exclusive and introverted. One of the problems of surrounding yourself and your kids with people who think the same as you, is that you never allow kids to have their faith questioned. You present facts from one perpective and and doesn’t ever force kids to flex their faith muscle. I believe that faith grows from push backs to doubts you face. I went to christian school and public school I found that my trust was tested more in a setting where all I had was my faith. Did kids mock me yes. I talked to my parents they helped guide me and I learned in those situations that I can trust God when I am with my parents and when I am separated from them.

2. Weirdness - One of the reasons many parents turn to Homeschooling is they feel that they are best suited to love and understand their children. I wholeheartedly agree as a father of 3. What concerns me is the attitude many homeschoolers have. I am not sure what causes it and want to say that not all families act this way but it seems at some point some homeschool families get a chip on their shoulder and seem look at those who send their kids to other schools with distain. I have seen many blog posts online of homeschool parents ranting. I think this produces attitude produces a weird spirit which in tern makes people who aren’t homeschool glad they are not.

3. Quality of teaching – Some parents are amazing teachers others are not so great. I know that I excel in certain topics and could homeschool our kids until 6th grade 7th grade and above would get dicey. I want my kids to have a great education and I am not sure if I could teach my kids Algebra since my Algebra 1 teacher Mr. Johnson would throw erasers at me. Also if you read my blog you know I am a horrible speller.

4. Other Voices – I am a strong believer that kids need other people than just their parents speaking into their life.  In homeschooling this is not an impossibility but you do have to go out of your way to make this happen. In other school environments you have other people seeing things in your kids that you may or may not see. One of the things we tell our oldest is that a man is someone who speaks up for those who others persecute and look down on. That true religion is caring for the widows and the orphans. At my sons school there is another Kindergarten who is smaller than the rest of the kids. Some kids were teasing him about his size my son spoke up and told them to stop. When I heard the story I almost cried because I was so proud. It’s one thing to stand up for your brother or sister who are being teased by another sibling it’s a whole nother thing to stand up for a stranger. Then we get his report card it said he was doing fine academically and his teacher said he is “a dependable and kind boy” That is what every kid needs homeschool, christian school and public school they need other adults that want to see them succeed. Can you have that as a home schooled kid? Yes it’s just more difficult.

In case you missed it here is the post I did  on why you should homeschool your kids.

Series Conclusion 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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29 thoughts on “4 reasons NOT to Homeschool your kids.

  1. Gotta say first off that I disagree totally with the issues you've brought up with why not to homeschool – they simply do not fly any more. But, the reason I'm commenting is to give voice to why we home educate…

    For us, it's about discipleship. We feel that b/c God has called us to disciple our children (not the church, not other folks), we need to spend as much time as possible with them to ensure they become fully, committed disciples of Christ. It's not about a need to shelter from the bad liberals and humanists out there – though that is a side benefit :) – but about modeling how we see Jesus spent time with the disciples while training them to bring about the Kingdom of God after he would leave.

    Home schooling provides, for us, the best way to see that happen. Now granted, some folks will say "Yes, it's about discipleship – and I want them to be salt and light in the world." The problem with that is that 1) kids are not being salt and light, but are being drug down into sin and humanism (see the research by Barna and others) and 2) Jesus didn't send His disciples into the world by themselves, he sent them in groups of 2 or 3.

    As you can tell, I'm pretty passionate about this – and that passion often comes across as angry or belittling. And while of course that is not my intention – otherwise I'd be a big jerk – I just want to be a voice for why MOST parents home educate.

    Great set of posts to get people talking and thinking. This is something the church should be talking and I have appreciated the somewhat balanced view Sam has presented…

    *These comments are solely my own and not representative of any organization I work for.*

    • Dean here is a response I wrote over at CMConnect.

      It is not my goal to be offensive. Some of the people closest to me homeschool their kids. I have also had some homeschool families think less of me as a pastor and parent because I don't homeschool our kids (at this time). I would homeschool my kids in a second if I felt that was best.

      I also wrote why you SHOULD homeschool your kids wich will go live at 11am EST My goal with these posts is to get people thinking and talking. I don't think there is one right way to school your kids but these are some of the things my wife and I worked through as we thinking and praying where to send our kids to school. I found little out there that was honest and helpful. People tend to be biased toward what they did and what they do.

      I agree with your bottom line. There is no one-size-fits all. We need to ask hard questions and pray hard prayers our kids are worth it.

      • I didn't get offended….but lots of people do on both sides when this issue is brought up. Agree that most of the stuff out there simply expounds on their beliefs, that is likely b/c (like me) they feel the decision they make for their kids is one that we hope others would make as well. [We wouldn't choose it if we didn't think it was best for us AND others.]

        That being said, I found the "Disciple Like Jesus" and "Visionary Parenting" books present a Biblical case for discipling kids and homeschooling. They are both worth the reads…

        Thanks for all you are doing for kids and families Sam!! Keep up the good work…

  2. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for posting this. As someone who has seen homeschooled kids in real life. Some can be a little scary. Your image at the beginning is spot on.

  3. Gotta say first off that I disagree totally with the issues you've brought up with why not to homeschool – they simply do not fly any more. But, the reason I'm commenting is to give voice to why we home educate…

    For us, it's about discipleship. We feel that b/c God has called us to disciple our children (not the church, not other folks), we need to spend as much time as possible with them to ensure they become fully, committed disciples of Christ. It's not about a need to shelter from the bad liberals and humanists out there – though that is a side benefit :) – but about modeling how we see Jesus spent time with the disciples while training them to bring about the Kingdom of God after he would leave.

    Home schooling provides, for us, the best way to see that happen. Now granted, some folks will say "Yes, it's about discipleship – and I want them to be salt and light in the world." The problem with that is that 1) kids are not being salt and light, but are being drug down into sin and humanism (see the research by Barna and others) and 2) Jesus didn't send His disciples into the world by themselves, he sent them in groups of 2 or 3.

    As you can tell, I'm pretty passionate about this – and that passion often comes across as angry or belittling. And while of course that is not my intention – otherwise I'd be a big jerk – I just want to be a voice for why MOST parents home educate.

    Great set of posts to get people talking and thinking. This is something the church should be talking and I have appreciated the somewhat balanced view Sam has presented…

    *These comments are solely my own and not representative of any organization I work for.*

    • Dean here is a response I wrote over at CMConnect.

      It is not my goal to be offensive. Some of the people closest to me homeschool their kids. I have also had some homeschool families think less of me as a pastor and parent because I don't homeschool our kids (at this time). I would homeschool my kids in a second if I felt that was best.

      I also wrote why you SHOULD homeschool your kids wich will go live at 11am EST My goal with these posts is to get people thinking and talking. I don't think there is one right way to school your kids but these are some of the things my wife and I worked through as we thinking and praying where to send our kids to school. I found little out there that was honest and helpful. People tend to be biased toward what they did and what they do.

      I agree with your bottom line. There is no one-size-fits all. We need to ask hard questions and pray hard prayers our kids are worth it.

      • I didn't get offended….but lots of people do on both sides when this issue is brought up. Agree that most of the stuff out there simply expounds on their beliefs, that is likely b/c (like me) they feel the decision they make for their kids is one that we hope others would make as well. [We wouldn't choose it if we didn't think it was best for us AND others.]

        That being said, I found the "Disciple Like Jesus" and "Visionary Parenting" books present a Biblical case for discipling kids and homeschooling. They are both worth the reads…

        Thanks for all you are doing for kids and families Sam!! Keep up the good work…

  4. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for posting this. As someone who has seen homeschooled kids in real life. Some can be a little scary. Your image at the beginning is spot on.

  5. I think your reasons not to homeschool address one type of homeschooler but that is a very limited group. I totally get what you are saying about that few but many of us, maybe most of us, are active in our churches, communities and other groups. Through those activities/groups we have lots of adult who are speaking into our kids lives and in often much more real ways than a school could. I do know both sides as my husband is a public school teacher and each of our 3 kids have found their own way in and out of school, charter schools, online schools and traditionally homeschooled all the way through. It is not an either or but through knowing your children and much prayer making the best choice for each individual child. Thank God that we have those choices here! Don't lump us all into one category ;)

    • I am not anti homeschool at all. I just think that before you make any decision to school your children however you feel you are supposed to you need to weigh the pro's and the con's that what I have tried to help with and why I posted these blog posts. I plan on covering Christian school on Monday.

  6. Here's my take on the things you've brought up, as a homeschooling family and as your friend.
    Limited Exp: Kids learn about other beliefs but in context of Christianty. In recent times we've had a lot of family question their faith or ditch their faith & so this conversation of why mom and dad believe what we do is ongoing, all the time being discussed and answered. Aren't these the most impressionable times in life? Kids are wet cement. As foster parents our kids have had an immense amount of exposure we would have preferred to delay a bit and so we've fielded all sorts of questions about teen pregnancy, marriage, drugs and alcohol, sex abuse and rape – all with kids 9 and under.Your kids are blessed to have parents to come home to and sort their questions but I, in public highschool, did not.
    Weirdness – eh, the weird ones always stick out in a crowd. Most homeschoolers I know, you wouldn't be able to pick out in a crowd, except because maybe they'd walk up and start a conversation, with you, an adult.

  7. Teaching -I had erasers thrown at me in biology class, what is with that? We figure we'll take it one year at a time and as long as we stay one lesson ahead of our kids, we're good. Also, with Al Gore's lovely invention here of the internet, there is really no way that we can't find a resource to teach whatever needs to be taught. And spell check. Gotta love spell check. As far as official data goes, kids taught at home excel academically against their pub. school peers.
    Other voices – good thing about choosing homeschooling is you get to select who the other voices are. In school a few of my teachers were sleeping w each othr or students. Our kids are blessed to have people like you who speak into their lives on the weekend and want to see them succeed, neighbors who have them over and reiterate the values we wish for them and other parents who do the same.

    Sean and I couldn't love you guys more if you chose to homeschool your kiddos but we would be awfully happy for your family. Thanks for all you do, Sam. (And if you want to know reasons *why* you shouldn't homeschool, you should ask people who homeschool. ;)

  8. I think your reasons not to homeschool address one type of homeschooler but that is a very limited group. I totally get what you are saying about that few but many of us, maybe most of us, are active in our churches, communities and other groups. Through those activities/groups we have lots of adult who are speaking into our kids lives and in often much more real ways than a school could. I do know both sides as my husband is a public school teacher and each of our 3 kids have found their own way in and out of school, charter schools, online schools and traditionally homeschooled all the way through. It is not an either or but through knowing your children and much prayer making the best choice for each individual child. Thank God that we have those choices here! Don't lump us all into one category ;)

    • I am not anti homeschool at all. I just think that before you make any decision to school your children however you feel you are supposed to you need to weigh the pro's and the con's that what I have tried to help with and why I posted these blog posts. I plan on covering Christian school on Monday.

  9. Here's my take on the things you've brought up, as a homeschooling family and as your friend.
    Limited Exp: Kids learn about other beliefs but in context of Christianty. In recent times we've had a lot of family question their faith or ditch their faith & so this conversation of why mom and dad believe what we do is ongoing, all the time being discussed and answered. Aren't these the most impressionable times in life? Kids are wet cement. As foster parents our kids have had an immense amount of exposure we would have preferred to delay a bit and so we've fielded all sorts of questions about teen pregnancy, marriage, drugs and alcohol, sex abuse and rape – all with kids 9 and under.Your kids are blessed to have parents to come home to and sort their questions but I, in public highschool, did not.
    Weirdness – eh, the weird ones always stick out in a crowd. Most homeschoolers I know, you wouldn't be able to pick out in a crowd, except because maybe they'd walk up and start a conversation, with you, an adult.

  10. Teaching -I had erasers thrown at me in biology class, what is with that? We figure we'll take it one year at a time and as long as we stay one lesson ahead of our kids, we're good. Also, with Al Gore's lovely invention here of the internet, there is really no way that we can't find a resource to teach whatever needs to be taught. And spell check. Gotta love spell check. As far as official data goes, kids taught at home excel academically against their pub. school peers.
    Other voices – good thing about choosing homeschooling is you get to select who the other voices are. In school a few of my teachers were sleeping w each othr or students. Our kids are blessed to have people like you who speak into their lives on the weekend and want to see them succeed, neighbors who have them over and reiterate the values we wish for them and other parents who do the same.

    Sean and I couldn't love you guys more if you chose to homeschool your kiddos but we would be awfully happy for your family. Thanks for all you do, Sam. (And if you want to know reasons *why* you shouldn't homeschool, you should ask people who homeschool. ;)

  11. I can totally see these points as valid…sometimes and in certain situations. One issue I would address is the "weirdness" factor. I went to public school and we had plenty of weird kids there (self included), so the corollary to your thesis, "if I send my kid to public school, they will be 'normal' " does not hold any water. What's more, 'normal' public school kids have difficulty adjusting to real life and college because they have been in a bubble of their own. Homeschool can be its own bubble, but it doesn't have to be, To be honest, my experience with "normal" high school graduates (I teach college freshmen and sophomores) makes me shake my head. Usually the homeschooled kids are initially reserved, but then begin to thrive in college, especially compared to their PS peers.

    The most important thing for any student, more important than IQ or income bracket, PS or HS, is parental involvement. If you assume the school is doing a good job and back off your child's education (and I am sure I am preaching to the choir here), that is the worst decision you can make.

  12. I can totally see these points as valid…sometimes and in certain situations. One issue I would address is the "weirdness" factor. I went to public school and we had plenty of weird kids there (self included), so the corollary to your thesis, "if I send my kid to public school, they will be 'normal' " does not hold any water. What's more, 'normal' public school kids have difficulty adjusting to real life and college because they have been in a bubble of their own. Homeschool can be its own bubble, but it doesn't have to be, To be honest, my experience with "normal" high school graduates (I teach college freshmen and sophomores) makes me shake my head. Usually the homeschooled kids are initially reserved, but then begin to thrive in college, especially compared to their PS peers.

    The most important thing for any student, more important than IQ or income bracket, PS or HS, is parental involvement. If you assume the school is doing a good job and back off your child's education (and I am sure I am preaching to the choir here), that is the worst decision you can make.

  13. Again, I appreciate you posting your thoughts on both sides of the different school choices out there. I think with me, one reason to not homeschool is what I would call the "fear factor." We chose to homeschool our kids this past year out of necessity because of moving and such. Our daughters decided to go back to school, and we are finishing out the year homeschooling my son… but I digress. As I've interacted with different people in the homeschooling world, I've found that while the issues you bring up can be overcome… there has been one overarching theme that I hear from homeschoolers… they have a fear of their kids getting a bad education or bad influences or something else. It just seems that the decision to homeschool is made first out of fear. I'm not saying that this is true of all homeschoolers.

  14. Again, I appreciate you posting your thoughts on both sides of the different school choices out there. I think with me, one reason to not homeschool is what I would call the "fear factor." We chose to homeschool our kids this past year out of necessity because of moving and such. Our daughters decided to go back to school, and we are finishing out the year homeschooling my son… but I digress. As I've interacted with different people in the homeschooling world, I've found that while the issues you bring up can be overcome… there has been one overarching theme that I hear from homeschoolers… they have a fear of their kids getting a bad education or bad influences or something else. It just seems that the decision to homeschool is made first out of fear. I'm not saying that this is true of all homeschoolers.

  15. Sam, I agree with Henry that I appreciate that you are trying to present both sides and give an equal voice. However (isn't there always some nice way of saying forget that I just complemented you before I go on a rant…), I think that by highlighting the stereotypes of the 'bad' you are doing a great disservice to the same thing that you are trying to promote.
    I realize that you have also posted why you should – but I am certain that people who read this and think "yep" may never even give the next post a look. I think you would have been far better served to ask a home school parent to post about reasons not to home school, at least then the offensiveness would have been mitigated or not even an issue, but as it is, it sounds like you are talking from an in which you know very little….and that is very unlike the rest of your blog.

    • Jesse,

      These are not scientific findings just the the pro's and con's I came up with that helped my wife and I come up with reasons as to where we should send our kids. Every option has strengths and weaknesses. They may not apply to your situation but growing up and pastoring for 14 years I have seen all kinds. I am not trying to be offensive to Homeschool, Public School or Christian School. Just help Parents think through their decisions so they can be informed and make the best decision possible.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for your comment.

      sam

  16. Sam, I agree with Henry that I appreciate that you are trying to present both sides and give an equal voice. However (isn't there always some nice way of saying forget that I just complemented you before I go on a rant…), I think that by highlighting the stereotypes of the 'bad' you are doing a great disservice to the same thing that you are trying to promote.
    I realize that you have also posted why you should – but I am certain that people who read this and think "yep" may never even give the next post a look. I think you would have been far better served to ask a home school parent to post about reasons not to home school, at least then the offensiveness would have been mitigated or not even an issue, but as it is, it sounds like you are talking from an in which you know very little….and that is very unlike the rest of your blog.

    • Jesse,

      These are not scientific findings just the the pro's and con's I came up with that helped my wife and I come up with reasons as to where we should send our kids. Every option has strengths and weaknesses. They may not apply to your situation but growing up and pastoring for 14 years I have seen all kinds. I am not trying to be offensive to Homeschool, Public School or Christian School. Just help Parents think through their decisions so they can be informed and make the best decision possible.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for your comment.

      sam

  17. Both these articles are great, and I love the discussion you’ve created!

    I was home-schooled K-12 and my husband went to private school (with you, I think!). The bottom line is each family has to make decisions for their own family based on their own reasons. As a home-schooled individual, I find many of your “stereotypes” of home-schoolers have merit. As a parent of two public school children, I find your public school “stereotypes” also have merit. Does each bullet point apply to each child in each category? No. Of course not. But stereotypes exist for a reason.

    Every parent wants to do what’s right and best by their children. We need to all stop being defensive and judgmental of each other when what’s right for another family doesn’t fit our own ideal of “right”. Parents have a difficult enough job! There is no one right way to educate all children. Remembering that God created each child fearfully and wonderfully in His image, but as an individual who shouldn’t conform to a certain one-size-fits-all mold is a lesson I think we all can remember!

    • Betsy,

      Thanks for your comment I agree. The goal of these posts was to get parents to 1. Find out what God wants for me to do for each child each year. 2. No matter what you pick you must be involved as a parent. 3. Do not be dogmatic about whatever path you choose.

  18. I appreciate your discussion of all sides. Schooling has been such a hard decision for me in part because I know that each method has advantages and disadvantages. As a homeschooling mom one thing I really agree with you about is your idea of “weirdness.” I feel that many people who commented on that didn’t get your point. You were not saying kids are weird because they don’t know about pop culture. What I heard is a warning of the self righteous attitude that can happen when we see ourselves as better than parents that make other choices. That attitude can isolate kids and families be very harmful.

    • Teryn, Absolutely. Why you do something matters. Our inability to connect with others comes from a lack of humility the gospel provides not from knowing the words to a Jayz song or who stars on Glee. Great comment