Why I Decided Not To Homeschool

I live in Knysna, a gorgeous town where so many of my friends have opted to homeschool their children. These kids range from nine to 17 years old and they do well – on all fronts. I’ve heard that homeschooled children can have problems with social interactions or with taking responsibility, but I really haven’t seen that with my immediate group of friends (I’m not only saying that because they read my blog). Still, when faced with the decision of what to do with our daughter, we opted for public schooling. Here’s why:

1. I like the type of discipline that she gets at school. Putting her finger on her lips or facing the possibility of detention works with her. And it wouldn’t work at home. Staying at the table for an extra 30 minutes wouldn’t phase her as much as it would if she knew her friends were all playing on the field outside. The rules around sitting quietly, walking in single file, wearing a school uniform or putting your hand up to speak are generally done away with (for obvious reasons) in a homeschooling environment. But, they benefit her. And they’re not personal; they apply to every child around her. This is good preparation for life.

Why not homeschool, why I prefer traditional school
The face of happiness – Katie loving sports’ day at school

2. She loves the interaction. She has close friends that aren’t at her school and she’s asked to be homeschooled, but she still really loves spending time with the other children during her school day. I use the drive home every day to ask about her highlight, her lowlight and who she showed kindness to. Without fail, her highlights are a long list of fun games or hilarious stories; while her lowlights are almost never anything more than someone borrowing her pencil for “too long”. In short, she’s having a good time.

3. Routine rules. I know that the parents that rock homeschooling have a strict routine, but that’s just not the kind of mom I’d be. I’d swap school for an important errand or be lenient about the hours when my mom comes to visit. And then, it would all fall apart. I just know it.

4. It would bore me to tears. I really admire 1) teachers and 2) the moms that can tackle homeschooling. But, I’d rather drive a nail through my eardrum than go over a three times table for the 12th time. I realise that this is about me and not her or schooling.

5. It makes the time we spend together more special and enjoyable. I love my job, it feeds me in much more than just a physical way. By getting to do my work in the morning and then have a more flexible afternoon with her, I know that we are enjoying a less stressful time together.

I don’t expect others to agree with me or to base their choices on mine. I have loads of respect for parents that have chosen to homeschool their little ones for any variety of reasons. And, maybe things will change when she’s older. But, for now, we’re both far happier for the decision to stick to a traditional school.

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  1. 24th Jul 2017

    Totally agree on all your reasons for not doing Home Schooling – it is certainly not for my girls, and it is definitely NOT for me!

  2. Debby
    15th Mar 2018

    I love your “homeschooling” not for me. I have two sons: one 18 – been there done that finished with school – thanks heavens!! And then my 17yr old son who at the age of 16 decided to finish his schooling via a homeschool curriculum – eek!! I am so not a home schooling mom!! Fortunately (for both of us) he does everything!! I simply check up once in a while to see how he is doing ie he prints out his “report card” when we remember.
    To be completely honest I am a similar mom to you – all the “fun, life” stuff comes first. In our defense tho mainstream school “wastes” a massive amount of time during the school day compared to home. So the “fun” stuff that takes precedence at home can compare to the “waste” time at school. Let’s have coffee sometime and I can go into more detail about that!
    I loved that my kids went to main-stream school and for all the reason you mentioned, but, yes, that’s a but!! It’s not for everyone. Just as we are unique so too are our kids and unfortunately the schooling system today has its merits, but it also has its short-comings. I don’t think there is a perfect fit for our children today. The world they are going into is way different from when we left school, the same as the generation before us & yet we are still using the same old same old.
    For some the school system “knocks” the edges off and gives them the ability to manage “real-life” when they go into the BIG world, however, for others it just breaks them and leaves very little in reserve for the BIG world. I’ve seen this happen with my boys.
    The one I expected to have grown thick skin and handle life’s knocks by going to mainstream school, has had the stuffing taken out of him and now he and we have to spend resources building him to face the BIG world. Whereas my younger son who left school in grade 10 has come Into his own and is grushing it – BIG world – who cares – bring it on!!
    It would be great if there was a step-by-step manual that tells us exactly what to do & when to do it so that we can always be re-assured that the decisions we make for our kids are always the best. Unfortunately, we all just keep doing the best we can with the limited resources we have & hope & pray our kids turn out “well balanced” and better than us!!

  3. Solvei Fagas
    22nd Jul 2018

    I am from Pretoria but we are considering moving to Knysna in the future. My 9 year old daughter is being homeschooled but not by me…I am also not one of those moms & need my own space.
    She goes to a Tutor center, there are 3 teachers for 9 kids ranging from different ages. I drop her off at 7:30am & fetch her at 1:00pm. She gets no homework as everything gets done at ‘school ‘.
    She is much less stressed & carefree as she has time to play & be a kid.
    I agree it’s not for everyone but if you could offer your child a more relaxed environment where they could develop at their own pace with out stress, plus get one-on-one learning experience and it’s actually much cheaper…for us it was a no-brainer and we are so grateful that there are other options available these days

    • 24th Jul 2018

      Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you found something that works for you. I guess that’s the main thing – just finding what works for each of us and our children.

      Knysna is so beautiful. If you do decide to move here, I’m sure you’ll absolutely love it. I think it’s a fantastic place for kids to grow up in.

  4. 5th Sep 2018

    I’m going to be traveling down to the Garden Route 10-14 September 2018, and I came across your blog. Would you be interested in digging deeper into the world of home schooling and the pros and cons? We’re building a network of over 60 partner centres to blend their physical support with our online school, to get the best of both worlds home schooling, with international curriculum, but outsourced to professional educational care-givers, so working parents who cannot stay home and school their children, can still opt for alternative schooling. Here are some interviews I’ve done with home schooling moms:

    Home schooling work-from-home mom interview: https://blog.cambrilearn.com/why-homeschooling-is-bad-for-kids-debunking-the-myths/

    Home schooling self-employed mom interview no. 2: https://blog.cambrilearn.com/what-no-one-ever-tells-alternative-schooling-parents-and-their-children/

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