12 Most Compelling Reasons to Homeschool Your Children

12 Most Compelling Reasons to Homeschool Your Children

I’ve been a public school educator and administrator for more than a decade, so you may be surprised that when parents ask for my advice about education, I often suggest they allow their children to leave school. Education reform is happening today, but it’s slow and often ineffective. Parents need to do what is in the best interest of their children, right now.

For some this means working hard with a school to adapt to meet a child’s needs. But many schools are rigid and don’t believe students are entitled to a customized learning experience. For these parents the best option is often to leave school behind and empower children with the freedom to learn what they want in the way that is best for them.

Here are the twelve most compelling reasons for leaving school behind if your child is not finding success and happiness there.

1. Learning is customized not standardized

•  In school learning is standardized to what someone else says is best.
•  At home learning is customized to what the child and parent feel is best.

2. Associate with those you enjoy rather than those who share your birth year

•  In school students are grouped by date of manufacture.
•  At home children can choose to be with those whose company they enjoy.

3. Freedom to learn with their tools

•  In school students are often banned from using they tools they love to learn with — such as a cell phone.
•  At home children can learn with the tools they choose. For many children technology open doors that schools slam shut.

4. Socialize with those who share your passions not just your zip code

•  In school students have little opportunity to socialize and even when they do it is generally confined to those with whom they’ve been grouped with by year and geography.
•  At home children have the opportunity to socialize and make global connections with others of any age who share their talents, passions, and interests.

5. Real life measures are better than bubble tests

•  In school we measure students success with bubble tests and response to prompts.
•  At home we measure success by what children accomplish that matters to them. Some teens like Leah Miller have developed their own personal success plan (see hers here). She sets her goals and then assesses her success in meeting them.

6. Don’t just read about doing stuff. Do stuff!

•  In school students are forced to sit at desks all day reading and answering questions about stuff other people do.
•  At home children don’t need to spend their time reading and writing about what other people do. They can go do stuff.

7. Travel when you want

•  In school they tell you when to go on vacation and families hop off to crowded destinations together.
•  At home families can decide when travelling works best for them and also get better rates.

8. You are more than a number

•  In school the only things students have to show for their work are numbers and graphs known as report cards, transcripts, or data reports.
•  At home children often put together meaningful portfolios that can be reflected upon and powerfully capture and celebrate learning. This can be done at school, but it rarely happens as little time is left for assessment and reflection after testing and test prep.

9. Do work you value

•  In school students do work someone else wants for someone else’s purpose.
•  At home children can engage in meaningful work for reasons they determine are important.

10. Independence is valued over dependence

•  In school students are dependent on others to tell them what to do and when. They spend their time as compliant workers and are discouraged from questioning authority.
•  At home children are encouraged to explore, discover, and develop their own passions and talents and given the freedom to work deeply in these areas. They know how to learn independently because they are interested, not because they are told to do something.

11. You don’t have to waste learning time with standardized tests

•  In school students and their teachers are spending a large percentage of their time preparing for tests and testing even though test have little to no role in real life. My last test was more than a decade ago. How about you?
•  At home children have the freedom to enjoy learning without the burden or stress of testing. Although many children and parents have been trained to believe testing is a necessary evil in school kids who have the freedom to learn without testing are doing just fine and exploring their passions as grown unschooler Kate Fridkis explains in her article that reveals how we can learn successfully without testing.

12. No more meaningless worksheets and reports

•  In school students often complain they are forced to do meaningless worksheets and reports that have no real purpose or audience. In fact these worksheets and reports often actually suck the joy out of learning. Think about it. When was the last time you read a great book and thought, “Wow! I want to write a report or fill in a worksheet.”
•  At home children can do work that matters and has meaning. If they read a book they love they can hop online and discuss it with other people who’ve read it or publish a review for Amazon. If they want to learn something they have an unfiltered world of resources (inaccessible in many schools) at their fingertips to do so.

Parents of Generation Z have woken up and realized that the industrial model school’s of today are preparing their children for a world that no longer exists. They know that those who receive outdated, classroom-based instruction will end up with the rest of the young people Occupying Wall Street and beyond.

However, there is another option! Home educating families are onto something. The children of these families will grow up as adults who know how to take ownership of their learning and their lives. They will be empowered with the ability to attain satisfaction and success in life and career.

What are your thoughts on the current public education system? Does homeschooling sound appealing to you?

Like this post? You might also enjoy 12 Most Loving Ways to Spark Creativity in Your Child.

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Featured image courtesy of  Éktor via Creative Commons.

Lisa Nielsen

Lisa Nielsen has spent more than a decade working in various capacities in the public school system as an administrator and teacher to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award winning blog TheInnovativeEducator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, MindShift, Leading & Learning. She is the author of the book Teaching Generation Text TeachingGenerationText.com, and has published. The Teenager’s Guide to Opting Out of School For Success, The Working Home Educator’s Guide to Success, and Fix The School, Not The Child.

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saige oikmen
saige oikmen

 I read your post and it is so inspirational i just have one question that i hope that you can answer, you see i don't like my new school so im trying to convince my parents to homeschooling me but how do i do it i don't want to copy paste your post in my brain and witch time would it be to ask them and one last question where you homeschooling if yes how did you convinced your parents to home-school you?? i hope you can answer me as soon as possible because im planing to start being home schooled in Christmas break please answer me im practically desperate.....






Not saying that home schooling is not effective, but these 12 "compelling" reasons are not compelling at all! Just to point out a few, #3 - some would argue that it is the use of tech such as cell phones that leads to more and more children less interested in reading. #4 - a little confused as to how children are able to socialize more and make global connections from home. #5 - the use of "bubble tests" are essential for the preparation of college, graduate education or beyond (ie. SAT, GRE, MCAT, USMLE are all examples of standardized "bubble tests"). #6 - "At home children don't need to spend their time reading and writing about what other people do. They can do stuff.", now I'm sorry, but this just sounds like a very uneducated comment. We read and write about what other people before us have done in order to learn from other's mistakes before jumping into an activity. No sense in reinventing the wheel. You read and write first, and then you do! #9 - "Do work you value". Children need to learn how to do the work given and take on responsibilities. It is what is eventually needed to maintain a job...unless you KNOW 100% you are raising an entrepreneur, but even then, to get through college, you go by the accredited college's curriculum, NOT one that YOU feel is important. #11 - As mentioned before college education and beyond use standardized testing. Your physicians and lawyers credibility is measured


...by their performance on standardized testing. Standardized testing is not a form of learning, it is a form of measuring level of education and therefore a necessary assessment of qualification. Therefore, it is hardly a waste of time. I can go on and on about each one of these reasons. As mentioned, I am not saying home schooling is not effective, but this article is pretty ineffective in convincing me why I should home school my child.

SS in the
SS in the

couple more.  1) the "adults know best and the kids are there to be trained" model is inherently violent.  2) for some kids, being part of a group is so difficult that there is little energy left over for learning 3) where we live, it was hard to be the only non Christian kids had ever met.  someone we know got  told they were going to hell on a daily basis, even by the concerned teachers. 4) someone who is asynchronous in development is not always well served


I just wanted to say my son goes to school but I like some of the homeschooling ideas but when I read some of the comments about school now a days....give me a break, my sons school is amazing the teacher's are great and caring, no knives no guns but I feel you do have to stay in touch with their teachers. My son has made many friends and yes they are around the neighborhood but now we know more kids to play with. I think if people want to homeschool go for it and for the rest of us we send our kids to school for a lot of different reasons and that's why we are a FREE country..


I could give you some more reasons too. Instead of generisism of Darwinism of perhaps, probably, supposedly or maybe millions of years ago, man came from monkeys when monkeys grow fur and an extra knuckle to walk on the back of their hands. Man grows hair which is much different than fur and man can think of what is right and wrong and reason within himself as a monkey cannot put to words and will do nothing more than shinnannigans and pull tricks and pranks on each other and eat each other and have no morals about them. By the way, monkey's brains are much smaller than the human brain.

    By the way, some children with a wrong preconceived ideas of immorality and unGodly words, actions, and intentions seems to go against the norm of civility that certainly do not have the teachings of a church whatsoever, with more of the TV indiscretionary viewing that is not cared about or is not supervised at home of which gets acted out and repeated by those who like to see their neighbors be hurt by and make a career out of anything violent and unedifying and made to feel  very conscienciously unholy and uncomfortable to the other person with more proper bringing up opposite of being dragged up from the jungle!!!

Rev. Richard M. Bale


@RichardBale We didn't evolve from monkeys. You need to open book written by someone qualified to educate you. Start with astrophysicists and move on to (millions of years later) Darwin's Theories (try actually reading the books).


@LaurenKempel @RichardBale I know we didn't evolve. I have read and still do read God's Word KJB and I have books from ICR-Institute of Creation Research and Bible Commentaries. I have more books than you can shake a stick at!!! LOL


@RichardBale @LaurenKempel  

Yep, we know your kind like to shake sticks and worse Richard. I suggest you open your mind and actually interact with homeschooled children. You will find them in your church community for sure. You just don't know it!

I am yet to meet an home schooled child who knows which tv shows you are talking about!


@ScrapCath @RichardBale @LaurenKempel You understood me wrong ScrapCath. I have socialized with homeschooled children and it wasn't them of whom I was referring.  I would rather you refer to your tv guide and see the listings for yourself. And for keeping an opened mind, mine is closed for satan's use; thank you very much ScrapCath.


I disagree about current schools being "Industrial". Dewey started that. The rest of the article is right on target.