Things Homeschool Moms Don't Want You to Know

Hi fellow mom! Welcome!

Can I just start by reminding you that I’m just a mom who wants the best for her kiddos — same as you? Keep that in mind as you read. Especially when you start realizing just how many hilarious homeschooling stereotypes are actually true!

I just finished writing 10 Things Homeschooling Moms Want You to Know. While I was writing, I felt a little disingenuous, as if I were pretending to be transparent, and yet hiding the not-so-pretty things.

So in the name of integrity, I thought I’d record some of my failings and post it on the internet, ha, ha! I’m coming clean!


Things Homeschool Moms Don’t Want You to Know:

1. We finish school by noon.

Once upon a time (before we bought our farm) we had neighbors. And my neighbors frequently asked me if we ever did school, because they would see my kiddos playing outside at all hours of the day. I explained that we completed all we needed to before noon every day, but it must not have sunk in, because they kept asking.

It’s the truth, though! Rare is the day when school lasts beyond noon. One time, we were really into a unit study about electricity, and we completed the entire semester’s-worth of material in a week. That week we worked past noon.

But we typically start school around 9 am and finish before noon. I don’t have to waste time keeping order in my classroom, or lining up for lunch. And none of us have to wait for the slowest kid in the class to catch up.

Homeschooled kids can work at their own pace and have a teacher all to themselves for questions. So it really isn’t difficult for them to complete a day’s worth of work in only three hours.

2. Some days we don’t do school at all.

Yep! We like to reserve Fridays for field trips to our local museums, the zoo or aquarium, and the planetarium. We also attend organized field trips with our homeschool co-op, to amazing places like a tortilla factory, and candy factory, the water treatment plant, and a beaver pelt farm.

Mondays are swamped with music lessons and community classes. So this year, we only do school three days each week. But if you think my kiddos are suffering academically, you are mistaken.

We can accomplish a whole semester of science in two intense weeks, when we buckle down. And we do! We are currently finishing up a very thorough, year-long, high-school-level Biology course, and we’ve covered everything in a month.

Even my 5-year-old can rattle off the components of the skeletal system, the nervous system, the respiratory system and the circulatory system, plus their functions. It just takes less time to learn in a homeschool setting.

3. And there are even months that go by

without any schooling. I wasn’t brave enough to bold the entirety of that sentence. In my defense, my children were born close enough together that I was pretty much never not nursing or pregnant for over 16 years. That takes a toll on a body!

At one point, I had three children in diapers, and with a new baby I was barely sleeping at night. During that time, my kiddos may not have learned much math, but they sure learned to pitch in and help.

Neighbors and family members were always impressed at the maturity and capability of my children. They had to learn to cook and clean, because there was no way I could take care of everything myself. It was do or die at our house!

I used to worry about it. Until at age 15 my oldest scored near perfect on the ACT and breezed through her college classes. My second also aced the ACT, and earned his associated degree at age 17 with a 4.0 GPA.

My two oldest are on full scholarship at a prestigious university. I don’t worry about skipping school anymore. In fact, we feel like traveling is more educational than school, so we skip school all the time to travel and worldschool.

My 3rd will ‘graduate’ this spring, at 18-years-old, with his associate’s degree and is already raking in the scholarships, due to his excellent ACT score and 4.0 college GPA.

***When I say graduate, I mean graduate our homeschool. My homeschool isn’t accredited, and my college kiddos don’t have high school diplomas.

4. My kids don’t know what grades they are in.

Recently, the cashier at the grocery store asked my 8-year-old what grade was in. She incorrectly answered, “8th”. I corrected her that she would be in 3rd grade (which required mental gymnastics for me, because I don’t keep track of their grades any more than they do) if she went to school, and she argued that she was in 8th grade math, which is true. She is in Saxon 8/7, which is typically used for 8th graders.

No wonder my poor homeschooled children are confused!

Homeschoolers work at their own pace, so it’s perfectly normal for them to be way ahead of grade level in subjects they enjoy and at the same time, behind in subjects they don’t enjoy. It’s kind of beautiful!

Speaking of grades…

5. Grades, schmades!

Our state doesn’t require any documentation of anything, whatsoever. Thank goodness!

So I don’t grade my children’s work, and I don’t keep records. I make it easy on myself. That’s not to say I don’t look over their work, because I do.

As they complete an assignment, I check it, then hand it back to them. The child corrects the missed problems and I check it again. We do this, back and forth (I also explain concepts whenever necessary) until the work is perfect. We call it mastery learning.

Since I require mastery, if I did give my children grades they would all be A’s anyway. That’s kind of pointless, and it’s the same reason I don’t give tests.

I’ll say it again.

6. I don’t give tests.

Oh, joyous blessings — no tests! No standardized tests, no end-of-year assessments, no DIBELS or SAGE tests. No tests!

Now, if I were going to move my kiddos from one curriculum to another, I would probably give them a placement test. And I did recently give my 13-year-old a test because she finished a really hard textbook (Saxon Advanced Mathematics) in less than a year.

That textbook took each of my older kiddos about 1.5 years to complete. So I just wondered if she had thoroughly understood all of the concepts. I didn’t want her going into Calculus unprepared.

But other than that, nope, nope, nope!

7. I don’t teach my kiddos to write.

My kids don’t mind playing grammar games, and they absolutely love literature of all types. But my kids abhor writing!

They don’t just kind of hate writing, they hate it worse than I hated laundry the month my washing machine was broken. My normally sweet children, who never even threw tantrums as toddlers, turn into screaming, writhing monsters.

I tried all sorts of different curriculum, and I tried writing classes, and I even hired a private teacher. Nothing helped. And nothing is worth enduring the torture of a monster, screaming and writhing on your kitchen floor. So I gave up!

I considered it among my worst failings. Until my oldest enrolled in a required writing class at the local University when she was 16, and wrote a 40-page research paper with no problem. She earned one of the highest grades in the class, and received compliments from her professor.

I now shout from the rooftops that we homeschool moms don’t need to teach our kiddos every single thing. Instead, we need to teach them a love for learning, and how to learn, and why, and then kick them out of the nest and let them fly.

It’s a good thing that my kiddos all love math like I do! Because math is my favorite, and I don’t know what I’d do if I had to let that go!

8. We only go out in public M-F before 6pm.

Homeschoolers are spoiled! We have the library, the museums, the art galleries, the parks, the zoo, the aquarium, the skating rink, the pool, the movie theaters and pretty much everywhere all to ourselves all week long, during school hours.

I’ve occasionally forgotten that we don’t venture out on weekends or holidays, and we’ll arrive at a venue, only to remember why we don’t venture out on weekends and holidays, and turn around and go home. My kiddos are always amazed and somewhat disconcerted to attend crowded functions because they are so used to having everything to ourselves.

9. I roll my eyes at the whole ‘socialization’ question.

Just ask any homeschooler and they’ll tell you that the questions they get more than any other is, “What about socialization?”

Who better to teach your children social skills than a gaggle of kiddos their exact age? Kiddos who intuitively know all about social hierarchy and how the meanest, most exclusive girls wield all the power. Kiddos who lack empathy and maturity. You know, ‘Lord of the Flies’ and all that?

10. And yes, we do it all in our jammies.

If you follow me on social media, and you look very closely at our photos, we’re practically always in our jammies! And if it looks like we’re not in our jammies, just look closer.

For the sake of appearances, I’ll sometimes have my children at least put on a shirt, so it doesn’t look like we’re wearing our jammies day in and day out. But look real close and you’ll probably see pj bottoms at the very least.

Heck, if you could live in your jammies — wouldn’t you?




I’d love to hear all about your homeschool mom idiosyncrasies in the comments below! Because we all love to share our foibles on the internet, right?

Don’t forget to read >>>10 Things Homeschool Moms Want You to Know!<<< 


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  1. This was so encouraging to me! I was just considering giving up because our days are not always the same and I thought I was failing my kids because we are so sporadic ? some days we are strict with our schedule and others we sit in the trampoline all day and read and write and cram the things we’ve missed. Others we are at the park with other homeschooling families and play for hours. I love the look in their eyes when they say I love our school mom! I just kept thinking I was doing something wrong. People can be so cruel and judgmental it’s hard not to feel their words!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I’m you in ten or so years, Melanie. I promise you that the RELATIONSHIPS you are building together during your days on the trampoline, spending time together at the park and even just while you bake and clean and run errands together will mean FAR MORE to you than the learning. The learning is important and my kids have excelled academically despite spending less time in formal learning than their government-schooled-peers. But academics pale in comparison to the strong relationships between my children, even my oldest and youngest who are 16 years apart.

      Your kiddos will come to YOU when they struggle with something, YOU get to help them read their first words and see their eyes shine when they finally grasp a difficult concept. You’re doing a great job!

  2. We have found that the best times to hit the museums, zoos, etc are about 1:00 pm. By that time most of the school groups have to start leaving to get back to school before the school day ends. Also, we don’t usually finish by noon – mainly because we don’t always get started before noon! But I am down to my last student, and getting up early is not my thing!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      That’s good to know, Carol! I tend to try to be the first family there, but in the past I’ve always been fighting exhausted toddlers. Now that my kids are a little older it might be time for some new habits.

  3. Babychaser says:

    Yes yes yes! Us too! And thanks for making me feel better about the jammies! From my 13 year old boy Doreen to my 4 year old and 4 kiddos in between have been staying in jammies all day! Seems like such a quarentine thing to do, but we were definably doing it before it was cool!

    Thanks for the comraderie!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Lol! Jammies and homeschoolers just go together! Speaking of which, I’m planning to sew new jammies today for back-to-school, haha!

  4. I love this!! We are jammy people too!! This post is actually very encouraging to me, since for the past year I’ve felt like Life has punched me in the gut a few times. I really want homeschool to be fun for my son (he’s an only). He hates writing too, as in creating a story AND using a pencil! I can just relate to so much of this! I have friends who are far more organized and ‘together’ than I am, but I know my kid would not do very well in their environment. Thanks for writing this!

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      It sounds like you’re doing awesome, Charlene! Just wait — your son will turn out well-educated and with a love of learning to boot! Happy homeschooling!

  5. I think you should change the title of your post to confessions of “one” homeschooling mom.
    Yes we can struggle to be perfect and have a complete day at school because of circumstances that can arise.
    i have been homeschooling 10 years and i don’t ever finish before noon. and those field trip days and music days – i consider that still be schooling. i also have taught my children to write.
    So i don’t think you speak for the majority of homeschoolers. i am glad you homeschool and all your children are doing well – whatever works for your family. every child learns different and every family functions different.
    i am not a standard textbook homeschooler – we do a lot of natural /life skill learning that are recognised as school work.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      It was meant tongue-in-cheek, Michelle. Obviously every homeschool family looks different — that’s the beauty of homeschooling! But you have to admit there are some pretty funny (mostly because they’re somewhat true) homeschool stereotypes. They’re still amusing, even if not ALL of us homeschoolers identify exactly with EVERY stereotype. It sounds like your homeschool and family are thriving, and that is wonderful! Happy homeschooling!

  6. Thank you so much for this ? I’ve been forced to homeschool and I can’t believe how many wonderful mothers do it so passionately, with complete confidence. Your words have reached me so deep , I can’t thank you enough. Please follow my blog at to hear my story. Thank you again.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I’m glad to hear that, April. Happy homeschooling to you!

  7. We don’t start school until 10am. My daughter learned to read way before I ever did.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Those are wonderful benefits!

  8. Yes yes yes to everything, except the pjs! I can’t function till I’m dressed. And we’re in and out of the house and outdoors so much—- pjs wouldn’t work for our family ?

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Hmmm… Maybe I’d function better if I got dressed. Lol! We actually (sadly!) are gone all day MWF, so we do get dressed those days. They make PJ’s all the sweeter on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My kiddos even play outside in their jammies because we don’t have neighbors.

      1. My kids play outside in their jammies, and we DO have neighbors!

        1. Amy Saunders says:

          Good for them! I LOVE it! 🙂

  9. I love this post so much!! I was homeschooled and loved it and we have just started a little bit of homeschooling with our preschooler and there are so many things I love about the lifestyle homeschool provides for our family.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I am SOOOO with you, Adree! Homeschooling is just plain fun!

  10. We just wrapped up our first year of homeschooling our 8yr old. My husband and I have been kicking our selves for not just starting it in kindergarten. Our daughter loved every minute her favorite subject is science she finished it in 2 months so for the rest of the year we just watched Khhan Academy videos and had daily discussion…she know knows more about diabetes then her diabetic grandmother. And for a month all we focused on was life skills because I was healing from a surgery, guess who can cook a perfect pot roast lol … and do her own laundry and change a babys diaper like a pro . Her other passion is computers and she wants to become a in Canada school is from Sept to June…..we finished our year in may a month early because she got everything compleated and we just didnt take all the silly little days off all year . And yes her absolute favorite thing Is not having to change her jammies unless we go out ( its win win as we do less laundry too). Dads favorite thing is not having to get up at 5:30 am to get to her old school we often dont get out of bed till 8-8:30 at which point shes already got herself and her brother breakfast and has started her days work she knows she doesn’t need me for …our reason for homeschooling was she was being bullied by students and staff , the teachers were saying she was ADHD … shes not she was just to board to care what she was doing because she already had finished her work and didnt get that the other kids were still working

    Her complaints are minimal …baby brothers crying get old
    And I’m finished everything now what…

    Ok rant over

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I love it! I can totally relate — I want to be a computer hacker, too! She sounds like a remarkable girl, and it sounds you are doing a remarkable job! Way to go!

  11. This is great! Mmh son is only 1 buy my husband and I have thrown around the idea of homeschooling for a few years. We’re not 100 percent settled either way but I love reading things like this to help keep me thinking.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      You have some time still, but I’ll just tell you that I think homeschooling is wonderful! As if you couldn’t already tell! 🙂

  12. YAY!!! I’m not alone! LOL! Yes to all of them at one point or another. Number 4 though! Truth! ?

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Lol! It’s funny how so many of the homeschool mom stereotypes are true, huh?

  13. You are rocking it as a homeschool teacher! You must be one proud Mama for helping your children to achieve such impressive academic achievements. I have a few friends who homeschool and they tried to get me onboard, but I don’t think I could rock it as well as them, or clearly as well as you have! Although, this list does make me ponder homeschooling a bit more.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      I am proud, but I’m also the first to admit that I am NOT the magic! We have seriously gone weeks and even months without doing a thing (besides reading great literature, which I really can’t keep them from doing) just because I was up all night nursing babies and exhausted. The magic is that kids WANT to learn, and you can hardly keep them from it!

      1. This post is so great! It makes me so excited to homeschool my daughter. I’m a former public elementary teacher and I 100% believe homeschooling is the best way to go.

        1. Amy Saunders says:

          Wow — you’re going to be great! I’ve heard that from several public school teachers (including my mother in law) which I find very telling! 🙂 Happy homeschooling!

  14. I’m actually considering homeschooling and this list made me laugh. Some of them I actually wondered if were true. It was nice to read it from somebody who does homeschool. I love the idea of the freedom it allows.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      It’s funny how many of those homeschool stereotypes are actually true. 🙂 And yes, I absolutely love the freedom!

  15. And these are some of the reasons I am considering homeschooling. Mostly the learn at your own pace thing. The waiting to learn thing hasn’t worked out this year quite how I’d hoped. That and field trips. I love taking my kids places to explore and without crowds. It must be heavenly. Thanks for the insight. You have given me lots to think about as we make our decision.

    1. Amy Saunders says:

      Learning at our own pace is probably the most wonderful thing about homeschooling! That and the fact that I get to experience it alongside my children!

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