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Help! How to Convince Your Parents to Homeschool You

If you're considering homeschooling, you may be wondering how to convince your parents to homeschool you and let you make the switch. It can be a difficult, big decision for families – especially when your parents have never considered anything but a public school or private school education.

The idea of homeschooling can be frightening – there are a lot of social pressures to send your kids to school.

student with backpack standing on a sidewalk
The idea of homeschooling may be completely foreign to your parents!

Here are a few things to keep in mind that may help sway their decision:

  • Homeschooling is a viable option for education and homeschooled teens go on to college and successful careers.
  • Homeschooling allows kids to learn in a more relaxed environment, without time or peer pressure.
  • Homeschooling can provide a more individualized education – which can be a better education – than traditional schooling.
  • High school students can often complete academics and have a lot more time to gain work or volunteer experience before they head off to college.

Homeschooling is a legal and valid educational choice in every state in the United States. If you are overseas, you'll need to research the legalities and availability of homeschooling in your country.

Homeschooling Pros and Cons

Benefits of Homeschooling

One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can tailor your studies to your unique interests and abilities, and learn at your own pace. This can be a huge advantage over traditional schooling, where students are often shuffled through the curriculum regardless of their ability or interest level.

If you're homeschooled, you also have the advantage of being able to control your environment. You can create a learning space that is free from distractions and better suited to your needs. This can help you focus more on your studies and really thrive academically.

One of the best advantages of homeschooling is that it gives you the opportunity to get more involved in your community. You can participate in extracurricular activities, volunteer, and really get involved in the things you're passionate about. This can make homeschooling a much more well-rounded experience than traditional schooling.

Homeschooling can also be a great option for kids who:

  • are experiencing ongoing bullying
  • have mental health issues
  • are in school refusal
  • struggle with sensory issues like noise, fluorescent lighting, having to be still
  • are neurodivergent
  • need to go at their own pace
  • are asynchronous in their development (ahead of grade level in some subjects, behind in others)
  • have dysgraphia or struggle with the amount of written work required
  • simply don't like school (yes, this is a valid reason)

A note for parents who might be reading this article: if your child is asking to be homeschooled, there is a reason. It may not be outwardly apparent, but it is there. Even kids who have been successful in school or have lots of friends, good grades, and accolades from teachers can be masking how difficult or painful school is for them.

young man wearing a backpack walking away with his hand behind his head
Your child may be much more frustrated than he ever lets on.

From my heart, I beg you to listen to your child if they come to you and want to be taken out of school. There are homeschooling families all around you – you might not know them yet – but you will not be alone.

From my heart, I beg you to listen to your child if they come to you and want to be taken out of school.

Kim luker, lake house mom

Cons of Homeschooling

Some parents may feel that homeschooling their child will be more work for them, as they would need to take on the role of both teacher and parent. This is a pretty common idea, and I do see a lot of homeschool parents struggle with this.

I have a different view on this whole idea. I am a homeschool parent. I am not a homeschool teacher. Occasionally, I may directly teach – but kids are natural learners and I view my job as:

  • information gatherer
  • presenter of opportunities
  • organizer of social gatherings, play dates, outings
  • facilitator of experiences, projects, books, private lessons, materials
  • modeler of work ethic and personal responsibility
  • organizer of poetry tea time
  • reader (aloud) of fun subscriptions and novels
  • protector of our home life and choices against naysayers

Yes, we do have traditional learning materials in our home, but as my daughter grew out of elementary school she has desired to be more independent. I expressed my desire that she be exposed to concepts, ideas, and necessary academic skills and we worked together to find curriculum that we both liked.

Parents often worry that homeschooled kids can often become isolated from their peers and lack in social skills – some of the most common questions are about isolation and loneliness. For me, this comes down to parenting choices. Parents who homeschool and don't provide a rich environment or put the work in to find community and friendships with other homeschoolers and homeschooling parents? That's rough on kids.

Home schooling IS work for parents and it does take effort to find your own family rhythm that includes plenty of social time with enough at-home time to learn together. But public school is work, too. I find homeschooling work much more enjoyable that the school grind.

I also have to mention that it's not necessary to replicate the experience of a huge group of peers for each child. We have found over time that having a few families to do things with and 2-3 key friendships keep us all very content and provide the social emotional learning that's so important.

three women arm in arm laughing
A couple good friends is all you need!

One real con of homeschooling is that depending on where you live, there simply may not be as many opportunities for your child for group activities like sports and band or choir. Where I live (Washington state in the US), our homeschool laws allow my daughter to participate in any public school class she wishes to enroll in (none at this point). But if she wanted to take band, or join in another class at school, she could.

In our homeschooling experience, there have been several times I have created what my daughter wished for. Most recently, I rallied the local homeschoolers and got a homeschool Irish dance class started at a local dance studio.

a girls feet in Irish dance shoes
It took a couple months for me to get an Irish dance class going.

If both parents work full time, or it is a single parent home, homeschooling may be a challenge (but not impossible). I don't have direct experience with this but there are some fantastic homeschooling groups on Facebook that speak directly to solving homeschool challenges like these.

How to Convince Your Parents to Homeschool You

OK, real talk. Here is advice from a real homeschooling mom (me) about talking to your parents. It's really important that however strongly you feel about homeschooling, that you do some prep work yourself, do your best to stay calm, and realize there may be very real concerns that your parents have.

In fact, while you are thinking about asking to be homeschooled, on of the first things I would do your own internal work to be the best version of yourself you can be.

  • Are you doing your homework well and without being asked?
  • Helping at home in the way your parents ask with a good attitude?
  • Are you responsible with your free time and the responsibilities you currently have in your life?

All those things work together to help your parents know that the homeschooling path would work well for you.

All that said, here are some tips for how to convince your parents to homeschool you.

1. Explain your reasons. Why do you want to homeschool? What are you hoping to achieve? Be specific and honest with your parents. This may feel vulnerable and you may have to talk about situations at school that you haven't talked about before.

But your parents need the full story to understand why this is important to you.

a teen sitting on stairs with a backpack, head buried in her arms
Now is the time to be honest about why school isn't working.

2. Do your research. Show your parents that you've looked into homeschooling and that you know what you're talking about. There are a lot of resources available, so take the time to find some good ones. Here are some things you should understand about homeschooling:

  • Your state laws regarding homeschooling laws and legal requirements
  • Do your parents need certain qualifications to homeschool?
  • How homeschoolers get into college (if that is your goal)
  • What resources exist in your area: classes, homeschool co ops, park days, field trips?
  • Is there a supportive homeschool community where you live?

I'd also recommend reading anything by John Holt, John Taylor Gatto, Peter Grey (and his articles at Psychology Today, or Julie Bogart.

3. Be prepared to answer questions and hear concerns. Your parents are likely to have a lot of questions about homeschooling. They are concerned that you have a good education, a vibrant social life, and want you to be successful. They may have never even considered homeschooling and have some unfair characterizations of homeschooled kids! That's OK. Be patient.

Talk through the concerns. Cite your research. Listen honestly to what they are worried about. Ask how you can help find solutions. Try not to be defensive.

I have a post on homeschooling mentors – lots of them have books and podcasts and blogs. Offer to do research on your parents' specific questions and concerns and get back to them. (This also shows your ability to follow through with homeschooling and being responsible with your own work.)

Also be aware how your homeschooling will affect your other family members. Do you have young children, brothers and sisters at home? Will they want to be homeschooled if you are? Do your parents depend on school to keep you safe while they work?

4. Research your own homeschool curriculum and community involvement. There are TONS of curricula out there. Check them out. See what appeals to you. Not every subject has to be from the same company. Cathy Duffy's website is a good place to start researching. Khan Academy is fantastic too.

Your public library will also have a variety of options for home education, even curriculum for different grades. Between what's free on the internet and your library, you can get started homeschooling at your kitchen table.

Let's say you're halfway through your 9th grade year. Plan out your 10th grade curriculum. Include field trip ideas, PE options, and meetups with friends. Look at different subjects from different companies and see what appeals to you and the way you like to learn. Love workbooks? Love watching videos? Online classes? Find a place to start.

a happy kid with a skateboard
Yep. This counts as PE in the homeschool world.

For the high school years, transcripts are important – but there are more ways than just curriculum to get those credits. There are services to help capture all the real-life learning you do and translate that into credits and educationese! Yes, as a homeschooler you can get a valid high school diploma.

Present this information to your parents. Show them you can take the lead and be responsible for your own learning.

5. Be flexible. Your parents may not be ready to homeschool right away. I know, that's super disappointing. Perhaps they have to do some research themselves and overcome their own resistance to the idea. Maybe it's hard with work schedules. Maybe they went to public school and have been looking forward to sharing those experiences and milestones with you.

Ask what you can do to take one step forward. Maybe choose a subject to do a 3-month unit study on your own as a test for homeschooling. Maybe as a bridge to full homeschooling, look into what your school district has for at-home learning, virtual school, or parent partnership programs.

Or perhaps your area has charter schools that have a more democratic learning environment and more freedom to decide what courses you'll take.

4. Don't give up. If your parents say no to homeschooling, don't give up. Ask them to please be open to learning more even if it feels like it could never happen. It can take a little time for them to decide that homeschooling could be the right decision for the whole family.

Continue to talk with them about your desire to be homeschooled and see if there's any way you can work together to make it happen. Ask them when might be a good time to talk about it again.

“I really want to be homeschooled.”

Making the decision to homeschool is a big deal.

Your parents may need time and research and to talk to other parents before they're ready to take that leap. Public school might be all they've ever known or considered.

As a mom? I was terrified to make the decision to take my daughter out of school, even in the face of obvious reality that school didn't work for her and her mental health was suffering. It's very hard to go against what the majority of people do.

Be patient. Be your own advocate, and most of all have a helpful and non-snarly attitude. Do your very best while you're still in school. All these things are the best way to help your parents make the choice to homeschool. Good luck in your journey!

I am just an email away if your parents need to chat with another homeschool parent! We are seven years into our homeschool journey and have never looked back.

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