What If Your Kids Regret Being Homeschooled?
Homeschooling / Unschooling

What If Your Kids Regret Being Homeschooled?

What if my kids grow up and regret being unschooled?

What if they are disappointed they never experienced school?

What If Your Kids Regret Being Homeschooled?

I’ve had these questions before. Asked outright, or hinted at. Sometimes ‘but you’ll let them go to school if they ask, right?’.

I get it. There was a time I wondered the same. Wondered if I was doing the right thing. How do we know? We can’t predict the future. All we can do is look at what we know right now, and base our decisions on that.

Where is my child most happy? Where are they learning the most? Where are they most curious? What lights up their eyes? What do I want their childhood to look like? What do I think is best for them right now. Because they are someone right now, and their needs and desires are important. What environment do I want my child to spend the majority of their time in? What are positive influences in their life? What hinders their growth?

I do not know what the future holds. But I know the answers to these questions right now.

What If Your Kids Regret Being Homeschooled?

My children are happiest surrounded by the people who love them and know them best. They choose to spend most of their time in unstructured play. They want to be outside in nature. Their eyes light up at all the things the world has waiting to discover. They are inspired and filled with energy when they are led by their own curiosity, questions, and goals. I want their childhood to be filled with all of these things.

I want us to have ample time together, building the foundations of family relationships that will last their whole life. I do not want them to be stressed, pressured, rushed, standardized. I think restricting their time for play and outside time is damaging. I don’t think school has anything positive to add to their childhood. I think schooling kills creativity and destroys children’s innate love of learning.

What If Your Kids Regret Being Homeschooled?

I want them to feel happy, respected, and free. I want them to have enough time to explore their passions without restriction. I want them to have an old fashioned magical childhood packed with fun and adventure. I want them to have a completely individual education that is perfect for them.

So, the decision is clear. I know what my children need right now. They show me every day. Maybe it seems risky doing something so different to the majority. I don’t think so. Isn’t it more risky to do something contrary to our children’s needs, for the sake of being ‘normal’? In the end, I was more worried about my children growing up and regretting years of childhood wasted at school. I’m confident that even if I make some mistakes along the way, they will always know I did what I thought was right at the time. I always wanted the very best for them. I stood up for what I believed in. I stood up for them. I stood up for childhood, even when it meant doing something different.

What If Your Kids Regret Being Homeschooled?

I can’t imagine them regretting freedom. I can’t imagine them wishing they were more controlled.


May 17, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Beautifully said. Love the last two lines!

May 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm

What a beautiful piece. Sometimes we need reminders of why we have chosen the path we have.

May 19, 2016 at 12:49 am

Very nice, and beautifully written indeed! And as a Mother of 3 grown daughters, they know my favorite phrase…”MOTHER KNOWS BEST”! You’re doing a fine job! Aloha!

May 19, 2016 at 1:22 am

I believe it is the best thing when done right, the way you are doing! I can see the excitement and interest in everything they are learning. Yes happinessishere!

May 20, 2016 at 2:57 am

I unschool as well, and have wondered this and had the same gut feeling as you do. However, I’m a bit of a pessimist, and I generally try to mentally prepare myself for any reaction from my daughters when they reflect on their upbringing. I think of my own (schooled) childhood, and I often think ‘My parents took child-rearing very seriously, and tried their best to give us what they imagined to be the best possible childhood and education and chance at a happy life, but I still experienced some trauma, and in some moments judged them harshly for their decisions and my overall childhood.’ I’ve also met some homeschooled adults who regretted being homeschooled (though I don’t think I’ve met any unschooled adults). So, I do agree that my kids (ages 8 and 3) seem very happy and I hope they don’t end up regretting this lifestyle choice I’ve made for us all for now, but if they do I think I can accept that too. I never know what (possibly negative) events might unfold for them that they could end up blaming their free-form life for.
Also, I love reading your blog for inspiration and ideas, and to read optimistic posts about unschooling when I’m self-doubting. So thank you for that!

June 12, 2016 at 6:30 am

Your children are so very lucky to have you!!!!

June 26, 2016 at 3:54 am

I was homeschooled on and off in elementary starting in 3rd grade, totally homeschooled from Jr. High through High school. As it turns out I was actually unschooled. I had never heard of unschooling until a few months back when I was looking for homeschooling blogs. When I read about it I discovered that’s what we did, it was just what was natural for us. I’m 32 now with 2 daughters of my own and a bonus daughter. My only regret growing up was the time I was forced to go to school. A lot of “well meaning” people convinced my mom that I NEEDED to be in school. It was best for me. K-2 were great years, I enjoyed school. 5th and 6th is when my mom was coerced to forcing me to school. I was bullied relentlessly. It was the worst time of my life. When it came to Jr. High my mom finally had enough of listening to other people about what was best for me, and listened to ME about what I needed.

Once I was homeschooling full time, I was in heaven. I got to learn what I wanted. I spent MONTHS learning about ancient Egypt, even teaching myself a fair amount of hyroglyph reading! I learned how to sew, cook, balance a checkbook, and I make SO MUCH ART! As an adult, I found jobs were like school. People telling me when I could use the restroom, when I could eat, what I had to do. I hated it. So I started my own business as an artist.

Sorry for the long post. Just wanted to tell you, as an adult who unschooled (and is unschooling my youngest) you are amazing. Your kids are obviously thriving, and will grow into incredible adults!!!

July 18, 2016 at 4:38 am

I’ve been reading your blog with such interest… Basically recently a friend has been thinking about Homeschooling, so I’ve been interested in finding out more. I work with school children in an outdoor setting, so have a lot of experience working with teachers and school children.
At first, I was of the thinking that school was invaluable for preparing children for society. Then I got to reminiscing about my own experience at school, and while I liked some subjects, teachers and my friends, a lot of it I remember being bored, sad, frustrated, lonely… Because I didn’t enjoy or wasn’t interested in the subject, or just found the things we had to do every day pointless or dull or drawn out. But, I know that (I guess through some tough love) school has hardened me up and got me prepped for real life (in some ways, not the learning but the relationships etc) and mainly, learning that I’m not the most important one, to respect others, and to work in a group. However, I hated not being able to be individual and myself at school, and feel sad children are not allowed to do this.
This comment is just turning into a ramble for me to sort my thoughts now! I hope you don’t mind. Another reason I was interested to read more about homeschooling is that I occasionally work with homeschooled groups who visit the reserve I work at. These groups differ noticeably from the school groups we have, in terms of behaviour and attitude. The children sometimes find it tricky to enter a situation where there are lots of other people learning. So in a very roundabout way my question/musing is how do you feel children who are not in school cope with entering a situation where they are in a classroom like environment. I guess it differs wildly for every child, depending on what they do and what outside classes they attend, but I’ve just been given real food for thought, and am surprised how my initial opinion is being slowly swayed by new ways of looking at things. I’m sorry if this comment is a bit of a waffle, I’m off to read some more blog ๐Ÿ™‚

July 25, 2016 at 1:38 pm

I will be following this blog now – great post!

September 1, 2016 at 7:44 am

We began homeschooling in about 1990 and our four older children ages 22 – 29 went through a brief, junior high age, where they were uncertain about school vs homeschool BUT since we did actually socialize they would hear stories about school from friends and the meanness from both students and teachers was really appalling in our very nice neighborhood.

We sometimes would err on the side of curriculum homeschooling but freedom to learn homeschooling with boundaries as they got older was really fun for all of us.

College will take anyone who can pay so don’t get concerned about “acceptance” in that regard. Call your local community college and ask what the remedial math and writing levels are like. You’ll be shocked.

September 15, 2016 at 8:20 am


I came across your website a few weeks ago and have shared some of your posts on my blog.

I enjoy reading your posts re unschooling. They are my thoughts exactly.

Thank you.

January 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

ohhhh i could hug you NOW. thanks for putting these thoughts out there for all of us to be inspired , learned from a LOT and get reminded with why we do what we do and chose this path. Thank you isnt enough..but really, Thank you.

Lucas Diniz
March 28, 2017 at 6:21 am

I think what your doing is spectacular. I am currently in the 9th grade and every day I spend at school makes me feel so tired and disappointed. Wish my mom shared your thinking on education.

Beijos de Sรฃo Lourenรงo, Brasil.

June 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Brilliantly put and a great read for the days we question our choices. Thanks for the positivity.

January 18, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Encouraging post! We’re somewhere inbetween unschooling and more standard homeschooling. We do a few hours of “table time” or structured stuff, but we run out own business, an organic market garden, so the children are getting a very practical education through the business! We sell direct to customers, run DIY classes, butcher our own meat sometimes etc. Sometimes I get comments from family members who think I’m doing the children a disservice by neglecting academics, but the children are pretty happy, can think independently, get a lot of time out in nature (and know more than me in that area often, just from their own observations). I think the only thing they miss is that we don’t socialise as much as they’d like, due to the demands of running for business.

February 2, 2019 at 6:33 am

I thought this would be a piece on children that regretted being homeschooled, not projecting into the future with young kids. Of course we all choose what we think is best for our children. Having a grown son who has walked away from the faith, I would like to have seen something on kids who have actually regretted it. I don’t know for sure if he regretted it, but his wife sure made enough negative comments on FB about the things she has had to put up with being married to someone who was homeschooled!! I wisely unfollowed her and fortunately never saw what she said – my sister told me.

May 21, 2021 at 5:33 pm

I unschooled mine and my eldest now has her own baby and intends to unschool him. That is all the vindication I need!

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