View Full Version : Reasons not to Home Educate: Making ends meet and Not enough time

Able Kinetic
11-17-2016, 02:31 PM
Hello again everyone,

It’s said often, as reasoning behind not home educating, that a) both parents have to work to make ends meet, and b) there's not enough time.

I’ve started to wonder how true this is. It’s interesting how extra time magically appears when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, other social media, sports, hobbies, friends, etc. My experience has been that life is ultimately about priorities and decisions. I wonder if it's more honest to just say "home educating is not a priority for our family." If it is a strong priority to home educate then the parents will work to find a way. If it isn’t then they won’t. If it is not possible, that's likely due to previous decisions and different priorities. Positive or negative, our situations as adults are most often the result of our own choices.

When my wife and I still lived in the States, we both worked full-time jobs and put our daughter into daycare for about 11-12 hours each day (it makes me cringe to remember) during the week because we “had” to do so. We both “had” to work. We “had” to make our house payments. We "had" to increase our bills as our salaries went up. We “had” to maintain our standard of living. We just “had” to.

Looking back, we didn’t have to do all of that. Our priorities and decisions were different from what they are now. I wish our priorities had been more focused on keeping our daughter close to us. We could have downsized, moved back into an apartment, adapted our lifestyle, and still had a decent standard of living. We could have had just one car instead of two. We could have ate out less. We could have collected way less material things that we “had” to have. We could have budgeted in a way that could handle a stay-at-home parent. But, we chose not to do those things because our priorities were elsewhere and we thought it was too difficult. Our priorities have changed, our life situation has changed, and now we home educate.

I’m feeling full of quotes today and the point I’m trying to make is best summed up by the following:

“Whether you say you can or whether you say you can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford

“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.” - Jim Rohn

Your thoughts and feedback are welcome.

Thanks for your time,


11-17-2016, 02:58 PM
I think those are common excuses - but for people who dont want to admit the real reasons. There are people who homeschool and both parents are working - or a single parent is doing it.
Maybe its part of the outside societal pressure that says we are defined by our profession. Not having one is seen as not having a fulfilling life. When my oldest was very little, I went to an old anthropologists house for 3 hours each week and did random stuff for him (pay bills, digitize old reel to reel audio from the 50s, catalog his antiquarian book collection, etc). My mom would introduce me to her friends as her daughter "who was the assistant to suchandsuch famous anthropologist". Such a small part of my life, and that was what my mom saw as what she would define me as.

And I think its hard to give up income once you have it. As you said, people find bills to fill their income. And maybe they dont know that it can be different?

What else do people say?
"I could never teach them."
"Im not smart enough to teach them." (FSM Really!?)
"I need the break from my kids."
"My kids like being around other kids too much."

And really, the people dont want to know there are solutions to their objections. They just want to keep doing what theyre doing (and probably complaining).

11-17-2016, 03:59 PM
This is all relative. Let's not be overly critical about our public-school-attending contemporaries.

Making ends meet to some people means maintaining a lifestyle that includes new cars, manicures, starbucks, and name brand clothing. To other people making ends meet means being able to put food on the table three times a day without government assistance. For others it means choosing to live close to or below the poverty line. It's not just about keeping up with the Joneses.

Having time to some means rearranging a work-from-home schedule. To others it means changing jobs or schedules for a parent to be home with the child(ren). Changing jobs and rearranging schedules or transferring to a work-from-home position is easier for some than others. Hey, I may be on Facebook, but I'm pretty lucky to be able to be home all day everyday. That's what they need, don't they? A body in the house. Well, some people can't afford that.

11-17-2016, 07:44 PM
I think some people genuinely don't have the time or the money. There is a certain socioeconomic level where you do have the privilege to choose to have a parent at home, but some families really really do not have that option.

Then in the socioeconomic levels where people do have that privilege, there are people that do not like the school system, but they think it will do ok with their child and for them that ok is enough, even if it sometimes frustrates the heck out of them. For them, the extra income, perhaps to have the ability to do more vacations etc with their kids or provide more after school activities, or the extra time for themselves or their interest in their career is more important. That is a totally fine choice in my opinion.

We have chosen to homeschool for now, and I work part time, but honestly, even with all the wonderful things I see homeschooling her, I wish the public school option had been ok enough for my daughter - but it wasn't even ok. I would like that time in my day. Now its just mostly school and work. If I had more time I could spend more time with my 3 year old, my husband, on my own interests, now those are the things that suffer. For someone to prioritizes those things, no matter their struggles in the school system, I don't think its a decision to be scoffed at.

Edited to add - I also think that often when those lines come up in conversations with public school parents (A - "we homeschool" B - "oh I couldn't do that/have the time/afford that"), they are not really saying "oh I really wish I could homeschool but I don't have the time/money/whatever" it is just their polite way of saying "I would never want to homeschool, public school is not optimum, but it works just fine". So they are not really making excuses, they are just being polite and not dismissing your decision to homeschool.

11-17-2016, 08:41 PM
Your points and reflections, back on your previous decisions, are just that....yours.

I'm thrilled that our family is in a position to have a parent at home. Likewise, I'm thrilled to be able to homeschool my boys legally. But having grown up in a family that at one point had the "stay at home mom" dynamic, and then, "mom has to go to work too" dynamic.....well....I think it's overly simplistic and dismissive to assume that it is a choice for all families.

And if a family makes a different choice, for public school and two working parents, even if it's NOT for financial reasons, who's to say they are making excuses? Are you implying such a family should be ashamed? Who is to judge that?

Homeschooling is not a panacea for all things education and family. Shocking, right?

I've been doing this a while, and I can say without a doubt, some families shouldn't homeschool. It's not always a time or money issue.

I'm gonna take a wild stab in the dark here, but are you relatively new to hsing? Maybe this is just a new homeschoolers enthusiasm? I think we've all been excited about the possibilities ahead once we make the leap, however, you might want to re-think assuming that all families are in the same boat as you.

It's kind of off-putting.

But that's just my opinion.

11-18-2016, 01:13 AM
If Mom is happy, the family is happy. At least that is what I think. I really wanted to be with my kids. I didn't mind working part time, but didn't want to have my kids in daycare full time. When we moved, it was going to cost more to have my kids in day care part time than I would actually make...and then I got pregnant with the 3rd child. It really did make more economic sense for me to stay home with them than to go to work just to pay child care.

But, I do like my work, I like being around other people and helping them. I understand that it can be very fulfilling. And, some people, despite the fact that they had kids...little kids just drive them nuts in a way they don't know how to handle. They can only handle so much in one day, and to share those children with other loving adults who love kids...that is a good thing too. As long as they are honest about it, it is fine.

But yes, I will agree that too many people don't know why they are doing what they are doing. It is like the kids who go to college because that is what is expected, but never really thought about what they wanted to get out of it or what they really like doing. A lot of people do not examine their options to see if they could get buy with a used car, clothing from thrift stores and home cooked meals. And yes, I know a number of people already doing those things....and they need to have educational options open to them...to have a public school system as there is no way they can work less than what they are as that doesn't always make ends meet.

11-18-2016, 09:58 PM
I'm able to be a SAHM. Notice I said "ABLE". My husband has a good enough job that I can AFFORD to be home with our child. That hasn't always been the case. Sometimes it has taken both of us working just to support the 2 of us.
To be able to afford to have our kid out of school, we bought outside of our original target area. Because to be in that area would have meant I had to go back to work. We have 1 car instead of two. We don't take expensive vacations, or go to exotic places. A choice for us. I have family who has chosen to put their not even one year old in daycare, even on days she doesn't work and even though he is a work at home parent, because they wanted to reserve a spot in the school connected to that daycare in 4 years when the kid is old enough to actually go to school. That seems insane to me, but it's not my kid and therefore, not my decision.

I think, in many cases, ppl make the choices they WANT to make. For some, they make the only choice they CAN make. For those that make the only choice open to them, I'm willing to listen to them complain when it isn't perfect. For ppl who make choices they WANT to make, well, I'm not listening to that complaining. Needs and wants are 2 different things, and kids should never be sacrificed for wants.

11-19-2016, 09:41 PM
Nothing wrong with having the priority to keep kids in school. Nothing wrong with not wanting to home educate. And nothing wrong with wanting to work or wanting professional success.

11-22-2016, 09:46 AM
I found this thread very interesting. For our family it was only natural to public school. It was just the way it was always done from generation to generation. Public School, Ivy schools, profession.

I would agree that home schooling is not for everyone. I could see how easy it could be for parents to skimp or slip on education for "more pressing issues".

Since we have started home schooling and seen the success, I find I am looking back at all the drama with the schools for the last 15yrs, and think about how much of our lives were lost. Many families in public schools have great memories. Not ours. As soon as the children were placed in special education programs we were at odds with the public school system. The battles, stress, legal costs could have been avoided by home schooling. We could have spent the day seeing our children laugh & learn. We were fortunate to see our children grow and succeed but it was a miserable life for all of us.

Home schooling removes all the drama for us. We can have the family life all of us wanted. Not a day passes that I do not deal with the trauma of public school. Son loves the daily format. He does miss not seeing his friends when switching classes, but he gets to spend time with his friends every day.

The focus now is using what time is left to enjoy the family experience.

Lesson planning alone takes a good deal of time, not to mention the instruction and audit components. Lots of fun when you see the success. Seeing the look of success in my son's eyes and not the typical stress look from public school, I can measure the success. Now that is what I call living!

11-25-2016, 09:52 AM
We homeschool right now. I love being able to homeschool my daughter and only having to work part time. At the same time, I'm incredibly stressed bc A) I have barely any time to myself and instead spend most of my time dealing with behavior issues with my daughter, pleading with her to do her school work, clean up after herself and listen to me, disciplining her when she is rude to me or outright defies me, cleaning the house, paying bills, dealing with health insurance or house problems, homeschooling her, working, being my daughter's only playmate most days and B) my daughter as virtually an only child feels bored and lonely much of the time. I don't look down on parents that don't want to add educating struggles to their day. Actually, I'm starting to feel like breastfeeding was to me.

I struggled from day one, was in pain during every, single feeding (it sometimes felt like a knife was being plunged up through my breast), pumping hurt just as much, got cracked nipples, would feel anger when my baby looked away from my breast bc then I had to relatch her, not producing enough milk and having to go for weekly weight checks 40 minutes from home bc my daughter wasn't gaining weight, not sleeping bc I had to do night feeding then couldn't fall back asleep, pumping in a bathroom at work or rushing across campus to use the one breastfeeding room on campus then being reprimanded bc my boss thought I went above her head to say I had to go cross campus to find a suitable place to nurse and HR even got involved all bc I was told to talk to a certain person who arranged the nursing room and then had to nurse in the office of the boss that hated me the most and made my life a living hell, felt too guilty to quit and felt that if I wasn't breastfeeding her then I was selfishly not doing the best thing I could do for her. When I first gave her a bottle of my pumped milk or formula (I don't remember), it was such an amazing experience. I was able to get in a comfortable position, stare into her eyes and feel nothing but love. No pain. That's a ridiculously long way to explain what I feel like homeschooling is starting to be for us.

To top it all off, my husband and I have had relationship problems for years. He's an addict and overspends constantly. I gave him an ultimatum a few weeks ago and if certain conditions aren't met by early May, I will be filing for divorce vs celebrating our 10 year anniversary which means 14 years together. Good times. We will have to sell our house at a loss bc of when we purchased our house. I will have to work more hours and also be helping my daughter get through a very painful, traumatic experience. She may have to go to public school. I really hope that on top of my own sorrows, my daughter's sorrows and mommy guilt of putting my daughter in public school that others won't think that, "home educating is not a priority for our family."

11-26-2016, 02:19 AM
Homeschooling doesn't HAVE to be the priority. The child/ren need to be the priority. Sometimes that is public school and that's a perfectly valid option. Sometimes it's private school and that's a valid choice as well. We homeschool because it was the best fit for US. And, we're lucky that we can. If ppl put their kids in a school that isn't working for them, and ignore it because they want to have a bigger house, a newer car, or whatever, then I tend to get judgey, but if ppl put their kids in a school and it works for their kid, or they just have to because both parents have to work to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads, that's not going to get judgement from me.
Do what works for your family, and screw what other ppl think. Other ppl aren't raising your kids.

11-26-2016, 08:54 AM
Ya know, beyond that really any reason NOT to homeschool is perfectly valid. Can we not ignore that public school does work? Look at the people in our community. Homeschooling has increased to a whopping 3% of schooled students. That means that a minimum of 97% of the people in your community, including the vast majority of us here, were brick-and-mortar schooled. Are we uneducated peons that were not our parents' priority? No, I don't believe so.

Should our mothers have been guilted or forced into staying home for the sake of the children? Oh wait, that did happen. For generations. Sorry if my inner feminist is showing. She comes out when faced with male privilege. With a daughter, OP, maybe think twice about your original idea. One day she might want to live a certain way, have a thriving career, or leave a marriage. Will you tell her that she should prioritize her children? That she's just making excuses? Because, let's face it, you are in a pretty unique position as a homeschooling father. The vast majority of homeschooling falls on the mothers. Just ask some of the moms who turned their lives upside down because they had to pull their child out of school unexpectedly. Not everyone desires to homeschool. That in itself is enough.

11-26-2016, 02:15 PM
Just to let everyone know, the OP has been banned from the group.

11-26-2016, 07:38 PM
Just to let everyone know, the OP has been banned from the group.

I hope it wasn't bc of this thread.

11-27-2016, 04:20 PM
We're all prisoners of our worldview in ways we can't fathom til our worldviews change.

Being able to think outside the box, figure out all the alternatives, including ones that a person's knee-jerk reactions trigger against, and examining those reactions, is hard.
Being willing to go against society's norms, unless a person has already been accustomed to doing so in some way, is also really hard.

It's okay that in the path you were on at the time, you couldn't see that "there is no spoon" (sorry, stale Matrix reference, but it works). Very few people can just start questioning their assumptions at a basic level, without some catastrophic change or challenge to loosen them up for it, first.

Thank you for sharing this insight, because it might help someone see possibilities, now.

11-27-2016, 04:23 PM
I hope it wasn't bc of this thread. Me too! that would mean this group has become uncomfortably totalitarian and intolerant. Why was OP banned?

11-27-2016, 04:41 PM
CrazyGooseLady, you made a really good point about living life with one's mind in neutral, and how that affects everything. We're not encouraged to be actively involved and aware in our own life decisions, but rather, to float with the current and go with the flow. Going to college because it's what is expected, because back in the day, people who were smart (or had rich parents) went to college and on to prestigious or at least better careers, while people who weren't, (or had poor parents) went to trade school, didn't work out for my generation. We were the first for whom the doomed equation failed, because no matter how you slice it, if college is for everyone, it becomes the new high school, only it isn't free.

So, staying home with the kids, or putting them in daycare and school in order to enter the labor market, or going to college...all of these should be conscious, informed, freely made decisions, but for most of America in recent memory, they have been societal expectations, default states, that most people followed according to gender and socioeconomic presets, without real conscious consideration.

And that is what we're all trying to avoid: coasting through life with our brains in neutral, going with the mindless flow and getting whatever we get at the other end of it and kicking ourselves for not waking up sooner.

So I think the OP was just considering the mindful decision aspect of homeschooling, as opposed to the default state of the two-income couple with kids in outsourced custodial care. I didn't catch negativity or aggression, just someone exploring the changes in their own worldview over time.

Am hoping they weren't banned just because of this thread, though I could see it sparking debate. I hope this group is okay with some healthy debate. Seems like so many areas in our lives, particularly online, aren't, that I consider this place a haven of sorts, for the exchange of ideas.

11-27-2016, 07:18 PM
Me too! that would mean this group has become uncomfortably totalitarian and intolerant. Why was OP banned?

There were some issues with spam.

11-28-2016, 09:18 AM
I'm not an admin, but it did seem like he joined specifically to drum up business for his blog and his kid's YouTube channel - why would you monetize a child's YouTube channel? That IMO is super shady. Not just the advertising, but advertising his KID. "Hey daughter, let's do a fun project and put it online. Then I will promote it on different websites as a homeschool activity and we can make some money." Ick.

12-05-2016, 06:50 PM
Thanks, Mariam and TFZ. I get it now. :)