Normalizing Homeschooling

We’re living in very unusual times with social distancing recommendations turning to shelter in place policies. The rest of the world is getting a peek into the mysterious concept of homeschooling. We’re opening the lines of communications that could move public perceptions toward normalizing homeschooling.

Woman suprised that homeschooler seems normal




Homeschooling has been legal for decades. Yet, those of us who choose this educational option still encounter misconceptions about it. When people find out that we’re homeschoolers, the responses vary from a side-eye skepticism to the jaw-dropping shocker. And inevitably the response, “But…you seem….so *normal*!”

Normalizing Homeschooling

What is it about public perception that we’re not normal? I don’t know, really. But now, our friends and neighbors have a chance to walk a mile in our shoes. So amid all this chaos, we can take a moment to address the misconceptions about those weird unsocialized homeschoolers.

Homeschooling is *not* school-at-home. We aren’t trying to replicate school at home. We’ll burn out trying to replicate school at home.

In the traditional school model, the teacher prepares and inplements the lesson. Parents who have been trying to do so this week are finding out that it doesn’t work. They may come to the conclusion that they’re not cut out for homeschooling…or that homeschooling doesn’t work.

Teachers are doing their best to send out assignments for distance learning and even setting up virtual meetings and lessons. But, they’re also adapting their plans as they go. They can’t replicate school-at-home either.

Amid all this chaos, we can take a moment to address the misconceptions about those weird unsocialized homeschoolers.Click To Tweet

Homeschool rules




Homeschooling is an alternate educational path that is individualized to meet the student. It takes some time to figure out what works. It’s normal to have some bad days in the meantime. A bad day just means you found out what doesn’t work. Modify and adjust till you figure out what works for you.

    • Adjust Your Schedule. It’s unrealistic to spend 6-8 hours focused on school work, especially online course work. Even under regular circumstances. Pushing so much schoolwork only adds stress into an already stressful time. Resist the urge to schedule and coordinate every moment of the day. Settle into a slower pace with more unstructured free-time.
      Find the balance of scheduled daily routines and unstructured free time that help you recover normalcy.
    • Customize Your Resources. We have an overload of free resources to utilize right now. Simplify and streamline them to suit your interests and needs. Juggling multiple students with separate subjects only adds stress. Unit Studies and Project Based activities are suitable for multiple ages and ability levels to work together.
      “Do what works” is the mantra of a successful home-education experience.
    • Modify Your Goals. Public education spends a great deal of time teaching and assessing the learning by gradelevel standards. But, the profile of a SC grad has two other compontents besides the “world class knowledge“. We’re also aiming for our students to have “world-class skills” (including innovation, creativity, problem-solving, knowing how to learn) and “life and career characteristics” (including integrity, self-direction, global perspective, perserverance, and work ethic).
      Develop life skills and character qualities that will be valuable in the unknowns ahead of us.

The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.

Education is partly about discovering about the world around us. But, it’s also a self-discovery about the students interests and abilities that fit into the world. Learning happens 365 days a year. It’s actually really hard to go a whole day without learning anything (Try it and see).

It is my hope that this social distancing and quarantine will help us all get a better understanding of what homeschooling really is….and isn’t.




What about socialization? Every homeschooler has encountered this question. We are misunderstood to be socially awkward and distant.

This time of social distancing is difficult for homeschoolers too. This is not how homeschooling usually works–cooped up at home all day with just our own family. We’re all looking for alternatives to fill the days ahead, too.

We have social and educational meet-ups, support groups, field trips, play groups, museums, libraries, co-ops and resource center classes. Even for seasoned homeschoolers, these are stressful times. Our scheduled events and activities are all canceling and we miss our friends and meet-ups.

Little girl talking

I don’t hear public schoolers suddenly worried that they will become unsocialized hermits because of social distancing. Those of us who choose home education aren’t worried about social disconnection, either. Even with shelter in place policies, we are all still craving that connection to the world around us. That’s socialization. (Note: If you do see a family that is reclusive, that’s not normal homeschooling.)

It is my hope that this social distancing and quarintine will help us all get a better of understanding what socialization is…and isn’t.

We’re all doing the best we can. Homeschooling takes all our parenting woes and magnifies them. This weight of responsiblity feels heavy and many of us feel inadequate. I’ve seen lots of articles and social media chatter about the inadequacies and inequities in the distance learning.

The timeline of what needs to be done this school year is not going to happen as we planned it. But, human beings are immensely curious and will learn. We were able to teach these kids to walk and talk and potty train before they started school. It’s entirely possible that we can still help them learn to read and write and eventually do Algebra, too. There’s lots of resources to help us get there.

Now, more than ever, we need to acknowledge that we’re just doing the best we can. Whatever we normally prefer as the best educational option. I hope we can work toward making the future better for us all.




Boys arm wrestling at the beach

When this is all over, we may find our circumstances completely changed. You never know who might decide another educational path. Some who were previously in traditional school, may find that this homeschool life isn’t so bad afterall. Some who were previously homeschooling may need to go back to work and put their children into public school.

I’m not suggesting that homeschool will become the norm for the mainstream. I’m only suggesting that it won’t seem so weird. Like when someone says they are in private school, no one says “Really? That’s so weird.” I hope that this will help homeschooling seem more normal, too.

Let’s open the lines of communications during this time of social distancing. So we can move public perception toward normalizing homeschooling.

Read more about these Education Reformers You Should Know:

The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your ChildThe School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your ChildThe School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your ChildCreative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming EducationCreative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming EducationCreative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming EducationOut of Our Minds: The Power of Being CreativeOut of Our Minds: The Power of Being CreativeOut of Our Minds: The Power of Being CreativeFinding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your LifeFinding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your LifeFinding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your LifeWhy School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single)Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single)Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single)Freedom to Learn (Solutions) - how traditional school structures strip students of their control over the learning processFreedom to Learn (Solutions) – how traditional school structures strip students of their control over the learning processFreedom to Learn (Solutions) - how traditional school structures strip students of their control over the learning process

About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!

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  1. […] Stereotypes persist about religious nuts and hippie fruitcakes, brainiac geniuses and educational slackers…and unsocialized weirdos. When we encounter these stereotypes, people often presume we are the exception. “Oh you homeschool? But, you seem so…normal!” […]

  2. […] Read more about Normalizing Homeschooling: […]

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