The Anatomy of a Homeschooler: A Humorous Rundown

Homeschoolers come in lots of different flavors; there is no cookie cutter diagram that fits every single one of us. But there do seem to be some common trends among homeschool moms, dads, and kids! Here's my humorous (yet mostly spot-on) take on the composition of a homeschooler. 

19% Overdue Library Books

Libraries love homeschoolers for two reasons

  • We check out stacks an stacks of books—which we actually read.
  • We support their programs with our overdue fines.

Really, though! How are we supposed to keep track of the due date for every one of the thirty-four books we just checked out? It’s just not possible!

Plus, when one of those books is the only one my five-year-old wants to read for 57 consecutive days, who am I to say no? Right? I’ll happily pay those overdue fines, especially if it means my library buys more books for me not to return on time. 

22% No Such Thing as Too Many Books

Cover your ears. Someone once asked me if I had too many books.

Gasp! The nerve of that person to suggest such a thing!

As a homeschooler, I take it as my personal responsibility to keep the book industry alive. If I do not order new books regularly and with gusto, who will? When a shelf fills, the only logical step before bringing new books into the house is more shelves.

Forget sifting through the old books too see if any can be passed on! What if we need them one day? What if my eight-year-old asks me about the wild mushrooms of Central America? I need to be able to reach for that one book that tells all about it, as soon as he asks! 

5% Quotes from Favorite Books 

  • “It is impossible, but it is not ridiculous.” —Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
  • “To be afraid and to be brave is the best kind of courage of all.” —The Courage of Sarah Noble 
  • "Look where a wheel could be and where it couldn't possibly be." The Wheel on the School

Homeschoolers know that books are companions on the journey of life. Whether listening to an engaging audiobook, savoring a Read-Aloud as a family, or curled in a cozy corner for some quiet, independent reading, homeschoolers like to quote the books they read. These quotes are woven into the fabric of our families! 

8% Unfinished Math Books

Shh! Don’t tell anyone! I have a stack of incomplete math workbooks stashed out of sight in a corner cupboard. I keep telling myself, “This year is the year that we will finish the math book.” Ha! This impossible feat has yet to be conquered! But that’s okay! Instead of counting the pages and chapters that we didn’t finish, I’m choosing to look at all of the pages filled with pencil marks and silly doodles in the margins. The real question is, “What should I do with all those partially completed workbooks?”

4% Pajamas Are Real Clothes

Oh, wait! Is this just my family? If it is, feel free to scroll on past. Nothing to see here. He he.

The Anatomy of a Homeschooler: A Humorous RundownBut if your family is content to wear pajamas to the library because the desire for a new book outweighed the desire to change clothes, you’re in good company! To be fair, my pajamas often look like yoga pants and t-shirts, but my daughter has been known to don fleece nightgowns and rainboots as we zip through a few morning errands. 

10% Sleeping In and Staying Up Late

  • You just can’t put that book down?
  • That history documentary has you hooked?
  • The art project needs just a few final touches to be perfect?
  • The science project has to be monitored a bit longer? 

Then keep at it!

Most days, there is no need for strict bedtimes or rising times. At our house, bedtime is just an invitation to slow down enough to read or play a game with Dad. I could make a stink about it, but instead, I make waffles. After particularly late nights, when my sleepy-eyed cherubs roll out of bed later than normal, I greet them with a delicious breakfast.

Nothing keeps the I-stayed-up-too-late grumpies away better than waffles! 

15% Would Rather Take a Field Trip

Let’s be honest. As much as homeschoolers love books, we’d much prefer to take a field trip and let experience do the teaching. Read a book about boats and canals, or glide down a canal on a boat? I’ll take option two, please.

Homeschoolers know that the richest homeschool learning rarely happens at home. Visits to museums, monuments, parks, and local events provide depth of experience. This reminds me...I need to schedule in that trip to the International Foods department of the grocery store. That counts as a field trip, right?

17% Short-Order Cook

Breakfast is served, followed shortly by second breakfast and then snack at 11:00 a.m. By 12:30, there is clatter in the kitchen as hungry children decide that another meal is necessary for their immediate survival. Two more snacks will dot our afternoon before dinner is served, thrown on the table after I push all the school books to the end. My kids eat constantly, and our kitchen typically looks like a hurricane of peanut butter sandwiches has just blown through! I have no idea how we get anything else accomplished in the day other than keeping bellies happy. 

100% Homeschooler!

Well, the math adds up to 100%, but I probably should have left at least half a percent to allow for the tendency to turn everything into a homeschool lesson. In fact, you could turn this blog post into one! Get your kids to make a breakdown of a homeschooler—or a skateboarder, a Pokemon Go player, a gymnast, or whatever their particular interest is. You've got math, writing, illustration... Clear those books off the kitchen table, hike up your pajama pants, and get to creating! 

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About the Author

Angela Awald nurturedrootsAngela Awald is a homeschooling mama to 6, certified teacher, writer, and doula. Her days brim full of learning, loving, and laundry (lots and lots of laundry)!! She believes that nurturing children (and ourselves) means helping them to see that all of life is about learning – from our mistakes, from each other, and from great books! Angela blogs at where she shares the ways she is nurturing her family and inspiration for nurturing your own.


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