Help! My Homeschooled Child Wants to Go to Public School

an elementary student sits in a classroom setting

There are a lot of different reasons that people choose to homeschool. At the core of them all is that we feel it is the best thing for our child. No one chooses this path to torture their kids!

Most homeschooled kids love learning at home and realize how awesome it is to be homeschooled.

But what if your child asks to go to public school? Maybe they went to school before and want to go back, or maybe they just want to see what it is like since they’ve heard other kids talk about it. What do you do when you want to homeschool but your child wants to attend school? Here are my six suggestions.

1. Pinpoint What They Miss

If your child has previously been to school, there might be something about it that they miss. Maybe they liked having a teacher or seeing their friends daily. Maybe they liked the independence or structure. Open the lines of communication and figure out what they feel is missing. Then try to figure out a solution that somehow meets that need.

2. Look Into Private Schools or Co-ops

Some private schools have daily or weekly classes open to homeschoolers. This arrangement can give your children the opportunity to be in a classroom setting for a certain subject but be homeschooled the rest of the time. There are also a lot of homeschool co-ops that are structured like school. If your child misses being in a class and interacting with a teacher, this option may be the fix you need. 

3. Keep a Public School Schedule for a Few Days

I don’t know about your homeschool schedule, but ours looks nothing like a regular school day. Most kids don’t realize going to school means getting up and moving bright and early and spending 6+ hours in classes and then completing homework at home! Oh, and no pajamas allowed! Sometimes giving them a small taste of what real school would be like can help them appreciate how wonderful homeschooling actually is!

Help! My Homeschooled Child Wants to Go to Public School 4. Change Your Approach or Curriculum

Is your child interested in going to school because what you’re doing isn’t working? Maybe they hate the curriculum you’re using, or maybe your approach is too structured or too casual. It may be that with a few tweaks your child is happier in your homeschool environment and will no longer dream about going to public school.

5. Put Them in Lessons, Classes, or Clubs

If your child is missing interaction with their peers or having a teacher, enrolling them in something like tae kwon do or getting them involved in scouts might be the answer! You can even check out your local library for kids activities or clubs—even homeschool specific activities. Having a weekly or bi-weekly activity can fill that desire for seeing friends and having fun.

6. Make Sure They Have Friends Who are Homeschooled

A common reason for kids to want to go to school is because all their friends are in school and they feel left out. Making sure your child has friends who are homeschooled will relieve this feeling somewhat. 

If your homeschooled child wants to go to public school, there is likely a variety of forces causing that feeling. Don't take it as a rejection of you as a parent. Instead, take the time to address their concerns, talk things through, and come up with solutions that everyone can agree on!

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About the Author

Krista RomanoKrista is the homeschooling mom of 3 boys. After 13 years she has learned the value of chilling out, going with the flow and keeping homeschooling fun! She is the blogger behind Far From Normal where she hopes to encourage parents and homeschoolers, and inspire a life lived happily outside the box!