Public School Experiences My Homeschool Kids Can Avoid

I’ve been homeschooling since my oldest child entered Kindergarten, 6 and a half years ago. But I’m not gonna lie. There have been plenty of pull-my-hair-out moments when sending them all to public school seemed like a pretty good option. At the very least, it seemed like the sane choice because only crazy women, like me, would choose to homeschool so many children.

Yet, here we are … still alive and homeschooling. And surprisingly, my kids aren’t screaming to be free from my clutches. But if they did, I would be forced to tell them about some public school encounters that they, so far, have been fortunate enough to avoid all these years.

Public School Experiences My Homeschool Kids Can Avoid

Public School Experiences Homeschool Kids Can Avoid

Bus Rides

Many first day of school memories have begun on the sidewalk, waiting nervously for that all-too-familiar bright, yellow bus. The stares from a million eyes when you first board. The agony of deciding where to sit. The awkwardness of sitting next to someone you don’t know. The embarrassment of nearly face-planting as you walk down the aisle just as the bus jerks forward. I speak from experience.



I’ve had my share of bully encounters. With my awful haircut and ginormous glasses, it was inevitable. I guess it wasn’t that bad. No one beat me up after school or stole my lunch money. But still, it’s never fun to be the object of someone’s jeers. The closest thing my kids will get to being bullied would probably be from their little brother.



My educational resume includes a brief stint at a reputable private school, but even there, rumors circulated about the restrooms being haunted. After transferring to a public school, I was willing to take haunted toilets any day over the nasty bathrooms down the hall. Being homeschooled, my kids are definitely spoiled when it comes to bathroom usage. No wads of wet toilet paper on the ceiling. Flushable wipes within reach. They don’t even need a bathroom pass to go during school hours. These kids have no clue how good they have it!



For my very first cafeteria experience, bean burritos were on the menu … at least, that’s what they called it. I took an innocent bite, and after that, it was a blur. I don’t know if I spit it out, threw up, or bravely swallowed that mushy substance. I never even considered eating another burrito until my later teen years. Everyone has their own cafeteria food horror story. Maybe after all these years, public schools have improved their menus, but I guess my kids will never know.


Busy Morning

I applaud all you moms, who rouse your family so early and manage to get them all in their classrooms before the first bell rings. And to do that five days a week, well you deserve a standing ovation! Getting all 5 of my children in the car before 8 in the morning, with a happy disposition and with coffee in hand, would be nothing short of a miracle.

Were you a product of our public school system? What are some of your memorable moments?
Are you a homeschooling family? What are your favorite things about being a homeschooler?


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19 thoughts on “Public School Experiences My Homeschool Kids Can Avoid

  1. I understand where you are coming from, but I do think some of these experiences help to make children stronger. There are always going to be bullies and awkward moments, that occurs way beyond childhood.. in their workplace, neighborhood, at events. Just my two cents.. from a “product of our public school system.” 😉

    1. I hear ya, Lauren. Overall, my public school experience was very positive. There’s always those things I would cringe at if someone told me I had to relive them … and I wonder how I ever got through it. Haha! Certainly, if my kids had to go through some of that stuff, it’s survival training for sure, especially without Mama’s help. Good point though that some of those situations can teach some life lessons!

  2. I have a friend who homeschools and I always tell her she is lucky to avoid the weird viruses and lice that sometimes float around the public school!

    1. Eeeek! Lice! I know my kids can still get things like this in other environments ’cause they’re not totally isolated, but I’m glad I don’t have to get that note from the teacher saying there’s an outbreak of something or other on the school campus.

  3. We’re in our 19th year of homeschooling w/ 2 years remaining on our last child! We’ve graduated 2! Woo hoo!! Yes, the great thing about homeschooling is you set the tone for your child’s education and can control the environment. You also get to impact their formative years in ways that would be otherwise impossible. Good for you, making it 6 years! Wishing you much success with your kids!

  4. The burritos point made me laugh, I have heard a lot of stories about public school food and the horrors of it. I went to public school for K-1st grade and then we moved which prompted my Mom to keep us home. Our discipline to work on our own was lacking, but I am glad I was spared so many of the public school experiences. My kids will be homeschooled and even though it is frowned upon by some it is what we feel is best for our littles. Loved this!

    1. It can be challenging to homeschool when others don’t support your decision. I hope that when you start, you will find a good homeschool community to join. That’s been helpful for us!

  5. I have a mixed experience! I was in public until 7th grade then homeschooled 8th-12th (I actually graduated a year early). My public school experience was rough, some of my own making and some from kids and some administrators that looked the other way. I got bullied.
    We have chosen to have our 4 kids in public schools. It’s been a ride for sure and I can comment on some of the yuckiness!
    1) We drive- no more bus
    2)food….good stuff is expensive
    3)bathrooms- gross and the whole bathroom pass thing really annoys me, they get marks off if they go during class. well sometimes that 4.5 minutes in between class isn’t enough time!
    4)On a positive note- my oldest is graduated and he took with him 36 college credits. He will be graduating again this year with his assoc. degree. The school paid for those classes in his highschool years. Saved us a ton!
    5) Being a light in a dark world- my kids get faced with choices to be Christ followers or like the world every single day and I think that has made them into the solid believers they are today.
    My kids are 18 son (almost 19), 16 girl, 15 boy, 13 girl…..graduations for several years…..ugh…

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences! There’s definitely pros and cons. Each family has to decide what’s best for them. I wonder, though, if the bathroom conditions will ever improve in public schools. Haha! I think the only ones that have a nice experience are the kindergarten classrooms that have their own personal bathroom.

  6. We are currently homeschooling. We just started officially this year. The things she doesn’t know she’s missing are definitely disgusting restrooms and bullies. Also, she won’t have to rush around to get out the door most mornings, except for co-op days, and not too terribly early. She won’t know the pain of the lonely cafeteria or the rectangle of cardboard pizza. But I worry she won’t ever have a best friend either. Except me, I’m ok with that, but recess on the playground and hopscotch, 4 square, tag, giggles in gaggles of girls. I pray that all the positives are more important than the negatives.

    1. Ah, yes, the lonely cafeteria and the cardboard pizza. I was there! Joining co-ops will help her develop friendships, especially as she gets older. We joined a homeschool community once a week, where the kids have a chance to be in a classroom with other kids, and they love it. But they also like being homeschooled. Best of both worlds! And I have one child, who has a more challenging time making friends and will probably always consider me as his “friend”. At first, it made me sad, and my heart ached for my child, but I saw that it really was a special blessing that God has given me to have such a relationship with him.

  7. I remember when I was in school I was desperate to be homeschooled!! My parents never allowed it though, so I went all the way through in public schooling. I’m not sure what I will decide to do with my children, but personally I am grateful for the decision my parents made for me to stay in public school. Those memories are still some of my favorites and I wouldn’t have them today if I wouldn’t have attended public school! It looks like you’re doing an amazing job homeschooling!!!

    1. I was public schooled all the way through as well, and sometimes I think about my kids missing out on stuff because I did have some good memories too. But, I know we’re making memories as well with our homeschooling journey. It’s a different path from where I was, but there are still fond memories that I hope they will have when they get older.

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