Homeschool Help: Don’t Quit After One Year

Here’s a homeschool help from The Good and the Beautiful founder Jenny Phillips: 

If you have been homeschooling for a year or less and are thinking about giving up, you are definitely not alone. Don’t quit! The first year of homeschool is almost always the hardest. You can expect that!

Watch the video below or keep reading to be inspired and encouraged on your homeschool journey!

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Benefits of Homeschooling 

In our experience, we notice many people give up within a year of starting homeschool. What we also see as a trend—which is very interesting—is that the longer a person homeschools, the less likely they are to throw in the towel. Why is this?

As new homeschool parents, we all have dreams of what homeschool can be. Often it doesn’t go as we dreamed, though. Perhaps you think you just don’t have what it takes, or your kids begin to miss their friends at school.

It’s normal to dwell on all the reasons why it might be easier to go back to school and forget the vision and feelings that first led you to make this big life change to homeschool.

I’m here to encourage you not to give up after the first year of homeschool. It’s about to get easier, smoother, and more joy-filled! Don’t quit yet!

Think of it as if you’re learning to ski. At first, it’s awkward. You fall, but you can’t expect to glide down the hill like a pro when you are just beginning. Skiing gets easier with practice. Homeschooling gets easier with practice also. 

The incredible impact that homechooling has on a child is not always seen in the first year.

I believe parents really start seeing huge changes in their children and family during the second and third years of homeschooling. It takes time, and the very best things in life require effort.

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Homeschooling and Socialization

One of the most common reasons people quit homeschool is because they leave the choice up to their children. And their children usually want to go back to school for—what do you think? Their friends! 

In making a choice about education, most kids are not thinking like an adult would think. They tend to think about social life and what is fun and easy, not what is going to bless their character, academics, self-confidence, and faith. 

I am a strong believer in giving children a lot of opportunities to choose. With choices that will fundamentally change the direction of a child’s life and character, however, a child needs to have the critical thinking skills, discernment, and wisdom to make a choice correctly. Many children haven’t developed those things yet, so don’t quit!

Parents have the great blessing of being able to see further ahead, however. They have developed the appropriate discernment and wisdom to make such a big decision for their family.

My experience shows that the longer a child homeschools, the less likely he or she is to switch to other schooling options.

Here is why: 

Today’s society overinflates the importance of socialization and friends and underemphasizes the importance of faith, learning and exploring the world, reading good literature, and developing strong relationships with family. As children move further away from the over-inflated importance of social life, the desires of their hearts change. 

Homeschool doesn’t mean a poor social life, however. It’s absolutely possible to offer fulfilling, positive, and uplifting social experiences for your children through homeschool. Remember that homeschooled children report high levels of happiness, confidence, and positive self-image. They are free to be their authentic selves without worrying about peer pressure to act differently.

Finally, read more about homeschool, socialization, and other worries on our blog posts below. (Find links to studies that provide data on this topic too!)

Graphic Homeschool and Socialization
Graphic Considering Homeschool? Top Worries Addressed
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Is Homeschooling Better? How to Make It Work! 

Another reason parents quit homeschooling after one year is that they feel it’s just not working.

Hang in there! You can’t expect to have it figured out and running smoothly after one year. Of course, if you are not actually putting time and effort into homeschool, that is a problem. But, if you ARE putting in the effort, you and your children are likely still adjusting and need some more time to figure it out. 

If things aren’t going smoothly, you may worry that your child is going to get far behind academically. Don’t panic and don’t quit! Homeschooling usually gets smoother with time, and many parents become amazed at how quickly academic growth takes off and how far AHEAD their children can get. 

It’s normal for first-year homeschool parents to feel like their children aren’t learning well from them. If you are reading good books and using a solid curriculum, children are likely learning MUCH more than you think, even if you are struggling through homeschool the first year or two. It might feel slow and imperfect, but remember how slow and imperfect learning in a classroom with 30 kids can be as well. 

Keep this in mind as well. There are challenges if you homeschool, but there are also different challenges that come from public, charter, and private school. You ultimately get to “choose your challenge” because if you are seeking to raise your child with a beautiful heart and mind, either route is going to require a lot of effort and be hard, but very different kinds of hard. 

After homeschooling for a longer period of time, a lot of homeschool parents say that homeschooling is not really that hard anymore—it’s beautiful and fulfilling, and they wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Whatever the right educational path is for your child, we at The Good and the Beautiful invite you to enrich your child’s life through good books and find a way to connect education to God and high character. That is our central mission, and we hope to be a continual support to you and your children as you strive to raise them in light and goodness.

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  • Becky

    Hello! This is our first year homeschooling and so far we are really loving it. Our daughter is 5 and has just florished in this learning environment and being able to apply so much hands on learning. She had been questioning a lot why her friends or cousins get to go to public school and she has to stay home, and because we are so new at this I’m not sure o give the best responses? We really want to keep our homeschooling journey for the long term so I would love to be able to respond in the most encouraging way.

    • Customer Support

      You can do this, Becky! You might want to talk with your child to explain why you feel homeschooling is beneficial for your child and your family. Are they involved in activities outside the home? Our blog, 50 Ways to Teach Social Skills to Homeschoolers, offers suggestions for ways to get involved in your community that your daughter may enjoy. We encourage you to find an activity that she shows interest in to pursue and hope that the list is a helpful resource for you.

  • Amanda Wyss

    I appreciated this article so much! We’ve been homeschooling my oldest, who just began level 1, his entire schooling life. We did a very hands on play based preschool for his first year, then TGTB Pre-K, then TGTB K.
    I really have noticed the most benefit this school year!

    My middle child is in a special preschool for children with hearing loss, and we are so excited for the day when he has made the ASL and language articulation progress that he needs to be successful!

    The difference in the schooling is really interesting to see. We’re obviously very grateful for his amazing school, but are looking forward to adding him to our one room school environment.

    Thank you for this awesome post!

  • Kassie

    This is a nice reminder that each day is a new day! If something doesn’t work, try again tomorrow. And, you are not alone. This is our first year. We have enjoyed it. The curriculum makes it easy for me to plan and teach. I struggle with knowing what to do and where to start….using TGTB curriculum this year has given me confidence.

  • Bethany

    This is such a good post! I’m so grateful I found The Good and The Beautiful curriculum from the beginning. I am on year three of homeschooling. I currently have a 5th grader, 1st grader and a preschooler. For those who are staring the homeschool process, don’t call it quits after one year. Give yourself some grace and keep your “homeschooling why” in mind! Trust me. I was there. After year one, I thought I had “ruined” my oldest. God is good and will show you the way if you let him. 🖤

  • Terynn

    I love this post! I will share this with my 1st year homeschooling friends. I always try to explain the beauty of homeschooling for consecutive years, yet I find it hard to put into words. This explanation seems to put into words the thoughts of my heart. Thank you!