The very thought of homeschool homework might seem like a contradiction.
One of the biggest pros to homeschooling (at least for my kids) is that they thought they were getting out of having homework every day. And it’s easy to see why.
One of the biggest cons to public school is the sheer amount of homework that many kids have to complete before they return to class. I personally know families whose children spend hours on homework each night.
When my children went to public school a few years ago, I was shocked at the amount of homework assigned to them in elementary school. It’s changed quite a lot since my years in those grades.
Did you know, though, that some seasoned homeschool parents often decide it’s appropriate (and smart) to assign homeschool homework? It’s true!
In fact, I’ve been known to assign homework to my kids too.
The good news is that, as a homeschool parent, you get to make your choice based on what you know about your child and what you feel is best for them.
And, of course, you can always adjust as you go along when something’s not working. This is something I’ve also been known to do.
Want to read more about what it’s like to send your homeschooled child to public school? Take a look at our Great Homeschool Public School Experiment series!
Why Some Parents Assign Homeschool Homework
Images c/o: belchonock & TarasMalyarevich / depositphotos
When kids are in public school and have homework assignments to complete, they are responsible for finding out what is required, checking the due date, requesting help when needed, and turning it in on time.
Depending on the homeschooling approach you use, you might find that your kids struggle with these kinds of skills when they’re taught at home. Mine certainly did.
I’d assign something for them to do on their own, especially as they got older, and I was immediately inundated with complaints.
“Wait, what am I supposed to be doing?”
“I don’t understand the instructions!”
And, my personal favorite, “I thought I did it already!” (Really, kid?)
So I started using homeschool homework as a way to teach my children to work independently. I’d assign it and walk away. It was up to the kids to navigate any problems that came up, just as they would in a mainstream school setting.
I was always available when they needed guidance, not reteaching. And I’d provide them with reference materials and safe websites to use for research or review.
Initially, I felt guilty. Maybe I wasn’t being “there” enough for my kids or I was just “dropping” them after holding their hands for so long. But I was being unfairly harsh on myself.
If they were in a “regular” school and they had homework to do, there would be no teacher hiding away in their backpack to remind them to do it, or how to do it, or when to do it.
Whether they make the right choice by completing the work would be up to them. Whether they paid attention in class in order to know how to do the work would also be on their shoulders.
We all have to learn that, in life, each day is filled with choices, one after the other. And our decisions always have an effect, whether good or bad. This was just one way of helping my kids learn that lesson.
Should You Give Your Child Homeschool Homework?
Is it possible your homeschool kids may need a little homeschool homework to help them learn responsibility? Only you know the answer to that question. And, if you decide to implement it, the way you use it is up to you.
Some moms give the assignment, the due date and make it clear that the child is on their own. Others ask kids to choose a subject to study on their own and write discussion points and questions for the next school day.
Homework is up to the teacher!
If you’re feeling unsure about what to do, remember:
Homeschooling is a difficult endeavor, and the balance you strike each day as both a parent and an educator can be tricky. Still, whatever choice you make will be the right one for your children.
What about you? Do you assign homework? Why or why not? If you do, what’s your method? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Don’t miss these other homeschooling articles!
And get more help for your homeschooling journey on my Help for Homeschoolers Pinterest board!