Do Homeschooled Kids Hate Their Moms?

Can you think of a teacher you disliked?

Most people can, sometimes quite vehemently! Isn’t that likely to happen with mom if she is the teacher for every subject in every grade? Some critics of homeschooling think so, and I can see their reasoning.

Do Homeschool Kids Hate their Moms?

As much as I’d enjoy having my kids consistently think I’m awesome, my ultimate goal is to raise responsible, considerate, Jesus-loving adults — even if they don’t always like me in the process. The sticky part of the equation is that if I create bitterness in my children, I’ll sacrifice my relationship, and therefore, my influence in their lives.

Now then, let’s talk about how NOT to make your homeschooled kids hate you!

Absence does not make the heart grow fonder.

Kathryn is my first and longest-running homeschool student, from kindergarten through recently completed sixth grade. In these seven years of home educating, we have butted heads; we’ve had discipline issues; we’ve had arguments, and plenty of frustration.

But… (This is huge, y’all.)
Despite the head-butting, we have an awesome relationship because rather than spend 35+ hours each week at school, she has been home learning and reading and doing together with me.

At a very crucial time of her life and her emotional development, I have been the primary influence in her life, rather than other preteens. We haven’t had to squeeze in time together to talk about important things; we have time for that nearly every day. We have private jokes and silly stories. Our laughs far exceed our conflict. On the occasions when we do have conflict, we have time to work it out rather than letting it fester.

I’m called to be her PARENT, and that remains the priority, but I like being her FRIEND, too. My mom is one of my best friends, and I look forward to having that kind of relationship with Kathryn with she is grown.

Shared experience help create lasting bonds.

It’s now been just over three months since Scout (5) and Jem (4) moved in. Although I didn’t enjoy chasing the yellow bus each morning and was glad to see the end of the public school year come to a close, I did have some trepidation about what our days might be like when both kids were home 24/7. But already we have seen improvement in Scout’s behavior since the school year ended because she has more consistency, more sleep, and no over-stimulation. In just the past couple of weeks, I’ve even seen a deepening of her bond with me. This is absolutely crucial for them. Their future depends on developing healthy attachment to us, and that requires T-I-M-E. Even if I saw no other benefits to homeschooling, I’d plan to home educate these two for the next few years in order to build those healthy relationships.

Kids desires and “bents” must be considered.

Kathryn sees the benefits of homeschooling, and can easily rattle off a rather long list of perks. I believe she has been able to keep a positive view of it because she knows I’m willing to change things that may not be working in regards to schedules or curriculum, etc. Complaining won’t make me change it, and I don’t expect her to love every aspect of schooling, but if I see something causing undue stress or the beginnings of bitterness, I talk to her about the problem and we figure out a solution. I’m not afraid to make changes mid-year if necessary. Every child is different, and each child requires a unique approach to the specifics of learning.

Don’t let homeschool become an idol.

Lindsey, now 18, had no desire to homeschool, and felt that we were depriving her by “forcing” her to do so. Before joining our family at the age of 14, she had known no one who homeschooled, so it was a strange concept to her. Frequent battles ensued, and we realized she had made public school an idol. But I feared I’d made homeschool an idol, too, and though I saw the many benefits, I also saw that a stout root of bitterness toward us (particularly me) was beginning to grow in Lindsey’s heart. We struggled with the decision, but in the end, her relationship with us took priority, and we gave her the desire of her heart.

A year later, she was willingly back to finish her education at home.

It’s about hearts.

Homeschooling in itself does not cause the deterioration of a parent-child relationship; that can happen whether kids are educated at home, or in public or private school. It’s about how we parent, not about where the child’s education happens. What can exasperate our children is stubbornly refusing to bend and not considering their hearts even when we see a root of bitterness developing.


This post is part of iHomeschool Network’s “Answering the Homeschool Critics” series. Come find answers from experienced homeschool moms on a wide variety of criticisms about homeschooling, from “But You Went to Public School and You Turned Out Fine” to “How can you Homeschool Gifted Kids?” and all sorts of topics inbetween. Get your own concerns answered, or find ideas on how to deal with your own homeschool critics.

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Vertical Mom

Love that last paragraph! It gets right to the heart of things. Excellent post…thanks for sharing!

Erin - The Usual Mayhem

Homeschooling has, if anything, pulled us all closer together. If a child is being “challenging” and resentful over a particular subject, the best solution we have found it to sign them up for an online program where someone else is teaching that subject ( a writing class, for example).

Zephyr Hill

This is a great post! If you’re doing your job being a parent, there will sooner or later come a time when your kid gets mad at you. Giving in to every demand is not what a parent is supposed to do (homeschooling or not), and I’ve seen tragic results in a family where a strong-willed child is allowed to bully a parent! Always letting a child get its way is NOT love! But knowing when to FLEX is a different thing altogether, and knowing how to LISTEN is the key!

Sam @ Sam's Noggin

I also love the friendship that comes with spending so much time with my children. Even as I am now leaving for work in the evenings, I know we have built a close and real relationship each day before I leave. Great post!


I can’t imagine anyone thinking this. But my experience has certainly proved that we are closer because we homeschooled. My adult kids refuse to send theirs to school.


I love the way you’ve addressed this. My oldest is 13 and has been homeschooling for the past two years. Our relationship has only gotten better in that time. The teen years are not going to destroy that relationship! We have our issues now and then – as I do with my younger girls as well – but they all know that we have plenty of time to work things out and that they will be heard. I don’t think that was always possible when they were in school. So often I had to say “you have to do this… Read more »


This is so full of truth and speaks right to some of what I have seen in my relationships with my own children. I have been guilty at times of making homeschooling an idol and of being unwilling to bend to what I know is best for my kids. Another thing that I find is a common misconception of homeschoolers is that there will be more sibling rivalry because they are around each other all the time. I have found the opposite to be true…our kids don’t realize that it’s “not cool” to play with kids who are younger than… Read more »


It’s funny…we thought and prayed and researched homeschooling for two years before we got up the courage to homeschool. My parents’ biggest criticism was that my kids would hate me. They needed to be around kids their own age to not hate me or some such logic. It could not be further from the truth, my girls and I have never been closer. If they were in school, we would battle (I think) over clothes and just things I see their friends doing (on social media now) that my girls have no interest in. They don’t feel so passionate about… Read more »

Ellen @ the Bluestocking Belle

One of the main reasons I decided to try homeschooling was to help my relationship with my eldest child. When she was in school, I was constantly after her to hurry up, finish this, do that, *let’s GO*, you name it. Frankly, our relationship suffered terribly. When she was at home, we could better deal with upsets, frustrations, character issues, and the like. My children and I share a close bond, and it’s because we HAVE to deal with each other. We’re together a lot!

Mama J@Mama, Hear Me Roar

So true. I like how you focus on relationships and parenting in homeschooling. That sums up a lot for me too. Thanks for sharing!


Great post! After reading it I’m wondering if homeschooling kids and then letting them do their final year in a good high-school would be a better idea. It gives them a chance to both sides of the coin, right?

Carissa Houston

Thoughtful post; I had not even considered that my kids may not like their teacher! One more thing to keep me up at night….You’ve been nominated by me for The Super Sweet Blogging Award!

Dawn @ The Momma Knows

GASP* You committed homeschooling treason… and she survived?? 😉 Oh Jamie, I love that you looked at her heart and not what I’m sure EVERYONE around you were saying about the public schools. No they’re not perfect, but in the situation you were in, you needed her heart rather than her booty sitting in a chair in your kitchen. And she came back. That’s the whole point!


Thanks for this post. I also need this reminder not to exasperate my child. Before we started homeschooling, she attended a playgroup and nursery classes from age 2 until 4 and she absolutely loved being with friends. When we started homeschooling, she kept asking why she cannot have friends in school. I gave her reasons, but there are days when I get pissed off and I just “exercise my authority” over her. I really feared that this would make her hate me, but thanks be to God and to other blogger moms who shared their experiences. Now, days are better,… Read more »

cours de soutien scolaire

this a really interesting topic . I was thinking of homeschooling my child and this is one of my biggest fears.

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