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My NOT Back to School page!

Updated on October 8, 2014

NOT-Back-To-School Day!

As fall approaches, my boys and I are celebrating the fact that they're NOT going back to school! We're going to tell you some of the reasons why we love homeschooling.

(photos of JG's and BT's Lego creations were taken on our front porch)

BT's favorite things about homeschooling

(He's 8)

I learn when I want to.

I don't have to see a substitute teacher.

A lot of times we have field trips.

Why Mom is glad that BT doesn't go to school

Of the two boys, BT is probably the one who would adjust to the school setting most easily. He's a people person and fits into groups well. But at home, he can also express his affectionate side. He likes to do lessons cuddled up in Mom's lap.

The socialization that homeschooling affords is also great for an extrovert like BT. When we go to park days and other activities, he's comfortable with friends of any age. He plays with children his own age, of course, but he also hangs with the teenagers sometimes and will start conversations with adults as well. If he were in school, he would be surrounded by nothing but little kids all day long.

JG's favorite things about homeschooling

(He's 12)

I can wake up whenever I want and get out of bed whenever I want.

I can work in bed.

I can learn what I want.

Why Mom is glad that JG doesn't go to school

I believe that JG is the one who benefits from homeschooling the most. I really think that if he had started off attending school, a lot of negative labels would have been put on him that would have harmed his self-esteem and hindered his education.

JG is a VERY bright kid, but reading is his weakest subject (he showed some signs of dyslexic tendencies early on, but he has now reached the level where his reading is OK). He has a strong talent for math, but he does it all in his head (he hates writing). In school, where reading is the primary way that students are judged, he would have been seen as "the slow kid". At home, he's not compared to anyone else. Also, he is able to study history, science, and anything else he wants in other ways that don't involve reading. The major part of his education involves one-on-one conversations where I impart knowledge to him.

JG is also a bundle of energy. He's calmer now than he used to be, but when he was kindergarten and first-grade age, he really had trouble sitting still. In a classroom, he would have been "the problem kid" and perhaps even labeled "ADHD". At home, if he wants to pace the room or hang upside down while he learns, it's completely OK. And he can talk in class, too.

What I like about homeschooling for BOTH of them

  • They set the agenda for what they want to learn. One day, BT was playing in the sink (a GREAT homeschooling activity, by the way), and he couldn't understand why a larger object was floating while a smaller one was sinking. We got into a discussion of density. It didn't matter whether that's a part of the California curriculum plan for second grade, he wanted to know so I taught it to him. My kids will frequently ask me a question out of the blue and we'll look up the answers and we ALL learn something new. In school, if they asked a question that wasn't relevant to the subject being taught, they would be silenced.
  • Learning can be tailored to their learning style. BT is very visual while JG is an auditory and kinesthetic learner. I can experiment with ways to present information and let them explore. I don't have to adapt the "lesson" to 30 children all at once.

This is one of their favorite "Homeschool is Cool" video


JG's first day of not going to school

I had known since JG was a baby that I wanted to homeschool. We started going to our homeschoolers' park day when he was 14 months old. By the time he was nearing school age, he fully understood his identity as a homeschooler.

The school where I work, where my stepchildren were attending at the time, where my mother is the principal, always starts its school year on the Wednesday after Labor Day. So Wednesday, September 8, 2004, would have been JG's first day of school. Wednesday is also our weekly park day, so we brought candy to the park to celebrate our first Not-Back-To-School Day. When I told one of the other park moms that it was supposed to be his first day of kindergarten, we shared a gleeful hug, rejoicing in the fact that he was at the park instead.

Here's how other homeschoolers celebrate not going back to school

Lots of homeschooling groups will plan activities like amusement park trips or picnics to mark the beginning of the school year. When I googled around on the topic I found a pool party, a water activity at a park, zoo and museum trips, and a rally at Disneyland.

The most famous activity of all is Not Back to School Camp, a camp in Oregon for unschooled teenagers. It was founded by Grace Llewellyn, best known for her classic book, The Teenage Liberation Handbook.

And hubber extraordinaire Evelyn shares with us that a homeschooling group in Boston has a Not-Back-To-School picnic every year at Walden Pond. Just the idea of hanging out at Walden with a group of non-conformists sounds so inspiring!

Have a great September!

(photo from Wikimedia Commons -- Doug Coldwell)

If your plans for September include school, we wish you a wonderful and productive year.

If you're homeschooling, we'll see you at the park.

© 2009 Joan Hall

Glad to meet you -- Glad to meet you ---- What's your name? -- What's your name? - (sung to the tune of "Frère Jacques")

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    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 

      6 years ago

      I love your lens...My girls are homeschooled as well. There's not better than homeschooling, and there's nothing more challenging than homeschooling! It's great and wonderful! I'm blessed to do so and I can tell you are as well. Be blessed another way to!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi! This is a great lens!! My eldest graduated from our Homeschool High School this spring, and is starting at a local community college in the fall. My two sons are slated for Public school this fall as it's a good fit for them while we get them some comprehensive testing. They're both bright and their sister is gifted which means they might be too, but they both have learning difficulties.

      Anyhow I just want to celebrate how you're doing what you're doing!! Homeschooling is such a lovely journey. Its different every year. I am in NY and its one of the top 5 hardest states to do this in. But so great to be able to hear the bus going by and not have to worry if my daughter made the bus..., she loved doing homework in her Jammies, having breakfast at 10:00 am or Whatever. She's so motivated she was motivating me to get going on certain projects. Co-op was a great chance to get together with other moms doing this. They made it real and approachable, doable!! Lots of good books out there and lots of opportunities to share experiences/curriculum. Such a great thing!! Good luck this year, and don't forget to wave at the bus driver as they pass by ;D. Sincerely, Anna2of5

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      love this! fellow home schoolers here

    • NaturalMommys profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens you have here. I also homeschool my children, well actually we unschool. Thanks for the angel blessings too btw!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I was homeschooled for part of my life. I learned a lot of things from Mathematics, Computing, science and engineering that stayed with me for life. These are subjects I am still spending my own time learning more about now.

    • NarrowPathPubli profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens. I've long believed that if I ever have kids I WILL be homeschooling them. My experiences teaching special ed...or trying to, while the administration pressured me to babysit the kids instead...pretty much convinced me, and the energy and excitement you share on your page confirms it for me.

    • StaciJansma LM profile image

      StaciJansma LM 

      8 years ago

      Great lens -- Really like the layout you went with - was very informative. I have thought about homeschooling - but for now my daughter is attending preschool 2 days a week - 2 hours each day. It's only been week 1.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I don't have any kids but found this really interesting. And it's so easy to read and looks great, too. A real quality lens. I admire parents who homeschool and do so with such enthusiasm and dedication.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      my son is 18 months old, looking forward to home schooling him!

      Nice video with Cap'n Homeschool.

    • joanhall profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Hall 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      @MomwithAHook LM: "I can go to the bathroom when I want"

      I love that!! Best wishes for your son and your family.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      you did an awesome job explaining homeschooling, this was informative, and congrats (belated) on a lens of the day!

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image

      Sara Duggan 

      8 years ago from California

      Great! This is our first year with my youngest. We shall see how it goes. It feels a bit odd for me though he is really liking it. His teacher last year was a bit of a disciplinarian -- what he says he likes about homeschool "I can go to the bathroom when I want" :) LOL he used to get in trouble for having to do this during classroom hours.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very nice Lens promoting homeschool! I was blessed to help some young nephews a few years ago; they've since gone to college, travel the world regularly, and have found very interesting work. Rolled, faved & starred! :-)

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      Interesting lens. I liked reading the different view points on home schooling.

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 

      8 years ago from Earth

      Well deserving of lens of the day and Angel Blessings!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      8 years ago from Vermont

      Super LOTD - congratulations! I wish I could have learned this way instead of in the classroom. My dad taught us so much in this way, just by doing things and explaining them as part of everyday life.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I would have loved to have been home schooled, Congratulations on your LOTD!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congrats on a well deserved Lens of the Day! Enjoy making memories with your sons!

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 

      8 years ago

      I considered homeschooling my children, but in the end we chose against it. It does sound very interesting and I'm glad it works well for you. Happy not back to school day. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens, love the idea and of taking not back to school. Hope I could make my son with home schooling once he's able (still 1 year old) & ready. But I do basic things what a child should learn by the way :) Thanks for the great info!

    • MaryK LM profile image

      MaryK LM 

      8 years ago

      Your Lens has really made my day!!! I love homeschooling and unschooling... and the whole idea of kids thriving!!! Thanks so much!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm so glad to find folks who celebrate the many benefits of homeschooling! I was homeschooled grades 1-12, and for most of that time homeschooling was illegal in the state where I lived, so I always had to keep it a secret!

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 

      8 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      Thinking outside the box -- by never having to enter it's confines.

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 

      8 years ago

      Love this lens. I have always wanted to homeschool my kids but is very hard to when you are a full time employee :( Thanks for sharing it. 5*

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Enjoyed you not back to school lens.

    • hsschulte profile image


      8 years ago

      Cute lens. I too am homeschooling one of my boys this year. We will see how it goes. So far, it feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I have no idea why I thought socialized education was a good idea. I think like most moms I was afraid I'd mess them up by homeschooling them. I was soooo wrong!

      Thanks for spreading the word!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome lens! Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I am proudly celebrating NOT going to school(ever). Glad to see that there are other party-goers on Squidoo as well :) Keep up the amazing work!


      Li Li

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I applaud parents who have the time to home school their children. Great lens! Congrats on LOTD!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations on LOTD! I never realized there were so many homeschoolers here on Squidoo - though I should've been tipped off by the Squid Club that was created. Keep up the great work! You're doing and excellent job.

    • divacratus 2 profile image

      divacratus 2 

      8 years ago

      Congrats on achieving LoTD! A really wonderful lens that had me REALLY reading from start to finish. I love the way you have presented it which makes it thoroughly entertaining and readable even for people with a short attention span like me. I am not much aware of homeschooling but from this particular lens, it does seem like a wonderful experience for kids. And I totally agree about letting kids learn at their own pace and interest. They learn things better that way!

    • livyf profile image


      8 years ago

      I wish I could home school my kids. This a great lens! Congratulations on LOTD! :D

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is so great! Congrats on LOTD! I am glad a wider audience will get to see such a positive representation of home education :-) I can't wait to see your other lenses to learn what is like to be a work-at-a-school,mom-is-principal, homeschooling parent of two obviously wonderful, independent learners.

    • CCGAL profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow - congratulations on LOTD for a most interesting lens. I guess schools have changed a great deal since I attended in the 60's ... I loved going to school, and homeschooling me would have been a disaster. However, I'm really glad that you are able to do this with your children - I know that for some, it's an absolute Godsend, and it sounds like you are doing an excellent job teaching your wee ones. I enjoyed reading this lens, and I especially enjoyed the title.

    • GonnaFly profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      See you in the park! Although for we Aussies, we're drawing near to the end of our school year (finishes just before Christmas for our Summer holidays) :-) Hope your year is productive.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Homeschooling is wonderful! It allows children to pursue their own interests and discover what they are good at. They also learn coping skills from you. When you deal with the problems of the day, they are not away at school but right there when the washing machine floods the floor or a breaker pops. There is no back to school shopping for the latest and waiting for the bus:) Have a great year homeschooling!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      This brings back a lot of memories. I really do miss homeschooling. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on LOTD

    • norma-holt profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD. I home schooled my grandson for a time and he thoroughly enjoyed it,.*-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I appreciate your enthusiasm for homeschooling. If I had been a mother, I would have given it a run.

    • Nancy S Oram profile image

      Nancy Oram 

      8 years ago

      Joan, keep up the good work and keep enjoying every minute of it! My twin boys just finished 12th grade, homeschooling since 5th grade. My only regret is that sometimes I had doubts when people questioned me. Now that we're done and I didn't ruin them, I can say without any reservations it was the best decision I ever made!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      Your boys are great ... I enjoyed visiting with them at the Squidoo Meetup. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      8 years ago from Concord VA

      Excellent lens! Congratulations on LotD!!

    • AngelDey profile image


      8 years ago

      I too homeschool because of my son's dyslexia. When he was in school they said he would have gone to the gifted class because of his intelligence but his difficulty reading would have slowed him down there. I wondered why they would set a child up for failure and ridicule like that. They had no idea how to help him with his reading and that set the stage for me to learn how to help him when no one else would. I love homeschooling and letting my son do his own thing. He gets to express himself and open up and be the great kid he can be with no pressure or schedules or anything that public school would have put on him.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm always encouraged to see more people homeschooling their kids. It's such a privilege even though it's not easy, but the benefits are really tremendous -- one of the most important being relationship building. Well done, congrats on LotD and all the best...God bless! :)

    • bigjoe2121 profile image


      8 years ago

      I have one of those 'brilliant but active kids who would be considered a big problem in a classroom' children. I put him in preschool and he got kicked out of 2 of them ... so we started homeschooling, and I am so glad we did. Now we are full-fledged, all-the-way, never-go-back homeschoolers and we love our homeschooling life too. great lens

    • puzzlerpaige profile image


      8 years ago

      Us too Joan. Can't wait to get started this year. Congrats on the LOTD!

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 

      8 years ago

      I love not being in school when the other kids are. Every fall, I like to take my kids to Grandmomz' and go swimming. I like hearing the school buses roll by while we are having a good time. Everybody starts late July to mid August around here. My nephew is homeschooled; this year he was at our party too.

      We're starting homeschool on the 8th.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Super! Homeschooling sure seems to be a very viable alternative. I have learned so much about homeschooling from all you Squidoo homeschooling moms! What an education!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! We started homeschooling out of necessity and now would not have it any other way. I enjoyged reading about your homeschool experiences. Thanks for sharing.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      great jpb. congrats!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Fabulous lens, Joan! We love homeschooling, too. I can't imagine ever schooling the children any other way! Congratulations on LOTD! :)

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD from a retired homeschool mom!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I did try homeschooling for a bit...and am in awe of those who are able to do this...I think it requires a lot of love, sacrifice and discipline...God bless you this school season...and your boys as I know He will. Congrats on LOTD

    • LadyLovelace LM profile image

      LadyLovelace LM 

      8 years ago

      Oh how I wish we had homeschooling here. It would have saved so much anguish over mine and my brother's school days - well done you for doing what's best for your kids, and congratulations on the well-deserved LOTD.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Congrats on a well-deserved LotD!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      This brings back memories. Your boys are exactly where they need to be. Sounds like you have about as much fun as we had when we homeschooled our sons all the way through. Congratulations on Lens of the Day and have a great year!

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      8 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Great lens and congrats on LotD. There are some very great points here about why homeschooling is better. I believe that some day in the future homeschooling will be a common thing with use of technology in schools on the rise. Teachers will be able to teach students through their home computers with use of web cams, and no student will have an excuse to miss school or be absent.

    • Shibamom LM profile image

      Shibamom LM 

      8 years ago

      Congrats on LotD!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD for this lens! Ringing my little Squid Angel bell for a blessing to the tune of Frere Jacques.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yay! We home-ed too. We practise, what is known in the UK as, 'autonomous education'. In other words, they do what they want. Incredibly, it works! Both kids are ahead of their schooled peers and I don't now how it happens - it just does.

      Congrats, m'dear on LotD! Blessed :-)

    • modz profile image


      8 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I really liked this idea of home-schooling. It is not there in other countries, or rather not encouraged like US.

    • Peregrina LM profile image

      Peregrina LM 

      8 years ago

      I unschooled myself in grade 11--and wish I'd gotten out a lot earlier. Congrats on LotD!

    • Airinka profile image


      8 years ago

      congratulations on lotd

    • religions7 profile image


      8 years ago

      Well deserved LOTD :) congrats.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!

    • mich1908 profile image


      8 years ago

      I've never known anyone who homeschool from where I came from. Even though I've read about it, it is something new to me. It sounds terrific being homeschool but here we all need the certificate to get jobs (unless you open your own business probably). Congratulations on your very interesting lense!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD.

    • amkatee profile image


      8 years ago

      We are homeschooling as well. My daughter would have been in kindergarten, but we're doing 1st grade. She's bright and we are so glad we are doing this. I too have a homeschooling lens. So glad to see you here and congrats on LOTD.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image


      8 years ago

      I've already rated your lens and left a comment, but I did want to congratulate you on your LOTD and to tell you I blessed it. :) Have a great (not) school year.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Good lens about your school at home. Balloons and confetti for LotD.

    • delia-delia profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! very interesting lens, in our neighborhood we have several families that home school their kids.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow, back to school time, great Lotd, congrats to you!

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 

      8 years ago

      Congratulations on lens of the day. Love the Captain Homeschool video.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Congratulations for your LOTD for My NOT Back To School Page! Wonderful, Joan!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! Thanks for reading Kimberly's Morning Coffee and for sharing your thoughts on why you love homeschooling.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Glad to meet you too! We entered the wonderful world of homeschooling when my daughter asked me to homeschool her in 9th grade and we never looked back. Socialization was never an issue. We made so many new friends, both kids and parents.

    • joanhall profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Hall 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      @evelynsaenz1: Walden Pond!! What a fantastic place to have a homeschooling event! Thanks for telling me about that. I'm adding it to the lens forthwith.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      8 years ago from Royalton

      When we homeshooled in Boston we always attended the Not Back to School Picnic at Waldon Pond with hundreds of homeschooling families.

      Wonderful meeting more homeschoolers online. Thank you for sharing your homeschooling life with us.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! I love the "You can take class in bed" comment! That is where my 13 year old does most of his school work. Whereas my 7 year old is like yours, he can cuddle up to me while I read to him. You definitely don't get that in public school! :)

    • religions7 profile image


      9 years ago

      :) great lens again. blessed. I'm featuring you on my new blog very soon...

    • AlishaV profile image

      Alisha Vargas 

      9 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Great lens! I love the little look into your not-going-back-to-school life :-)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      9 years ago

      Home schooling is not for everyone, but for some its the best option.

      Thanks for sharing.


    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      9 years ago from United States

      Joan, first let me say I commend you for taking on the real challenge of homeschooling your sons. A parents’ commitment to home school is a full time job and often does not receive the respect and support from a community that it deserves.

      Second, I commend your insight and honestly when accessing your son's needs. I detest "labeling." As I have stated in my bio, I have a vastly diversified family which include educators and school psychologists. While we did not agree on several issues, testing and labeling for one, one thing we do agree on, the childs' needs should come first. Bravo to you!

      Last, great lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens, Joan. How do you work it all in? Working and homeschooling.


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