woman sitting at table with tea and journal, writing

Inside: These homeschool quotes will do more than just help you make it through the low days when you’re wondering why you’re still homeschooling. They have the power to rewire your thoughts about homeschooling and yourself as a homeschool parent, helping you become the happy, confident homeschool mom you want to be.

Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time working on mindset. The longer I homeschool, the more I know that working on our mindset is not an optional activity – it’s absolutely essential if you want to homeschool for the long haul.

Well, if you want to homeschool happily that is.

So if you’re tired of just getting by as homeschool mom, dragging through the days with more bad ones than good, and dreaming of putting your kids on big yellow school buses more often than not, read on.

These quotes can help!

Related: For the Mom Who Wants to Quit Homeschooling

Want to Be a Happy, Confident Homeschool Mom? Retrain Your Brain

What does mindset work as a homeschool mom look like?

It looks like reading a crap ton of homeschool books – general homeschooling and unschooling books, too. It’s listening to homeschool podcasts.

And most of all, it’s retraining your brain to think differently about education, children in general, and your own role as a homeschool parent.

Our brains gets stuck. Thought loops – for better or for worse – run deep tracks in our brain, triggered by different events and then cycling again and again, making it harder and harder to jump OUT of those tracks.

Especially if those tracks are made by negative thoughts.

Thoughts like…

  • I have no business homeschooling.
  • A teacher down the street can do better than I’m doing.
  • I’m never doing enough.
  • My kids hate learning – they don’t learn unless I make them.

A crucial part of retraining is giving your brain new thoughts, ones that align with how you want to think about the yourself, your kids and your homeschool.

Homeschool quotes can be those new thoughts.

You Might Also Like: 20+ Brilliant Homeschooling Tips for Beginners

Enter: 21 Powerful and Unique Homeschool Quotes

Over the past year, I’ve scoured the internet for homeschool quotes to help me reframe how I approach homeschooling my kids.

This particular combination of not exactly homeschool quotes is what helped me to *finally* ditch that pesky public school mindset, to let go of how everyone else defines a “good education”, and to leave fear far behind.

I hope these quotes help you to do the same. And that they finally free you to discover and to embrace your own beautifully messy, truly unique homeschool.

At the end of this post, subscribe to get my regular homeschool e-mails, and I’ll send you a printable PDF with all 21 quotes as a free gift.

1. “Let me mother [homeschool] out of my best hopes instead of my worst fears.” (Sarah Bessey)

You know what the worst homeschool days are? The ones dictated by fear.

Those are the days I push, I shove, I bark out orders and I make – by make I mean threaten or bribe, depending on the day – my kids do things they don’t want to do or have no interest in.

Basically, I act completely unlike my normal, relaxed homeschooling self.

When I’m homeschooling out of my best hopes? I back off, I gently guide, I support, I nurture.

I make room for my children’s unique personalities and passions and interests to blossom. That’s how I want to be all the time.

Homeschooling out of your best hopes will go much better for you than homeschooling out of your worst fears. Trust me.

Related: Relaxed Homeschooling v. Unschooling- What’s the Difference?

smiling mother holding toddler girl, with text overlay, "Let me mother out of my best hopes instead of my worst fears. Sarah Bessey"

2. “If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.” (Banksy)

This, my homeschool mom friend, you need plastered to the wall, on your iphone wallpaper (pssst, this is available as a free download at the end of the post), on a coffee mug, and maybe even on a tattoo.

When you get tired (which you will), when you get burned out (which is also a very real possibility), retrain your brain to chant “rest”.

Don’t allow your brain to create a mental track that says, “Quitting might be the best option.” Just don’t do it – stop that thought in its tracks and replace it with a new thought.

“I’m feeling really tired right now…it must be time for a break, so I can rest.”

Learn how to rest, and to rest well, instead. It will not only serve you, but it will serve your kids who are watching you rest (or not).

woman sitting on rock on mountaintop with brown checkered blanket wrapped around her, with text overlay, "If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit. Banksy"

3. “Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist.” (John Taylor Gatto)

Former teacher and author of Dumbing Us Down knew what he was talking about. He came from the school system – an institution that intentionally sets out to make cookie cutter students, not unique individuals.

In schools, everyone is taught [mostly] the same things, in the same way, in the same order. There is very little room for unique, and the pressure to conform is enormous.

Schools are the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need society as it is.

Ivan Illich

Whether or not adults within the school system want it to or not, schools demand conforming to a norm – academic norms, behavioral norms, life norms.

And football players and cheerleaders aside, it is the unspoken consensus in high school that standing out from the crowd in any unconventional way is social suicide.

If you are going to homeschool for the long haul, you need to remember that “unique” is the goal – so don’t try to be school-like and recreate those demands for normal at home. Work to let go of the idea that every child needs the exact same skills, knowledge and behaviors everyone else.

little girl with fancy dress looking out window, with text overlay, "Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist. John Taylor Gatto"

4. “Children will learn more from what you are than what you teach.” (W.E.B. Debois)

When you first start homeschooling, you probably think about yourself as a teacher.

But what if you’re more of a guide? A resource? A support?

It is said that we are the product of the five people we spend the most time with. If you’re homeschooling, you are one of the main five people spending the most time with your child.

This isn’t a guilt trip; this is me giving you permission.

You have permission to prioritize you, the homeschool parent, in your homeschool life. You get to devote time to yourself – to pursuing your own passions, filling your own cup and developing yourself into the kind of person you want your child to become.

I once heard a homeschool blogger suggest taking a few minutes for yourself every day. I love this blogger…but a few minutes?

How about an hour? Or even two? This isn’t just a nice-to-have kind of thing – it’s essential.

homeschool mom going on a nature walk with daughter, WEB DuBois quote overlay "Children learn more from what you are than what you teach. W.E.B. DuBois"

5. “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” (Alexander Den Heijer)

If something in your homeschool doesn’t feel like it’s working, take a deep breath and a step back.

Don’t beat yourself up or tell yourself you’re a failure (you’re not).

Try to see your homeschool from an outsider’s perspective, a bird’s eye view. If something isn’t working, there is always something you can change.

Maybe it’s homeschool style, maybe it’s a parenting style (which absolutely affects your homeschool, by the way), maybe it’s your homeschool schedule.

But there is always a solution.

Your child will bloom in the right environment – you just need to figure out what that is and continue to tweak things until you do.

child walking in snow, quote overlay, "When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower."

6. “Don’t question your ability to teach your child. Question putting your child in a system that left you feeling incapable of teaching your child.” (Unknown)

Every time you feel insecure about homeschooling, thinking that you cannot possibly be adequate to teach your child, remember where you came from.

Shouldn’t you have come out of that system that made you knowledgeable? Confident? Educated?

If you feel that insecure about homeschooling, the teachers in a system that taught you – as dedicated, caring and good at their jobs as some of them are – can’t possibly do a better job than you.

Why? Because you care more about your child than anyone on the planet. That means you want your child to succeed in life more than any teacher ever could, which means you will work harder and longer to make that happen.

mom walking with toddler on the beach, text overlay, "Don't question your ability to teach your child. Question putting your child in a system that left you feeling incapable of teaching your child. - Unknown"

7. “Life is too short to waste on shoulds.” (June Doran)

Think about all the things you could be spending your day learning. There are a thousand different should’s in the world, as many of the people in it, and way too many to fit into your homeschool days.

So let go of the should’s, the things you’re trying to make your kids learn just to tick the boxes. Should’s suck the joy out of learning and leave us without the energy and passion to learn the things we want to learn, to do the things we love to do.

But what about the things they do need to learn? Reading? Writing?

I’ve seen with each of my children that when you model literacy – reading and writing in front of your children regularly – they cannot NOT want to learn to read and write. It’s a valuable skill they need to do anything else they want to do – it might be someone else’s “should”, but it won’t be for your kids.

My father passed away unexpectedly last year, and people die unexpectedly and way too soon every day. Life is short.

Enjoy your homeschool life with your kids, and stop wasting your homeschool days – and your lives – on shoulds.

father with child at the beach with text overlay, "Life is too short to waste on shoulds. June Doran"

8. ” Many things are good, many are important, but only a few are essential.” (D. Todd Christofferson)

Essential is defined as, “absolutely necessary.” And when you first start homeschooling, it all feels essential because you feel the need to recreate school at home.

Do you know how much of a typical school day is filled with the non-essential? A heck of a lot – just read THIS post if you need convincing.

But when it comes down to it, not everything can be essential. Only a few things.

Pick a few things in your homeschool that are truly essential. Or even more radically – just ONE thing.

Focus on those. Let everything else be gravy.

Your homeschool will be better off – promise.

family eating dinner together, with quote overlay, "Many things are good, many are important, but only a few are essential. D. Todd Christofferson"

9. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” (John Dewey)

Kind of ironic that John Dewey, called the “father of modern education” said this, since he created a system that takes our child out of real life every single day. But hey, sometimes you find brilliant ideas in the most unlikely of places.

Life is learning, friends.

Pick a day and take a step back. Observe your kids.

Watch how much they learn just from living life! Running errands, making breakfast, watching a t.v. show, getting ready for bed.

It all has educational value. Every single bit of it – “educational” or “non-educational” (by the way, these categories are made up).

If you truly internalize this one idea, you will be SO much more relaxed and less stressed about fitting in all the things in your homeschool. You’ll realize you don’t have to – a life lived well will do it for you.

happy family walking together on a path, quote overlay, "Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself."

10. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by – and that has made all the difference.” (Robert Frost)

My husband informs me that perhaps this poem is now thought to me something entirely different than once thought.

Quite frankly, I don’t care. Every poem can be interpreted one hundred different ways, depending on the reader, right?

This poem reminds me every time I read it, that yes, homeschooling is the path less traveled. And that can look like a scary unknown and often lonely path. It’s not something that everyone automatically understands.

But the path less traveled? It’s completely worth it – and it’s going to be worth it far beyond what I can see right now.

Stronger family relationships. Kids who know what they love to do – and what they don’t. Happy, fulfilled, adults working in jobs they love, not ones that suck the life out of them.

Maybe one day, those same kids will be homeschooling their own kids and offering educational freedom to generations to come.

It reminds me of when we try to decide where to go on our weekend nature walks. The crowded paths? Those are our least favorite paths, the ones we avoid when possible (maybe if you’re an extravert, they’re your favorites?).

It’s the hiking paths not everyone knows about – the paths less traveled – those have been our favorite family nature walks, the ones we recount stories from and go back to again and again.

The path less traveled is worth it and will be worth it, friend.

hikers walking through the deep woods, quote overlay, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by - and that has made all the difference."

11. “There is no school equal to a decent home, and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.” (Ghandi)

Every time you want to compare your homeschool to a school (with your homeschool – and therefore, YOU – coming out as the “not as good” option), stop right there.

You don’t get much better than Ghandi, so if he believed it, you can, too. There is no school that can compare to your home.

Comparing your homeschool to a school is like comparing apples to oranges anyway – they are just that different.

family snuggling on gray couch and having fun together, with text overlay, "There is not school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent"

12. “Homeschooling is like crafting with glitter. It’s messy and scary, but oh so worth it.” (Unknown)

No one said that homeschooling was going to be easy or straightforward or clean cut.

I want to tell you a secret about us experienced homeschoolers: we are making it up as we go along, just like you.

We plan at the beginning of the year, but hold those plans loosely, because we are now 100% certain that those plans will get thrown out the window in a couple months.

We are constantly trying new things, ditching the things that don’t work, keeping a couple core essentials. Rinse, repeat.

Anyone who gives you a perfect homeschool schedule and actually follows it either has one child, is a drill seargant (no thanks) or has the most docile children in the world.

Homeschooling in real life? It fits in and around the things that make up a life – things like toddler tantrums and newborns and potty training and plumbing breaking and chronic illness and all the rest.

All that real life, plus figuring out what actually works in your unique homeschool, is a messy business. But sometimes messes are good…sometimes messes are a sign that something truly wonderful is happening, if you can retrain your brain to look at things that way.

colorful pots of glitter with quote overlay, "Homeschooling is like crafting with glitter. It's messy and scary but oh so worth it. Unknown"

13. “Children learn as they play. More importantly, in play they learn how to learn.” (O. Fred Donaldson)

Another popular homeschool quote that is similar…

Play is often talked about as if it is a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.  Play is really the work of childhood.

Fred Rogers

Repeat after me: for children, play is the highest form of learning.

If your kids are happily playing in the morning, leave them to it! Forget your perfect schedule, that you had planned to do math – MATH – at 9 a.m.

Let the children play.

If you need more convincing about the power of play, make sure to read Free to Learn by Peter Gray.

Related: 11 More Books Every Homeschool Mom Needs to Read

young child playing hopskotch, with text overlay, "Children learn as they play, and more importantly in play, they learn how to learn. O. Fred Donaldson"

14. “You don’t need to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

When we first start homeschooling, we want to know the final outcome.

If I choose to homeschool my child’s entire life, will they be the kind of adult I want them to be? Will they really know everything they need to know? Be a successful, fulfilled, happy adult?

We want all the reassuring answers before we say, “yes” to the call to homeschool, that tug on our hearts to keep our kids home.

But we just don’t know.

And can I tell you something? Parents who send their kids to traditional school don’t know either. They may feel more secure about the outcome because traditional school is the mainstream and conventional choice.

But successful, happy adult children are never a guarantee, no matter how you choose to educate your children.

You don’t need to see the whole staircase. Just take it one step at a time, one year at a time, and make the best possible decision for your family for right now.

young woman with backpack hiking up stairs in nature, with text overlay, "You don't need to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." Martin Luther King, Jr."

15. “Be the kind of adult who makes adulthood look awesome.” (Julie Bogart)

This homeschool quote is permission to focus on you, homeschool mama. It’s permission to invest time into your one and only, awesome adult life.

To have hobbies, pursue your passions, and dedicate guilt-free time to yourself.

When I’m feeling like I should fold laundry instead of write a blog post or read a book or watch a Netflix show, I sometimes stop to ask myself what my choices are teaching my kids about adulthood.

Is it a long slog of dishes and laundry and work and taxes? Is adulthood about the romance and the fun being gone? Or is there play and awesome mixed into all of that.

These days, I do still fold laundry, but more and more because I want to – not because I have to. Because I appreciate this awesome home and how it feels when it’s tidy and things are put away.

But sometimes, I choose the awesome, the things that make me love this life I’m living alongside my kids, the things that truly light me up. And every time I’m encouraged to make that choice more often.

woman with headphones and iphone dancing to music and smiling, with text overlay, "Be the kind of adult who makes adulthood look awesome. Julie Bogart"

16. “There is no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one.” (Sue Atkins)

If you ever feel like you need to be a perfect homeschool parent, you can let that go. You aren’t going to be perfect or even the “best” necessarily.

But your children don’t need the best or the perfect homeschool parent. They need a real, flesh and blood, imperfect human parent.

They need someone who admits to mistakes, to being wrong, and is committed for trying again. That’s what makes a good homeschool parent.

mom holding toddler boy outside, with text overlay, "There is no such thing as a perfect parent, so just be a real one. Sue Atkins"

17. “She believed she could homeschool, so she did.” (June Doran)

When I was trying to decide whether or not to homeschool, I didn’t believe I could do it.

I felt inadequate, far from up to the task. I thought I needed a degree (you don’t) or special skills (also, nope).

It’s only when I started to believe that yes, I could homeschool, when I shifted the thoughts from I can’t, to I’ll learn, that I truly believed that I could.

Change your thoughts. Believe in yourself – that the same parent who supported her child in learning how to walk and talk and use the toilet can support any other necessary learning, too.

Believe that you can do it, and you will rock it.

homeschool family sitting together on couch reading a picture book, with text overlay, "She believed she could homeschool, so she did. June Doran"

18. “Children are not a distraction from the more important work. They are the most important work.” (C.S. Lewis)

This one I need to be reminded of over and over again. Especially because I truly love my work.

I constantly feel like a horse chomping at the bit, aching to run faster and go farther. Maybe you feel like that sometimes, too?

That’s when you need this quote front and center, to remind you that your kids are the most important work.

young mom hugging toddler boy outside on cold day at pond with beach and ducks in background, with text overlay, "Children are not a distraction from the most important work, they are the most important work. CS Lewis"

19. “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” (Plutarch)

Your job as a homeschool parent is not to fill your child with all the knowledge.

Because guess what? You can’t control whether or not they listen in the first place, or whether or not they actually remember it in the future.

Change how you look at your job as a homeschool mom. Your job is to stoke a fire in your child, help them discover their passions and give them the tools to do it.

I don’t envy the teachers whose job is to fill the vessel (and whose job depends on that information sticking).

The stoking the fire part? It’s a much easier job.

20. “To trust children, we must first learn to trust ourselves.” (John Holt)

This one seems out of place, but trust me, it’s not.

Parenting and homeschooling are inseparable. If you don’t trust your children, you will homeschool much differently than if you do.

Do you trust them to know when they’re curious? To be interested in things? To be driven to learn? To want to do well at the things they care about doing?

How you see your children affects your homeschool. Do some soul-searching to uncover how you truly see them, how you talk about them to your mom friends. Is it positive?

Much of how we treat our children depends on how we were treated. If you weren’t taught to trust yourself, to know yourself, then you won’t give your children the same courtesy.

21. “But what if I fall? Oh my darling – but what if you fly!” (Erin Hanson)

Finally, what if we went into homeschooling expecting to succeed? How would that change your day to day? Your mental outlook?

Instead of living in constant fear of failing, try telling yourself that you’re going to absolutely crush this homeschool thing.

How you think about your homeschool (a.k.a. mindset) matters. Make sure the thoughts you’re thinking line up with the outcome you’re wanting.

woman jumping in the air in front of a lake, text overlay, "But what if I fall? Oh my darling - what if you fly! Erin Hanson"

These Quotes Can Change Your Homeschool Life…If You Let Them

Mindset work is super trendy, I know. So if you’re eye-rolling right now, I hear you. It took me a long time to get on the mindset bandwagon, but now that I’m on it, I’m hooked.

Our brain is a powerful tool that often runs on autopilot – but when we harness that powerful tool and start telling it what to think? It’s life-changing.

Working on your mindset will make the difference between feeling like a homeschool failure every other day and being confident that what you’re doing is enough.

It has the power to dissolve that persistent fear lurking in your chest, the fear that suggests not only are you maybe not doing enough, but your kids might fail because of your choice to homeschool.

Homeschooling has the potential to be an amazing gift, a gift that offers you:

  • time together
  • a free schedule, and
  • a truly unique education.

But that gift can be spoiled by fear and doubt. Don’t let it be!

Read these quotes often, and remember the core message they whisper over and over again:

That you, homeschool mama, are more than enough, the best person to be in charge of your child’s education. And your kids are amazing creatures who come ready and able to learn everything they truly need to know.

With that combination of thoughts? You can’t possibly fail.

She believed she could homeschool, so she did.

June Doran

Get a printable of all 21 homeschool quotes as a free gift when you enter your e-mail address below.

Read Next: 12 Unschooling Books that Will Make You Rethink Education

homeschool mom writing down inspiring homeschool quotes, cup of tea at her side, with text overlay, "powerful homeschool quotes to inspire you...and to change your homeschool mom mindset"

Help a friend out: share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *