Prisma is the world’s most engaging virtual school that combines a fun, real-world curriculum with powerful mentorship from experienced coaches and a supportive peer community
There are so many reasons why a child might hate school: boring classes, too much work, not enough free-time, bullying, no sense of community, or a bad match with their teacher. Often, several of these reasons get tangled together, making it challenging to tease them apart from a general sense of “get me out of here!”
In response to hearing those dreaded words, you might start considering home education — especially in the middle of the school year, when finding a new school to attend in-person feels like an extra steep climb.
But “homeschooling” isn’t a de facto cure-all for a child’s “hate” of school. You’ll have to pick the right approach for you and your family. And that starts with understanding why your child hates school to begin with.
One common translation of “I hate school” is, “I’m bored.” But go a little deeper into what they mean. Common reasons for boredom include:
In either scenario, a project-based approach might be a better fit: project-based learning teaches problem-solving skills, critical thinking and creativity, by presenting kids with a real life question (think: climate change, world hunger, fake news), and then inviting them to solve it, using authentic sources, in the way that resonates most with them.
Project-based learning is an ideal homeschool curriculum. It’s fundamentally customizable, so your child can be the protagonist of their own education. Avoiding “levels” or specific “learning styles,” project-based learning invites kids to wrestle with a topic of interest, which means they are more likely to push themselves out of their comfort zone.
At Prisma, learners take the lead on choosing the specific topic they want to pursue, and get ample choice of what kind of material to use for their research and how to present the results. That means a final project could be a 3d model of their city of the future, a podcast about local news, or a series of poems inspired by their favorite video game.
Sometimes a student and a teacher just don’t click, often because of hard-to-pinpoint interpersonal reasons. In those cases, if it’s impossible to switch your child to another classroom or impractical to wait out the year, homeschooling could be a good option. But take a beat and think about whether you feel like you and your child will gel in a student-teacher dynamic and you feel comfortable taking on that role full-time.
If not, you may want to consider an online school like Prisma. We provide coaches, hand-picked from less than 1% of applicants and chosen for their ability to build relationships with kids. We’re very deliberate about our learner-coach pairings, ensuring that each is a good fit.
Seven-hours-plus might just be too much school for your child. Whether they have special needs (learning disabilities, adhd, etc.) that the public school system can’t meet, or other interests they want more time to pursue, homeschool could be a great alternative.
The individualized nature of home-based learning means your child can get done what they need, at their ideal pace, in an environment engineered for their needs.
If the goal of home-based learning is to finish as quickly as possible, and you want the support of an online school, you’ll want to look for one that has a majority of asynchronous classes with little-to-no face-to-face, live classes. Just be aware that in those schools, you’ll also have little-to-no community.
With approximately ninety minutes of live, daily workshops, a school like Prisma prioritizes learning in community but also allows students more flexibility than the traditional in-person school environment.
If your child hates school because they are feeling overwhelmed, they aren’t alone: The World Health Organization is reporting a post-pandemic surge of mental health struggles in teens. For some kids, traditional school — with the relentless focus on grades and assessments — can be a pressure cooker that extinguishes their love of learning.
Homeschool can be a great solution for an overwhelmed kiddo: do away with grades and emphasize growth. Prisma’s holistic approach to assessments centers on regular, qualitative learner-coach feedback. Then, if they choose to apply to college or other formal programs in the future, the badges students earn for mastering core skills can be translated into a traditional transcript.
As students transition into middle school and high school, they might also be overwhelmed because they haven’t yet developed executive functioning. To be a successful Prisma student, you need to be self-sufficient. But we teach our students independence step by step, so they aren’t floundering in the deep end. These lessons are real-world focused: Our high school students accomplish “missions” in adulting, building life skills from basic first aid to meal prep.
Since school is the first community a child joins on their own, it makes sense that feeling disconnected from peers would lead to an outsized negative reaction. If a student is facing bullying or social isolation at school, with no viable solution, homeschool can be a good option. But there’s a major caveat.
Homeschool places a significant responsibility for socializing on the families’ shoulders. Without the built-in proximity to peers, to avoid another isolating experience, you and your child will have to be proactive about finding online or in-person communities: homeschool groups and co-ops can be one such source, as can online schools. However, as we mentioned above, you’ll want to make sure you choose an online school like Prisma, with regular live workshops that shows they put community front and center.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. If your child hates school because they are resistant to any form of schoolwork whatsoever, you may find that problem doesn’t improve — or even worsens — when they learn from the home. It can be even harder for a parent to be the one to motivate a resistant child to learn, so consider doing a short experiment to see how well you are able to serve as their instructor before pulling them out of their current public or private school.
If your child needs constant adult supervision to stay on task, homeschooling will only be a good fit if you’re able to dedicate yourself to your child’s education full-time. Despite the seemingly infinite homeschool resources available, homeschooling parents have increased responsibilities, from supervising and grading school work, to planning field trips, social events, and enrichment activities.
The homeschool lifestyle comes with pros and cons (as we’ve written in a previous post). So as a first step, take time to understand your kiddos’ resistance to their current environment — in as much detail as possible. If you can get them to open up to you about why they’re having a hard time in school, you’ll be that much closer to figuring out if homeschool is right for your family and how to take the next steps forward.
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"Carolyn is a miracle worker in math. Piper's attitude towards math has improved so much this year. It's never been her favorite subject but Carolyn's patience and encouragement has made such a positive impact." -Alexia A., Prisma parent
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“Lauren is fantastic and has struck a nice balance of connecting with Cooper and keeping him on task. I'm impressed to see real growth in Cooper around self awareness, reflecting on his “glows and grows,” and goal setting.” -Kym J., Prisma parent
“I've seen growth in my kids, and most importantly a solid relationship between them and their coaches. We feel so grateful for these amazing humans that have entered our kids' lives. My kids' words exactly: ‘These teachers actually want to be here. They really care!’ ” -Katie M., Parent in Kimberly’s Cohort
By introducing these concepts at home, you're setting your child up to be more financially responsible and savvy, giving them the tools to navigate an increasingly complex financial world.
“I’m so happy to have an opportunity to call out Javi. As a math educator myself I am really impressed with how he presents math concepts, differentiates for and challenges learners as needed. From a social-emotional perspective he is so kind, patient and invested in the kids as a whole. I am so happy he is Brynn’s math coach.” -Chandra S., Prisma parent
The ability to tolerate frustration is not merely about weathering the storm of the moment, but about instilling the persistence, adaptability, and resilience that set your child up for future success.
“We are eternally grateful for Prisma and the wonderful people who work there - especially the coaches - whose patience and expertise make our kids feel seen and heard and loved while also coaching them to learn knowledge and skills.” -Ashley S., Parent in Angie’s cohort
We are thrilled to announce that Prisma has earned accreditation from the Cognia Global Education Commission.
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"Thank you for the bottom of our hearts for showing Story what it means to show up and do the hard work.” -Jenna W, Prisma Parent
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“Kristi sent Madeline a little note saying how much she likes seeing Madeline everyday, and Madeline grinned from ear to ear. Certainly a nice reminder of how different the relationship has been between coach and student compared to what we saw in public school.” -Pamela D., Prisma Parent
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“Despite Levi’s frustrations with science in the past, he had the most ambitious projects for Anne’s class. I love that she was able to inspire him!” -Joy J., Prisma parent
“Cindy is AMAZING! I’m so blown away by her accommodations, reprioritizing Parker’s to do lists, and always providing tons of encouragement. I’m knocked off my socks everytime I overhear her doing anything, really.” -Priscilla W., Prisma Parent
The first big surprise for me was the amazing team I would get to help me. I didn’t feel so alone when it came to supporting my kids' academic education.
“Natalie is so amazing and Karl has become very close with her. This year has seen Karl expand in his learning very much." -Anna H., Prisma parent
“Gwyn has been so wonderful to Jack. She is so relatable and authentic and really kind. She immediately bonded with him, and has really given him the freedom to be creative and take risks. She has made education and the whole "school experience" a safe place for him. With her support and encouragement, she has really made him thrive.” -Wren W., Prisma parent
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