Do homeschoolers ever wear uniforms? Yes, sometimes, and there are several popular options to choose from.
Option One: An actual school uniform
Honestly, school uniforms are cute and look good on kids. Depending on where you live, you may be able to purchase them at an affordable price. Especially if you shop back to school sales. I’ve heard there are even some homeschool families who purchase them and have the kids wear them at home during school hours, to encourage more discipline. Personally, I’ve never done that, but I have bought a few school uniforms.
One year, when my kids were very small, I stumbled upon a uniform sale, and just couldn’t resist. I dressed all three kids in navy blue slacks and skirts (that also had little shorts underneath) and light blue collared shirts. I just got one set per child, and then I asked the kids to wear them about once a week to either our homeschool co-op or a park day. For some reason, I found it extremely entertaining. They always looked nice and neat, something that mixing and matching rarely resulted in at our house. They were also easy to pick out on the playground from the other homeschoolers. And because it was novel and different, my kids all were happy to test them out. That said, as they have gotten older and found their own styles, this phase has been left far behind.
Option Two: Matching T-shirts
This is the field trip uniform of choice for many reasons. If you have several children, it can be hard to actually keep them together at all times. Some places, like playgrounds, are just made to explore on your own! So, to make life easier, homeschoolers will choose to dress all of their kids, sometimes even the parents too, in a single color t-shirt. While red or blue work, my personal favorite colors for this have been lemon yellow and hunter orange. A single bright color allows you to count t-shirts quickly and having a color that is less common makes it less likely you will accidentally count the wrong kid. You can get these at very reasonable prices at most craft stores.
You can also take the t-shirt option a step further and either tye-dye or screen print shirts for your family. Tye-dying together can count as learning about textiles. And designing a logo for your shirt is “graphic design.” So working on these as a family project not only results in cool shirts but has educational merit.
This option is also helpful if one of your children wanders off. You can tell any security guard you see “The missing child is dressed just like this one” while pointing at any of your other kids. As a warning, when you do this, they will likely look at you like they are wondering if a child is actually missing, or you’re just crazy. Don’t ask how I know.
Options Three: The Classic
The classic, standard homeschool uniform is, of course, comfy pajamas. On any day your children don’t leave the house, and some when they do, most kids today opt to stay in their fleece or flannel all day. Every day. Some people think that pajamas can’t be a uniform. They are wrong. Not only can your kids wear their pajamas to lessons but, as their teacher, you can too!
Whatever you opt for, take a moment today to appreciate that as homeschoolers, you never have to worry if their “school clothes” are clean and their uniforms can be anything they choose.
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.