Do We Really Do School In Our Pajamas?

do we really do school in our pajamas

Written by contributor Lora Lynn Fanning of Vitafamiliae

Recently, I put a small statement out on twitter and facebook to say that, for the first time, we had actually DONE school in our pajamas. I’d always heard people joke about homeschoolers spending the day in pj’s, but I’d never actually done it until that morning, when the lure of the elastic waistband in my pajama bottoms was just too strong…

My email and twitter stream blew up with responses ranging from, “Really? I haven’t bathed or gotten dressed all week!” to “We don’t wear pajamas outside our bedrooms.”

I was surprised at how strongly folks reacted. A quick informal poll on facebook and twitter revealed that each homeschool family, whether they stay in pj’s or not, has a “system” that works for them. Maybe just Mom needed to be dressed, or only those old enough to do school. Other families were dressed and ready to roll at the same time every day!

For our family, while I don’t have a hard and fast Rule about getting dressed, it is part of my morning routine as well as my children’s. I don’t feel awake or very “with it” unless I’ve had a shower, so I make sure it’s something I achieve before I try to impart any real knowledge or math facts on my children.

Another mom I know actually buys her homeschooled children uniforms, complete with khaki shorts and matching polos. They put on their uniforms each morning, head out the front door, walk down the sidewalk, and then turn around and walk back into the house to officially Begin Their Day.

Ultimately, the goal is that we accomplish learning, not that we put on a bra and brush our hair. But I think this highlights one of the best things about homeschooling: you can do what works for you.

If your kids like to do their math in their skivvies, okay. If your kids memorize multiplication tables better when they are in matching outfits, that’s okay, too! And if, one day, the uniforms aren’t clean, you can give school a try in your sweat pants! Homeschooling offers you the flexibility to make the rules!

So, what works for your family? Are you the sort of family that parses participles in your footed pajamas? Or do you parade the neighborhood in uniforms before you start your school day? Do your rules apply just to your kids or to the whole family?

This post originally published on February 27, 2012.

About Lora

Lora Lynn earned her stripes becoming mom to seven kids in seven years. She’s lived to tell about it and shares her mothering know-how with comedy, common sense, and a whole lot of chocolate at Vitafamiliae. Through infertility, high-risk pregnancies, adoption, and life as a homeschooling, twin-raising, stay-at-home mom, Lora Lynn writes with humor and honesty on what’s most important in all the crazy – a life defined by family.


  1. We wear our pajamas most all the time. With seven, I can’t imagine the laundry we’d have if we all got dressed every day. If I am dressed, the kids ask if I am going somewhere :-). It may have a lot to do with the fact that I have been pregnant or nursing for the past 14 years. I just want to be comfortable in my home. But, to have everyone dressed everyday would thrill my husband. So I should probably work on it.

  2. We are a pajama family. Well, I am more of a yoga pants and sweatshirt type of person anyways. My husband works from home, and I am home with my babes all day, so unless we are leaving the house we tend to stay in our pjs. Although with the mess that my kiddos make, they usually get new pjs each night as well :-) So maybe it is sort of a uniform, just a much more comfortable one. And I am totally envious of you getting a shower in, I don’t seem to be able to get that done. Perhaps because my kids are still so little? At least that is what I keep telling myself…
    Heather’s latest post: All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

    • We have friends whose kids go to the classical Christian school in town. They stopped by after school recently in their uniforms: khaki pants and polos. I joked that we were wearing ours, too: PJs! :)

  3. We don’t stay in our pajamas all day unless we are sick, but that doesn’t mean I think we have to be dressed to learn. We get dressed because we like to play hard and get our clothes dirty– and not sleep in our dirty clothes. I do appreciate that as home schoolers, no one is focused on the clothes we wear as long as they are clean. I have never had a request for a specific brand of pants or expensive shoes just because all the other kids are wearing them. It makes our lives a lot easier.
    Jen@anothergranolamom’s latest post: Kids in the Kitchen: Potato Quesadillas

  4. We get dressed for much the same reason as Jen – we run/play hard on our farm all day so we’d hate to sleep in those same clothes! Also, we always have people dropping by unannounced so we’ve found its best to have something on our bodies. :)

  5. We get dressed too, but, most mornings the kids start off school in their PJ’s. We generally start with our bible reading and some read alouds, so the kids stay in their PJ’s at this point, but, I insist on them getting dressed at “recess”. We live in a busy house, as my husband is a pastor, so quite often people drop by unannounced. I’d rather everyone was dressed when people arrived!
    Lyn H’s latest post: Lodged

  6. For some reason I have always equated PJs with being sick or being lazy. My kids eat breakfast in the pajamas and then part of their morning chores is to go get dressed. I like seeing everyone “ready” for the day and being dressed is part of that for me…probably my Flylady brainwashing from 10 years ago :)
    Aimee’s latest post: Doing Hard Things

  7. We are usually in pj’s until around 10:00, when we take a little break. I feel more organized and “on top of it all” if I’ve showered or dressed first thing, but that is very rare.

  8. My crew lounge around for a little while, eat breakfat and maybe watch a show. If they are really into the book we are reading ‘out loud’ together, they might listen to that in their PJs too. After that I start my mantra, “Come on guys, go get ready!” Sometimes it’s me that never seems to ‘get ready’!

  9. We get dressed before we start school, but we have had an occasional pajama day, 1-2 times a year. No uniforms here. We are usually sporting some well worn jeans with holes.
    Paula’s latest post: God’s Names Book Giveaway

  10. We don’t get dressed unless we have somewhere to go. Comfy pajamas make for a comfy day. PJ days are often the best days.

  11. We do both. It really just depends on the day. You can almost guarantee though, if I stay in pajamas, someone will be knocking on my door. : )
    Thank you for this post. It was very encouraging to be reminded that there’s not one right answer.

  12. We get dressed most every day, but the girls’ morning starts slow since school doesn’t start until 10a. I get dressed because I just feel more sane and ready to deal with whatever comes flying at me. My girls get dressed because of the play hard, get dirty thing, too.
    Becca’s latest post: Thankful Thursday

  13. We are in P J’s for part of the morning too. I have included the kids get dressed in part of their morning chores also. But if it’s a day when we don’t have to go anywhere they will ask if they can stay in their jammies for the day. I don’t mind. There are days when I stay in my PJs all day too. It just depends on what’s happening that day.

  14. My goal is to be dressed & ready for the day before the kiddos get up (because they *will* get into something if I go back upstairs!) Their routine usually is getting dressed when they get up…occasionally they don’t change until after breakfast. I’ve found we are more awake and purposeful when dressed for the day, we also are ready for spur-of-the-moment outings. That said, on deep cleaning days, I stay on my jammies all day to work then shower and chane before bed. :-) We have recently instituted “pj days” when we where our pjs, make breakfast foods for all 3 meals, read books about bedtime, pjs and pancakes and play related games. It’s a break from our regular school schedule or a reward after some hard work.

  15. My girls are too young for school. But we do PJs until 10am typically. Occasionally I realize I’ve been in PJs for 2 days, but that’s only happened twice and that’s when my 2.5 year old and newborn (currently 3 mo) decide to have opposite schedules and I have no down time. Good think my hubby is understanding. :-)

  16. I like to get dressed and ready each day but my son stays in his pjs anytime he is home. As soon as he gets home from something, he immediately puts his pjs back on :)
    Heidi’s latest post: Homeschool Foreign Language

  17. Loved this! I spend most days in “comfies” I have 4 kids 5 and under and I am constantly getting something on myself. I don’t want to mess up my “good” clothes by wearing them around the house. My kids spend their day in “comfies” as well but are usually in some stage of undressed. The littlest 4 are in just a diaper most of the time. We get dressed only when we have somewhere to go, or just for going out to play.
    Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds’s latest post: 100+ Picture Books We Love (mostly Twaddle-Free)

  18. Crafty Mama says:

    Hehe, I like the school uniform idea. I usually make sure the kids are dressed first, even if I’m not.

  19. Every now and then my kids will request a “Jammie Day.” Otherwise, though, they get dressed after they’ve had breakfast. I’m pretty much not functional without a shower, so I don’t have PJ days unless I’m very, very sick.
    Nichole’s latest post: You’re nuffin’ without a muffin (or three)

  20. Honestly, we spend practically all our time in sweatpants. We also sleep in sweatpants but change before bed…I don’t like denim, it’s too stiff, and I know that’s weird but I don’t care. I think I may actually get some of those pajama jeans someday because I dislike real jeans SO much.

  21. We just started homeschooling about 2 weeks ago and we have stayed in our PJ’s every day. :) I’m loving it and the boys are too!

  22. It depends on the day for us and how we feel. I find in the winter that we don’t get dressed as much unless we are going somewhere. But during the rest of the seasons we are dressed because we like being outside.

  23. I get up and shower and get dressed. The kids usually stay in pajamas unless the weather’s nice enough to go outside and play. There are occasions where I realize (usually on a rainy week) that a kid or two hasn’t bathed or changed in a couple of days.

  24. Amanda Anderson says:

    We have places to go just about every day so my three (ages 9, 6, 4) kids change into their “uniforms” (worn-out jeans and a probably-stained t-shirt, but clean underpants and socks are a must!) after breakfast. I find it very frustrating when it’s time to leave for co-op Monday morning and we’re all waiting on someone to get some clothing on!

  25. I usually feel much more with it when I shower & ‘dress’. My mind just focuses better. But being ‘dressed’ takes on different meanings, depending on the day. I have a couple pairs of comfy pants that I’ll kick around in if we aren’t going anywhere. Not quite PJs, but not nice enough to leave the house in.

    I usually ask DS to get dressed as well, although it just depends on how the day is going. As it gets nicer, he’s getting dressed more so he can play outside!

    I was thinking today about how I love the fact that we can still be in our PJs and cuddled under a warm blanket as we watch all the public school kids head off to school (in the cold!)
    Diana B’s latest post: A is for Android

  26. Really glad you weren’t tough on that bra thing. We will remain friends forever.

  27. It’s fun to hear what works for different families — from PJs whenever possible to the “school” uniforms & march out the door (that’s a new one!). We do a little bit of both: PJs on low-key days and getting dressed first thing when there’s an activity or outing on the daytime agenda. I’m not naturally a morning person, but I also don’t associate getting dressed up with mental clarity or feeling awake — for me personally, it’s more about a morning shower and/or cup of coffee.My girls shower/bathe at night, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in their behavior or attention span to be in comfy PJs or jeans/tees while we’re doing schoolwork. It’s more of a practical decision for us. I’m also in favor of keeping the laundry manageable by not changing clothes unnecessarily.
    Renee Gotcher’s latest post: Friday Flashback: Field Trip to Civil War Reenactment Camp

  28. I’m pregnant again and maternity pants just don’t want to stay on my hips. So if I am going to be home all or most of the day, I’ve been wearing sweats, yoga, or lounge pants. My kids wear real clothes if we’re going somewhere or if we’re expecting someone, otherwise they are free to wear “comfy” clothes (sweats or lounge pants). I actually prefer it-it keeps their real clothes stain free. I do try to get them out of their pjs though. It makes me feel better if someone pops by if we’re all dressed-however casually.

  29. It’s really interesting what works for different families…I have 5 kids 8 and under and, my kids would probably freak out if we were ready to start school and Mommy was still in her pjs :) I have to be really, really sick (not just pregnant sick) to stay in pjs all day and that hasn’t happened in years. My kids are the same: get up, get dressed, make bed, eat breakfast. We’ve just always done it that way. The tutorial where my older two go usually has pj day the last day that they meet before Christmas break. My kids do wear pajamas that day, but not the ones they slept in. They change from their “night” pajamas into a pair of “day” pajamas. They were appalled when I suggested that they just leave the other ones on!

  30. We brush our teeth and wash our face first thing in the morning. We keep our jammies on while we do school work and then get dressed for the day. Usually we are finished with school work around lunch time, so we get ready and head out for any errands we have to run.

  31. We get dressed in the morning because we spend lots of time outside, taking walks in the neighborhood, and getting together with friends. But in the winter my kids usually wear their pjs as “long underwear” so when they get up we just throw some fleece pants and a sweater on top. Then at night we change into a fresh pair of pjs. :)
    Kelly’s latest post: Learning Happens Through Play

  32. I love that learning can look so different in each family! I’m definitely a get up and get dressed sort of person. I find I get much less accomplished when I’m not dressed!
    Johanna @ My Home Tableau’s latest post: Learning With Littles

  33. We are in our pj’s ALOT! LOL! :) I have admitted this openly on my blog a few times.

  34. Thanks for posts like this! It’s nice to be reminded of the diversity… that WORKS. We always get dressed… well I guess the kids always get dressed. Occasionally I change while they are working on something.
    Rachel at Stitched in Color’s latest post: how to Buy a Sewing Machine

  35. While I like to get dressed before I go downstairs in the morning (it makes me feel ready for the day as so many before have stated), I don’t make the kids get dressed until anywhere between 9am or 1pm. We do life learning and that fits well with our lifestyle. Although I’m the one who makes the kids get dressed (if they had their druthers, they’d stay in pj’s all day long), I am pretty relaxed about when they do it. And I’ve never let the kids go outside with pj’s although I know others who do.

    My belief is with most things in life: live and let live.

  36. I think our philosophy is comfortable. We don’t necessarily wear pajamas all day, but yoga pants and a t-shirt for Mom, and a t-shirt and jeans or stretchy pants for the kids. If it’s clean, we’re happy. Our only official pajama day is the first day of school every year, and it’s more of a day long party to celebrate the awesome year ahead of us.

  37. Wow! I never knew jammies were so popular. Personally I like to be dressed and ready for anything. I usually ask my kids to be dressed before breakfast, but they are usually up 45 minutes to an hour or more before breakfast time. The only time I’ve let the kids stay in their jammies is if I know they aren’t feeling well.
    Suanna’s latest post: The Hidden Art of Homemaking – Music

  38. I like to get dressed most days, it makes me feel ready to tackle the day (I’d most likely sneek back to my bed if I didn’t). And except for designated pajama day I usually ask the kids to get dressed before lunch. 😉 So sometimes school happens in pjs and sometimes not! It truly is oneof the many great things about homeschooling!

  39. I really just depends on the day for us. If we don’t have to go out of the house for any reason that day (which isn’t as often as I’d like!), we usually stay in p.j.s. We all stay up later at night, so it’s not always easy for me to get up before the kids. If they’re is something we’d like to do together, it helps if we get to it as soon as possible, so we usually stay in p.j.s until we need to get ready to go.
    Christina @Interest-Led Learning’s latest post: My February Unschooling Fun & Resources

  40. We do both. Sometimes we get dressed and sometimes we wear PJs. It just kind of depends on the mood we’re in and how busy we are. Sometimes showering just takes too much time. :-)

  41. I do not….but sometimes I let my kids, but I prefer they get dressed. It helps their minds wake up and mine!
    Martha Artyomenko’s latest post: Broken Trust by Sharon Dunn

  42. My daughter LOVES the days when she gets to stay in her pjs (and so do i)! It does not happen every day, maybe only once a week or once every two weeks, but we do like those days and love the freedom. :)
    Debbye’s latest post: Will Supplementing or Switching To Formula Help Your Breastfeeding Baby Sleep?

  43. We don’t homeschool yet because I have little bitties, but our general rule of thumb is dressed by eight. Mostly that is because I always want to be ready in case an opportunity arises. Just this December my mom called at 8:15 to let me know her 1st grade teachers were taking their classes to a student showing of the Nutcracker and did I want to bring the girls? It’s a thirty minute drive so if I had had to get everyone dressed we wouldn’t have been able to go.

    Also even though they are little mine are showing signs of major extroversion (like their mama) so while we make a concerted effort not to be busy and to stay home I need to be ready to make a break for a more crowded place when all of our natures are screaming for it!
    Kaylie’s latest post: Just Your Size

  44. If we are going to go somewhere out of the house, my kids (3 and 6 years old) get dressed right before we leave. If we are staying home all day, they stay in their jammies all day. This really saves on laundry, plus I don’t mind if they get their jammies filthy and stained up; so if they go outside and get their jammies dirty, then they change into clothes for the rest of the day. I get myself cleaned and dressed for the day about halfway through the morning, but if we are staying around the house I usually wear a comfy skirt or yoga pants.
    Sarah Smith’s latest post: Real Food Convenience Foods and Compromises

  45. On “normal” days, I expect my kids to get dressed and put their pj’s under the pillow when the make their bed- then they can come to the kitchen for breakfast. For us, it just gets everyone into the “ready to work” mode. Once in awhile, when I know we aren’t going anywhere, I’ll announce that it’s a pajama day, which most of them LOVE, but some still want to get dressed. Funny thing is, they often sleep in their clothes- the rule is, if we didn’t go anwhere and you didn’t get dirty playing outside, then yes, you can sleep in your clothes.
    Rachel Marie’s latest post: Yarn Along

    • Proof of how different we all are! I have been nursing the last two years and am headed on year three and I dream of the day I can burn those nursing Cami’s! My yoga pants? Now that’s a different story…

  46. I wouldn’t knock the way anyone else rolls, but man I do love my comfy clothes. I stopped nursing a year ago and I still wear nursing camis with my yoga or pj pants, because they are full coverage and more comfy than a sports bra LOL! I just have to throw a shirt on if I need to step outside. My toddlers have an arsenal of play clothes that if they don’t dirty them up I can put them to bed in them. I save the actual pjs for when they will only sleep in them or for when we travel. haha! More than anything I just want to do what makes them most comfy…me too XD

  47. I fiercely love my jammies. Maybe I missed my homeschool calling? Couldn’t resist! 😉
    Caroline Starr Rose’s latest post: L. M. Montgomery in Her Own Words: 1889-1894

  48. We get dressed before school (after breakfast), but only because I have to take them out to their grandparent’s house after school work for the morning and the grandparents go places – and they DON’T want to take kids in PJs to the store.

  49. One of our goals in raising our children, and thereby in homeschooling, is to grow children into responsible adults, ready for whatever God has in store. As such, we understand that it is very likely that most, if not all, of our children will work outside the home at one time or other. As such, we want them to learn that there are schedules that must be kept and confines in which we must work whether we want to or not. So for us, having our children dressed and ready for school at a certain time each morning is preparation for that day in the future when he/she will need to do so, for a boss, a teacher, a professor, etc. We have seven children, too, and I don’t find that it’s all that much extra laundry. You can wear your PJs more than one night at a time. When you have that much laundry already, a few PJs aren’t going to break the back. :)

  50. Our family is of the all day PJ wearing type. Although our PJs are mostly sweat or yoga pants and a t-shirt.

Share Your Thoughts


CommentLuv badge