When people find out I’m homeschooled they generally ask the same thing: did you like it?
That’s like asking a fish if it likes water.
But I’m going to try to give this a good answer. I polled a few of my homeschooled and homeschooling friends to see if their experiences were similar. We all liked homeschooling, and here are a few reasons why.
In my family Mom and Dad set a time by which we had be fed, dressed, and ready to start schoolwork. But no one set when we had to do which course. And if we had an appointment that day, or planned to go on a week’s holidays, no one said we couldn’t.
Jon says he enjoyed “hunting before or after school…. And taking days off to go ice-fishing.” Also, “If you work your butt off you can be done quicker.” That is true. There is no class holding you back or forcing you to keep up. You work at your own pace.
Lessened Peer Pressure.
This is an educated guess, actually, but I’ve noticed that homeschooled kids are less likely to feel the need to be stylish. They’re less likely to feel the need for the latest gadgets. They don’t know the latest slang. They know far less about what’s on TV. That’s awesome! It gives them more time to just be kids.
The love of learning is less likely to be ‘peer-pressured out’. Who’s there to say they’re a ‘nerd’ if they’re smart? Who’s saying that school is boring? Even among my college classmates, who were paying big money to be there, there was an adversarial relationship with the professors and class was something they were being ‘forced’ to do. Where did they get that? I’d say at school.
Time with Family
Yup, your classmates are your siblings, Mom is the teacher and Dad is the principal. Some might think this would drive you nuts (and they’d be right sometimes). But we’re also forced to put up with each other and learn how to get along.
My siblings are some of my best friends, and I have a great relationship with my Mom and Dad. I give credit to spending so much time with them.
Kyla agrees, and says “My strong relationship [with my family] has helped me immensely in building relationships with others.” I agree. The firm foundation of family gives the confidence to build relationships with others.
Having said that, I know other families whose children have gone to public school, yet are close. The point is to be intentional about spending time together and building memories. That’s what bonds you together.
Not everyone learns the same way. There is no universal method. The homeschooling parents know their kids better than anyone, thus they can choose the teaching style that works best for their kids.
They can add courses or focus on subjects they deem important, or suited to their child.
They can also choose curricula that are in line with their worldview. This is the reason my parents chose to teach us at home. They wanted to educate us in their beliefs, not the beliefs that the government deems correct. This is also the reason that, if I have kids, I will homeschool them also.
I think I’ve established the why we loved being homeschooled. But, to be fair, there are a few cons. This is what we came up with.
Sheltered/Out of touch.
On one level this is a really good thing. Kids deserve to be kids. They don’t need to know about sex when they’re eight. They don’t need the pressure to conform, or look a certain way.
But, there was plenty of embarrassment in my teen years because I didn’t know the correct slang. After all, these days anything can be spun dirty. But worse, in my small community most of the kids went to the same school, knew the same people, bashed the same teachers, etcetera. I didn’t, and that made me feel like I didn’t belong.
The need to prove one’s self.
Kyla said “One of the downsides for me was the way that some homeschoolers seemed to think they were above people that went to public school but still felt a strong need to prove themselves to them. That worked to lower my confidence level when interacting with others.” I had a similar experience. I had this need to prove I wasn’t out of touch.
It may complicate post-secondary education.
Bethany’s high school diploma was not recognized by her college, and she was required to obtain her diploma through adult education. At my school I was accepted on academic probation until I could prove that I could maintain a ‘C’ average or higher. I was insulted. But after I finished my semester on the dean’s honor roll, the probation was dropped.
Homeschoolers in Canada have advocates such as the Homeschool Legal Defense, which in some cases can aid homeschoolers if post-secondary institutions are giving them a hard time.
So, there you have it. The main points of why homeschooling is awesome, and a few cautionary notes. Did I like being homeschooled? Yup. If I have kids, they’ll be homeschooled too.
For additional info (and entertainment), here is YouTuber Jordan Taylor on Seven Lies about homeschooling. Enjoy.
I’d like to say thanks to my Mom and Dad who ‘retired’ from teaching this summer after my youngest brother graduated. Congratulations on successfully homeschooling four kids, and thanks. I love you.