Monday, May 9, 2016

Thoughts on Homeschooling From a Homeschooler


I hear [read] things about homeschooling all of the time. Blogs rave on and on about homeschooling, but what confuses me is that most of these articles are written by anybody but the homeschoolers themselves.

I read posts by homeschooling moms. I read comments condemning the practice of homeschooling by pro-public school moms. I see memes mocking homeschooling which were generated by kids who were homeschooled only for the second semester of eighth grade, because they were kicked out of their middle school for vandalizing the gym. Or something like that... But where are my fellow homeschoolers? When do they get a say?

So, I decided, today is the day. A girl, homeschooled for her entire education, tells it as it is.

Here you are. From a Homeschooler (a person who was educated at home from the first day to the last final exam of 12th grade), I give you what homeschooling means to me.


     1. Homeschooling is Awesome

Yessss. It's awesome. Sleep in. Stay in your pajamas all day. Go to the amusement park for P.E. What more could a kid want? I have been on some of the most amazing field trips ever, my teacher actually cared about me and my education, and I could pray in class any time I wanted to. I am way more "socialized" than most public school graduates, because I can communicate with and relate to people of any age, not just my peers. And, let's not forget that I did significantly better than the national average on the ACT, and graduated High School with 35 college credits. I also memorized somewhere close to a thousand Bible verses just during my four years of High School. How's that for free time?

     2. Homeschooling is Hard

As completely amazing as it is, not every day is a piece of cake. Sometimes it takes finishing something to see the beauty of it; that's kind of how it is with homeschooling, I think. Some days, you're just going to want to go hide under a rock to get away from your family members. Spending all of your time with the same people can do that to you.

But, this teaches you how to work in a family unit, which is not taught in "real" school. I know how to apologize, accept apologies, get over grudges, and grow together in love with people of diverse personalities [my family], and it's not because I sat through lectures that taught me to do so, or had to study for a final exam in the subject.

Homeschooling is also hard because the actual school work is hard. You don't have a free pass, or a class average to lean on when you are the class. Literally. You are the only person in your class. If you don't study and do what it takes to get that good grade, then it simply won't happen.

     3. Homeschooling is Segregated

Something most non-homeschoolers don't know is that even within homeschool, there are groups. The two biggest divisions are the co-op participators and the co-op avoiders. Co-op is basically like going to a small school, where everybody else there is weird like you, and they do the pledges. So, a Christian school. But some of the people aren't even Christians. Now, the people that go to these once a week or once a month just consider these supplementary to the work they do at home. But some people send their kids to co-ops every day of the week. 8-3. Like public school. WHICH MEANS THEY'RE NOT ACTUALLY HOMESCHOOLERS. Can you tell which division I'm of?... yeah. A-hem.

Also, they have "homeschool prom" and "homeschool homecoming"... uh, why do you need a home-coming if you're already home?! Gracious. These further divide the community. I have friends that have participated in these, but they aren't for me.

Of course, Mennonite homeschoolers stick with other Mennonite homeschoolers, Pentecostal with other Pentecostals, atheist with atheists, and so on and so forth, only furthering the divide.

If anything, this goes to prove that just because your second cousin is homeschooled doesn't necessarily mean we know him. Not all homeschoolers are friends, or even similar to one another...

     4. Homeschooling is Unique & Creates a Thick Bond

Even with homeschooling gaining popularity all across the country- spreading like wildfire, really- it's still unique. You'll still get probed to make sure you aren't physically abused or mentally incompetent.

You'll still get side-long glances when you go grocery shopping with your mom at 1 on Tuesday afternoons, and you'll be told that "you don't know what you're missing out on, since you've never been to public school". But, lady, I do know what I'm missing out on. I watch the news. You know how many school shootings we've had at my school to date? Zippo. I'm missing out on peer pressure, negative influences, and basically all things bad. Also, I know what prom is, and I never cared to go anyways.

So, yes, not all homeschoolers are best friends (as I just covered in point #3), but homeschoolers stick together, for the most part. The world won't let them be cool without a fight, so they group together. Blimey Cow put out a video a couple of years ago called 'Seven Lies About Homeschoolers', and homeschoolers everywhere now looove Blimey Cow, because they relate to the homeschoolers! They promote homeschoolers! They understand us!

Overall, I think homeschoolers are unique, and appreciate one another just because they are fellow homeschoolers. The method of their education is enough of a common grounds.

     5. Homeschooling is a Springboard

Start here, go anywhere. Now I sound like a university advertisement. But, no. I'm talking about homeschooling.

So you want to be a doctor? Lawyer? Missionary? Stay-at-home mom? Homeschooling has the amazing advantage of being able to prepare you for anything, and launching you into what you need to succeed.

For example, you can read testimonies from my fellow Dual Credit at Home students who were able to graduate High School at a very early age, move on to college, and graduate with Baccalaureate and/or Master's degrees years and years before their public schooled peers would even dream of graduating. 21 year old lawyers, anyone?

Or, missions! Homeschoolers could have the flexibility of doing school work internationally, or taking long breaks for missions work. They also have so much opportunity for entrepreneurship that earning money seems to be a more flourishing practice among homeschooled High School students when compared to most public-schooled students who are too swamped in homework to think up business strategies. Save up! Get to Uganda! Be a missionary! It's a fast-track to what God has called you to do.

Or, mothering! It's the woman's highest calling. And, if you're a homeschooled young lady and you know that this is what God is going to have for you, you have so many preparation opportunities! Whereas, in contrast, all public school-ers are taught the same thing. There is no special track for future stay-at-home wives and mothers. Do you really need advanced calculus for your life ahead? Or would accounting, typing, cooking, and sewing be more practical?

You can do anything with this education!

Wrapping it up...

As you can probably tell, I loved my homeschool education. Sure, certain days were harder than other certain days, but as a whole, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

And, finally, for those of you who may be totally clueless about homeschooling, allow me to debunk a couple of things for you right quick...
  1. We make fun of "public-school-ers", too.
  2. We socialize our dogs; we educate our children.
  3. Missing out? Well, in case you haven't noticed, spending 8+ hours a day, five days a week, in the same place, with the same people isn't exactly the epitome of enviable wide-ranging experiences...
Think on those while you stand in line for THREE HOURS at Space Mountain over Fourth of July weekend. 'Cause our wait on Tuesday in mid-February was only 20 minutes. Bam.



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8 comments:

  1. Elizabeth WilliamsMay 17, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    Yes! Because I as homeschooled, I wasn't around a ton of people my age every day. And some people would think that was awful. But, it definitely taught me how to relate to all different ages of people, and not be stuck in my own little bubble lol

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  2. Fellow homeschooler here! I agree with your perspective. There are things we miss but they aren't comparable to the things we gain. Thanks for writing this post! ---Libby

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    1. Hi there, Libby!!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Always great to meet another homeschooler!

      I'm hoping as more and more kids start homeschooling, maybe there won't be so many stereo-types for my future children to haggle with. Only time will tell, though!

      Have a great rest of your summer!

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  3. Awesome post!! I can relate to everything written..at one point I was laughing out loud! I showed my mom and she loved it too! I've received more than one of those "sideways" glances at the grocery store at one o'clock on a Tuesday! :D And yes, to all those people who fought 50 people per square foot at the beach this summer...I'll try not to rub it in too much that we have almost the whole beach to ourselves in the middle of September. :)
    Reason 1,235,687 I'm glad I'm homeschooled!
    Great post!

    Because of Christ,
    Megan

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    1. Hi Megan! Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read!

      Haha! I'm with you! Forget lines and crowds and all that! It's not the main reason we homeschool, but it's *definitely* a perk! And yes. I'll try not to rub it in too much. ;)

      Thanks again! I hope you'll stick around to read and comment more! I'm writing up another post on the topic of homeschooling currently! :)

      Because He Lives,

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  4. I definitely will! I found your blog through Amanda Tero and love it so far!
    No it's not the main reason, but yes it's a nice benefit! :-D
    Can't wait to read the new post, I'm sure it will be great.

    ~Megan
    waitingonthe-lord.blogspot.com

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  5. This was awesome. I was homeschooled from Kindergarten until 12th grade- the whole way! Yes, there were sometimes I wished I could go to public school, because homeschool was sooo hard, But looking back now, I would never change anything (except maybe the year I did Saxon for Math:).
    Everything you wrote is so true.
    Thanks for posting from a homeschooler's perspective!

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  6. Hello!I just found your blog through B.M.'s at Sparkle For Jesus! I am homeschooled too!I definitely agree with a lot in this post. Being in school for 8 hours every day can be really bad peer pressure and temptation. And it seems quite boring anyhow! Here I can go make a coffee or get a snack whenever I want (: We went to Disney in January; and yes, the lines were pretty long, but my Mom-mom said they were shorter than usual. I couldn't imagine being there in July!
    Well, have a nice day!

    Laura @ http://flowersinmybasket.blogspot.com

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