I have been homeschooled for eleven out of my twelve academic years. In fifth grade, I attended a Christian school in West Virginia for a year, showing me what an American school was like, but I haven’t attended a “real” school since, leaving me as a homeschooler for the last six years in a row. I have been taught by over 6 different teachers, taken over 5 different curriculums, and attended two different online schools, one of which I am still with.
I am, without a doubt, a homeschooler. Good luck trying to debate otherwise.
Of course, life as a homeschooler has had its highs and lows. Sometimes, you feel on top of the world, but then life comes and smacks you on the back of the head. One of the most common misconceptions (yeah, we’re good at dealing with those, aren’t we) about homeschoolers is that we have it easy. This is so untrue it almost becomes humorous. I have several friends within the same online school that I attend, except they are “diploma” students, meaning that they work very hard for high grades and do extra work. Many of them average between 3-6 hours of sleep a night, only taking breaks from school on the weekend. They play no sports and have little free time, yet they are some of the smartest people I know. This level of schooling and pressure turns many “normal” kids into the brightest students in the country.
Life as a homeschooler has had its highs and lows. Sometimes, you feel on top of the world, but then life comes and smacks you on the back of the head.Tweet
Another benefit to homeschooling is the freedom within curriculums. While public/private schoolers aren’t allowed to chose their style of learning, homeschoolers are given this privilege. If I used a curriculum that didn’t suit my style of learning, I would change the next semester if given the opportunity. This not only gives me freedom but also an increased chance at truly learning my chosen subjects, instead of just cramming for exams.
An additional benefit to Christian homeschooling in particular is found within the spare time. While many public/private schoolers have to wake up very, very early in the morning to prepare, Christian homeschoolers can spend the time reading the Bible or journaling.
The final benefit to homeschoolers can be found within the increased chances for field-trips. As a homeschooling MK, I see things on a daily basis that would be counted as full field-trips within the United States. This chance is often available to all homeschoolers; if the parents wish to take their children to, for example, the museum, they can do so of their own free will, and it will count towards the student’s grades. Homeschooling, as a general rule, usually ends up being a more hands-on approach, which can be beneficial depending on the child’s personality.
Homeschooling is not without its drawbacks, unfortunately. While the aforementioned benefits far outweigh the consequences, there are some disappointing things I have discovered about my manner of schooling, especially within the last year.
The first of these is the lack of a real teacher. I take online courses at the Veritas Scholars Academy (shoutout to my VSA readers), including Algebra II. I have, to my misfortune, discovered it to be extremely difficult to learn math from a teacher on a computer screen. While my teacher is fantastic (I see you, Sir Haarhoff), and it isn’t his fault, I still find it very hard to learn Algebra. The only reason I have found, so far, is because I can’t ask quick questions whenever they pop into my mind. In a real school, the average student would have the opportunity to do this, putting him slightly ahead of me in the mathematical categories.
Another difficulty I have found lies within my schooling device- a computer. My computer is fantastic, but it is so easy to become distracted, whether by innocently reading up on sports or playing a video game at an odd hour. If I hadn’t carefully worked on my computer settings, there would be dozens of things popping onto my computer screen per day, ready to distract me from my schoolwork.
The third and final drawback to homeschooling is over-flexibility. When I went to the private school in West Virginia, school always began at the same time unless there was a two-hour delay because of snow. On the other hand, many homeschooling families can be rather lax, forgoing a fixed starting time in favor of more freedom. This isn’t inherently wrong, but without some rigidity, it can be very easy for a homeschooling student to become rather lazy. I, personally, have been an example of this, and would still be if not for some rules my parents implemented while I was in 8th grade.
Homeschooling has been an amazing privilege and I would not trade it for anything else. It has given me opportunities and lessons that I would not have learned in a public/private school, and for that I am grateful. A round of applause to my wonderful parents and their wise decision in homeschooling me.
Alright, that’s all for today. Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. If you feel I have left something out, leave me a note in the comment section below and I will add it in (and give you a shoutout). In the meantime, make sure you’ve clicked that Follow button below (or to the side), so that you can receive emails when I publish new content. Thanks again, and I hope you have a fantastic day!
Shoutout to Noah McFarland for requesting this post. Love you, bro.
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