You guys may or may not know by now that I am homeschooled and have been all my life. College classes were the first ones I took in a physical school other than my home. As a homeschooler, whenever I meet new people, I often get asked a lot of questions. What’s it like? Do you like it? Do you wish you went to public school? Do you get to stay in your pajamas all day? What about socialization? (Those are not all the questions I’ve been asked, but they are some of the most common.)
So today, I am going to answer some of those questions and tell you some things that I’ve experienced that are good about homeschooling, and some things that are…not.
What’s being homeschooled like?
I’m not going to answer that particular question as such. Everything else that I’m going to talk about here is actually an answer to that question.
Do you like it?
Yes. And no. As with going to a public school, there are good things about it and there are bad things about it. I like homeschooling as a whole. I’m not at all upset that my parents chose to homeschool us. And this is kind of one of those questions that will be answered through my other answers.
Do you wish you’d gone to public school?
Sometimes. Occasionally, especially when I was younger, I would wish that I went to a regular school just so I could have more friends. But most of the time, I was thankful that I didn’t. I would not have fit in at all, and I think that would have made it really hard for me. Plus, homeschooling allowed us to do a whole lot of things that we couldn’t have done otherwise, which I will get into more a bit later.
Do you get to stay in your pajamas all day?
This is one that has always made me laugh. And no. I didn’t get to do that. It’s more of a family rule than a homeschooling rule, because there are pretty no much no rules when it comes to homeschooling. Everybody does it differently. In our family, we had to be out of our pajamas by breakfast. If we weren’t, we had to go change before we could eat.
What about socialization?
This question has always annoyed me. Just because we do school at home doesn’t mean we stay at home all day every day. I still had a few sort of friends at church. We got together with other homeschooling families every now and then. We went to the library a LOT, which is actually how I met my first best friend (who, coincidentally, was also homeschooled). We would go to pretty much every library program for kids: bookmaking, reading club programs, etc.
So there are some of the major questions answered. And now, I’m going to tell you some good things and some bad things about homeschooling.
The Pros (by no means exhaustive)
Like I said earlier, homeschooling afforded us a lot of opportunities that we would not have had otherwise. My family absolutely loved this place called The Wilderness Center, a nature preserve about half an hour away from our house. (If you live in my area, you might know what I’m talking about.) Being homeschooled meant that we could go pretty much any time my mom felt like taking us, even if it was on a school day. We actually had a lot of school assignments at TWC. Drawing plants, observing the animals, we did it all.
The youngest four of us (remember I’m nine out of ten) also had the opportunity to participate in a homeschool speech and debate league (Christian Communicators of America). We were not enthusiastic at first, but by the end of the first year, we were all
rather enthralled. I did it for seven years and absolutely loved it. It still makes me a bit sad that I can’t do it anymore. Not only did this take up a large amount of time every year, but it also affected our lives in other ways. It was through this club that I met my best friend (who has held that position for almost seven years), and one of my brothers met his wife, whom he just married in June. And if we hadn’t been homeschooled, that never would have happened.
Homeschooling us also allowed my parents to teach us what they wanted to in the way they wanted to. One of the main reasons they chose to homeschool us was that they didn’t like many of the things that public schools were teaching kids (things like evolution), and they didn’t want us to be taught one thing at home and another thing at school.
The Cons (also not exhaustive)
One of my biggest issues with being homeschooled was staying caught up with everything. In 2011, when I turned twelve, we had our kitchen remodeled, and that was the year everything kind of fell apart. We were all fascinated with what the guys were doing, so we would spend hours and hours watching them. That was all well and good, but it was several hours each week that were not being devoted to schoolwork the way they usually were. That caused all of us that were still in school (the youngest four) to fall behind, and we never really caught up. That’s not necessarily an issue with homeschooling as a whole, however, though I do think finding motivation can be difficult across the board.
By not going to a public school, we missed out on all the extracurricular activities that public school kids can access. We never got to do things like choir, theatre, any kinds of clubs, etc. That was always rather disappointing to many of us.
Nothing I’ve said here can necessarily be applied to all other homeschooling families. It varies from family to family. Some kids hate having been homeschooled. I loved it. But even though it can be rather different, hopefully, this gives you a better idea of what it can be like.