Homeschool Beginnings — A Child’s Point of View

(This article was written by Jenny: homeschool graduate, Guilt-Free intern, and computer whiz.)

To homeschool or not to homeschool — parents often have a hard time making this decision. I want to provide you with the view of a homeschool graduate, giving you an idea of how a child might react to the proposal to homeschool.

I have now graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, but how I was able to make it to this point is the real story. I started out in public school, where I was educated until the summer before fifth grade when my parents made the decision to educate me at home. The deciding factors in the situation were all issues that I agreed with them on completely, but it was the idea of homeschooling that I was not as in agreement with. In fact, I was against being homeschooled from the beginning.

My objections were numerous, I had no idea how my parents thought they were going to teach me — after all, what could they possibly know? Secondly, I was objecting to the loss of all my friends from school. Another qualm that I had was merely a fear of the unknown, I had friends who were being homeschooled, and although they seemed normal and happy enough, I knew very little about homeschooling. Overall, I really did not think homeschooling was the education for me, though I knew how much I hated the public school system.

In the summer before we started homeschooling, I was upset and scared. I had an attitude typical of children in public school — I thought my parents were not smart, and I did not have confidence in them to trust them with my social life or education because I did not think they really understood me — or could ever understand me. This common misconception was dispelled soon enough, but it did take some time.

The fear I had decreased after I talked to a good friend who had been homeschooled for his entire education. He encouraged me to try homeschooling, and explained to me a little bit about how homeschooling would work, and the many benefits I would have because of homeschooling. After this conversation, I was more willing to be homeschooled, but I still doubted that my parents were capable of such a task.

The first few weeks of schooling were certainly a testing period. Mom was unsure of her capability as a teacher, and I was just as unsure. At first it was like play, we did workbooks and educational exercises, and it was like pretend school — it was kind of fun. The reality set in later that this was school, and as that reality dawned, so did the reality that homeschooling was actually school, and it was a great alternative to the public school system I had been in.

I was also enjoying the benefits of homeschooling. I liked being able to take a break for a snack or bathroom break anytime. I did not have to watch the clock pass time away as I sat and did nothing because I was ahead of the other students. I also did not have to work hard later in the evening to catch up on the homework that I was slower on than the other students. Strangely enough, mom could also teach math so much better than the teachers that I had in public school. We also were able to watch the Andy Griffith show during lunch, providing a pleasant break and laugh as well as some family time between subjects. My favorite aspect of homeschooling throughout the experience was that homeschooling took so much less time than the 7 or so hours that we had been held captive at public school.

By Christmas of the first year, I was thoroughly enjoying my homeschooling experience. I realized that mom was a LOT smarter than my friends had convinced me that parents were. I also liked being able to hold it over my friends that homeschooling took little time, and that I actually was enjoying the assignments that I had. I could listen to whatever music that I wanted to, in my own room, and start school at any time. For a while, I got up at 6am and did my work before anyone else was up, so I could play by 10am. At other times, I would sleep in and start my work later in the day. My puppy could sit by me while I worked or in my lap if I could manage it.

Socialization was not a problem either. I soon realized that the children I had considered friends at public school were hardly people that I wanted to spend time with, and the few that I did like to be around I remained friends with through outside activities. I still had all my friends from church and clubs, and I was able to do many “social” activities with mom, like going to the store during the day. Our family also joined a couple of homeschool groups, with which we could do group activities like field trips and coop classes.

By high school, the benefits were great: I could do my work at my own discretion and was able to get ahead by an entire year. I took college classes during my senior year, and was able to be acclimated to that culture in advance (another good “socialization” opportunity that I had because I was homeschooled). I got along well with the teachers, and even was commended by them several times for the wonderful education I entered college with. Many of my teachers were amazed at how well I could grasp the topics they were teaching, or even that I could write full sentences with some semblance of grammar.

Today I am fully convinced that I got the best education at home. Beyond that, I was able to avoid many of the downfalls of the public school system and benefited from advantages of school at home. Our family has become quite close through homeschooling, a result that I doubt we would have gotten if my brother and I had gone through the public school system where peer pressure encourages children to disregard their siblings and parents as stupid and useless appendages. I intend to homeschool my children as well when I have a family, and I trust they will have as successful of an experience as I have had.

I encourage everyone to try homeschooling. I believe that once you give it a chance the benefits will outweigh and overrule your doubts.

Comments

  1. Homeschool Newcomer says:

    Thank you for your point of view as a homeschooler. I took my child out in the middle of 1st grade, and he was for the idea, until I took him out and he began missing his friends. Although its only been 3 months, he is LOVING the fact that we have flexible school days compared to the kids at public schools. He loves his breaks, play time, and lunch time (especially since we named the cafe after him and he gets to decide what he would like for lunch that day). He also loves the fact that our work is more hands on and he actually catches on easier and faster since he interacts. It’s nice to know that kids naturally rebelling for a short period of time , is perfectly normal.

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