It’s something I usually wait to tell new friends or acquaintances. Those who know me may not even know it now.
“Were you too stupid to be in a regular school?
“I bet you didn’t have many friends.”
“Your parents have taken you in all your life.”
Until I walked into my earth science class in the basement of Bradley Hall on August 21, 2019 at 9 a.m., I was homeschooled.
I’ve faced criticism about it for most of my life. When I was in elementary school, I was proud to let everyone know that my life was a little different, but the further into my teens I got, the more I reserved myself to share that part of me until that I could fully trust the one who was about to hear. When I did, I still had to give the same answers. Eventually, it all felt like a rehearsed monologue to those who questioned it even after I found the courage to do it.
Surely there are questions on your mind so I will try to educate you as much as I can about home schooling for 18.
My parents made the decision not to send me to a typical school when I was young. My mom had a teaching degree and my dad lived literally a few miles from Columbine High School, where a mass shooting happened 17 months before I was born.
My parents’ abilities and desire to protect me from another tragedy played a key role in the decision to homeschool. My mother was my only teacher until I reached third grade, when she enrolled my younger sister and me in a program-based homeschooling community, which was a branch of a national organization. much larger home schooling.
For me, school consisted of going to “class”, taught by a parent guardian, with other students at home once a week, then finishing homework until the class met again on the following week. The classical method, which included traditional and non-traditional subjects, like Shakespeare and the Latin language, wasn’t envious at times, but being with a few of my friends each week made it manageable.
Yes, I was able to sleep much longer than my friends in public school, and no, I never had a snowy day in my life until last February.
Homeschooling meant having to go through extra steps for many things, like finding new friends after moving from Illinois to Wisconsin, applying to colleges, and struggling to be seen as “normal” by the few people I knew. Even though I sometimes stumbled on my path, I found the ability to overcome these challenges.
I don’t mean to sound boastful, but I defied a lot of expectations and stereotypes.
My social life was more than healthy in high school. As soon as I got my driver’s license, my parents struggled to keep up with all my plans for the weekend.
I had large groups of friends in both places I lived, whether I met them while playing basketball, in my homeschool community, at church, or on a complex “friend” type network. from a friend”.
My life was like that of normal high school students; I went to football games on Friday nights, danced at “real” schools, took the ACT, had a girlfriend, had food with my buddies and did the most random things possible until my parents called me at midnight to come home. Eventually, they gave it up.
I had the good fortune to play basketball in high school at a small Christian school in the Quad Cities. Frankly, our team was horrible, but I was just happy to play.
When my family and I moved before my freshman year of high school, my parents gave me the option of going to a private school so I could have a chance to pursue my high school basketball career. I thought, “Maybe this is my chance to experience a different setting.” But I chose not to because I knew the benefits of home schooling.
There was no school drama or other distractions to my learning, other than my sister and my dog. My schedule was flexible and I could start, pause, and end my school day whenever I wanted, as long as I finished my homework on time. I’ve never had to reluctantly eat a dodgy school lunch. Even though I didn’t see my friends every day, I rarely had to be around people I didn’t want to see. My home basketball team winning a national championship my senior year was an added bonus.
I can attest that home schooling develops qualities such as flexibility, time management, responsibility, creativity, social awareness and the ability to see the world from your own perspective. My school background was different from those who were taught to be force-fed and regurgitate what the public school system considered “important.” And no, the quotes are not there by mistake.
I don’t shame anyone who went to typical public or private schools. Every child and every parent should do what is best for them. My only plea is not to shame those whose school was their home.
I didn’t choose to stay homeschooled because I had a learning disability, poor social skills, or a desire to be safe from most people. I did it because I knew its benefits better than anyone.
There may be people you didn’t know who were homeschooled for part or all of their lives. Maybe they’re afraid to share it, like me. But they can blend in perfectly with everyone.
If someone tells you they were homeschooled, don’t judge them for it, regardless of their circumstances. It may have taken all the courage in the world to say it. They’ve probably fought and struggled to be seen as “normal” all their lives.
Now that I’ve been settled in college for almost three years, I know I can still feel ostracized at times, but I’m also happy to finally feel normal.