I’ve been homeschooled for my entire life. That’s right, never gone to public school except for gymnastics when I was 8 and drivers ed earlier this year (but that’s another story.)
Don’t get me wrong, I love it! Sure, sometimes when I’m watching High School Musical and I see all the kids walking down the shiny, new halls falling in love, having incredible social lives, and breaking out into spontaneous choreographed song and dance, I long for a time when I, too, can experience the public high school which will, no doubt, be the “best time of my life.” But then I snap back into reality when my mom insists that public school is nothing like that at all. That’s it’s more like, well…school. All day long. Even my public school friends laugh when they hear what I think it’s like. So most of the time I’m quite satisfied with homeschooling but you know, “the grass is always greener…”
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the incredible amount of flexibility you have. I mean, we as kids learn better in our own ways. And with homeschooling, it gives each kid the opportunity to learn each subject in a way that’s specific to you, which can help you learn that subject in a much better way. For instance, with me, writing’s always been a big thing. So because of the flexibility it was possible for me to experiment with different types of writing that I enjoyed, and that’s also made me enjoy writing as a whole a lot more.
A close friend of mine, Rebeca, told me that one of her favorite things about homeschooling is the time you get to spend with your family. Of course, part of me wants to look at that as a major downside to being homeschooled. (Come on, how many teenagers love being at home with their parents all day everyday)? But it’s true, too many kids today don’t spend enough time with their families. So I guess it is a plus, with so much time spent around them their better qualities have some time to rub off on me. Besides, I’ve been able to form relationships with my parents and siblings and even other family members that I’m sure will last for the rest of my life. It’s good to know you always have your family there to support you.
She also told me she likes being homeschooled because she has the time to do volunteer work at places like the local therapeutic riding center that she wouldn’t be able to do if she went to public school. And it’s the same here as, I’m sure, it is with a lot of homeschooled teens. I had the time to do volunteer work at the library, to go around with my dad and get real life experience while he’s working, to co-write a book with my sister, things like that. And I know even friends of mine have their own small businesses and time to start thinking and planning about their future, WHILE getting all their schoolwork done.
Of course, homeschooling isn’t ALL great ALL the time. It does get annoying sometimes that your teacher is also your mom or that you can’t see your friends as often as you would like to sometimes, but the worst thing about being homeschooled according to most of the people I asked, was that people always give you sympathy when they find out. Like, “Oh, you poor thing! You must be so unsocialized! How will you ever deal with the world when your parents stop sheltering you from everything?” It’s at times like that when you want to just scream at them and say, “We’re just as socialized as you! We have friends, we have lives, we watch TV and movies, we listen to music, we know what comedy is, we can probably use sarcasm ten times better than you can, can’t you just accept that it’s just DIFFERENT not WORSE?” But I don’t. Most of the time I just smile and listen to them rant on about how I need the public school experience while thinking about how ignorant their perspective really is. They know no more of homeschooling than I do of public school.
Really though, like 99% of the time, I wouldn’t trade homeschooling. I’m learning all the tools and skills and knowledge needed for my life and that’s the main point isn’t it? Although, the life of a HSM social butterfly does still seem a bit exciting.