Monday, May 24, 2010

Diary of a Homeschooler.

For those of you who don't know, I am a homeschooler.* I've been homeschooled for nine years now, so I've heard every question in the book. Therefore, below is a list of the top ten questions I've been asked (in no particular order), and one student's answer. :)

1. What about socialization/friends? I have friends- don't worry. :) When is homeschooling is done properly, (the vast majority of the time) a parent will make their child's education a priority. This means that they WILL get out, and be around other people. There are homeschool support groups popping up all the time, all over the country, which have resources for families, and often provide classes. Homeschooling is a quickly growing educational trend, with (it seems) no signs of slowing down, meaning more homeschoolers and more socialization.

2. Do you go to school in your pajamas? I have classes outside of the house four days a week, so I could do my school work in my pajamas, but most days I just get dressed and get to work.

3. What about prom/sports/clubs? Do you feel like you're missing out?
In short, no. This is partially due to the fact that I have a lot of opportunity already around me, and partially because I'm not a real party person. Because I'm at the community college for two classes,(helping with the whole socialization "issue") I have access to clubs and organizations. Then again many public schools allow homeschooled students to participate in plays, sports, etc. There's also a thriving homeschool support group for high school students in my area- they have dances, proms, sports teams, and even graduation ceremonies.

4. What about college? I plan on going to a four-year. Some people prefer to go to a community college for awhile and transition out, but I'd like to get the whole experience. :)

5. Why/How long have you homeschooled/Did you ever go to public school?
My mom is a teacher by heart and nature. My birthday was also two days before the cut-off date, so my parents held me back an extra year in pre-school. I then attended a charter school for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. Starting my 3rd year, my parents (and a best friend of mine's parents) decided to homeschool. I wasn't being adequately challenged for my age in my grade level, but my parents didn't want me to be bumped up a grade and fall to the bottom of the class, just for the challenge. I just finished 11th grade this past semester, and will be a senior next year- once I've graduated, I will have homeschooled for ten years. :)

6. What do you like about homeschooling?
The flexibility! I can take most of my school with me anywhere, and do it on a schedule that fits my family-great for those bitten by the travel bug! I have an incredibly wide variety of class options, as I'm able to search around and focus on what I love, or what I'm interested in.

7. What do you dislike about homeschooling?
Homeschooling requires intentional effort. I don't think that public school students are lazy by any means, but while public high schools have clubs and guidance counselors built in, homeschoolers have to go out and find those opportunities for themselves. It's not as convenient. I have to make intentional efforts to hang out with friends, as opposed to seeing them on a daily basis. Homeschoolers are also watched very closely- when we make spealling oer grammmar errers or give a bad impression, it tends to reflect homeschoolers as a group, because someone is "obviously not doing something correctly."

8. Don't you get sick of your mom?
No, of course not. I am a perfected being, and rise far and above trivial things, like disliking my mother. She and I never get on each others nerves, and most certainly never argue or disagree. ;)

In truth, past the obvious answer- YES, we do want to kill each other on occasion, my mom and I are close. A lot of that comes from the sheer amount of time we do spend together, and another part is a lot of our shared interests. Personality-wise, we're pretty much polar opposites, but give us a free afternoon in a bookshop or library, and we'll both be in heaven.

9. Can your mom just give you the grades that you want?
Technically, yes. But that does no one any favors... My mom refuses to give me anything other than what I absolutely deserve, and out of the 200+ homeschooling families I know, none of them gloss over grades either.

10. Is homeschooling even legal?
Yes, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Each state has their own requirements for homeschoolers, and it varies greatly depending on where you live, but it IS legal. North Carolina requires attendance records, (180 days; in NC, home schools are categorized as private schools) and a yearly standardized test. There is an organization called HSLDA, which stands for Home School Legal Defense Association; it has an extensive website which can answer any legal question much better than I can!

So that's it! If you have any more questions, fire away either on Twitter, or in the comments below!

*There is "debate" over whether the proper term is 'home school(er/ers/ing/ed)' or 'homeschool.' I choose to squish my words together. They look prettier, and save a character on Twitter. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I always used to want to be homeschooled, so it's pretty cool to hear about what actually goes on.


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