Homeschool: I Survived.

I was homeschooled, and survived.

I don't usually tell people that I was home schooled.

Perhaps there was a bit of a stigma about homeschooling back in the 1980's. Or perhaps, not having many friends who spent their days at home instead of in schools, I resented being different.

Whatever the reason, I thought we were a little weird and people would think me strange if they knew. So even now, as a grown adult and college graduate (magna cum laude, by the way) I rarely mention that from the time I learned to read (at 4 1/2) until I began taking college classes (age 16) I never went to school. Not a real school.

Life as a Homeschooler

My older brother and three sisters under me were also homeschooled, so I wasn't alone. And we had our adventures together, especially since there was so much time after and in between our studies, which were not as frequent or as regular as you'd think.

But life as a homeschooler can still be lonely at times. And despite what we always say about socialization, vehemently defending the opinion that homeschoolers are more socialized than their peers, I wish I'd had more friends. Even just a couple girls my age to laugh with and grow up together.

Still, I survived homeschool. I survived the education, even when we didn't do formal classes or use textbooks for months. Proof that I survived, perhaps, is my liberal arts bachelor's degree.

I survived doing more chores and housework than most adults, including some of the ones in my family.

And yes, I survived the lack of friendships. Perhaps, though, that is the area that was the hardest for me, a sanguine, social person by nature.

My sisters and I have all gone on to do very well academically, earning a RN, three bachelor's degrees and a master's degree among the four of us.

And still...I do not plan to homeschool my children. At least, not if I can find a good quality private school that's affordable.

The ironic thing is, there wasn't one where we lived as children. That's why I was home schooled.

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Comments 9 comments

Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

My cousins were homeschooled in the 80's because their uber religious parents felt public school was akin to Satanism. I remember thinking it was strange, but they survived, too!


SparklingJewel profile image

SparklingJewel 8 years ago from upper midwest

Hi WritersGig,

I am a parent of homeschooled children. My two youngest were homeschooled after my experiences with the public system after my first two. Back in the 70's before ADD, ADHD, etc was a labeled phenomenon, my oldest two kids and I had quite a hard time dealing with getting their needs met in the public educational system. There was not the understanding/acceptance of individual learning needs; only fall in line with the rest of the class or be ostracized, and teachers and the system were omnipotent.

Then in the mid 80's and through the 90's my last two kids were homeschooled. They went on to have college careers as well. There really is a difference in their adjustment to life and career. Homeschooling can vary so much, but for me it was mostly about individuality and meeting basic learning needs.

Today most places and people are much more open about homeschooling and have learned how to met the socializational needs of the children...and from the parents perspective, what more specifically we were protecting our children from in a public system.

Things have really improved in home and public school systems. I was able to use public system advantages for my kids, i.e. particular classes were open for homeschooled kids to attend, as well as after school activities. It is possible to find a good mix and beat the cost of private schools, where you can actually run into some of the same problems as public systems.

Ultimately, for me, it boiled down to who knows better what is best for my children? Me the parent and the children themselves, or the educational systems? We were happiest with a blending of the two.

Don't give up on the idea...get creative !

Jewel


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Hi WriterGig- I understand your views - particullary the point about socialization. I homeschooled my kids for 2 years and although I loved certain aspects, the loneliness was difficult for all of us. I really began to dread telling people we homeschooled because the responses were so unpredictable.

Private school is a great option!


Wendy Mills profile image

Wendy Mills 8 years ago from Wainfleet, ON, Canada

I was a teacher for 10 years and saw the public school system from the inside - which is part of the reason I now homeschool my three children.  I started homeschooling after my oldest son had been in Kindergarten for 3 months.  It was amazing how a quickly his enthusiasm for learning was being squelched. 

I can imagine when you homeschooled, there probably were not many homeschoolers where you lived, but these days there are homeschooling groups all over. We are in a homeschooling group with over 30 families and meet weekly for co-op classes and a local park during the summer.  Not everyone attends every week, but we average around 50 kids coming to co-op weekly.

As you mentioned, when homeschooling children can reach a higher level of academic success in less time.  This extra time can be used for community involvement, entrepreneurship and more.  Sparkling-Jewel made some good points.  Homeschooling can be what you make it and these days it is easy to get your children involved in activities where they can develop life-long friendships, which you appeared to have missed out on.

My newest website, http://www.homeschooling-freedom.com has resources and ideas to help homeschooler, and I will be adding more.

Thanks for your hub! It is good for homeschoolers to be aware of others experiences, even those that can be considered negative, so they can avoid mistakes and make their homeschooling experiences better.


Tigermadstanley profile image

Tigermadstanley 7 years ago from Canterbury, Kent, UK

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm now homeschooling my youngest son as he has ASD/Asperger's and hates being with other people. The lack of human face to face contact is an actual benefit to him. He 'meets' people online through approved games, groups & his brother's friends. I teach in public primary school so I'm well aware of the pros and cons of all the different types of education. One size does not and will not ever fit all. We did try to get Dan into a private school but he was too techno-savvy and dependent for them!


Doodlebird 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing and for being honest about your thoughts. Just keep in mind that most private schools follow the same model as public schools. They can be more selective in the students that are allowed in, but it's usually still an approach of telling kids what they should know instead of teaching kids how to think.

While the social thing can be a huge deal in a kids eyes, many parents recognize the other issues and values that can outweigh the desire for lots of childhood friends. My son just started high school last year after being homeschooled all his life - he's enjoying it, especially the social part. But, I do not think it's the best situation (I'm only part of the decision-making team here and must follow my husband's wishes).

I was raised in a public school and wish I could have been homeschooled. I am a creative/thinker type who was a little shy and not the best at making friends back then - public/private school can still be a lonely place. I was frustrated and uncomfortable with a lot of the playground/peer group behavior that was supposed to be teaching me how to "socialize correctly." I wish I hadn't been forced to give up most of my youth to the demands of the public system and could have had time to pursue my dreams.


Traqqer profile image

Traqqer 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thanks for sharing! And yes, I agree that homeschooling can be very lonely. I don't even have to experience it to say that it is. However, being home-schooled probably had its upsides as well including an under-appreciated fact of being kept socially safe. There is less chance of turning into a foul-mouthed kid, less chance of doing drugs, less chance of becoming too worldly too soon, etc. So. glad you turned out OK, and thanks again for sharing.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 6 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Like you I was home schooled in the 80's and early 90's and like you I started college when I was 16. Unlike you I've never been a very social person prefering to be alone than with a group of people, so I don't really look back and think wow I wish I had gone to public school. I enjoyed it, and I believe I will probably home school my own son, I might put him in private school though if I don't have any other children because I don't know how well an only child would do in a home school environment.


Elijah Leon Frank 5 years ago

My siblings and I were homeschooled as well, but we were never lonely. I was in public school before I was homeschooled, but was never very social to begin with, having only 1 or 2 friends, so homeschooling didn't really affect my social life. Besides, the few friends I had in public school stayed with me after my parents let me homeschool. Plus my siblings and I were only 2 and 3 years apart so we spent a lot of time playing together, and there were always a lot of cousins we could hang out with.

I started online college classes at 15, and finally took a few classes down at the local community college, where I didn't have any trouble jumping right into the social atmosphere. I think it's just a matter of preference.

Public school is good for some people, homeschooling is good for others. But I think the kids should be given the choice. We were always told we could go back to public school any time we wanted, but we never wanted to. Being at home was too much fun.

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