Why I Like{d} Being Homeschooled: Thoughts from HB, an 18yo Graduate

by GfG on February 10, 2015 · 4 comments

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Continuing our series ….  I thought you might enjoy (and Lord knows I will) hearing from homeschooled kiddos instead of just this homeschooling mama. So, I’ve recruited… er, forced… nay, assigned essays… to six students.  You’ll get to hear the good, the bad, and the goofy straight from the good, the bad, and the goofy.  No prompting or editing by me: Just the questions and their answers. 

Ask your questions in the comment section and the student will answer. 

Next up, our first homeschool graduate, Hannah Beth (HB).  She is amazing.   Seriously. 

Why I Liked Being Homeschooled Thoughts from an 18yo graduate

Why do you like homeschooling?
Being given the opportunity to be homeschooled growing up has significantly impacted me. I know that as a result I had the chance to learn at my own pace and with steady, singular encouragement.

With varied environments being my “classroom”, I was able to learn in an interdisciplinary fashion — how to do algebra, how to change diapers, how to dissect frogs, how to be gracious and humble, how to balance checks, how to balance chores.

Life and schooling should go hand in hand, and since most of us spend our lives in work and home alternately, it makes sense that schooling would be best suited in one or the other. Homeschooling gave me the benefit of both. What’s more, a flexible schedule meant that extracurricular activities and solid friendships were more easily accessible and able to be built upon. That can hardly ever be a bad thing for a kid.

What don’t you like about homeschooling?
Unless you happen to have a twin, you’re alone in your grade and in the specific knowledge of what you’re learning. But if you’re lucky, you have an older sibling who’s been there before! If you’re still at a loss there, you can reach out to other homeschooling friends,and there it’s usually that most kids get that particular support, but you have to account for various curriculum.

Playing right off that, if you’re a person who best learns in groups, homeschooling is particularly challenging. Or maybe superbly rigid schedules let you learn to your limits. Again, learning at home may not be best. I struggled with balancing the carefree childhood I wanted and the strict schooling schedule I had to stick to do, oh yeah, /actually learn/. Plus all of my friends lived too far away. Absolutely ridiculous.

What do you think people misunderstand about homeschooling or homeschoolers?
Everyone says it’s the number one misconception, but it really cannot be overstated enough. Without fail, people assume that being homeschooled is synonymous with being unsocialized. I am not aware of when socializing ONLY meant spending time with the same 10-50 people for eight hours a day, five days a week, for anywhere from one to twelve years… but I feel as though that might be a faulty measuring stick.

Contrary to that very common assumption, “socialized” in the dictionary definition of “mixing socially with others;making someone behave in a way acceptable in society” homeschoolers are very capable.

One of the most amusing incidents I’ve had with this thought was when I was fourteen, talking to a counselor. Completely unaware that I was homeschooled, and an hour into our conversation, she said, “I always hate talking to homeschoolers. You can just tell that they haven’t been socialized enough. They can’t hold a conversation to save their life.” The irony was of great worth to me.

There is also the idea that being homeschooled goes hand in hand with being jumper-wearing, braids-only bozos (no offense to said bozos… bozos are very lovely people i’m proud of bozos everywhere). So sometimes, saying that I was homeschooled through high school to a group of college kids elicits a reaction more along the lines of admitting I got a drunk tattoo.

They’re all scandalized, quite above the entire idea, and morbidly fascinated with details they’re only imagining. Running with that metaphor… Maybe explaining the truth of “We’re entirely normal just do school differently and get to sleep in later than you” is a lot like explaining that instead of a atrocious butterfly license plate, you got a C.S. Lewis quote on your wrist. Suddenly, the morbid fascination and not-so-quiet judging is just a little bit of confusion and ashamed backpedaling.

But then again, maybe it’s not like that at all. Who knows. (Not me, Mom! No worries here…. this metaphor is completely hypothetical. Promise.)
All in all though, people just misunderstand what, why, and how homeschooling exists in a nutshell. We love the Duggars! But we’re not all exact replicas of the Duggars. Yet it’s never been a real problem. Just the other day, sitting in my Psych class I listened to the two guys behind me discuss homeschooling. One of them got started ranting on the subject, how it was stupid and made lame kids. After a pause, his friend said “Well, I was homeschooled.” There was another pause. “Oh. It’s pretty cool then, I guess.” And that, kids, is how you do it.

Will you homeschool your kids? Why or why not?
Should I have kids, I definitely think I will. I think that the public school system as it stands in America is flawed, and would rather build an environment for my kids that I can implicitly trust than one I have to leave in the hands of people who have different agendas. That’s not to say I think it’s evil, or that it’s not the right choice for some people, just that for where I am in life, I think homeschooling is my wisest choice.

Describe your homeschooling day.
Oh dear… I’m afraid I no longer can. But from long practice I can say it involved sadly leaving my bed, retrieving the week’s to-do list and decided what needed to be done that day, then gathering up the needed materials and again retreating to my bedroom to accomplish them post-haste. (Sometimes post-nap. What can I say. I was a senior.)

What more do you want people to know about homeschooling and specifically about homeschooling all the way through?
Honestly, I think it’s better to stick it out all the way through than to stop part of the way through. I know life changes for everyone all the time, and there are different options that are best at different times. And I respect that! I sincerely hope everyone does what is best for their family. But I cannot imagine, having reached a certain grade, suddenly transitioning to the public school atmosphere.

I firmly believe it would have scarred me. Instead, sticking out the traditional grade and high school experiences in the homeschool environment, I got the full meal deal. I got every possible benefit, worked through downfalls and got the rewards. It wasn’t jarring at all transitioning to the college environment — a lot of my friends laughed and just said, “It’ll be different!” And it is. But It’s not the kind of different they were expecting.

After twelve years of being homeschooled, I felt amazingly prepared and ready for college.
Homeschooling all the way through is not always usual. But honestly, I’m so very thankful it’s how we did it. I wasn’t thrust into what is, very honestly, an ungodly environment at a time it would have very thoroughly damaged me. The lessons I had already learned were built upon more solidly, giving me a solid basis while still expanding my horizons.

Homeschooling in high school doesn’t limit kids as much as you might think — you have to adjust, but all in all, I’d say it’s worth it.

Do you have any questions for HB?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

MasBronco February 10, 2015 at 9:26 pm

I am feeling quite nostalgic right now…you just made my day! (Now I’ll read the actual post)

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GfG February 10, 2015 at 9:45 pm

That photo will always be one of my favorites of HB. For so many reasons.

We love y’all!

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MasBronco February 10, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Great post, in typical HB flare! Regarding your statement on the common perception of homeschoolers lacking “normal socialization.” I have observed you Brouse kids to exhibit exceptional communication skills and ease of social interaction with all types of people, which does seem to be the exception, rather than the norm, in my limited experience and perception. Therefore, how much would you attribute this ability to the unique experiences from interacting with multiple children and counselors at ranches, children homes and camps; and what are some other experiences that helped develop your social skills?

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Farmer's Five March 25, 2015 at 10:29 pm

I really enjoyed this post. It sounds like you have an educated, well-spoken beautiful child you have raised. What a blessing! And thanks, HB, for the insight into ‘the other side’.

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