I was 7 years old when my parents decided to homeschool me. I had just completed 2nd grade in a public school in a really small town in Indiana when I was told that my mom would be my teacher. I remained homeschooled until my high school graduation. I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal back then, but now that I am a 24yr old, college educated woman, I realize that it WAS a big deal.
See, it didn’t take long before the questionable looks and the offhand comments started pouring in.
“You are homeschooled? You seem normal though.”
“Don’t you want to be someplace where you can have friends?”
“Are you going to be ready for college?”
“How do homeschoolers find people to date?”
“You’re so sheltered, OMG.”
Back then, I didn’t know what to say. When people tell you that you’re not going to turn out “normal” you have doubts. There were times when I wondered if I would end up alone. I wondered if I would do well in college. When I first graduated and went on to college, I hardly told anyone because I was afraid that people would treat me differently. Looking back, I realize that I should have been more proud of being a homeschooler.
As a child, I was given SO MUCH more freedom to play and explore than public school kids. I could finish my lessons by lunch time and then spend the rest of the day playing outside, meeting up with other homeschoolers, shadowing my mom as she interacted with the “real world” (Dr. appointments, grocery stores, banks, insurance, etc). I traveled with my family to lots of cool places that I wouldn’t have been able to go if I had a strict schedule.
I was able to grow up and be sure of who I was, what I wanted out of life, my values, my faith, etc. In college, it felt like everyone around me was exploring now that they had some form of independence. I had that independence for 10 years already!
Looking back, all my fears were silly.
I have awesome friends.
I have no problem socializing or interacting with the world.
In fact, I was able to remove myself from a lot of negative things found in the public school system.
I didn’t have to deal with middle school drama. Instead, I gained confidence.
I didn’t feel the need to compare myself with others.
I didn’t waste so much time sitting around and was able to get a lot more things done in a day.
I wasn’t told what to believe in science class or brainwashed in history class.
So if I could go back, I would stand up to those people who questioned my family’s decision to homeschool me and my siblings. I’m not trying to bash anyone, but I feel like there’s still negative/ unsure opinions around homeschooling families and I wish it would stop. In fact, I encourage more able families to make the switch. Don’t let the same fears and doubts I talked about stop you from making the leap of faith.
Here I am. A grown up product of homeschooling and I have had zero obstacles related to being homeschooled. In fact, I am appreciative of the experience and feel blessed to have had such an upbringing.