home schooling

I realized that I should’ve probably talked about this when everyone else was discussing their schooling experiences. Even though this is still in the US, there is a lot about it that is different from the average American childhood schooling.

I attended private school from k-3rd grade, homeschooled from 4-8th grade, went to a public high school in a specialty program for math and science. This drastically changed my opinions on American education. I was homeschooled because my parents were/are more religious, but more than that, my dad is a PhD chemist and my mother has a MPA degree herself. They believed they could teach my brother and I better than paying for in the private school. The public schools in our area were really good, so I still don’t quite understand why they didn’t send us there, but either way, it resulted in us being homeschooled. We had a group of other families who I was homeschooled “with.” I had friends and a normal set of friends, but I was definitely proselytized by this group in a way that I had not expected. When I got to public high school, I had a really hard time assimilating and making friends because they were so different from the homeschooling families. In that environment, my family was considered rebellious because I was allowed to wear skirts above my knee, the music we listened to wasn’t read over word for word by my parents, and a few kids had heard my mom say “damn.” In public school, I’d figured I’d fit in alright, but I was pretty wrong – I had no idea how to react to the new environment. Eventually, I figured it out, but it was difficult and lonely for a long time.

In terms of academics though, homeschooling was what really allowed me to explore how much I liked math. I could do whatever I wanted, I had a teacher and I spent time with my dad on it. I saw that I was excelling at it, and I liked it. The other subjects were all covered too. A lot of people have generalized homeschoolers as really good or really bad. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but it is an environment in which students can get individual attention for whatever the reason.

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One Response to home schooling

  1. scross

    I have heard of parents pulling their children out of school for one reason or another and home-schooling their kids instead. One story sticks out in my mind told to me many years ago by my high school teacher. The school system said that her son’s test scores were low, tested him, and tried to force her to put him in Special Education. Believing in her heart that her son just had a different style of learning, she pulled him out of public school and home-schooled her son. When I was graduating high school, he was graduating from Duke with plans on going to Graduate school.

    While I believe home schooling may not be for everyone, I think it’s an amazing experience that can help learners explore subjects they love in greater depth than could be done in a formal school environment.

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