You asked. I’m answering. It’s lookin like a marathon of everything under the sun! So in order to consolidate, I’m organizing all your questions into groups and answering them that way.
(really old photo of me and my sis – don’t be jealous of my glasses)
- Did you also go to public school or private school? (versions: were you homeschooled all the way through? how does it compare to other types of educational facilities?)
I was a public school student from Kindergarten through 8th grade. My mom purely homeschooled my 9th and half of my 10th grade year, we went to a private parental guidance school (less than 30 students total K-12 where my mom taught) half of my 10th and 11th grades, and homeschooled my senior year. During that time, I also did video classes (for spanish especially where my non-bi-lingual mother had trouble), took individual classes from college professors at a local homeschoolers ‘school’, and participated in fine arts programs specifically for homeschoolers. Technically speaking – I attended public, private and was homeschooled…so I believe I have a pretty good understanding of different types of education systems.
A lot of people ask me to compare them all – but it’s hard for me to say that my view will be the same as other peoples. First – times have changed. When I was homeschooled, it was not the cool or popular thing to do. It was odd. And the opportunities were limited. And the majority of kids were odd and thier parents were odd. Now it’s kinda trendy to homeschool. I don’t think it’s for everyone and I do think you can get an amazing educational experience from public and private school…BUT I think my mom and dad did what God had planned for our family – they obeyed His calling to homeschool us – and I fully believe that because of that submission to His Grand Plan – that we kids are thankful and glad that we were homeschooled.
- Why were you homeschooled? (versions: why did your mom decide to homeschool you? what’s your homeschooling story?
We like to say that we didn’t choose homeschooling…homeschooling chose us. A little back info – When we moved from a very rural area in New Jersey to the suburbs of Atlanta, we were immediately enrolled in our local public schools. My mom and dad were both educators in Jersey and when we moved, my dad took a position with a company that dealt with computers in the medical field. It was a really good job for him financially but it meant that he was traveling alot and I think he missed the interaction that comes with teaching (and coaching since he was like a coach of a million sports at the highschool). My mom then was a full time stay at home mom – she had stopped teaching in a school environment and no longer did music lessons from her house. It was basically just a big transition for everyone.
One day we all went to school and my older brother had a pocket knife. It was like a tiny Swiss army pocket tool. It just happened to be the first year of the Zero-Tolerance policy in that school…so long story short – he was expelled. My parents enrolled him in a private school. But there is something you should know about my brother…kid was a playa. He started ‘dating’ the principal’s daughter who was three years older than him. The principal didn’t like that at all. And since he was already labeled a troublemaker, it didn’t bode well for him. That year my mom had one choice…pull your kid and homeschool him.
This part of the story is really my moms to tell – but I can say that she didn’t want to do it at first and felt inadequate to homeschool an 8th grader. But she had no other choice.
That first year they both survived and my mom then started noticing that my little brother (2nd grader I believe) was still not reading well…even simple words like car and dog. He excelled in science and math and was HUGE…head and shoulders bigger than all of his classmates…so there was some anxiety on his part being in a classroom setting where he was expected to perform at a higher level because he was physically more developed. So the following year after homeschooling Brad, she gave Timmy the choice to homeschool too. He choose it.
The following year my sister and I were ‘brought home’. We didn’t get a choice. We were told that is what was happening. At the time, I resented my mom for that decision since I was excelling (straight A’s, in the excelerated program, member of Jr. Beta, a school’s technology assistant)…but looking back now, I can say without a doubt that my mother saved our family’s life. It was a hard decision and transition but now I am very thankful that I had that as part of my educational story.
- How did you feel about being homeschooled? (versions: did you love being homeschooled? did you ever feel like you missed out because you were homeschooled?)
There are a lot of good things about homeschooling and a lot of bad. Obviously things may be different now…but when I was homeschooled there were certain homeschooled kid cliches – there were kids that were REALLY rebellious, the uber conservative socially inept, and the weirdos. I probably fall into the weirdo category. We were lucky enough to be very involved in a homeschoolers sports program…and a fine arts program. So I had a social outlet 5x a week plus church.
But even with all that social interaction – I didn’t connect with a lot of people – more specifically – I didn’t connect with a lot of girls. My best friend in highschool was a guy…a guy who was two years younger than me actually. So I do feel like that was one area that I missed. I remember thinking that if only there was more girls closer to my age, I may have had more friendships. But it was probably a good thing too because I was forced to befriend people of all ages, sexes, and maturity levels. Yes, I invited several 11 and 10 year olds to my 16th birthday party 🙂
My sister however had many best girl friends that were homeschooled too so I really believe it was just an unlucky age thing. In the end, it just makes me appreciate any girlfriends I have now even more. We were also really involved at church – so I did get to go to a public school homecoming. But I did always feel like I wish I had the chance to go to a prom. (my sister also got to go to a homeschoolers prom so again – age thing).
This is probably the best place to put this info – my senior year I believe that I suffered about a ten month period of depression. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to be around anyone. I basically just was enormously sad…all the time. I tried to hide it from the people around me. I had experienced that same lowness in seventh grade…when I was in public school…but it lasted a shorter period of time then and it was really easy to not show family because I was not around them…I was in school. In high school though, it wasn’t as easy to hide because I was constantly with people. My mom, who has struggled with it in the past, was a huge source of help through that time. And I truly believe that if I wasn’t homeschooled, I wouldn’t be here today. Whew. Heavy stuff.
- Are you going to homeschool Will?
Maybe. I don’t know. I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Let’s just say that for now I am his pre-formal-school educator and I feel called to work on a system for him that will provide him the resources to grow mentally, emotionally, socially, artistically, physically and spiritually to the best that I can give. That’s where I’m at right now.
- What curriculum did you use when you were homeschooled? (versions: did you feel you got a decent education?)
I don’t remember everything we used curriculum wise but I know that it was Saxon Math all the way, some A Beka books, and whatever was assigned by any other teacher. I don’t know how things are across other states and what the requirements are for other areas for other homeschoolers but when I was homeschooled, we had to send in all our work (reports, tests, etc.) to the local school system. I was also tested with the same standardized tests as the local schools. Oh here’s a fun nugget for ya – when I was a senior and applying to colleges, I had to do the SAT and the ACT and three SAT II tests…because back then, the colleges I applied to didn’t believe that homeschoolers were fully educated 🙂
So that is way more than you’ll ever need to know about my homeschooling experience. Next : Photography Questions 🙂