I was homeschooled from K-8 and then went to a public high school.
I liked being able to get plenty of sleep. There was less stress I think than I would've experienced in public school what with the obnoxious kids, the tests/quizzes, the extra socializing, etc. I felt that it has made me a much more independent and critical thinker. My mom would teach us (2 brothers and 2 sisters who were also homeschooled) the material with textbooks suited for our ability, but a lot of work we were allowed to do on our own as long as we could handle it, and in those situations my mom would act more like a guide than a teacher.
Also, a huge benefit of homeschooling is that you can choose the curriculum that you use instead of doing what the government and school board mandates. Without having tests, the incentive to "know material for the test" is taken away, and more REAL LEARNING actually takes place. Inherently every kid wants to learn and has GREAT capacity at a young age to do it. Homeschooling allows more of an opportunity for one-on-one interaction and for real world application and participation so that the lessons you learn stick forever. Also, the child and parent have more autonomy over the material that they choose to delve into deeper based on interest.
So what are the downsides? Well, of course this is all just based on my individual experience, but I always sorta felt like "the strange kid" because of being homeschooled, while almost no one else in society and everyone on TV was not homeschooled. I was always involved with competitive swim teams as an extracurricular, and there I had some social contact. However, I think there were certain periods where I would have liked to have more intimate social contact with a larger group of my peers, but that just wasn't present inside my house. My first year of high school was awkward at first.
But all in all, I am extremely glad I was homeschooled.
Why do you ask?
I ask because I currently am homeschooling my 3 kids and I sometimes struggle with what I am doing wrong/right. Thanks for telling me your experience. I worry too about the "strange kid" factor but all in all the kids get along alright with others. We do sports and gym/art at the local school so the kids get that social contact. And we are lucky to know quite a few other homeschoolers. Financially it's very hard, especially as they get older and want to do more sports and all just started music lessons. I love the lifestyle, and I KNOW I'm doing right by my oldest (who is 10, scores highest possible on aptitude tests even with dyslexic) but I wonder about the other two and whether it is best. It certainly is the healthiest lifestyle for kids in my experience. And sleep, yeah, they sleep as much as they need.
And there's the 'do I have enough patience' factor?'. I wonder if all homeschool parents question themselves a lot, I certainly do.
Thanks again for giving me an idea of what it feels like from the other side.
Having good social contact seems to be a challenge for homeschooling, because school is such a social atmosphere...sounds like your kids are doing well with that though. But, of course, school has its social downsides too in that kids are encouraged more to act a certain way instead of being themselves, something that I noticed a lot when I went to highschool. Remember that there really are no wrights/wrongs. You are doing your best and your kids I'm sure have great gifts. Whatever those gifts are, I think that homeschooling will allow them to shine more. Don't question yourself too much. I guarantee that later in life your kids will be grateful for what you're doing as opposed to sitting in a boring classroom like they could have done instead.
Thanks, Danny, support for homeschooling always feels so nice, and you are so well spoken that says a lot, too.
In high school, I took homeschooling AND went to a public high school.
I made most of my credits homeschooling. So at public school I never really paid attention in the mandatory class’s haha! For me, public school was just a place to hang out with my friends and cause trouble. The only classes I enjoyed at public school were the elective classes like drama, art and computer repair. :D
The upside to homeschooling is that you can work at your own pace. The downside is that it’s really boring... If you’re a fast reader and learner, I would highly recommend it.
Did you follow the school curriculum when homeschooling, Tony?
Is that a trick question? Hehe.
Alls I did was complete the mandated curriculum that was provided by the district.
No tricks - I haven't used a curriculum before and just wondered. I'm basically flying by the seat of my pants and am looking for reassurance!
My parents started me out in traditional school where I thrived. I was both a social butterfly and loved the world of books and learning from an early age. As soon as I learned to read I was sounding out my fathers college level textbooks.
When I was in third grade, my mother decided she was going to teach us at home. I almost went nuts going from having multiple friends around me to none at all, and being restricted to home during the day as people would question why I was not in school and my mom was afraid of trouble. I love my mom, but she was not a trained teacher, neither did she have patience, leaving me to try to figure things out on my own from my textbooks. I became very depressed. The following year I went back to school.
From my experience, I hated homeschooling.
However, one of my brothers insisted on being homeschooled during one year of middle school and about two of his high school years. I believe he did finish his senior year in the traditional school. He was not very social and he also had a genetic neuropathy that made him a little more tired than the rest of the kids I guess.
This same brother grew up and he and his wife did both things with their oldest daughter settling on homeschooling for her junior high and high school years. She is very active with her local religious organization's youth group, sschool, and summer camp though, and that is her social outlet.
However, my brother's son is going to traditional public school as he seems to thrive better in a classroom and in the social environment.
IMO, my brother has taken a balanced approach in meeting the individual needs of his children verses forcing something on them.
What I learned from this. It may be easier to homeschool kids from the beginning than making a switch once they have gone to traditional school. It worked out with my brother because he liked it and he had more support from the school as far as textbooks and teaching.
Parents and guardians must be prepared and ready to take on the responsibility. If they are not good teachers and or have little patience with their kids it is not going to work.
If there is going to be a switch in the middle of the schooling process, talk with the kids. I think one thing for parents to remember is that they do not own their children. The decision should be 50 50. Even once the process begins, if both parties like it, it can continue, if one or more parties is not happy, it should be stopped.
I would highly recommend parents follow their local stated and school system laws, regulations, and curriculum. Never burn bridges. Keep the process as fun as possible while leaving the door open for the children to have a chance to go to college and or pursue a career if they want or need to in the future.
Many states now are more open minded towards homeschooling and work closely with parents to provide textbooks, curriculum, and to ensure the children pass standardized testing. Some states provide computers and or online tutoring and or transcripts.
If your child(ren) is a social butterfly, then make sure there is an outlet for that such as scouts and clubs.
Good luck with your decision.
Thank you, PK for all the wise words.
don't know if this counts, mary, but my son has been homeschooled since after gr1 (by his own choice).
we've been home universitying for quite some time as well, but it hasn't been clear as to who is teaching whom anymore. :D
there haven't been any downsides at all and we've had the freedom to explore at will without being bogged down by the restrictions that non-unschooling bears with it.
That's funny, 'who's teaching who' and so true!