I attended public schools from kindergarten through the fifth grade. Then my parents made the decision to homeschool. Since I was the oldest, most of my siblings grew up without ever setting foot in a public school.
There are some distinct advantages to being a second generation homeschooler.
- The resistance of grandparents and other family and friends broke long ago; they now wholeheartedly approve of what must have been a very shocking decision on my parents’ part 22 years ago.
- Thanks in part to the fact that homeschoolers tend to have large families (why is that?) the homeschooling segment of the population has exploded. We now have far more political freedom and far greater resources and support than our parents enjoyed. We’re hardly even “weird” anymore.
- I never had to worry that I wouldn’t know how to homeschool our own children. I’ve seen it in action and participated for too many years to suffer from those doubts.
- I never worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford to homeschool. Dad’s income was not generous when I was young, and the family was constantly growing. Homeschooling can be carried on in any budget.
- I don’t worry that our children’s education will stagnate when they know as much as I do in a particular subject. In high school, I taught myself 2 years of Latin and went far beyond Mom in math. I worked independently in nearly every subject. I realize that not every child will do so, but the parents’ level of knowledge need not be a barrier in any particular subject.
I like to think that I am a different person than I would have been had I continued in the public school system. As a homeschool graduate,
- I was able to learn at my own pace. The public school system was mind-numbingly boring to me. Homeschooling was actually fun.
- I have very little trouble thinking (or living) “outside the box.”
- I faced few temptations in my early teen years, when I would have been most vulnerable and easily influenced.
- Most importantly, my parents were unarguably the greatest influences upon my worldview. This was certainly not the case during the years in which I attended public schools. I clearly recognized this myself at the tender age of 10.
My hat is off to those courageous parents who made the difficult decision to homeschool against the advice of well-meaning friends and family. You are pioneers, and your children will thank you.
I am daily thankful to my parents for making that crazy decision 22 years ago.