Some of you may know that over the past week I have been asking you to submit your questions on what it’s like being home-educated. So, I am home-educated and because there is such a negative light on all home-educated people in media I thought I would try and shine the true light on what it’s really like. I would like to say before getting started that I know lots of people who are or have been home-educated and everyone goes about being educated at home differently and have different reasons and even learn different things and in different ways, so any information in this post is only my experience and doesn’t apply to everyone. But everyone always has so many questions about what it’s like being home-educated and I wanted there to be a place where you could all come and find answers to your questions. Anyway, let’s get into it!
Have you always been home-educated?
Yes, I have always been home-educated. I went to college for a year to do a course, but it was only once a week so even during that time I still considered myself home-educated.
Did you have the choice to be home-educated?
I didn’t have a choice from the start because I was a baby and then too young to make the decision but as I grew up my Mum never tried to avoid the subject of school and was always open to talking about the pros and cons and what it’s like going to school so when I was older I did have the choice, and my choice was to remain home-educated. I hope to start sixth form next September though and then go off to University.
How did you get into home-education?
My parents decided to home-educate because of their own experiences and the absurd ways of the education system. My older brother would have started school when he had only just turned four and my parents thought that was too early for him to start. They also thought that the competition and pressure put on children from a very young age isn’t healthy and that children have to be stimulated through experiencing the world and running around using up the energy rather than sitting behind a desk.
Do you do your schooling one-on-one or is there a group you do it with?
I do my actual studying and revising on my own but I have socialised with other home-educated people through groups but it never involves actual academic work, just having fun!
How does a ‘school’ day look for you, when does it start and end?
It depends on the time of year, I am a huge procrastinator and so I leave everything until the last minute. At school leaving everything until the last minute doesn’t actually mean leaving everything until the last minute because you’ve been sitting in classrooms listening to teachers talk for about two years so you may know some things about the subject without even realising it but when I leave everything until the last minute I literally know nothing about the subject and have to learn it all from scratch. Anyway, in the past few weeks because exams have been really close I have been waking up really early and going to bed really late because of revision e.g. working from 7AM until 11PM but when exams aren’t this close I kind of do only small amounts of certain subjects, I don’t have a set timetable for each subject, it’s not really strict such as; I must be sitting at the dining room table with some work by 9:30AM or anything, my Mum is very laid back and let’s me do my own work in my own time and trusts my judgement which is really nice, but I know other people who’s parents are much more strict and do have set schedules for certain subjects and the amount of time spent on each subject.
Do you think you have more or less homework than school students?
I don’t really have ‘homework’ as in extra work from my studies, but I consider all of my work to be homework as all of my work is done at home.
Did you feel left out when you became home-educated?
Because I’ve always been home-educated I don’t really know what it’s like not to be home-educated but I do sometimes think that maybe I would feel less self-conscious, more confident and feel more able to speak out and talk to people if I had been to school. And that I would have loads more friends and groups of people to hang out with at the weekend but then I realised, that actually, how many of the massive crowds of people we hang out with at school are ever our true friends, how many of them will be there for us through anything? I honestly believe, that even though I’m very self-conscious and not confident when talking to people that don’t know me that if I had gone to school I wouldn’t be the person I am now, I wouldn’t have the interests I have now, I wouldn’t have as much inspiration and motivation that I have now and I wouldn’t have the best friend I have right now. I also wouldn’t have the close relationship with my family that I have now.
Who teaches you?
My Mum is very supportive and helpful and there when I need her but mostly I teach myself through reading textbooks and using websites.
How did you connect with friends?
I’m not sure whether this question is asking me what I have in common with my friends or how I make friends but I might just answer both. I make friends by going to the same groups people who go to school go to, like after school activities and things. I also used to go to home-education groups where we did things such as ice skating, bowling, game days etc. but I stopped going to those things after I drifted apart from my friends in those groups and didn’t enjoy them anymore. I connect with and share the same interest with friends in the same way that everyone else does. I think it’s actually easier to relate to people who you don’t meet at school because depending on the age you can’t be sure that if you’re sitting in math class for example that they love maths just like you do so that isn’t a safe topic to start a conversation but if you go to a paid for activity such as a drama group, drama is a safe topic to start a conversation because they actually want to be there and have an interest in the thing they’re there doing.
How does it affect your social life?
I don’t feel like being home-schooled prevents me from having the social life that I want but obviously, I don’t spend all day every day surrounded by people my own age but I do still have a social life and one that I’m happy with.
Have you ever regretted being home-schooled?
This is something I think about quite a lot, do I regret being home-schooled? I would like to experience what it’s like going to school before I stop being a child which is why I’ve decided to go to sixth form; I want to experience prom, assembly, have a school day full of classes, leave school etc. but I don’t regret not going to school in the past, no. I will regret not going to sixth form if I don’t get in. But I don’t regret not going to school growing up as I don’t think it would have suited me in the same way being home-schooled has and I wouldn’t have been able follow the things I’m interest in as thoroughly.
Thank you so much for sending in your questions about what it’s like being home-educated! I really loved doing this Q&A and it was so nice to be able to answer these questions and write a positive post about what it’s really like!
I would like to say before I end this post that I am not trying to be mean or obnoxious, I don’t think people who go to school aren’t as good as me in any way shape or form, I don’t object to people who go to school or think I’m better than them or have a better life than them. This is just my own personal opinions and thoughts, and how I feel school would be for me but not how it is for everyone. School is good for some people and they really enjoy it and I think that’s a great thing and I am in full supportive of people who are both home-educated and educated in school. So please, don’t take offense to anything I have said because I guarantee you I do not mean any! If there is something that has upset you about this post please feel free to let me know in the comments or anonymously through my e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org and I will immediately make changes so it doesn’t upset you anymore!
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Inspired Teen 🙂