Julie was gracious enough to share her high school home study experiences with us. She probably used a different high school homeschool curriculum or homeschool method, but she completed her high school home study education program and earned a homeschool diploma.
Here are my original homeschooling questions and her answers about her high school homeschool experience:
How long were you homeschooled?
I’ve been homeschooled ever since I started school.
Did you ever want to be schooled in a public or private school?
Yes, a lot. All of my friends who went to a public/private school always had such fun stories to tell about what they did with their friends at school, the field trips they went on, the after school stuff.
I always wanted to be in a school play, or be part of a sports team. I desperately wanted that daily interaction with people who were not my siblings. That phase only lasted about two and a half years. I figured out that I was actually the one with the benefits.
What did you most enjoy about home education?
The thing I most enjoyed about home education was the flexibility. I could sit at my desk in my room with my headphones on. I could rock back in my chair. I could even sit on my desk, if I wanted to. Of course, the seating arrangements were big to me at the time but I did realize how lucky I was in other areas, too.
I could take my homeschool work to the library, to the music school where I took piano lessons; to the ice rink where my sister skated, to the gymnastics center.
I also got English credit for participating in National Novel Writing Month, where I had to write fifty thousand words of original fiction.
The best part of home education was being able to choose when to graduate. I decided in the middle of my junior year to do my junior and senior years in one. My parents were amazing about that and with their help, I just made the deadlines.
I also liked being able to help out with my younger siblings. One of my fondest memories is of my older sister helping me with my numbers, and I couldn’t wait to be able to return the favor with a younger sibling being homeschooled.
What did you least enjoy about home education?
The thing I least enjoyed about being homeschooled was the blurred line between home life and school. On my chore days, I had to get up earlier so I could cook breakfast for my siblings, and then hurry through washing the dishes and sweeping up so I could get started with homeschool on time.
If somebody got sick, I couldn’t just go to school and worry about them later. I had to help take care of them. If Mom had an important phone call, my older sister Elizabeth and I were left in charge of the school room. I was the assistant mom, the student, the big sister, and the little sister all at once, 24/7. It got exhausting sometimes.
How would you summarize your parents' reasons for homeschooling you?
I have a vague idea of why my parents homeschooled me. I know they didn’t agree with the public schooling system. They didn’t believe my siblings or I should spend our most malleable years with people they "didn't know from Adam." I’ve never really questioned why they made that decision. Even when I asked them why I couldn’t go to public school, I knew I was better off at home.
Are you planning to choose high school home study for your children?
The thought of all the work it will take makes me cringe but I know they’ll be better for it in the long run. My parents made incredible sacrifices to give my siblings and me the best education we could get. The least I can do is the same for their grandkids.
Did you take any classes outside your home during your high school home study experience?
My mom and I talked a little about my taking a science class during my high school home study program, since I wanted to major in animal science. We didn’t end up taking that route but I don’t feel that I missed out on anything.
What were some of the comments/questions you received from peers or adults while you were homeschooled?
One of the first things adults ask kids is where they go to school. That question comes later on in the conversation when it is between two kids. Either way, it always comes around to that. When I said I was homeschooled, one of the first questions the adults asked was if I liked it. I usually said yes, it was fun, or something along the lines of: I’ve only ever been homeschooled, it’s all I know.
However, with a fellow student, the questions came fast and furious. Do you get to do school in your pajamas? When do you have to get up? Do you get snow days? Isn’t it lonely? Do you get to talk in class? (Yes, depends, no, sometimes, and yes). It was always a conversation starter, if nothing else.
Do you think home education adequately prepared you for college, trade school, or your career? Why or why not?
I’ll be heading off to my freshman year of college in a couple of weeks so I don’t have a definite answer for that yet. I have high hopes, though. Homeschooling has definitely taught me the importance of a good work ethic. Also, it taught me how to work hard even if there’s nobody looking over my shoulder. I’ve definitely learned how to study in all environments and to adapt quickly to new situations.
One of the biggest benefits I’ve had in homeschooling is having constant access to my parents all day long. They’ve taught and are still teaching me so much more than math and history facts. Every time I meet a new person I remember things they’ve said: look them in the eye, shake their hand firmly, say your name clearly and keep your head up. On several occasions, adults have insisted they meet my mother or father because they’re so impressed by what they see. I don’t say that to praise myself; it’s a testimony to the upbringing and education my parents sacrificed so much to give me.
If the clocks were turned back, would you choose home education again?
Absolutely. I loved being homeschooled and honestly, I’m kind of nostalgic now that it’s over. Homeschooling was pretty awesome.
~Submitted by Julie, Age 16~
2010 High School Home Study Graduate