This piece is by a military teen-Elena A. Thanks for sharing your story, Elena!
Before high school, I had never been to public school before. For half of my life, I was homeschooled.
I originally started homeschooling in 1st grade. My mom asked me whether I wanted to go to school for 6+ hours a day or do it at home. The choice seemed pretty obvious to 6-year-old me. We immediately got involved with homeschool groups in our town, and I was able to get a great education on my own schedule. Some days I would do hours and hours of work; on others, my mom would drive us to Disney World when she didn’t feel like teaching. It was so fun. My brothers, who had enrolled in a local kindergarten school, were jealous and soon joined me as homeschoolers.
Homeschooling definitely made moving easier. Although you do have to pack up many of your books and school supplies to move, you can keep some subjects handy for learning on-the-go. We never had to worry about finding a new school or missing school days to go on a trip; homeschooling provided us with flexibility and versatility that public schoolers never get.
Homeschooling also provided me with a TON of cool opportunities. I got to take online classes that were far more advanced than regular curriculum; I was reading college level Greek literature in middle school! The world became my classroom as I learned in aquariums, museums, and even Australia. I was able to experience life with a new lens, ready to learn and soak up every piece of information thrown my way.
Like anything though, homeschooling has its downsides. Because my mom taught all 3 of us, she had to split her teaching time up. I often got the least amount of one-on-one teaching time because I was the oldest, but it taught me how to become an independent learner and worker. Transferring to a public school was also a pain. Converting homeschool transcripts to acceptable public-school transcripts is a tedious process that I am STILL going through.
But, I don’t regret starting public high school. After I finished 8th grade, I decided to enroll in a high school near my new duty station. There were tons of military brats there, and that school year remains one of the best I’ve ever had. I’m going to continue public schooling until I graduate, even though I’ve moved to a different school.
That being said, I owe a lot to the 8 years I spent homeschooling. Homeschooling taught me so many great life skills and gave me tons of time with my family, both of which I value immensely. I would not be the student or person I am today without the experiences I had with homeschooling, and I am forever grateful for its impact on me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s cool to be homeschooled! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! 😉