The Facts About Homeschooling

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Almost everyday for about 9 months a year, my friends and I, like other teens, attend school. My friends wake up, scramble to get ready for the day, and grab a pop-tart. I wake up, put on my favorite sweats, and make myself some scrambled eggs. My friends arrive at school with knots in their stomachs, wondering how much drama will unfold that day. I walk back into my bedroom, sit down at my computer and set my cat on my lap. My friends enter class and look at the other students, thinking, “I wonder if he likes me,” “Is she going to embarrass me again?” and “I don't look half as amazing as these people.”

My friends are like most teenagers. They learn, of course, but are they really learning as much as they could be? There are so many distractions in public schools today, it's almost impossible to block them out and pay attention to things you will need to know far beyond high school. I have less distractions. Why? I attend what is modernly called a virtual charter school, or an online high school. Yes, I am home-schooled. Many people have strong opinions about homeschooling, and I hear about them frequently. A lot of people have come right out and told me that homeschooling is for “losers,” “dummies,” and “weirdos.” I do not often get the chance to tell those people how wrong they are, but right now I would like to say a couple of things that may change the way you think about homeschooling.

My daily schedule is strict, yet relaxed. I begin school at 8:00 AM like everybody else. The big difference? I finish my school day whenever I choose. I am in charge of when I do my school work, putting me in complete control of my lifestyle. For example, if I have something that needs to be done during school hours, there is no hassle. I can go and come back to my work on my time. Now don't start thinking I can slack off. Although homeschooling is known for its flexibility, there are certain deadlines that must be met for every class and assignment. The grading policies are standard, and if I turn in work late I receive 0 points for it. I know people who have failed and had to repeat years of high school because they thought homeschooling would be easy. The main challenge of being home-schooled is developing self-discipline. I have to push myself to follow a set schedule and finished any work that needs to be done.

The most common argument against homeschooling is the lack of social interactions. True, some kids stay huddled behind their computers. However, that is a personal choice. It all depends on the individual. Most home-schoolers I know are actually very outgoing and friendly, and have 500+ friends on Facebook. The key is to involve yourself in extra-curricular activities, such as youth groups, sports, and clubs. In my opinion, this is a much better way to meet people and make friends than through school because you are there to have fun and enjoy what you are all doing. In public high schools, everything is a big popularity contest set in a soap opera with way too much drama. Where is there time for learning?

Please understand that I am NOT trying to put down anyone who attends public school. I am good friends with a lot of high-schoolers and I never consider any of us to be above the other because of how we receive our educations. We are all intelligent, and our futures after high school look very optimistic. The fact is, homeschooling is not for everyone, and some people prefer the options that public high school offers. All I hope for is that people try to keep an open mind about homeschooling and don't attack what they don't know. After all, we get the same education, just in different settings.

Oh, and another homeschooling plus? I get to go to school in my pajamas and slippers, frizzy-haired and makeup-less. With my cat.





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