Homeschooling and the Major Media

February 21, 2011
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Homeschooling has been misunderstood since it began. When did it begin? Before and since schools were established, parents, friends, everything in this world, both living and dead has been teaching children. Why is it so misunderstood? Because there is no real definition of the word ‘homeschool.’ It means something different to everyone. Anyone who homeschools, unschools, or is self educated will understand this. I have been homeschooling since the first grade, and I still have no real definition of the word. Of course, I have many concepts of what it means, but I am and will most likely always be unsure of what the true meaning of homeschooling is.

For most people that do not homeschool, it means what the media has been telling us for years: that homeschoolers are a small group of shy kids who spend their days shut out from everyone and everything, doing the prescribed curriculum at home because they are too weird, shy, or unstable to be in ‘the real world.’ This is the most untrue thing I have ever heard. Some homeschoolers are taught at home by their mothers, the exact same thing as is being taught in school. Some run half-naked and wild in the back yard, and others still let go of everything they are told to do and follow their true passions. There are thousands of types of homeschooling, and I have been homeschooling long enough to meet many homeschoolers, and not one of them fit the descriptions that the media has labeled the word ‘homeschooling’ with. I have met many types of homeschoolers, and they vary from the girl that did absolutely nothing where school is concerned for years, then one day decided to attend high school full time and is now in her sophomore year and doing brilliantly, to the girl who followed the state curriculum until sixth grade, then attended school in the morning (to put her mother at ease) and followed her passions in the afternoon.

Another plus when it comes to homeschooling is the acceptance. Though it is true that homeschooling rates are increasing fast, there are still far more kids that attend school than those who do not. This means that when a group of homeschoolers comes together during a time when everyone else is in school, more often then not, there is nobody the exact age and grade that you are. Friends are made by having a common interest. For example, my three best friends are: one, a woman in her fifties, two, a ten year old girl, and three, a vet whom I once spent the entire day with, watching her perform three surgeries; on two dogs and a cat. Homeschooling brings people together in ways that no one can predict, and I hope that by reading this, you will get a clearer picture of who we really are. Though, there are millions of homeschoolers out there, and each has a unique story to tell.

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JCMerak This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 9:35 am
I've been homeschooled since the fifth grade and I have to say it has been an experience. After reading this article (which really could be a great beginning of a book about homeschooling by the way), it is a nice view to what we as homeschoolers question just the same as the media, but they and others scoff because 'we certainly aren't learning anything'; Which is not true because we learn new things everyday whether out of a book or by just living life. I also like the point about friends. I r... (more »)
Juliett replied...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Thanks JCMerak!

I appreciate your comment. This is my first post on Teen Ink, and I am happy that it was not a total flop. Again thanks for writing. I will check out your posts later. 'bye!

JCMerak This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm
My posts on Teen Ink are okay, but I post most of my work through my hometown publications and on my we b sit e. If you really want to, you can go to jcmerak2 . we bs . c om (no spaces) to see everything else.
Juliett replied...
Mar. 4, 2011 at 10:52 am
Thanks, I'll check out your website soon. 'bye.
Labelle said...
Feb. 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm
Nice insight on what a homeschooling teen thinks of her world. How does one convince one's parents to "let go and homeschool?"
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