My mum is writing a series of homeschooling blog posts, and as part of that, interviewed all four of us kids about our homeschooling experience.

That is, she emailed us a list of questions and said, “I need a reply by Friday, please.”

Journalism is not what it once was!

However, I don’t believe in letting stuff go to waste, so I thought I could shamelessly repeat my answers and turn it into a blog post. Go to mum’s original post to read my siblings’ replies- they’re very good. Also- did you know just how many Croods gifs there are out there on the internet? Nomi does. Just see her interview!

Anyways- Eight Questions To A Former Homeschooler

Heading Off

How would you describe your homeschool years?  In the primary school years, I remember doing lots of classes directly with Mum and the siblings, including a lot of Bible studies, character traits, math, science and reading. The high school years featured mostly independent work, guided by Mum. There was always a lot of reading- books were a big part of my education and they worked really well with my words-based learning style. Homeschool co-ops with local homeschooling families were also important; group discussions on character traits (proto-philosophy classes, in essence!), public speaking training and perennial games of Cops and Robbers.

What was your favourite thing about how you homeschooled?  My favourite thing was learning to love learning, and then having the freedom to explore the areas that most excited me. Sure, I still had to do math and science, but I was also able to pursue my interests (writing, reading, history and philosophy) in far more depth than I could have tied down to a regular classroom and curriculum.

I think it also helped build strong family ties among us, which has been absolutely awesome in the post-homeschool years.

What was your worst? There were some public school guys about my age who I probably would have become really good mates with, but never did because we didn’t mix in the same social circles. That was a shame.  

How do you think homeschooling has shaped you as a person?  Besides the love of learning, homeschooling was also where I learnt to think for myself and test everything. At the same time, homeschooling exposed me to the importance of family and community ties, a vision of the good life which has shaped my decision-making process ever since.

What story would you like to ‘tell on’ your mum?  Be kind!  This question is rigged!  

What do you think is the most misunderstood aspect of homeschooling with people who don’t homeschool?  It’s strange how adults can enjoy a long mature conversation with you and only begin to doubt your socialisation skills once you mention, 15 minutes in, that you were homeschooled as a child.
 
For kids, I think the biggest misunderstanding is their notion that being schooled at home actually means not doing any school, ever, and playing X-box in your PJs all day instead.

How would you answer the questions about socialisation?  Homeschooling made me more socialised, not less. Without a classroom of peers to keep me in my comfort zone, I had to learn to befriend younger kids, older kids, boys, girls, adults, and people with different interests to my own. I also had to be intentional about developing my friendships. In ‘real life’ those social skills are paramount, and homeschooling taught them to me.   

How has homeschooling prepared you – or left you hanging – in terms of further education?  The love of learning that homeschooling imparted for me is easily the best motivator to study hard and get good grades (or even learn something!) at university, where everything is self-motivated. The high school homeschool years also taught me to learn independently, and that’s crucial for further education, where they don’t spoon-feed you like most high school classrooms. 

On the other hand, I still had to learn university’s essay writing rules and how to answer pre-set questions, rather than just write what I wanted to talk about. That was a bit of a learning curve, but it didn’t take too long to adjust.

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