Updated: Mar 30
As a homeschooled kid, I am here to share 3 things I appreciate the most about growing up in a one-room-schoolhouse… my “Ode to Homeschooling” (or Non-Traditional Education, if you will).
I was homeschooled in South Florida all the way up till 10th Grade. For proof you can trust me, I just graduated college in December... so, I survived! Haha. In fact, some of my favorite things about college stemmed from my homeschooling past. So buckle in and enjoy my praise of home-catered education…
Passionate Pursuit of Knowledge
My love of history (which is what I majored in!) grew from teachers in co-ops and online who loved the subject! That has to be the defining factor that makes someone excited about history, and I was able to have that world opened to me by people who loved it too. I also was given countless opportunities to focus on what I wanted to for the “oral reports” (given, it may have been the parents need for self-motivated learning with a house full of kids)
But, I learned to pick and follow my passions, whether it was reading the story of Sacagawea, or studying the food history of Thanksgiving dinner! History was fascinating to me because it was allowed to be. I could follow where my interests led me.
Even though I live far away, I still have a close bond with my siblings. As siblings grow up and leave home it becomes an altogether different task to keep in touch. When being physically present is impossible, what do you do? I will say, after the countless hours of schooling with my siblings, going on fieldtrips, struggling over algebra questions, competing over brainteasers, I definitely formed a tight relationship with them. We learned who each sibling was, what they enjoy learning, how they like to spend their time, and which buttons NOT to push.
That additional time spent with my family went to good use. I still get phone calls about new chickens hatching or the latest cookie recipe even though I live across the country! And so even though I lived so far away for college, our home education still keeps us close.
A Desire to Take Charge of My Own Learning
This is my favorite point. In college, some people I would talk to described a class as something they were “just taking to fill the requirement” finding zero joy in it for the 4 months of the semester. That made me sad. By the end of my college journey, I was thinking “why would you do that? There are limited classes you end up taking in college and each one of them can add to your education in a new and exciting way! Go find something that sparks your interest even just a little!” It is so much more meaningful (and enjoyable even) when you connect your learning to a purpose.
From years of shaping what we wanted in education, I learned to cater my education the way I wanted it to be. I would search for classes that were interesting and would ADD something to who I wanted to be. Physics and British Literature were real highlights in my journey of university requirements, giving me the chance to develop the interests that I otherwise would not have explored. I designed my path, and the university added to it.
At the end of the day, it is YOUR education, make it what you and your children need it to be. And you never know… you might write an “Ode to Homeschooling” yourself!