5 Ways Homeschooling Set Me Up For Success
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Student Life

5 Ways Homeschooling Set Me Up For Success

Much of my childhood was spent outside a school, but that didn't hinder me - it did just the opposite.

5 Ways Homeschooling Set Me Up For Success
Truth in American Education

A well-kept secret of mine, for people that didn't know me until college, is that for six years during my childhood, I was homeschooled. For grades 2 through 7, my parents decided to take me out of the school system, jumping through the legal hoops to make sure I could get the education they believed I deserved.

It wasn't that they disliked the Catholic elementary school in my hometown of Wayne, Nebraska - it was that they didn't believe a classroom education during my formative years would help me develop into the person they saw in me. And while I don't know who I would've been had I stayed in conventional school, I credit much of who I've become to the time I spent learning from home. Here are 5 ways homeschooling helped me:

1. Homeschooling allowed me to work at my own pace and really learn.

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Because I didn't have designated times for each subject the way my friends in school did, I was able to spend more or less time on something if that was what I needed. For example, in second grade, I had to spend more time practicing cursive handwriting because of my sensory processing disorder, which interfered with my visual-spatial reasoning. However, I didn't have to spend as much time on reading or math because they came more naturally to me. The lack of time constraints helped me actively learn what I was being taught.

2. Homeschooling gave me insight about the world.

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There is a stereotype that homeschooled kids are sheltered and oblivious to the outside world. While I'm sure there are kids like that, it was not the case for me. I understood the 9/11 attack better than some of my friends in school did at the time, even though they were shown it as well, because my mom watched the news while I did my work and discussed the tragedy with me.

But it wasn't just current events. In seventh grade, she read Pride and Prejudice to me. I listened to classic rock and classical music with my mom. I even learned Latin through a curriculum from the University of Nebraska. Learning about a variety of subjects showed me at a young age that there was more to the world than bells and algebra.

3. Homeschooling helped me manage my time in conventional school.

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The plan was always for me to attend high school at the public school in Wayne, and I adjusted quickly. Because I'd had no set schedule (except band and choir, in which my elementary and middle schools allowed me to participate), I was forced to learn time management at a much earlier age than most of my peers. So while my classmates were often stressed out about the term paper or the chemistry exam, I was able to read books for fun, get involved in the school musical, and play in the pep band for all the home basketball games without much stress, because working at my own pace also forced me to learn how to pace myself.

4. Homeschooling brought out my extroverted side.

In early elementary school, I was often asked to be quiet - even if I was talking about the subject at hand. I remember feeling like I was discouraged from even asking questions and asked to wait until after the teacher was finished. At home, I was able to stop my mom, who taught me, and ask a question. In my high school English class we were given participation points for our discussion assignments, and I excelled at these assignments because I understood that sitting in silence while information was being fed to me was not the only way to learn. It really helped me do well in college classes, too, because they tended to be more discussion based. And even in the workplace, I notice that I am less afraid than others my age to speak up when I see an issue or have a concern I want addressed.

5. Homeschooling taught me that it is OK to not follow the crowd.

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There were many other families in the area that homeschooled - I became friends with tons of other kids through activities that homeschooling families could do together. But in Wayne, I was the only one. Being forced to face that at the tender age of 7, I was also able to embrace my individuality in other aspects of my life. I never worried about what was trendy or "in style" - if I wanted to cut my hair short, I cut my hair short. If I wanted to dye it brown or platinum blond, I did it. I didn't even listen to a lot of the popular music of the day - I stuck to the punk rock and 80s hair bands that resonated with me. If I liked something popular, it was by accident and not because "all my friends were doing it." Yes, I was sometimes laughed at for my interests, but I learned that no one could take them away from me. Above all, homeschooling taught me to do what I love and love what I do.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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