If you’ve ever wondered about my schooling experience and how homeschooling changed my life, I’m here today to share it all…
I’ve come a long way since the days of skipping class, going to McDonalds for lunch, Justin Bieber (okay maybe not) and boy obsessions consuming my life. I get questions everyday about why I chose to be homeschooled, if I chose it myself, how I did it, and what my reflections are- now that I’ve graduated (oh how good it feels to finally be qualified to say this).
I’m a weird kid. I don’t like working in groups because dependence on others makes me sense the future disappointment as though I have a crystal ball before me. I feel like teachers are in a constant power struggle and degrade students in order to feel like the alpha. I don’t necessarily agree with having to ask to go the bathroom or take a drink from the fountain… I crave freedom and all it is associated with.
Nobody pushed me to be homeschooled, or really even influenced me. I did it because I felt it was most appropriate given my ambition and goals.
I did an independent learning program called the ILC, which is ministry approved. Basically I took individual courses, and depending on how new the curriculum was, I either had lessons online or through textbooks. It was essentially the exact same material I learned in public school, except of course, there was no one teaching it to me.
Why would I leave school right before senior year (also known as the best year)?
I’ve never identified with my classmates. I’m very passionate about my hobbies and despite my age, I take them very seriously and want to accomplish a lot and work for it. I don’t regret not “having the best time at school” because I got the opportunity to do extraordinary things and graduate early. From what it seems, my classmates admire what I do, and I wouldn’t say they feel like I’m missing out on anything because I’m living out my dreams. I rather miss out on an inside joke with my friends but get to travel to a foreign country. I’m still with my friends all the time; I can go to their prom, formal dances, and if I really want to I can visit them at lunch. So really, I’m not missing out on anything. I keep all the benefits of senior year (dances, prom, graduation), and take away the dreadful part (classes and teachers).
I decided to make the decision because I felt like I was wasting my time at school. I almost never came to my classes, my teachers never showed up and when I decided I should probably go to class, we ended up watching a movie. I just kept asking myself – “Why am I here??!” I knew I had better things to do.
What I got from homeschooling was total freedom. I could build my own schedule and work on my own. I worked until 5 am sometimes, just finishing unit after unit. Essentially, I got to finish high school early, which I would never be able to do if I wasn’t home schooled (because the Ontario ministry doesn’t allow it).
The advantages are that you can finish school faster, work on your own schedule, pursue your passions and work if that’s in your interests. You can get better at your hobbies (for example, dancing) and really focus on the things you want to do in life. You can also really focus on education. There is no one distracting you, so you can study whatever you’d like without pressure. Homeschooling is definitely not for everybody; I think it’s perfect for independent, hard-working and ambitious students that don’t fit into the set up government plan. The disadvantage would possibly be the chance of missing socialization. If you don’t have any hobbies, I can see how homeschooling could make you feel isolated if you don’t make the effort to see your friends often.
So there you have it, I’m a homeschooled jungle freak, but I’m a proud one at that. If you’re interested in homeschooling, weigh out the benefits and costs, and then conduct a web search to see if it’s possible in your country. If you want something bad enough and work for it, it will happen.