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Homeschooling: It's What You Make of It

Tonight my son, Stanley, went to a meeting about his upcoming high school graduation. He never attended public school. He is in his fifth semester at the University of North Alabama as an early scholar and will graduate high school with around thirty college credits.

For the last six years, his older sister, Jocelyn, has been handling most all facets of homeschooling him and his younger sister, Tempest. It was a family decision. When I separated from their dad, I had to work. We have never received any child support. My job and then my school were the priorities for me because it was the only solution we could see to keep us from starving. The kids had never been to school except for the oldest who only went through first grade. My youngest is in her third semester as an early scholar at the University of Alabama. We have taken advantage of the academic capability of the Internet and local colleges. I have a strong belief that education is the key to surviving and I have passed that along to my children.

We have faced our share of ridicule for homeschooling, from family, from people in general, and from other homeschoolers when I no longer could be the traditional homeschooling mom. That is one of the wonderful things about homeschooling. We did it our way. The things that worked for us were created by us. Our curriculum was usually in some part canned curriculum, in other words, bought for that grade. But my oldest especially likes to combine brands of curriculum into an eclectic mix.

Homeschooling is not for everyone. In fact, it isn’t for most people. For us, it has been a lifestyle more than a structured learning process. It was a decision I have had to staunchly defend over the years, but not one I will never regret. I got to spend time with them I wouldn’t have had when they were small. Now that they are entering adulthood, the benefits are tangible. I have been gone from home for most of the last three months. My fiancée is there for them, but for the most part they are self sufficient adults. They know what needs to be accomplished and they do it. That’s the biggest benefit for us. I wanted them to learn how to manage themselves as adults. That was one of biggest lessons I stressed when they were small. Academics without self-discipline isn’t of much value to me.

If you aren’t a homeschooler, that’s fine. I have the greatest respect for teachers. Their job is a thankless one for the most part. But don’t say it can’t be done or homeschoolers can’t go on to college. It’s actually easier for us than the traditional student. If you are a homeschooler, that’s fine, too. Take advantage of the great opportunities created by your decision. You won’t regret it.


 

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