Usually these interviews are with homeschoolers who have graduated, but after reading 17 year old Margaret’s interview, I thought it would be something all of you would enjoy, and might even encourage you to ask your older children their answers to these questions as well!
Name & Age
How many years were you homeschooled?
I am in 11th grade and I have been homeschooled since kindergarten.
A favorite homeschooling memory.
I have some really good memories of being homeschooled! When my sister and I were in elementary school, we had boys from another homeschool family come over once a week for history lessons. One week, we were studying Genghis Khan, and we decided to stage a fight between the Mongols and the Chinese. The kids built a fortress under the table and fought off my mom, who was dressed as a Mongol with a dish towel wrapped around her head and armed with a dust mop. It was hilarious!
Other great times were hanging out at another homeschool family’s house every once in a while to go sledding on the big hill in their backyard. This family had nine kids, and two of the girls were my best friends outside of my own family when I was growing up. They sang in the church choir and I played violin, so we would sometimes run into each other at rehearsals, which was really fun.
I’m also really thankful that I got the opportunity to compete in the National Spelling Bee and build my own violin studio with nine students. I don’t think I would have been able to do those things without being homeschooled.
I loved Abeka math. It was so much more fun than any other math program! I also really enjoyed Rod and Staff grammar.
Worst homeschooling memory.
I wasn’t as much a fan of fifth and sixth grade. I was kind of bored, and I hit the ‘teenage angst’ stage early and was quite unhappy during fifth grade. For a while, I thought I wanted to go to school, and I’m very glad my mom knew what was best for me and didn’t give in.
Most difficult lesson/subject for you?
I didn’t like Latin, even though I took eight years of it. I’m excited to be done this year!
Will you homeschool your own children if you have any?
I sure hope so! It’s a little weird, but I’ve already thought about which books I want to use. I love teaching, and I always jump at a babysitting job in the mornings because it means I get to help the kids with their lessons. It also makes me so sad to think of sending my babies off for someone else to teach. I had such a good experience with homeschooling, and I just want my own kids to someday have an equal or even better experience.
Any regrets directly related to being homeschooled?
I wish I had skipped a few grades in middle school. I felt that I was really bored and lonely during those years, and now that I’m 17 I wish that I was a little closer to college or career – not that I’m wanting to leave home, but I do feel that I could be doing more right now and that I’d have more flexibility if I’d graduated at 16 like some of my friends.
Anything you wish you had been taught?
In my family, we think things over before we speak – it’s just our way. Because of that, it’s sometimes hard for me to talk to ‘normal’ people. I feel like they’re talking way too fast and my little brain can’t keep up and come up with the appropriate responses in time! Like most things, this has gotten better with practice. A few weeks ago, I ran into a (non-homeschooled) guy I hadn’t seen in a while, and I had to stop what I was doing and just focus on what he was saying in order to engage in conversation. Afterwards, I reflected that maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing, to have to give people your full attention in a world where many people don’t have the attention span to give others their full focus!
What is the worst misnomer about homeschoolers?
That we’re all the same. People assume that everyone is like the one homeschool family they know or (even worse) see on TV. There are some homeschoolers who wear skirts all the time and some who wear PJs and sweats, some who read Harry Potter and some who wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, some who sleep until nine in the morning and some who wake up at five, some who send their kids to college and some who don’t, and – get this – some who are Christian and some who aren’t! I think that people on the outside tend to characterize us by the fact that we’re homeschooled, and really there is so much more that defines us.