In a NY Times blog post Would You Want to Be Home-Schooled? by Susannah L. Griffee and Katherine Schulten about a reminiscence on home-schooling in the 1970s (“My Parents Were Home-Schooling Anarchists” by Margaret Heidenry, which paints a rather stereotyped view of countercultural homeschooling, though it seems to be more about being poor than about being homeschooled), the authors asked
Students: Tell us about your experiences and thoughts about home-schooling. Do you think this type of education can prepare children for the “real world”? How might it be better than traditional schooling? What might children miss from not attending a regular school? Do you agree with the writer’s mother that working at one’s own pace and following one’s genuine interests is the best way to learn?
Students 13 and older are invited to comment below. Please use only your first name.
My son responded
I am in 10th grade and trying homeschooling for the first time this year. Before, I have attended both public and private school, but none of them have been a very good fit for me.
Many posters here have made the point that homeschooling does not prepare people for the real world, as it does not provide very many socialization opportunities. I believe this to be wrong, as (hopefully) a homeschooler will have the opportunity to seek out as much socialization as they need through other channels (such as clubs, sports, classes, etc.), and not be subjected or restricted in socialization as a normal student would.
In fact, “homeschooling” is a misleading term, as it implies that the student stays at home all the time. I am taking a class at the local community college, and bike there twice a week (fulfilling my P.E. requirement in the bargain). I am also taking theater classes with a local kids & teens theater troupe, which is fun and very social.
Homeschooling seems good for me because I can (for the most part) learn at my own pace, without the busywork and drill of conventional schooling.There are deadlines, however, both from classes I am taking in the community or online and those instituted by my parents for the classes they teach me.
I don’t know if homeschooling will work out for me, and I don’t know if perhaps I should have started it sooner or not at all, but as someone who has experienced a range of different schooling styles, I say, “Try it and see if it works for you.”
I did not prompt this writing—all I did was send him the URL for the NY Times blog post. It seems that, like me, his writer’s block is selective, with “important” things getting blocked much worse than “minor” things.