Home schooling: First-person perspectives

Sunday, October 23, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:05 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Jim Haithcoat

15 years old; 10th grade

There are a lot of things considering home schooling that I could talk about. I think I would like to start by busting a few myths.

The first and most heard-of myth is that we are antisocial. Now I could tell you flat out that it’s just not true, but I don’t think you would be convinced. We don’t just sit around our house all day doing school, honest. Me and my older sister, Lindlie, take classes outside the home. One is taught by a college professor; the other taught by a home-schooling mother.

We do other activities with public-schooled kids as well, like Boy Scouts and church youth group . Many of my good friends are not home-schooled.

I mean, did I start this with, “Uh, hi, my name is Jim. I’m, um, not sure what to say, uh?” If I had, then you can call me antisocial.

You see, the truth is, we’re only antisocial around other people. Ha-ha, just kidding.

Another myth is that we are maladjusted. This kind of ties in with being antisocial but not quite. We can make friends just as easy as any public schooler, maybe easier.

It’s not the easiest thing being home-schooled, though. People tease you and make fun of you, calling you things like overprotected or things like that. But because of our upbringing, we can just grin and bear it, which is more than I can say for some people.

Home schooling, I think, is a great way to learn. I’m a bit ahead of where I should be in school and am doing yearlong college courses in one semester.

My parents are kind and loving but not overprotective. They let us make our own choices and find the outcome while instructing from the sidelines. Home schooling is just a great way to prepare me for the rest of my life through the education, the friends and the challenges of it.

Louisa Haithcoat

13 years old; eighth grade

One of the things I like about home schooling is that I am home with my family all day. I not only learn about square roots and pronouns, but I also learn about my siblings. We have special bonds with each other, and they grow every time we sit down for school together.

I learn a lot from the little stories that no one could tell me but my mother. They are little things that my mother had to learn all alone, and it was difficult. But when there is someone there to help you learn it, like my mother is there for me, it makes it a lot easier. I really owe her a lot because of all the time she puts in to help me.

But I do have to admit that home schooling isn’t perfect. It has some difficult things, too. Sometimes it is hard to get up in the morning and get all my school done. I don’t have an exact order in which I do my school, so sometimes I do a little extra of something in a day and not enough of another thing, but I try really hard to get all my school done by three o’clock in the afternoon.

Some of the time I take little five-minute breaks in between subjects to rest my hand from writing. Every once in a while my siblings and I start messing around, but we always, somehow, get back on track.

I have problems with stopping school to get an extra chore done like making lunch or folding towels. I only have to do one of those each month, and my older sister does the other one. Even though home schooling does have its faults, I will always love it.

Robin Haithcoat

8 years old; third grade

I like home schooling because I am home all day with my family. My favorite subject is reading. Home school is really busy, but if I were in public school I would be even busier.

Since I am home, I can play with my younger brothers and sister between subjects. My mom helps me understand my lessons. I think public school would be harder.

Lindlie Haithcoat

17 years old; 11th grade

Home schooling is an exciting experience. When you are home all day with your family, you really get to know them and understand what they are going through.

There are good things about home-schooling. For example, there are no bullies, no peer pressure and the parents can instill all their wisdom and beliefs in their children’s lives.

The parent-child bond is very important to a child’s development, and home schooling gives those relationships room to grow. Time spent reading, writing and learning from each other is time well spent.

Home schooling gives parents a chance to see exactly what their child is excelling in and what needs more work. I personally enjoy the time spent with my family and the things I have learned and am still learning about life’s treasures.

I think home schooling has given me a brighter outlook on life and all the wonderful things that there are in the world.”

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