In Praise of Homeschooling

Most of my last year in elementary school was spent wondering what it would be like to be outside, instead of being in a crowded classroom looking at old pictures of art or memorizing a list of spelling words.

By February, I wasn’t trying my best anymore and I was sleepwalking through each day. Being homeschooled has been the best decision for me that my family ever made.

A big change was needed and, with my family’s support, I made the change from learning at school to learning at home.

In the mornings I would wake up at nine o’clock only to decide whether to wear my pink, fluffy slippers or my blue ones, and whether to eat pancakes or waffles.

I didn’t bother brushing my hair or putting on my new jeans. When you are homeschooled, you don’t need to think about how kids are going to react to your new haircut or to the lame shoes your mom bought for you.

You don’t have to wear your most fashionable shirt or the newest sneakers; just the comfiest pajamas you can find.

Learning at home gave me many more hours each day to do what I wanted. I could walk my dog in the morning, or take a nap at noon. I could go swimming or jump on the trampoline! It was every kid’s dream.

Being homeschooled opened up a whole new line of possibilities for me. My mom and I invented all sorts of work for me to do in the last few months before summer. We planned out all my activities such as science, math, French, and much more that I couldn’t have done in a classroom.

I thrived on putting my best effort into every project. Never once did I slack off and I always jumped at the possibility of more work.

Suddenly, learning became more interesting! Reading books about history was fun and sorting out math problems was easy.

The hardest part of homeschooling was leaving all my friends. Although we still got together outside of school, it wasn’t the same as eating lunch in the playground or passing notes in class.

In school, I had joined Grade 7 band, and this was one thing I definitely missed. Although I still got to “squawk” at home, it wasn’t the same as being surrounded by a bunch of instruments squawking together.

Gym was another part of school I really missed; I couldn’t exactly play dodge ball or basketball all by myself.

Homeschooling could have been really lonely, except that I was lucky enough to be homeschooled with my best friend. We worked well together and, even though we were sometimes distracted, we still plowed through our work.

We actually finished three weeks ahead of all our “in-school” friends.

Honestly, I will tell you that there was absolutely nothing negative about being homeschooled. My teacher was amazing; the projects were a blast.

Being homeschooled didn’t benefit just me, but my family as well. For a home economics assignment, I would cook dinner for my family. For gym, I would take the dog for a run; and with my extra hours, I helped keep the house clean and tidy.

After being homeschooled for a couple of weeks, I realized how lucky I was. My day could be arranged in whatever order I wanted, as long as I made it through my list of schoolwork.

For some people, spending the whole day with their mom is really “uncool”, but for me it was much better than spending it packed in a classroom with 20 other kids.

Being homeschooled helped me to become more confident, less shy and more independent. Now, I can talk to adults without running away and express my opinion without feeling embarrassed.

If I hadn’t been homeschooled, my mom wouldn’t have encouraged me to enter What’s Up Yukon‘s Foreign Correspondent competition and, most likely, I would not be writing this article.

So, my advice is, if your child asks to be homeschooled, don’t think of how much of your time or money it will take.

Just think of how accomplished, confident, independent and mature your child might become if you homeschool them.

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