Many people would agree that homeschooling provides the student with a great academic experience. However, some people also argue that homeschooling does injustice to the student by failing in preparing him for the social scenes of the world. I would argue that when a student is homeschooled, the independent nature of study and the forced one-on-one situations he has with his teachers (parents) help him mature at the same or even quicker pace than he would have had he had been just another student in the crowd of students in the classroom.
As a homeschooler who now attends a four-year college, I greatly appreciate the education I received. Throughout my homeschool years, I studied very independently. I had specific tasks which had to be accomplished for each day. I read my lesson from my math book, and proceeded to practice my newly learned lesson with homework problems. I had similar lessons from other subjects. In history, I was assigned pages to read from a history textbook, with the task of looking for information which would help me address a specific question or questions. In this way, I was much like the historian, evaluating information in history and creating my own stance on the subject based on my studies. My other studies were carried out in much the same way. Through the independent nature of study in homeschooling, I developed more as an individual than as just another student in a classroom full of many students.
In addition to the individuality and confidence I gained from my independent studies, I also matured quicker due to a 1:5, or in some cases, a 1:1 teacher-student ratio. This forced me to articulate my ideas and explain myself much more often than students in a larger classroom setting. Although students-at public and private schools-who are self-motivated can gain confidence through their participation in class, it is much easier to speak more often if there are less students.
In college, much of the schoolwork and learning is done independently of the classroom. Students get out of their education what they are willing to put into it. Much of the homework involves teaching oneself a part of a lesson, or reading a literary work before the class discussion. Those who excel in these classes are ones who are self-motivated and willing to prepare their studies on their own so as to prepare for each class. Homeschooling prepared me for the academic rigor of college by instilling a self-motivation in me that was directly proportional to my success in my classes.
Due to the fewer amount of classes, and the semester, trimester, or even quarter systems, another key element to success at the collegiate level is the ability and willingness to represent oneself well to the professor and to participate in class. The college student has to have the speaking skills required to hold a conversation with another adult, and in order to make a good impression, speak clearly and with respect. Coming from a homeschool background gave me the experience of talking to many adults and presenting myself in a mature manner. This has aided me in my conversations with my professors both during office hours and just around campus.
Jessica De Gree
Jessica teaches English as a second language in Spain and plays basketball professionally there. She recently received her Bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College, one of the nation's top Liberal Arts schools in MI. At Hillsdale, she played basketball and studied English and Spanish. Some of her hobbies include reading, writing, painting, surfing, and playing the piano.