Almost every time I share that I was homeschooled, people seem slightly in awe of the fact that I am *gasps* "normal". (Now whether I'm really "normal" still stands to be determined, lol, but let's just roll with it for the sake of this blog post.)
"I thought all homeschoolers were weird."
"I didn't think a homeschooler would grow up to be so normal!"
"Are you sure you were homeschooled?"
Yes, yes I'm sure 😅
And when I say homeschooled, I mean fully, completely, my-whole-life sort off homeschooling. While my family did take part in a homeschool coop when I was older (that's a story for another day), I never participated in any sort of traditional school; public, private, or charter.
I know when I say that you're envisioning the long braids, gawky glasses, probably a turtle neck, braces, and the like. But let me assure you, I have never fit the homeschool mold; and I would say most homeschoolers don't!
As a teenager I rocked mini skirts, crop tops, purple hair, and makeup. Not what you were picturing? Yeah, I get that a lot. While I may have been more of a rebel homeschooler, I think you'd be surprised at the broad variety of families if you actually got into the homeschooling community.
I Loved Being Homeschooled
I remember off-and-on my mom giving us girls the option of going to school; every once in awhile she'd ask if we wanted to go to public school. We all continually said no.
Because we liked being homeschooled; I liked being homeschooled!
I realized pretty early on that if I just buckled down and got my schoolwork done in the morning I was free to do whatever I wanted for the rest of the day.
My childhood comes along with found memories of tramping through the forest, riding four wheelers and snowmobiles, playing barbies with my sister, and general shenanigans. Never once did I feel like I was "missing out" on the school experience of socialization. Actually quite the opposite; I felt so much freedom in being allowed to pursue things that interested me and friendships that I wanted to.
To me homeschool was freedom; even if I didn't realize it back then.
I Focused on My Passions
This is going to freak some people out....But I've never completed math beyond basic Algebra.
Yep, here come the gasps and outrage.
But here's the deal, math is not my thing. I'm terrible at it; truthfully it's not my strong suit at all.
So when I was in high school my mom told me that if I could pass Algebra with a C I could be done and pursue my passion for writing instead.
And friend, let me tell you that when I say I worked my butt off to achieve that goal- I mean it. I passed Algebra and haven't done any sort of math ever since.
And I don't regret it one bit.
Never once have I thought "oh man! I wish I would have done geometry!" or "oh shoot! Why didn't I do calculus!?"
Actually, quite the opposite. I spent most of my high school career pursuing English through PSEO classes at a local college and also exploring art. I think this is a large part of who I am today and why I feel the freedom to pursue my passions and can let go of what other people think I "should do".
Lol and really, as someone who dreamed of being a stay-at-home-mom and wife; who needs geometry?
Oddly enough, my passion for writing is why I started this blog over 6 years ago and part of why I believe my Instagram page has grown over the years. The creativity that was nurtured during my school years gave me the confidence to step out and become and entrepreneur and now I'm headed towards making 6 figures from my kitchen table while I homeschool my own babies and serve my hubby; I mean it doesn't get much more dreamy than that! (For me anyways!)
I Found Myself
While I wouldn't say that being homeschooled was in some way intrinsically tied to my personality or anything, I do believe that it allowed me the space to find myself and grow into who God designed me to be.
I was not an out-going teenager and as an intense introvert homeschooling gave me the covering I needed to thrive and find confidence in who I was. It also gave me lots of opportunity to learn life skills that I would need for the future. Our family also spent the spring semester of my sophomore and junior years of high school living in Texas and serving on the mission field. And I experienced college as a junior and senior in high school (thank you PSEO for free college!) and spent the second part of my senior year living in Mexico learning Spanish before I got married.
Part of the reason I feel like I was ready to get married (as much as any teenager can be lol) she summer I graduated high school is in part due to homeschooling. I knew myself, I knew how to run a household, and most importantly I knew what I wanted. That's not to say that other kids in a normal school system haven't experienced the same things, but as someone who was homeschooled and often gets presented with "fears" by other parents who want to homeschool their own children, I hope that my story can serve as a bit of a confidence boost that "yes! You can do this!" and also that your kids don't have to turn out crazy weird just because they were "homeschooled". It all has to do with your mindset or lack-there-of.
So while many think that homeschooling may limit what their children are able to do; let me say that speaking from experience it opened up whole new worlds of opportunities! I think that imagination is the only thing hindering you and your family from experiencing the fullness and all the potential that homeschooling has to offer!