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Over the course of half a dozen interviews, there were several main focuses on the topic of homeschooling. Behind the scenes of each essay, I was asking questions about the social, educational, and personal aspects to various homeschoolers’ educational experiences—as well as the benefits/deficits of each person’s current situation.
In these essays, I heard many, many conflicting insights, perspectives, and views on the different aspects of homeschooling. For example, on the topic of the reactions to homeschooling—elicited from other people, a third of the interviewees exclaimed that they felt they received mostly negative reactions from people outside of the homeschool community, while the rest of those interviewed said they felt that it was positive. In addition to that, on the topic of socialization, Lucy examined her social life and explained that she felt it was harder to meet people who are differ from her, while Kyle said things like, “People say that homeschoolers are unsocialized, but I don’t feel like that’s the case. I feel like I definitely got a lot of socializing done in high-school. I feel like I’m very good at talking to people, and I’m very comfortable in social situations—and that’s partly due to the fact that I’ve had experience with so many different people.”
This isn’t to say that there aren’t aspects of homeschooling that are widely considered in the same way. In fact, without fail, every single homeschooler mentioned two things that they loved about homeschooling: learning what they’re interested in, and going at their own pace.
While these interviews were intended to provide information about the common practices of homeschooled students across St. Louis, as well as eradicate misconceptions and provide a very personal introduction to the lives of homeschoolers in our community, it is clear that by doing so, I have put excessive clarity to one important detail—one that should be remembered by everyone who interacted with this series: homeschooling, by nature, is different for everyone.
This last interview will cover an additional co-op in St. Louis by the name of the St. Louis Homeschool Network. In this interview, Kayla, a student attending Meramec Community College who was also previously a member of this group, will talk about the differences between […]
In recent essays, an organization known as HomeLink has been mentioned several times by local homeschoolers across St. Louis. To elaborate upon what has already been said, Home link is a homeschool co-op in St. Louis that offers classes ranging from yearbook, to physics, to art and music classes. The co-op includes certified teachers, a lunch room, and four years of both homecoming and prom—all of which are paid for by students and parents. However, this organization is not the only one of it’s kind residing in St. Louis. Today, Britney—a high-school junior from an organization known known as ARCHE—speaks out about her experiences as a homeschooler in St. Louis—especially ones differing from those who attend home link.
Although ARCHE is similar to HomeLink, it is a Christian organization that has a more intense focus on God. She said, “I’ve always been homeschooled – ever since preschool. It was basically because my mom wanted me to do Bible in school, because they don’t really teach the word of God in public schools.” Britney explains the way that homeschooling fit into some of her hobbies and classes that she is taking at arch. In reference to classes, she said, “I haven’t been there for as long as most people have been there, but I joined 2014. I took a couple musical theater classes, and speech & debate. I really enjoy the debate class,” she laughed, jokingly. “I like to argue.”
Like home link, ARCHE helps with the social aspect of homeschooling. Britney differs from some of the other homeschoolers in past interviews, in that, in addition to ARCHE she also gathers social experiences from several communities like church, dance, and kids around the neighborhood. She said, “‘How do you socialize?’ Is one of the top questions for homeschoolers. I don’t think was hard for me to make friends as a homeschooler, ever since I was four I’ve been in dance, so I have plenty of friends there—and I have church, so plenty of friends there.”
Throughout the past few interviews, a reigning characteristic is becoming increasingly clear. Despite all of the different organizations, ways of doing school, aspects of socializing, and benefits received from homeschooling, the only thing that has been said by each local homeschooler consistently is that they can go at there own pace and they can learn what they like. Britney said, “I like that I can kind of go at my own pace with things. I’ve never been to a public school, so I’m not really sure how that all works, but it seems like they go really fast.” Britney later added a statement that seems comical, but may be one of the most underrated components of homeschooling. She said, “I feel that the reactions are sometimes really positive, especially when you tell people your own age. They’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s good for you.’ You know, and, ‘I wish I could wake up at 9 o’clock for school every morning.'”
The next interview will be posted on April 21st, 2017.
Over the past two interviews, girls who have participated in various homeschooling practices offered up their experiences as current homeschoolers. This week, a now-freshman in college, Kyle, talked about past experiences with homeschooling and how it has affected his success as of right now. Kyle […]
In the last interview, Lucy—a home-schooled student in the St. Louis area—offered a significant amount of insight into the homeschooling community. However, a large aspect of homeschooling is that, typically, no two-homeschooling experiences are alike. This week, a student who has gone to St. Louis […]
In the St. Louis area, there resides over one thousand home-schoolers. While one might think each of these students respectively learns within the walls of their own homes, around 500 of these students attend a local co-op known as HomeLink—which includes certified teachers, classrooms, curriculum, and social activities. One student, Lucy, explains to me the ups and downs of life as a home-schooler and attendee of this co-op.
Lucy says she is about the age of a junior or senior in high school, but credit-wise, is unsure. She said to me, “You know—homeschooling,” which is an exchange of mutual understanding that is common between many home-schooled students. We all understand the different paces each student maintains in their curriculum. Lucy continues: “Basically, I do a lot of my classes online, since my mom can’t really do all of them. I do pre-calculus online, I do physics at Homelink, literature at Homelink, and then I do some history classes online as well.” Lucy explained that her mom is British, and previously taught/worked at a homeschool-oriented educational organization. “It only made sense that I become home-schooled,” said Lucy. “It was a very intense kind of learning.”
As the conversation lengthened, Lucy began to elaborate upon her experiences as a home-schooled student. “I love homeschooling because I like to go deep into things. I like to research topics that interest me, and it goes with my learning style better. It has helped me get better grades.” Lucy mentions that homeschooling is hard in some ways, like keeping up with school and less opportunity to mingle with diverse students. She says, “You have to go out of your way sometimes to experience lots of different people and things when you’re homeschooling.” However, she mentions the benefit of personal development briefly, “It has made me more original and I love learning. It’s tailored more towards me, so I have learned who I am.”
Although the topic of high school is exciting, Lucy became very animated and passionate when she began talking about the future, as well as opportunities that homeschooling has provided her. She says, “I’m hoping to go to Princeton for an internship and I’m excited about that. I don’t know what I want to do exactly, but I want to do something in the humanities for sure.” Just then, the topic turned a different shade. Lucy explained that she wants to help people understand each other: “There are so many polar opinions. I was watching this documentary—The Talk—it was about the race relations and how so many African Americans have to tell their children, especially boys, what to do when police stop them. I was crying.” She mentioned the existence of both good police and bad police—police who want to help people. “There’s a history between race and police that people don’t often look at,” says Lucy. She wants to help better the understanding of how race, police officers, and other polar opinions you see in the media are interconnected.
In addition to Homelink, online classes, and uniquely paced curriculum, Lucy notes that there are other components of homeschooling that not everyone may know about. “I have a lot of friends in different places [distance wise], so that can be hard for home-schoolers as well.” She continues to note some reactions from people who lie outside of the home-school community. “Honestly, over the past few years I have gotten less questions, and I feel like that could mean it’s becoming more acceptable to be home-schooled. But, I have gotten a lot of questions like, ‘Do you do school at home?’ and ‘How do you make friends?’ in the past. One of my friends was actually really surprised that I went to prom.” Lucy said this with a mixture of amusement and exasperation.
In summary, Lucy’s experiences as a home-schooler are both incredibly unique and impressive, but also quite common in other respects. Lucy is gifted in lots of different things—such as musical ability, photography, writing, dance, and art—which she says her homeschooling schedule allows time for. For many home-schoolers, this rings true as well. Both flexible, tailored curriculum and unique social, extracurricular, and work opportunities allow many home-schoolers to be profoundly successful in today’s society.
Lucy is the first of six interviews to be conducted, and in the next interview, other home-school practices and organizations will be assessed.
Starting next Friday and ending the 5th of May, I will be initiating a very special project. This project stems directly from my educational experiences, as well as the educational experiences of half a dozen others. To elaborate, let me begin by explaining the inspiration […]