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Is Homeschooling for You?

Two young people share their observations about learning at home versus learning at school.

By Abigael Shea

Abigael and Kayla

Abigeal and Kayla. Photos courtesy of the author.

Abigael and Kayla

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be homeschooled? I have been homeschooled with two of my four siblings for the past five years. I decided to ask other kids how they felt about the experience.

Kayla Murray, who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, started homeschooling almost eight years ago, after attending two local schools. “Homeschooling is school at home, like the name says, but it’s not just that,” she says. “You’re able to learn more and do more.” 

Having experienced learning at both school and home, Kayla says that she prefers the latter. “With homeschooling, I can do schoolwork in my PJs, and no one cares," she observes. "You also have more opportunities. Earlier this year, my family and I were able to take a mini vacation and go to an air show. My siblings and I get to take the day off for our birthdays. This year, I spent that time reading and playing piano and guitar.” 

There are, however, disadvantages to being homeschooled, Kayla says, notably “the lack of people.” While she doesn't miss homework, at school, she did enjoy “getting to see my friends every day.”

Kayla studies at her dining room table.

Kayla studies at her dining room table.

“A RADICAL CHANGE”

Matthew Dimmette, also from Greensboro, is a former homeschooler. He now attends public high school. Here are his responses to questions that I posed via email:

What would you say are some of the important differences between home and public school

The differences depend on how you homeschool and the things you do. For me, it wasn’t really different in terms of the classes, but the school environment was a radical change after learning at home.

What do you like best and least about public school?

If you really like a subject, like history or math, someone who is an expert can talk with you. The worst part is that there are a lot of teachers who are burned out.

What did you like best and least about being homeschooled?

The best part of homeschooling was being able to learn what I wanted to. The main downside is that you can’t do as many lab-type things in homeschooling unless you take classes at different places.

If someone asked you about homeschooling, how would you explain it?

Homeschooling takes investment from both parties and a student who is interested in learning.

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