Interview with a Homeschool Graduate: Laura
A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to Ruth, a homeschool graduate and mother of four. Today, I would like to introduce Laura, another homeschool graduate. Laura graduated from her family’s homeschool in 1995 and currently homeschools her own children.
WUHS: Laura, I would like to thank you for agreeing to speak to me and to the readers of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers today. First, may I ask how many years you were homeschooled?
Laura: 7 years (6th grade – graduation).
WUHS: How would you classify your parents’ homeschool style?
Laura: It was relaxed with multiple sources of curriculum.
WUHS: Do you feel that your homeschool experience prepared you academically for life after homeschool?
Laura: I have never felt academically unprepared for life. I also did not feel led to pursue a college degree. I went to Cosmetology school for a period of time but I ended up finding my better half, and married young. I realize, however, that learning should never be limited to the “school years”. As an adult I make it a point to read daily; learning should never cease. You are either growing or you are dying.
WUHS: What about socially? Do you feel that your homeschool experience left you socially prepared for life after homeschool?
Laura: Ha! A question of much more concern in years past but still asked today! Kids are very adaptable. The question is: What is a child’s atmosphere and environment? That is a main contributor of the outcome. Examples do play a big part as well as an individual’s personality. I am naturally out-going, so, because of that I was born socially prepared. I may be the wrong person to ask!
WUHS: What is the one thing you wish your parents had done differently, from a social aspect, with regards to homeschooling?
Laura: I wish they’d given us more opportunities to be involved in other people’s lives. The wider a range the better — from friends and family, to tutorial classes, to church events, community events, helping the homeless, and even to finding ways to serve our country. You can never overdo this one. Much more is better than less.
To help others and build relationships is, I believe, a huge reason why we were put on earth! Making an impact on other’s lives is very fulfilling, and it can create a domino effect. With time being on a homeschooler’s side, just a bit more, they can create a sphere of influence that can last for decades to come.
WUHS: Would you have preferred some changes from an academic standpoint?
Laura: More consistency, more educational trips (large & small), a Spanish teacher for an extended period of time, more personal involvement from both parents, and the ability to allow me to try and experience more out of life; as well as a deeper understanding of politics, history, and Bible.
WUHS: Why have you chosen to homeschool your own children?
Laura: A strong foundation is what is needed to live life to the fullest and to achieve much. My husband and I believe, very strongly, that through home-based education this foundation can be accomplished. We take the privilege of parenthood very personally. We believe that home education should be viewed as a discipleship for the next generation. We are leaving a legacy, are we not?
WUHS: I agree that homeschooling is about much more than simply an academic education. It’s interesting, to me, to see that both you and the other homeschooled mom I have interviewed have chosen to homeschool your own children despite looking back and seeing things you’d have liked your own parents to have done differently with regards to your experience.
I find it encouraging that you can look past the areas in which your ideals and your parents may not quite have meshed and see the the bigger picture that is the lifestyle of homeschooling. Obviously, the positives outweighed the negatives. What would you define as the most positive result of your years as a homeschooled student?
Laura: Being shielded from some of the young peer pressures of life. Being able to further, openly, my desire of Christ, which is not condoned during the day in a class room setting. Having flexibility out of life. Being able to spend more time with family, a simple desire of most children. It also began to open my mind and start the process of thinking “outside of the box”.
WUHS: What would you say was the most negative aspect?
Laura: A huge negative –not that it was mine- is to shelter a child so much that they are not prepared for life and its huge challenges and differences. They need to be taught through living life, being out in it, and through real life experiences. A human portrayal of this, in their life, is a great bonus.
I see too many naïve, fearful of living-life-in-this-world, and unprepared homeschoolers when it should be that they are the most prepared, knowledgeable, mentally tough, grounded, ready-to-conquer-life-without-fear young adults. Homeshooling can and should be used to this advantage.
WUHS: Overall, would you classify your homeschool experience as positive or negative?
Laura: I am thankful my parents decided to go for it! I carry the fact that I was homeschooled proudly, and I find that people are very intrigued by it. I know that I am walking proof that homeschooling students are more prepared for life in almost every way. I entertain many who are thinking of “crossing over”, whether their children are in school or are not of age. I love the fact that I can influence their decision in a good way. So, to the best of my ability, although a constant work in progress, I use who I am to be a positive reflection on many subjects in life, one of them being home education!
Thank you, Laura, for sharing your thoughts with us. I think it helps those of us who are walking this road after a public school experience to hear, first hand, how a homeschool graduate looks back on their years at home. It’s nice to see that, although the experience may not have been perfect (and whose life is, no matter your educational background), the good outweighs the bad.
Thank you for the interviews. On my hardest homeschool days, I will think ‘what am I doing to my kids!’ and then I look around at every parent, home public or private school, and realize that they ALL say that.
Once again, great interview. The fact that she sees areas where her parents maybe could have done a bit better, yet still liked being homeschooled, and even chooses to homeschool her own kids is very encouraging!
I am a homeschool Mom to two great kids. I just found your blog tonight. My daughter was homeschooled from 1st thru 12th grade and is currently in her second year of college. In a little over a month she will be able to get her name on the list for the college’s nursing program. Ash has been in many different clubs/groups like 4-H, government club, student council just to name a few. Ashley was a VBS teacher in Zambia, Africa at 16. Because of that mission trip she was able to see sights in Africa and England. She has worked many different church camps being a girls counselor, worked four different VBS’s, gone to Mexico several times on mission trips/training and has been the tween teacher at our church for over a year. And trust me it wasn’t me…it was God. If you would ever like to chat with her I am sure she would be happy to share with you how much she liked homeschooling.
Now I am off to read more of your blog. LOL.
I am loving these interviews! I am always wondering what mistakes I am making now that my children will look back on and shake their heads about, so I’m especially glad you included that part. Very helpful.
I am so glad to have read this interview! I only know one adult who was homeschooled. Her experience was a positive one, and she is homeschooling her children, but I am glad to have heard another positive experience. Thanks!