I was a first generation homeschooler.
…meaning my parents starting homeschooling in in the late 1980s right after it became legal in Nebraska (where I was born). In my elementary years, when someone asked where I went to school, 99% of the time my answer would produce a furrowed brow and the question, “What is homeschool?”
Nowadays, everyone knows someone who is homeschooling or who was homeschooled. First generation homeschoolers have grown up, gone to college, and have started families of their own.
My own children are now almost school age (I have twins who will be 5 in October) and in recent months I have been contemplating my own schooling experience.
Do former homeschoolers want to homeschool?
What do they think of their homeschool experience?
Were they happy and satisfied? Did they wish for more?
Were they prepared for college academically and socially or were they scared, unprepared and awkward?
Are they stereotypes of homeschoolers true? (homeschoolers are brainy/stupid/socially stunted/well rounded/fill in the blank?)
I spent hours on the internet, trying to find articles, blogs, anything written by former homeschoolers about their homeschool experience. I was disappointed by what I found (or the lack there of). Either I found stats about how homeschoolers are successful (with no personal testimony involved) or personal testimonies that I distrusted because I thought they were too “Pollyanna” in nature. I wanted to read about the honest experiences of adults homeschoolers, the good and the bad, the advantages and disadvantages, their thoughts on their academic experiences and the issue that homeschoolers everywhere never seem to escape:
“What about socialization???”
So I put together a short survey and and used the wonderful world of social networking to launch this blog series. I received 42 responses from adult homeschoolers from all over the USA (childhood friends, people I went to college with, friends, and friends of friends).
I am excited to share the data I have collected with you: adults who were homechooled, parents who are homeschooling their own children (and may be wondering, “Am I doing the right thing? Am I messing up my kid? WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION????”), or anyone else who is curious about the lives and experiences of homeschoolers.
Here is a little sneak peek at the end of the story: Everyone turned out fine. 🙂
Not always “happily ever after” and not without some bumps, awkwardness, struggles, and obsticles on the journey to adulthood.
But, really, everyone turned out fine.
Parents (ours and current homeschoolers), breathe a sigh of relief.
And keep reading.
You can look forward to personal testimony about topics such as (click to follow links of posts that have been published so far!):
Why first generation homeschool parents decided to homeschool
The academic and emotional experience of homeschoolers in grades K-8
The academic and emotional experiences of homeschoolers in grades 9-12
Do homeschoolers pursue higher education?
Were they truly prepared academically?
Were they truly prepared socially?
What is the best thing about homeschooling (so many people said the same thing! amazing!)
What former homeschoolers wish was different about their experiences
The inside perspective about the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling
Do former homeschoolers plan to homeschool their own children?
The homeschoolers perspective on society’s thoughts and opinions about homeschooling
This series will be honest in every way, exploring the good, the bad, and everything in between. While my posts will primarily be focused on the results of the survey, I will also share my thoughts and experiences as they relate to the survey results.
I hope that this series inspires conversation, stirs up memories (for former homeschoolers), incites conversation, provides insight and information, and ultimately encourages those who read. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and share your own thoughts and experiences.
New posts will be linked to Facebook or you can follow my blog to keep up with this series! Thanks to everyone who participated in this project!