It’s interesting to talk to Alyssa about her thoughts on homeschooling vs. high school. As usual, she doesn’t see things as black or white. The other day, I asked her what she thought about comparing the two. And I reminded her how people were always concerned that homeschoolers weren’t getting enough socialization. So, after a semester at school, what did she think now?
First, she didn’t think they are using the right word. Socialization. And she’s not sure what the “right word” actually is. “But this is the deal…” in her opinion:
Both have learning opportunities that you can either take advantage of or daydream through.
But homeschoolers are out in the real world. They are interacting with all kinds of people, in all walks of life. School kids are not. Homeschoolers are living life, while school kids are reading about it in a classroom. But what school kids get to do that homeschoolers don’t, is they get to have TONS of interactions with other kids. They fight, they reconcile, they lie, they play around, they laugh, they watch….but it’s all about interacting. And that happens all day long – not just between classes like it shows on T.V. Each class period (or at least the ones she took this semester) allots a certain amount of the class period to the lesson and the rest is spent however the kids choose. Some choose to study the material. Some do the homework before they go home. While some pass notes, meet each other in the bathrooms, or goof around in the classroom.
In school, there are no paintings to discuss, or Barton Springs to swim in, or skating rinks to skate. No hangout afternoons wandering down to Sonic.
So which is best? It depends on what you want. If you are the type who really enjoys interacting with people, school is the place to be. If you are not that interested in people but you want to see and do things in the world, then being trapped in a school all day for 5 days a week, is not a good plan for you.
Alyssa felt like her situation was ideal. She had done a lot out in the world. So she had that under her belt. But she had felt that interacting with a handful of kids every other day just wasn’t enough for her. School gives her plenty of people to talk with – and her past as a homeschooler actually gives her a lot to talk about!
Today Alyssa officially withdrew from her high school. What I referred to as, “The Experiment” was over. All that social interaction grew repetitive and, in her mind, a ridiculous waste of time. She felt she had accomplished the goals she wanted (made the drill team, performed at half-times, made all A’s & B’s without any prep before starting high school, and even catching up to grade level by the start of her 2nd year.)
She stayed a year and a half.