As I mentioned in my debut here, I'm home schooled, and this time around I'm going to give another "peek" into my life by writing about that.
I think there's quite a few misconceptions about homeschooling, mainly that it's for kids that just don't like going to school or it's a way for Christian parents to keep their kids from the real world. I don't belong to either category, but I deal with these perceptions on a regular basis.
At almost six feet tall and weighing 170 pounds I'm taller and fatter than most of my peers, and you better believe I was bullied about it. It's kind of odd to me that I was picked on because I'm a student athlete, usually the one doing to bullying (hate to say it but that's true). I guess shit happens for a reason.
One day I was being picked on by a older boy in gym class who kept grabbed my nipples really hard (I have gynecomastia), and in the locker room he grabbed my butt then my crotch...punches were thrown and he ended up in the hospital. I ended up in a juvenile detention center, until the truth about how he groped me came out (I was too ashamed to tell anyone). I was allowed to come back to school but he never returned, in fact he was illegally in the United States and was sent to live with other relatives but not deported. You can just imagine how I now feel about illegal aliens.
When I came back to school I had a weird status, The Bullied Who Fought Back, but I was behind in my classes and I had use a tutor to get back the time I lost. I went to school in jail, but it wasn't a very good education. Then again, how many kids in jail do you think care about school?
During my tutoring sessions I did really well and advanced myself to grade level, then went beyond that. One day my Grandma just asked me if I wanted to be home schooled and it was an instant yes! My middle school isn't so great, and it's getting worse thanks to budget cuts and an influx of not so innocent (possibly illegal) immigrants (sorry but that's they truth!). I'm glad to be out of there.
There's lots of benefits to being home schooled. There's a looser structure, so if I need to spend more time with something I can without holding up my classmates. Peer pressure...what's that? I also have freedom in learning things without the sanitizing effect of political correctness, and I'm totally not PC (look at the last paragraph). I feel like I'm light years ahead of my peers.
I'm still registered as a student at my old school (I follow my school district's curriculum) and go there a few days a month, mainly to take supervised tests. I go on the field trips, and even played basketball this past season. In all honestly it helps me stay connected with my friends (especially Brandi-not her real name-my only female friend), but I won't say I miss it there. I wouldn't go back unless I had to either.
Benefits aside, there are some stigmas and hurdles I face, oddly enough from others involved in home schooling. Most educational tools are faith based, and so is the local home schooling association (I live in the Bible Belt). When people find out you're home schooled but not for faith reasons you become something on the sidewalk you don't want to step in. That's something I just can't avoid but it makes me have a tough skin.
There's also attitude that I won't be able to attend college but with an official transcript that's not a problem, and as home schooling grows in popularity that will be less of an issue.
I've met home schooled kids who skate all day or sit around and play video games, and that's not what it's about for me. I'm not illiterate or stupid...okay I capitalize words I probably shouldn't...but I fell like I have it made compared to my friends who are locked in a prison five days a week.
Being home schooled doesn't make things easier for me although it's better, and it's gives me time to think about something I haven't discussed much yet.
I'll be writing about that soon.