Tips for When You’re Homeschooled

How to Survive the Homeschool Life

Are you being homeschooled or thinking about it?  Going the homeschool route has its advantages, but it also has its rougher side.  Every teenager at some point can’t wait to get out of high school, and for some the traditional high school isn’t the right thing for them, or the right thing for their parents.  Some students do better being homeschooled, some need the flexibility it offers, and for some the decision is made for them by their mom and dad.

  No matter what, though, there are tips for when you’re homeschooled to make not being in traditional school a little easier:

Be Positive

Not everyone will understand why you’re being homeschooled, and people are lying when they say there isn’t a stigma associated with it.  However, we’re slowly moving away from the idea that homeschooling is only for those who can’t cut it in “regular” school or religious fanatics.  There are days when you’ll focus on the negative side of home schooling, but really, there are so many positives to being homeschooled.  When things get tough, try to remember that you have more freedom and flexibility than other students.  This means you can work on your mental and physical schedule.  You won’t have to suffer though busy work, and you’ll be able to grow closer to your family.   

Give Yourself Time to Adjust

If you haven’t been homeschooled your entire life, it can be quite the adjustment to go from a traditional school to homeschooling.

  You feel cut off from your friends and social life.  You’re not sure if you’re able to learn in a more private setting.  It can be rough going from living your life according to a bell system with tons of educational supervision to the self-motivating, self-governing system of homeschooling.  There are days when you’ll miss your friends or the structure school actually gives you, but allow yourself some flexibly and keep an open mind.

  Eventually you’ll find your groove if you just give yourself time to figure it out.

Don’t Overdo the Social Agenda

There is a misconception that homeschoolers are hidden away from society, like they’re locked in an educational prison at all times never to see the light of day again.  That’s simply not true.  Yes, a homeschooler may not see his or her friends in the halls, at lunch, or in class, but there are ways for a homeschooler to remain social and make a good number of friendsYouth group is one way many homeschoolers see friends, and it gives students ways to meet each other and get involved in activities.  Also, many school districts allow homeschooled students the ability to participate in sports or after school activities.  However, try not to overdo the social agenda just because you’re not in school all day long.  Don’t feel like you have to program yourself all the time.

Set Goals for Yourself

When you’re homeschooled, it’s important to also set goals for yourself.  Not just academic goals, but also the things you want to get out of having your education provided at home.  There are some educational standards that must be met, but what do you and your parents want to accomplish by homeschooling you?

  Sit down with them to understand what it is that they want for you to get out of being homeschooled.  Let them know what you want out of the curriculum.  Set realistic goals for yourself throughout the semester.

Talk to Other Homeschoolers

Homeschooling isn’t easy on the teenager.  Sure, you’re not dealing with peer pressure, bullying, etc., but you are dealing with regular pressures like exams, papers, feeling separated from your peers, and having to self-regulate your education.  Talk to other homeschoolers to see how they deal with those things.  How do they respond when people look  at them funny when they say they’re homeschooled?  How do they stay social?  What do they do when they want to play sports, join a club, go to prom?  How do they get their curriculum taken seriously so they can get into the college of their dreams?

  How do they avoid procrastination and laziness?  When you talk to other people in your same situation, you can take what will work for you and use it.  It also helps to know you’re not alone.