|Posted by [email protected] on August 15, 2014 at 8:50 PM|
I was homeschooled for nine years through high school with a two-year hiatus in a small public school and private school during the middle school grades. As the eldest in my family, I was the occasional guinea pig for new ideas or plans.
My parents had been homeschooling for several years by the time I reached high school, yet they experienced many of the “new homeschooler” doubts and concerns all over again. Consequently, they approached high school with trepidation and a little trial and error. However, by sticking to the principle of “planned flexibility” (i.e., good planning coupled with the flexibility to change when educational needs dictated) that they had learned earlier in their home education journey, our homeschool high school program went fairly well.
Looking back over those years, I see the benefits homeschooling afforded me. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was being involved in planning my high school subjects. This gave me a vested interest in the courses that I was studying. Another benefit was having the freedom to work at my own pace with my parents’ supervision to ensure that work was being done. It allowed me to establish effective study habits and organizational skills, enabling me to complete my school work in a timely manner.
Homeschooling also gave our family the flexibility to serve on the foreign mission field. By the time I was 21 years old, we had lived overseas for five years in two different counties (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), enabling me to pick up a portion of two different languages (Creole/French and Spanish).
In retrospect, I never had reservations about being taught at home. Attending school the second time in grades 6 and 7, I was frustrated because of the wasted time of the classroom setting and bored with the pace of learning. In both environments, I maintained friends from school and church, so I never felt I was “leaving friends” when homeschooled.
I am definitely thankful that my parents made the effort to teach us at home. They could have given up while working for over a year to persuade local school officials to allow us to homeschool. At that time, my parents hadn’t heard of HSLDA (which had just begun), and I don’t think they knew anyone else who was teaching their children at home. Yet they persevered through those difficult times.
I don’t believe I would be working as a staff attorney at HSLDA today without my parents’ commitment to home education. In fact, my life might have taken a drastically different path. My parents’ dedication to teach us at home and prepare us for life in general instilled in me a desire follow God and teach my own children at home.
You see, my wife Susan was also taught at home. Because of our combined homeschool experiences, we never really considered anything else when we were courting and discussing our future plans and desires. We had a desire to build on the foundation our parents laid: to instill in our children a love for God, a love for wisdom and knowledge and a desire one day to homeschool their own children.