“Nobody that can think should ever be forced into a situation that bores them.”-Anon.
Since I started homeschooling (about 2 1/2 years ago now), I’ve felt more often happy than sad or stressed in any way. I’ve gotten enough sleep (which none of my schooling friends have), and I’ve been able to pursue things that interest me.
I’ve written a few articles in past issues of Home Rules, all in praise of homeschooling. I love writing emails as well as articles, and so I put my address at the end of my articles. I’ve had several people reply to them, and it’s really fun talking with them, but perhaps the most interesting email I received was from Veronica Kaulikauskas. She read my article “Homeschooling, trials and rewards,” and was (and I quote) “thoroughly insulted. It gives the impression, although not implicitly stating, that homeschooling is not only right for you, but for everyone else as well.” When I read that, I realized how true it is.
My adventures in homeschooling have been mostly pleasant, and I would never choose school over home for my environment. Some friends of mine, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. They would never dream of homeschooling. If homeschooling were perfect for everyone, there would be no schools, and schools are a very important part of our society. Thus, I retract any comments that I might have made to insult anyone. Fact is schools, to me, have come to represent a horrible confinement; claustrophobia and a smell of disinfectant cleaners.
Veronica also said in her email that she finds it “deeply disturbing to hear you speak of freedom, while putting down the very thing that gives me freedom. I love school, I love learning, and my school has both facilities and teachers that would have required astronomical amounts of money and effort to get at home.” True. Schools do have many resources and benefits. I can’t argue with any of the statements she made, but I do have my side of the story. I will only say that to me, the only feeling of freedom I felt in school was staring out the window and imagining myself running away.
“It distresses me to see the way some homeschoolers maintain such a militant attitude towards out-of-home schooling, instead of respecting other people’s choices.” This is only too true. I have found that a lot of people are narrow-minded about their seeming liberalism.
The truth is much like a sphere. Round on all sides, and no real official front or back. The truth has so many different aspects that it is hard to say which is true and which is not, and really, nothing is untrue. Everyone sees a slightly different part of the sphere, but it’s still the same ball that everyone holds in their hands, so respect it, and look around it, because it has no real edge, no borders, explore it, because the more of it you can see, the bigger it will grow, and the more you will flourish.
A lot of homeschoolers complain that out-of-school families give them trouble, but perhaps it’s not their prejudice against us, it’s ours against them. We’re still all people here, so let’s not start another war, okay?
Leda Strand McDonald [was] a 13-year-old homeschooler in Ontario. She loves writing and receiving emails so feel free to write her at [email now removed, as her invitation to write may no longer be extended after all these years].