Hi, I thought I would ask this because I am curious. There is a lot of writing on the net about homeschooling your children, but much less (that I've
seen, anyway) about being
homeschooled. I'd like to just ask for general opinions, particularly of other people who grew up homeschooled, but
of course participation of all and sundry is welcomed. I'd also like to share a bit about my own experiences and opinions.
I grew up in a remote part of Western Utah in a very small community. There was a public school within driving range but my parents didn't hold with
its values. My parents were part of a small Christian intentional community that later broke up but most of the people involved have stayed in close
contact. We moved several times but never lived in a larger community until I was a teenager. When I was an infant and a young girl, I lived
surrounded mostly by extended family and friends who were mostly part of the same Christian community.
My father took charge of our education (both me and my brother). First of all, I think he is a brilliant man who means the world to me and I feel
privileged to have grown up under his instruction. My mother also helped. He got completely certified by the state and took an education course in
night school, but I think most of it he figured out by himself as he went along. I will try to describe the curriculum a bit.
When we were very young (like nursery/kindergarten) he started by getting us used to the idea of doing different things at different times of the day.
This is the beginning of an idea of “classes” I suppose. We would spend part of the day listening to stories he read us: Bible stories, but also
stories from world mythology, like the classical Greek and Roman myths, the Norse myths, and some of the basic outlines of history. Then he’d ask us
about it. Part of the day would be “nature time” where he would show us stuff about the desert. He was preparing to teach us desert survival,
which came later. Part of the day would be “unstructured play” where we could do whatever we wanted, and part would be “helping others” which
would be doing some chore around the house, or sometimes visiting a sick person in the neighborhood or going to clean trash off the road, etc. That
was the most basic first division.
When we got to grade school the curriculum was English Grammar, Reading, Math, Social Studies, and Art. This went from 6:00 AM – 12:00, and then
we’d break for lunch. In the afternoon we had Bible study or another religious theme, and then we would go to do team sports or athletic events in
town with other children. This was our chance to socialize with others. After that we were required to come straight home and do homework, plus
chores. Sunday was church and Bible study all day. Saturday was a day off most of the time, but as we got older my dad pushed us to do more desert
By the time we got in high school we had “electives” but my father rewarded and punished us based on our test scores. It was a complicated time
but really fun. Fortunately both me and my brother always, always loved reading and writing and we got into pretty complex stuff in those years: A lot
of classical history (Greek and Roman), a lot of the “great books” of European and American lit. We had computer studies a lot, and my dad also
gave us very cool “current events” classes based around reading news articles, debating the issues, trying to argue different sides, consider the
situation from different angles.
For science we did all the requirements, but to be honest I think this area was limited. Stuff like complex lab work, for example, was impossible. I
think this was the weakest point in my education, but I’m trying to fix that on my own these days.
I think all in all it was a very good upbringing. When I got out in the world though, I started to realize it’s a bit unusual. It was very strict,
which I associate with a “job well done,” but wider society seems to frown on strictness and actively cultivate the slouch, the laziness. People
celebrate laziness and ignorance! This is why my father kept us in the wilderness so long, I understand…and yet it’s heartbreaking. Absolutely
My dad is also a true Christian, a patriot, and a believer that “TSHTF” is right around the corner. He made an effort to teach us
“straight-edge” but the tinfoil-hattery crept in around the edges for sure…for good or for ill. I grew up with Bill Cooper on my dad’s radio
in the background, and Art Bell, and the NWO, SHTF, and TPTB…Some people might think that’s a “screwball” way to grow up, but I think a lot of
people on ATS can at least see the value to growing up with survivalist parents.
I moved away from home at age 18. I decided not to go to college, although I’m fairly confident I could have handled it. I think the regime my dad
put us through in high school was probably more challenging than many college curricula, to be absolutely honest (Maybe minus the science/tech stuff).
I also have trouble socializing because we watched almost no TV and I don’t get many of the in-jokes, cultural references, even the way people act.
Coming from a Christian intentional community makes me a bit “off key” in a lot of situations. But I’ve been living away from home (with some
other girls) since I was 18, so I’ve had chances to make “normal” friends. And I have. I have a lot of good friends, Christian and secular
alike, homeschooled and not. My parents and family are nearby, too, so we remain in close touch.
Well, that‘s my story. Any feedback welcome, or share your own story…