March 28, 2016

An Open Letter to Homeschoolers



Dear Homeschoolers,
I envy you. I admire you. I wish I was one of you. And sometimes I feel like I am.

So many of you are witty, intelligent, and just plain fun. You've got a great sense of humor, and you're all the same in the sense that every single one of you is incredibly unique. While most teenagers seem to like virtually the same mainstream music, movies, and pastimes, homeschoolers have a plethora of passions! One might love to swing dance, another might make and shoot longbows, and still another may have a self-managed greenhouse and garden.

Quintessential English Garden:

Although I love how unique you are from the average person, I also value the commonalities you share with one another. All of the homeschoolers I know are Christian, and it's a comfort to be around people who share similar faiths. You have lovely common interests as well, like reading, writing, diy-ing, and making music and art. My homeschooled friends have deemed me similar enough to them to be called "homeschooled at heart", which to me is a great honor.

from "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney | Once Upon A Bookshelf:
By Barbara Cooney, a brilliant illustrator
       

Your way of living seems so fresh and free and flexible. I love the idea of working at my own pace (to an extent) and having time to learn any subject I want! I won't say you have so much extra time, because you fill it with worthwhile activities. You have the coolest extracurriculars! Music lessons, youth orchestras, plays, dances, ballet, sewing circles, I've heard it all. You become such well-rounded people through the variety of your education!

I long for a homeschooled lifestyle. I wish I could learn from home and not wake up so early every morning in order to go to a big, bright, loud, and crowded school full of people who just don't have the same personality or interests as I do. I wish my life wasn't run by a bell. I wish I could spend my days surrounded by my bookshelves and fresh air and family.

              

In case you were wondering, you aren't missing anything much from a public education. (I started public school as a freshman. Before that I went to a parochial school, which was an amazing experience!) I don't want to seem entirely ungrateful for my education, and there are a few benefits. One is the chance to meet and interact with more people than an average homeschooler will find in their homeschool or youth groups. Public high school allows one to make friends fairly easily, even if one may only see them in one class a day. I also have a few terrific teachers.
 There are usually more class options and opportunities at a public high school than at home, depending on how you look at it. There are more resources at a high school than at a house, such as quality culinary arts kitchens, auto shops, and auditoriums. However, homeschoolers often are able to create their own classes by reading on any subject, and devoting time and energy into any skill.

                        Petals and Plaits:

By this letter, I by no means intend to bash my high school or the friends I have made there. Nor do I pretend that being homeschooled is a paradise without hardship. The main purpose of writing to you all, dear homeschoolers, is to let you know that you are wonderful, kind, and lovely people. You have inspired me to kindness, creativity, and a greater eagerness to learn. Thank you for being so amazing!

Yours Sincerely,
Abby



7 comments:

  1. Aw, Abby. This is such a sweet post... I'm so sorry if you feel kind of different in public school - I can definitely imagine what that's like. Thank you for not prejudging us homeschoolers. :-)

    Loved this! <3

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    1. Thanks Naomi! I'm happy to feel different if it means I'm not feeling comfortable with all the less-than-desirable opinions and activities high school brings.
      And have prejudice for you? Never! :)

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  2. AWWWWW THIS IS SO SWEET! I feel flattered to be included as a homeschooler. ;-) Usually people think we're on the whole a bunch of weirdos, so it's nice to hear someone who actually likes us, heehee.

    And that picture from The Lupine Lady made me gasp and smile and almost cry. That was always one of my favorite children's books. :-)

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    1. Haha, you're not weirdos! Well, if you are weird, it's the best kind of weird there can be. :) And yes, Miss Rumphius is one of my favorite children's books! The illustrator, Barbara Cooney, also made Roxaboxen, which is another sweet book.

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    2. Ah, that's right -- Miss Rumphious. Now I remember. ;-) Yes, I've read Roxaboxen too! I love all her books. I think my favorite was about a girl named Hattie who wanted to be an artist...I can't remember the title now, but I know I loved it.

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  3. Awww. I didn't realize you weren't homeschooled. Thank you for this post, you've reminded me how much I have to be thankful for. I know there's good and bad about public school and homeschool, but I am VERY grateful to have been homeschooled. This quote of yours in particular stood out to me: "I wish I could spend my days surrounded by my bookshelves and fresh air and family." Yes! Family! For me, that's one of the greatest blessings of being homeschooled. You get to spend so much time with your family! :D

    Maybe someday you can homeschool your own children. Do you think you'd want to do that?

    This was a lovely post. The pictures you included are beautiful!

    ~Miss March

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    1. Thank you for such a kind comment! I think I will homeschool my children someday, especially if they don't have access to a Christian education. Or I might become a teacher at a parochial school. :)
      Your comments are so nice; they make me smile!
      -Abby

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