I have been away on vacation and am just now getting back to the blog. Here is the lead article from the Aug., 2005, issue of my HEADSUP homeschooling newsletter. If anyone is interested in receiving the entire newsletter (it comes in two parts), just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. ARTICLES BY AND ABOUT HOMESCHOOLED STUDENT
One of the most interesting questions that we might ask is, “What do homeschooled students think about homeschooling?” I suspect that there are a lot of them that do not like it. But then, there are a lot of children that just do not like any kind of “schooling” period. We try to make learning as enjoyable as possible, but we must face the fact that learning multiplication tables or distinguishing between direct and indirect objects or writing a book report may not always be “fun.” Unfortunately, we have a couple of generations or so now who grew up on “Sesame Street,” the result of which is that if it does not sing, dance, and appear colorful, it is “boring” and they just will not pay any attention to it.
Yet, it is clear, for the most part, that homeschooled students are thriving. I have heard of cases, relatively rare, where a homeschooled student hated homeschooling so much he or she demanded to be put into a “regular” school. Usually, the complaint is not enough time for “socialization” with friends. However, I have heard of more cases where students who have faced various problems in public schools have begged to be homeschooled. And there are also those cases where children were homeschooled for a while, wanted to check out “going to school,” and then, after seeing what it was like, decided to come back to homeschooling!
Somewhere, out there, there may be an article or two by former homeschooled students who disliked it so much that they wrote against it. I have not seen any. However, over the past couple of years, I have seen a number of articles in various sources by homeschooled students who explain why they themselves prefer to be educated at home. The purpose of this issue of the HEADSUP newsletter is to share with you articles by and about homeschooled students. Most of them will be by homeschoolers. The idea for this topic came from an issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal (Mar./Apr., 2004; Vol. 88, No. 2; pp. 74-90), a section of which concerned homeschooling. I do not subscribe to that magazine, but my father does.
In each edition of the magazine a question is asked and then in the next edition the answers are printed. The question asked in the Jan./Feb., 2004, issue, which I happened to see at my father's house, was about homeschooling–what materials were used, etc. So when I arrived home, I made sure that I ordered the next issue in which the answers were found. The magazine was swamped with letters from both parents and students. As I read the letters from the students, I thought that it would be good to put together an issue of this newsletter with articles by homeschooled students. If there are any articles by homeschooled students who hate it, I do not want them! The purpose of this issue is to provide positive encouragement for homeschooled students.
I will begin with the letters from the homeschooled students that were published in the Countryside magazine. After that, there will be articles by various homeschooled students, some dating back to 1992, and one by someone who himself was homeschooled back in the mid 1960's when his father was a “missionary” in Africa and who is now a homeschooling father. Most of them are more recent. Then, I will have a couple of articles dealing with the why and how of homeschooling. I am sure that all of us have some bad days every now and then. The next time this happens to your children, take a few minutes off from studying, have them read some of these articles, and read them yourself. I hope, and think, that it might help.