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January 18, 2011

Guest Blogger: Interview with a Former Homeschooled Student

I attended private and public schools my entire life, but I’ve always wondered about homeschooling. Do kids get the same education from a classroom environment? Is it difficult to concentrate while learning at home? Rather than succumbing to speculation about some of the questions I had, I decided to interview a homeschooled friend to get some answers! My friend received an education at home from preschool through junior high school, attended a public high school, and is now working on his MBA. Here’s what he had to say about his learning experiences:

What is the biggest misconception about homeschooled students?
We’ve all seen those TV or movie portrayals of homeschooled kids; they’re usually thought of as antisocial know-it-alls who can’t function normally in society. That’s simply not the case! Not all homeschoolers are awkward or introverted and not all traditionally educated kids are social and extroverted. I strongly believe that a student’s disposition is dictated by personality and not by classroom environment!

Is there a particular advantage/disadvantage to homeschooling that you’d like to discuss?
There are so many advantages, but the main one is flexibility. When I was homeschooled, I got to make my own schedule instead of being restricted to a typical 8-3 school day. This allowed me to go running or work out before studying, which is important to me. I’d usually sleep a little bit later and work on assignments a little bit later to make up for it, which I couldn’t have done in a public school. You have to work hard to do this right, though! Homeschooled students will definitely be at a disadvantage if they’re not motivated enough to push themselves.

Did you have any problems concentrating in a “home classroom”?
Not really, because I understood that my education is important regardless of my physical location. Sure, I could have turned on the TV or gone back to bed instead of working on my studies, but I knew better. Because I was the only student in that “classroom,” I was able to concentrate harder. I did my homework, studied, and met all of the requirements because I wanted to succeed—and I did!

How has homeschooling prepared you for “the real world”?
Although I can’t speak for everyone with a homeschool education, I’ve found that my experience has thoroughly prepared me for daily encounters. Because I spent more time with adults than I did with kids my own age, I learned how to carry on intelligent conversations pretty early on. This came in handy once I was in high school and college because I was comfortable talking to my teachers. I was also comfortable talking to interviewers once it was time to get my first job! In regard to preparation, I also learned how to get the right balance of discipline and freedom…I kept telling myself that I had to work first and play later.

This guest post is by Brian Clark. Brian writes and blogs for Quality Logo Products, a top seller of promotional items. When he’s not interviewing people, he spends his time playing hockey

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