Homeschooling let me do what I really wanted to do. I was a very independent, quick learner. Homeschooling allowed me to learn at my own pace, then, when I was finished, I could learn about stuff that interested me. I wrote my first book and query letters to publishers, for example, when I was 15, simply because I had the time to go to the library and check out a stack of books on publishing and how to get published.
My mom was really good with all of us. She was sensitive to how each of us learned and was able to teach us how we learned best. So, for example, I was independent, but motivated by a finishing line and competition. So she let me do my school by myself, except when I needed help, and she let me advance through grades as fast as I could go through the lessons. My sister, on the other hand, loved sitting by my mom, having her right there for questions. She liked talking through problems. That was how she learned best. In a public school, we probably both would have struggled. I would have gotten bored because I couldn’t advance as fast as I wanted to. I’d be a trouble maker because school wasn’t challenging enough. My sister would have been diagnosed with ADHD because she usually can’t sit still and had to talk out problems. As it was, we both learned what we needed to learn and graduated college with honors.
Now, one thing I was so scared of when I entered college was that I would have missed out on some vital bits of schooling or cultural references, and I’d be left behind. But I was perfectly competent and even a step ahead of most of my public-schooled peers in academics. As far as cultural references, yeah, there were a lot of jokes or references I missed, but it didn’t bother me. And my real friends thought it was cool that I didn’t get a lot of the crude stuff and made me a schedule of movies I’d missed that were actually worth seeing. I eventually learned the big things, mostly how not to flip people off accidentally. But there wasn’t anything important that I missed by being homeschooled.
This isn’t everyone’s experience. And there are thousands of kids who go through public school and are more talented and developed than I was. Pretty much all of my great college friends were public schooled, to the best of my knowledge. And every home-schooler’s experience is a little different, based on their parents’ income and priorities. But this was just my really positive experience.