A few weeks ago, I officially began my 9th grade year. This marks my tenth year as a homeschooler. I debated for a few months on going to public high school this year instead of staying at home. In the spring I finally made my decision to homeschool through high school. There are several reasons I made that choice.
The main reason I would have gone to high school was for the social bit, but I realized that out of the seven hours high schoolers spend in school, they really only get to hang out with their friends at lunch. It must be nice to see all your friends every single day, but you don't get to necessarily do stuff you enjoy with them. And if you see your friends every day, that also means you see your enemies every day too. According to a 2011 study, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, about a fourth of the teenage population in high school has been bullied. Of that percentage, 16.2% was bullied over electronics. Presumably because of the bullying, 15.8% of students nationwide seriously considered attempting suicide. I decided that seeing the same people every day wasn't a compelling enough reason to go to school and I boosted my efforts to get out there and spend time with friends. I also joined a homeschool co-op which gave me the opportunity to socialize as well as take classes.
I also had a lot of reasons to continue to homeschool. One of the things I really like about homeschooling, is I get a bunch more opportunities to do what I am interested in, like participating in theater, attending Wilderness Awareness School, playing soccer, and volunteering with the Redmond Police Explorers. Sure, I could do one or two of these things while attending public school, but definitely not all of them. Because my schoolwork is so tailored to me, it's a lot more efficient, leaving me more time to pursue these other interests. If I were in high school, not only would I have to be in school most of the day but I would have a bunch of homework. I hate homework, which is kinda funny since all my schoolwork is homework.
In addition, I get to follow what I want to learn instead of having to follow a specific curriculum that the government decided previously. It’s true that in high school students get to choose their own classes, but even so, the teachers don't always get to choose the class textbook. By being homeschooled I can personalize my education. I am more in control of my own schooling and I have a voice in what curriculum and textbooks I am using. So if it isn't working for me, I can just switch books or do something totally different to learn what I was struggling to learn.
Also, I don't learn by being lectured. I learn by doing more hands-on stuff, and it seems like lecturing is one of the main teaching methods that teachers use. Another challenge with the school system is if you are struggling with a concept they go on without you and you may never learn it, but if you learned it quickly, then you still have to wait for the slower people and you get bored. With homeschooling I get to learn at my own pace; if I grasp a concept really quickly then I can move on, but if I don't I can slow down and spend more time on the subject.
I am really excited to be starting this school year off still at home. I have a bunch of classes and activities that I am really excited about and are that fun and interesting. I feel like I made the right choice for me to homeschool through high school.