Homeschool Tidbits: Talking to Homeschool Graduates

July 22, 2022

Welcome to Build Your Library’s Homeschool Tidbits: Episode 23 – Talking to Homeschool Graduates! In this weekly video series, I will delve briefly into a topic related to homeschooling and will share some of my knowledge and expertise as a long-time homeschooling mother of 4 children. Three of whom have graduated high school and one who is a new college graduate!

We have always homeschooled, and I have graduated three of my four children. At this point in time, I’m only homeschooling my youngest, who will be in 8th grade this fall. I only have 5 years left until she graduates. So, I’ve been contemplating our homeschool journey lately.  Something I think a lot of us feel at the beginning of our journey is the fear that we might be making a mistake in taking over our children’s education. That we might ruin them somehow. Or that homeschooling will make them weird.  So, I thought it would be fun to chat with my two oldest kids – Sarah and Robbie about their homeschool experience and how it prepared them for college and beyond!

Sarah is my oldest, she will be 23 next month. She just graduated college with a degree in Creative Writing back in May. Robbie is my next oldest at 20 and is going into junior year of college as an illustration major with a minor in animation. Both were homeschooled from the beginning, but Robbie did attend a few classes at our local high school for art and music.

Note: Robbie’s answers are included below, but she did not wish to participate in the video.

What did you like most about being homeschooled?

Sarah: I’m a very big fan of flexible schedules where I can sleep in every morning. Also, math gnomes.

Robbie: Fun math Friday! I really liked that we didn’t just do book work. We played games and did projects too.

Was there anything you disliked about it? Or wish we had done differently?

Sarah: This question is hard because my feelings have changed a lot from back when I was homeschooled to now. If you had asked me when I was a kid, I may have complained a lot more about wanting to go to school so I could see my friends more often. But it was funny, because, as I grew up, more and more of my friends switched to homeschooling. I don’t really care about it now. To be honest, I probably would have been miserable in a public school setting.

Robbie: I really didn’t like having to answer specific questions about a book. When I had a list of questions to answer, I spent more time trying to find the answers to the questions rather than just reading the book. I much preferred casual conversations about books we read together.

Do you feel that homeschooling gave you the tools you needed to succeed in college? Was there anything you found difficult that perhaps your traditionally schooled peers seemed to find easy?

Sarah: I’ve always been naturally good at writing, and the online high school I went to really heavily emphasized writing academic essays and doing proper research, so I was very well equipped on that front. Also, in 2020 when everyone else in the world was freaking out about having to take online classes, I just felt like I was in high school all over again.

More difficult to adapt to was being around so many people all the time. I wasn’t by any means antisocial as a child. I had extracurricular activities growing up where I was able to meet people and make friends. But because I didn’t see them every single day like I would school friends, it was a bit harder to navigate suddenly being in that situation. I didn’t have as much experience with friend group dynamics and interpersonal drama, so that was a lot to take in as a freshman. I’d like to say that it all makes sense to me now and I’m much better at human interaction post-graduation, but that would be a lie.

Robbie: During High School, I ended up taking a lot of different online classes, which wasn’t something that I originally thought would help me with my transition from high school to college, but seeing as I started college in 2020… we all know what happened there. My entire first year of college was done at home taking online classes in the basement. The following year started with a few weeks of online classes that I did in my dorm room, so the transition honestly couldn’t have been smoother for me. Not to mention that I also went to a public school part-time during high school for art and music classes, so I already had a bit of experience with being in a real classroom with other students.

What advantages do you think homeschooling has given you?

Sarah: The freedom to follow my passions and choose what I want to do with my life. Which isn’t to say that public school children don’t have those freedoms, but because I was homeschooled, I could more easily tailor my experience to my personal interests.

For example, I could focus more on reading and writing. I’m super stubborn and like being able to choose things for myself rather than being told what to do. I wouldn’t say that I am great when it comes to self-motivation, I’m also a huge procrastinator. But I find it easier now as an adult to have a goal and then start actively making steps towards accomplishing it. If I want to do something, I’m gonna do it, and nobody can tell me no.

Robbie: Having time to spend time on things that I am passionate about. I’ve always been really into anime and art, and homeschooling gave me lots of free time to devote to that.

What would you say to people who claim that all homeschoolers are weird and unsocialized?

Sarah: Yeah, so, if you’re looking for a homeschooled graduate that is a perfectly sane, well-adjusted, normal person, you’re looking in the wrong place. But like, I don’t think attending a public school would have changed that much for me.

Robbie: I mean, it’s not entirely wrong… But if we’re being fair, are there not equally weird, if not even weirder people that go to public school?

Do you think you would choose to homeschool your own children someday?

Sarah: Probably? Though I’m not really thinking that far ahead just yet. I have plenty of time yet to worry about being a parent.

Robbie: What children? But in the hypothetical scenario where I did, they would be using Build Your Library. (Which just updated Level 8!)  

Thanks for the plug Robbie. 🙂

Do you have any advice for parents (or teens) about homeschooling and going to college?

Sarah: If you don’t have much experience carrying a backpack, here’s a pro tip: you don’t need to carry everything in your bag 24/7. Please, please, please be a rational person who swaps things out throughout the day depending on which classes you are attending, so that on a cold winter’s morning you don’t slip on black ice and then be unable to regain balance because your backpack is overstuffed and end up in the emergency room with a shattered elbow. Trust me on this one.

Robbie: College isn’t as stressful as it is made out to be. Sure, finals weeks are stressful, but for the most part, it’s not as bad as people make you think it will be. Granted, I’m an art major, and I get to draw and be creative with my assignments.

So there you have it. Homeschoolers might be a little bit weird, but weirdness is what makes us interesting! They do get into college and go on to be successful in life. The kids are alright.

Coming up next…

I hope you found this Tidbit helpful! Come back next week for more homeschooling inspiration!

Until then, happy reading!

See Also:
Charlotte Mason in the Secular Homeschool
A Literary Education book
About Build Your Library
Homeschool Tidbits: Build Your Library’s Weekly Video Blog Series


Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full-year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 21 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also make incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books, and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.

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Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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