Whether you’re sitting in 5th period or studying calculus on the beach, having options is what 16-year-old Z’eani Furdge says transformed her high school education. Photo above by Joshua Wright

by Z’eani Furdge

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“Beep, beep, beep.”

“It’s 6 a.m. already,” I say to myself as I turn my alarm off.

“Time to get up, you don’t want to be late,” my mom says.

“I guess I’ll get up,” I mumble.

Ever wish you didn’t have to get up every morning at 6 a.m., get ready, eat breakfast, catch the bus, and go off to school to spend eight hours of the day before the bell rings at 3 p.m., and then repeat again and again? Has homeschooling ever crossed your mind? It could change your life as it did mine for two years.

Homeschooling has many advantages and offers different styles of learning. It is fun and exciting, especially for those who are shy, dealing with bullying or peer pressure, and other disabilities. Being homeschooled allows advantages such as working at one’s own pace. If you missed something or don’t quite understand, you can rewind the lesson back as many times as you desire. You can sleep in until your preferred wake-up time, with a flexible schedule that allows one’s family to go on vacation whenever they want.

Although the word “home” is in the word “homeschooling,” the education can happen in the library, while on a family road trip or maybe even on the beach. Wherever you might be, you can do the work.

You can find homeschooling programs by searching on the Internet or through recommendations from friends and family. The process may seem hard because one has so many options. Programs come with different offerings: Some provide teachers or tutors, while others may not have teachers at all and parents would have to step into that role.

Homeschooling groups can provide field trips, outings, interaction with peers and even sports, but you have to do research to ensure the program provides graduation or an accredited program.

The process is fairly simple once you find your desired homeschool program. Some have only online access for test, quizzes, books or just may have pages to read and to access depending on the program. Others will send you books and other materials for a more hands-on learning experience. You might receive lessons to watch on DVD player, a computer or streaming online.

Parents are not required to have training to be able to teach, but use their own style to act a teacher, although it is recommended to provide your child or children with a program that has a teacher provided and/or a tutor, because parents may not always fulfill the role as teacher well and consistently. The costs for these programs vary because some programs are like private schools, and some are like public schools. The prices also may vary depending on how many classes you take and on how many students are enrolled, especially for high school students because they tend to take college-prep classes.

My experience with homeschooling has been awesome. I wasn’t in any homeschooling groups, but I enjoyed the advantages, and my family and I became closer. Now I am going back to school after being homeschooled for two years, because I want to be around people more and to get the typical high school experience. I love the advantages of homeschooling while they lasted, but I feel that I need a little taste of what the real world is like. I will sometimes miss being able to take my math test in bed, though!

4 Responses

  1. Z’eani, your writing is incredible! Thank you for sharing your experiences and perspective! I hope your return to the “traditional” schooling route proves to be everything you need and expect! I’ll be on the lookout for more stories/commentary from you in the future!