Share one of the best gifts you’ve ever received.

One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was the experience of being homeschooled. Many may think that’s quite a weird thing to be thankful for. However, when I look back over my childhood and teenage years, I find nothing I regret about not being in a “traditional” classroom.

My mother made the decision to homeschool me when I was very young. I had only experienced preschool in a traditional classroom setting. I think one of the reasons my mom felt comfortable doing this was because she had friends who were already homeschooling their children. Additionally, my father was an educator. Their decision was met with some hesitancy from relatives. They asked her questions like, “What about socialization?”, “How will you ensure they are on par with their peers?”, and “How will they make friends?”. My mother assured them that she had done her research and that I would have plenty of interaction with children of my own age group.

After me, my parents had two more children, my younger brothers. We were all homeschooled together. Growing up, I never felt like I was different or as if I was missing out. My daily life was filled with activities. My siblings and I regularly went on field trips and participated in weekly educational learning co-operatives with other homeschooled children.

As I entered my teenage years, I started participating in the orchestra and performing arts activities. I also enrolled in my local community college as a dual-enrollment student in my sophomore year of high school. I always felt I could pursue anything I wanted, and my homeschooling schedule could adjust to my various activities.

While the ability to pursue your own unique path and personal interests is not exclusive to being homeschooled, I feel that being homeschooled worked exceptionally well with my personality and enabled me to follow my curiosity in finding the best path.

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