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Erin shares how her personal experiences in high school led her to choose a different path for her children.

Part of our series: 10 Great Reasons to Homeschool

Read Erin's account of her high school experience that ultimately led to her decision to homeschool.

We homeschool because I so strongly disliked the atmosphere in school when I was younger and I wanted better for my kids.

From the moment I left high school, I knew I wanted to homeschool my kids. I didn’t want them to experience the same lack of respect, lack of trust, and overall disdain for a true love of learning that I experienced while in public school.

School was difficult for me and not for the typical reasons. I wasn’t bullied and I did well in school. I always made As and Bs with a fair amount of effort and I had friends. I wasn’t a troublemaker. In fact, I only had one detention in my entire school career and it was for forgetting a book.

What I disliked was that I didn’t feel like a person at school. I felt like a subject who wasn’t allowed an opinion, a say, or even the smallest amount of trust. Despite that I spent years in the same schools with no issues, I was treated like a troublemaker. Passes to go to the bathroom, questioning if you were in the halls during class time, etc.

I left high school after my junior year and refused to return. I was unhappy there and knew I couldn’t make it another year. So I spent my senior year working really hard to make up the hours to graduate on time.

I did correspondence courses over the internet (which was a very new concept), classes at an alternative school in the evenings, and dual enrollment at the local community college. I managed to finish my senior year of high school and freshman year of college at the same time. It wasn’t the easy road but it was much better than another year at a public high school.

And what I found was that people at the alternative school and college treated me better. I felt like a real person. I could even excuse myself to the bathroom whenever I wanted.

Despite that the alternative school was intended for the troublemakers, we were treated with more respect. The teachers were kind and helpful. They actually seemed to want to be there with us and listened to our suggestions. Instead of reading Beowolf, we were able to act it out.

I knew then that my kids would not be attending public school because I never wanted them to feel unworthy simply for living and attending school.

Homeschooling gives us the ability to choose who we will spend our time with and ensure that everyone surrounding us is a positive example. My kids have the opportunity to interact with kids and adults and see how regular interactions should be.

My mom wasn’t excited about us homeschooling at first. She thought kids need time to be independent and that parents need time to decompress without kids. But just a year into homeschooling and she changed her mind.

She noted how my kids, and other homeschool kids she met, would easily talk to adults. They had real conversations and didn’t seem scared to interact with the adults around them. She was impressed by how comfortable they seemed around people of all ages.

And she acknowledged that the homeschooling setting is what enabled all of that to happen. They never learned to fear authority. Instead, they learned adults and children deserve mutual respect.

I’m glad we can tailor our kids academic needs to their specific personalities. I’m glad we don’t have to wake up at 7 a.m. every day.

But mostly I’m glad that they feel respected as people, that their opinions and contributions matter, and that they don’t have to be adults to be considered significant.

About the Author

Erin is a homeschooling mom to three energetic boys. When not planning lessons or blogging about homeschooling, she enjoys doing anything creative or fun with her kids.  She creates fun and interactive printables on her website

Read more from the Series: I homeschool because…

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