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Though it may be true that i’m an introvert, and though it may be true that my way of interacting with people would most likely be different had i been in public school my whole life, i don’t think the way i’ve turned out is, by any means, bad.
For most of my childhood, i learned to be alone. That sounds sad, but really, it wasn’t so bad. I had a few friends and was enrolled in a few activities (softball, art club, and a science class all come to ind.) but im my day-to-day life, i was forced to learn about myself. I had to learn about my environment without constant stimulation or socialization. I played by myself with my little toy dogs, and adapted a whole world and sub-reality from observing the real world and actual reality. Now, if that doesn’t sound positively brilliant, I dont know what does!
When I was 8, my brother was born and my life changed pretty dramatically in a short ammount of time. A nurse at the hospital began talking to my mom, and they discovered that they both homeschooled their kids. Through that wonderful woman, i met several very close friends that are still my very best today. I also joined a girl scout troop around that time, and opened the door to more socialization.
At that time, i was shy and quiet and often overwhelmed by the rowdiness of kids. Perhaps that is attributed to homeschooling, but regardless, i enjoyed myself and the other kids seemed to like me. After a time, i began to fit in just fine at girl scouts, and my best friend Manda (who is also homeschooled) came over every week. And that was how my life was for several years.
When I was twelve, everhing changed yet again. I was still in a shy, quieter phase, though i was by no means timid. I could speak with adults on a very personal level, and i could find much in common with other kids, though i wasn’t necessarily as keyed-in to pop culture as most tweens. At this time, my friend Manda moved away (we still keep in touch on a daily basis! Dont know what i’d do without that girl.) It was around the same time that my girl scout troop leader was diagnosed with breast cancer, and most unfortunately had to stop leading the troop. (she won her battle with cancer the following year, thank goodness!)
My parents were worried that i would shut down and stop socializing when my favorite, most easily accessed activites came to a close. Fortunately, that was not the case. We joined a new church, and i began taking acting classes at a local theatre. From that point forward, i gradually learned to come out of my shell and be my own person. I was not scared to be the spokesman for youth group activities, etc., because i was not afraid to speak in front of large groups of people. I also discovered my passion for music by joining the church band and choir, and i helped with ccd classes, expanding my experience of working with children.
Since that time, i have met so many new friends and expanded my knowledge of the world and of myself. Though i do have my moments when i jpke, “oops, my homeschool is showing!” my occasional awkward moments need mot be attributed to lack of socialization. Heck, even if they were, would that make me any less of a person?
When i’m in a large or new crowd of people, i’m quiet at first. I observe. I see how people are acting, what the people like and are interested in, and i listen. When i’m feeling comfortable, that’s when i’ll jump in and talk. I let my true colors show, but i curb my hyperness and jubilance to match the surrounding situations. (now, some may call that “awkward” but i call it”being capable of adapting to situations adequately.”)
I dont entirely know why i chose to write this post…i suppose it was mostly a burst of inspiration from coffee, and a need for some self-reassurance. I feel more awkward than i am on most days, and tend to make the mistake of attributing that to being homeschooled. But heck, everyone’s a little awkward. Life would be a lot less interesting if it werent for those awkward-turtle moments.
I think one of my favorite things about being homeschooled is that, even though I have about the same amount of work as someone in public school, I can do it at my own pace. I can finish up the easy subjects early. I can move ahead or lag behind, depending on what I like and enjoy. I can take extra time to understand things I don’t understand, or do research on things that fascinating me. And the best part is that I can do all of my work while sitting on my bedroom floor in a baggy t-shirt and underwear. I can take little breaks between subjects to play the ukulele or piano any time I want (as long as I don’t get lost and waste TOO much time.)
Even though sometimes I feel guilty about these privileges, I should take time to enjoy them and acknowledge them, too. I know that lots of people would love that sort of life. So I should feel happy and enjoy it. And if you have privileges like this, you should, too. :3
When I'm asked to jot down info for someone whom I know is skeptical of homeschooling: OOPS HAHA WE'RE GONNA LOOK LIKE A TWO YEAR OLD WROTE THIS AND GRIP THE PENCIL LIKE IT'S A BIG CRAYON AND YOUR WHOLE ARM IS JUST GONNA GO NUMB WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION
Me: *opens internet*
Me: *opens school tab*
Me: *opens tumblr*
Me: *scrolls tumblr*
Me: *switches to school tab. Stares. Goes back to tumblr.*
Me: *searches for band merch*
-two hours later-
someone is like, “you’re homeschooled.”
YES THANK YOU WE HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT DO YOU HAVE TO RE-STATE IT EVERY TIME I TRY AND TALK ABOUT MY WORK OR CAN WE ACCEPT THAT AS FACT AND MOVE FORWARD?
Usually essay-writing is pretty easy for me (although it used to be like pulling teeth.) The essay that I’m writing right now about the historical accuracy of the Gospels is pretty darn difficult. D: