5 Reasons Why Being Homeschooled Doesn't Make You A Freak (And Is Pretty Cool Too)

By Alex Schnee

When I tell people I was homeschooled as a kid, they usually seem surprised -- which isn’t to say that I was one of the cool kids growing up. I was definitely far from "cool."

However, the older I get, the more being a homeschooler during my childhood has ended up working in my favor.

Thinking back on my education, I’ve gotten to see some pretty cool places, meet some interesting people and feel prepared to take on the world in a much different way than my peers have.

Here are five ways I think homeschooling has, eventually, made me a much cooler kid:

5. The world is your classroom.

Field trips weren’t limited to where the school bus could take us. My siblings and I hiked a volcano in Hawaii in order to understand volcanic hot spots.

We made a trip to Chicago where we visited my uncle’s movie set and learned about filmmaking. My 10th birthday included a dinosaur dig in the middle of Montana.

We weren’t afraid to get out and learn about the world. The experiences we had traveling and researching were just as invaluable as any we had learned in a classroom environment, if not more important. Homeschooling gave us the freedom to explore the Earth and our place in it.

4. You have time to explore your passions.

After finishing school at one or two every day (I could work uninterrupted by recess or other kids), having the afternoons to do the things I loved made a huge difference.

I had time to read novels for fun, practice the piano or write stories -- all things that would follow me, and I would use in my adult life.

Sure, I think all homeschoolers miss some aspect of public or private school, but in the end, it really does not matter whether you actually went to prom or not, especially circa 2007 when prom dresses were more than hideous.

Developing my passions has made me into a more well-rounded individual than some of the other things that would have kept me from being able to explore what really makes me who I am.

3. You can work ahead.

Without distractions, I was able to finish high school when I was 16, begin taking classes at our local community college, and I was not the only one out of my homeschooled friends who did the same.

Working ahead allowed me to take classes that interested me and to spend less time worrying about what I was going to do once I graduated because I had the time to think about it.

Not only did I have the time to study abroad, but I also took classes that were outside my liberal arts major (and I discovered that I hated them).

2. You meet some interesting people.

I was fortunate enough to have had a pretty wide variety of friends, even though I was homeschooled. I had friends in public school, friends who were also homeschooled and people from all walks of life.

People can give you just as much of an education as anything you can learn in a classroom environment, and I believe I am more open to certain friendships than I would have been if I had attended either private or public school.

When you are homeschooled, you start to realize that you can learn something from everyone -- whether you can relate to them on every level or not.

1. Life becomes a learning experience

Homeschooling was a way to feed my insatiable curiosity, and it fostered a lifelong love of learning (I have to admit, it’s more than a bit nerdy).

The world is so much more interesting when you love to learn about it, and growing up in an environment where, every day, you learn something new, transitioned to my adult life. I’ve learned that it’s okay to do things a little outside of the box if that is what makes you happy.

Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but for me, it was a way to allow me to love learning and never stop.

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