By Rachel Salter.
Noisy classmates pack the crowded halls where unpleasant teachers roam free. The gross food from the cafeteria combined with all the messy lockers and smelly gyms can make even the strongest stomach churn. Why would anyone choose public school over being homeschooled? This is the question that enters my mind whenever I hear scorn about homeschooling. Many even talk bad about their experience in public school, yet they cannot understand why I would choose a different method of education. Homeschooling offers me opportunities to bond with my family, travel the world, and learn about what most interests me.
One of my favorite reasons for homeschooling is the opportunity to spend all day with my family. I have become best friends with my mother and my younger sister greatly due to the fact that we spend all day together. We feel comfortable enough to share with each other our dreams and concerns about life. Spending time together includes more than just our school assignments, and it also reaches into our free time. I enjoy shopping with my family; we always have the best time. Having a close family surrounding me is something that I do not ever want to take for granted. I sincerely appreciate my parents’ decision to homeschool, and I love reaping the benefits of that decision. Homeschooling has given my family the opportunity to explore our own community as well as travel around the world.
Travel is a passion of mine, and I love being able to experience new places with my family. As a family we have traveled across the United States visiting the wonders of our country. One of my favorite trips was to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Not only did we see Old Faithful, the famous geyser, but we also spotted many examples of the area’s native wildlife. My personal favorite was the female moose I saw grazing in the woods. Not only are our trips fun, but they are also educational, such as when we visited Hoover Dam in Nevada, or Arizona depending on where we stood. Learning about the building process of this massive architectural wonder and its maintenance was an enriching experience. While all of our family trips are exciting in their own special ways, my absolute favorite was spending three weeks in central Europe. We visited famous sights in six countries including historical landmarks such as Auschwitz, a concentration and extermination camp built and operated by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. We saw some of the places on our bucket list like Venice, Italy; Salzburg, Austria and the Swiss Alps. Our tour of Salzburg would make any diehard Sound of Music fan jealous! As I travel around the globe, I get to experience different cultures and use that as a learning tool to study what interests me the most.
Homeschooling has given me the opportunity to study the topics that grasp my attention. One of my passions is baking, and I was able to attend cake decorating classes at a local craft store during the day. Attending this class equipped me with techniques that I have used to create some amazing edible creations. Another of my passions is the country and culture of Russia. During my junior year of high school, I used language software to study Russian which was advantageous during my six-week stay in Russia on a mission trip. Although I could not understand every word in a conversation, I was able to get the gist which helped while I was teaching Russian youth the basics of English conversation. Without the liberty of personalizing my studies, many of my goals would not have been possible.
Homeschooling has provided my family with precious time spent together, at home and abroad, as well as the excitement of studying topics that interest me. When teenagers question how I survive cooped up at home with my family, I smile. When friends are jealous of my passport stamps, I smile. When my level of maturity impresses adults, I smile. While homeschooling may not be right for everyone, I do not regret the twelve years of priceless education I have received. Thanks, Mom!
About the Author: A world traveler from the age of three months, Rachel has always had a passion for exploring new places. Homeschooling has provided her with opportunities to visit over forty states and three continents. She is excited to continue her explorations next spring “Down Under” in Australia!