I have often wondered what my children will say about their homeschooling years when they are adults. Blake, my 19 year old, and I regularly have discussions about things he wished he had known or how homeschooling prepared him for his college years. So, when Laura from Homemaking for His Glory contacted me and it came up in conversation that she had been homeschooled herself, I had an idea! I figured some of you might be interested in hearing from homeschooled adults as a way to get insight into what your children might say about their homeschooling years.
P.S. – If you were homeschooled and would like to be featured, feel free to take these questions and respond to them via email – amy at raising arrows dot net – I reserve the right to edit for length and readability, and I reserve the right to publish as I choose. Submitting answers does not guarantee they will make it onto the blog, but I’m pretty easy to get along with if what you have to say is useful and interesting. Thank you!
Name & Age
My name is Laura Adams and I’m 22.
How many years were you homeschooled?
I was homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. I started being homeschooled in 1999 and graduated in 2012.
A favorite homeschooling memory.
It’s hard to choose just one favorite memory. I competed in debate all through my high school years. During my senior year, I qualified to go to the national tournament in St. Paul, Minnesota. My mom and I drove for two days in a tiny car to get there. It was a lot of one on one time, and it was special to have that one last mother-daughter experience before I left for college.
When I was 9 and my brothers were 6 and 3, we studied Ancient Egypt in history. After we read about it, we wrapped my 3 year old brother in toilet paper to make him a “mummy.” I remember thinking that was hilarious. My youngest sibling is 8 now, and my mom will say “We’re making a memory” when she does fun activities like that. Those really are some fun memories.
I’ve always loved reading, so I really enjoyed Sonlight. I have fond memories of snuggling up on the couch for read alouds. When I was very young, we used Alphabet Island for phonics. After we had used that for a while, my spelling really improved. I wasn’t very good at spelling at first, but I improved a lot with Alphabet Island. I even went on to do spelling bees in middle school – and enjoy them!
Worst homeschooling memory.
Saxon math, hands down. I still cringe when I think of it. As an adult, I understand that the intention of the spiral approach is to keep all of the concepts fresh in the student’s mind. In reality, I needed more practice with the new concept to master it. Fortunately, we realized that and didn’t stick with Saxon for long.
Most difficult lesson/subject for you?
Math was always the most difficult. I always seemed to do better with word problems because they were practical applications of math. Getting an idea of how a concept would be used in real life was motivating.
What you chose to do after graduating.
I went to Liberty University and majored in psychology. With the help of CLEP tests and community college, I was able to graduate after three years when I was 20 years old. I met my husband at 7:30 AM while we were studying for an honors theology test. He was homeschooled from 1st grade through 12th grade and then majored in computer science.
During the summer of 2014, I went to Washington, D.C. and did an internship. The experience of being in the professional world in a major city impacted me more than any other college experience. I returned to Liberty in the fall of 2014 for my senior year and started working as an assistant for an internship program. It was a fulfilling and fun job. My responsibilities included speaking in classes about the program and working with students on resumes and interview skills.
My husband and I got engaged in December 2014. We both graduated summa cum laude from Liberty in May 2015 and were married in June 2015. My husband’s job required frequent moves, so I wrote for a debate sourcebook and planned to figure out a next step in the fall. However, I found out that I was expecting my son six weeks after I got married. He was born in April 2016. Until he was born, I focused on being a homemaker. Since he was born, I’ve been a stay at home mom.
Why you chose to do that.
I originally majored in psychology because I wanted to help people. Over time, I realized that I liked working with people to help them achieve their goals. My job with the internship program allowed me to do that and I loved it. Though I haven’t been a psychologist in the traditional sense so far, I think it prepared me well for future homeschooling. I took several semesters of upper level statistics. While I needed to put a lot of time and effort into those classes, I feel confident about my ability to teach high school math to my son when the time comes.
I was surprised by how quickly my son made an appearance, but he is so loved and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband and I planned all along for me to stay home and homeschool. We just started that phase of life a little sooner than we thought!
Will you homeschool your own children if you have any?
I have a 10 month old son. I hope to homeschool him someday when he is old enough. Right now we do a lot of reading, singing, playing, and snuggling and call it good.
Why or why not?
When I was about 13 and in the midst of my hormonal teenage angst, I remember thinking “What would I do if my mom wasn’t around when I have a problem? How would I schedule when I need to have these major conversations about life?”
We had many, many conversations about life and beliefs and boys while she took care of my baby sister, who is 13.5 years younger than me. Sometimes my mom would laugh about how my sister and I were in such vastly different life stages, but it worked. I think her presence was the greatest gift to me. Homeschooling allowed me to have that gift a lot more than I would have if I’d been in public school.
Any regrets directly related to being homeschooled?
I personally don’t really have any regrets. Of the people I know who do have regrets, the common theme seems to be harsh control and an emphasis on outward appearances. I think there were two key things my parents did well. First, they kept the doors of communication open. I always knew that I could talk to them about anything and they would still love me. Second, they gradually gave me more and more freedom as I proved that I could be responsible. They trusted me to make good decisions when I moved into young adulthood. That trust was the key to the good relationship that we have now that I’m an adult.
Anything you wish you had been taught?
I didn’t know how to operate a combination lock when I went to college. Our mailboxes had combination locks. Fortunately, a friend took pity on me and taught me how to do it.
How did homeschooling prepare you for what you are doing now (college or work)?
As far as college goes, I think homeschooling was helpful because it taught me to take responsibility for my learning. I did not expect to be spoon fed information. If I didn’t understand something after class, I had no problem with putting in the effort to figure it out myself. That was particularly helpful when I was taking CLEP tests. I was also used to managing my time without a ton of supervision.
Now I’m a homemaker and a mother. It took me a while to figure out a routine, but I do know how to manage a home. I felt decently confident in my ability to take care of my son after he was born. Since I was so much older than my sister, I learned how to do a lot of baby care. I chose not to cloth diaper my son for various reasons, but I know how and could do it if the need ever arose.
What is the worst misnomer about homeschoolers?
That we aren’t socialized. It’s just not based in reality. I acted in community and professional theatre, sang in choirs, competed in debate, helped teach Awana, worked at Chick-fil-A, and did many other things while I was homeschooled. I wasn’t living in a bubble.
Laura blogs at HomemakingForHisGlory.com.