homeschooler's perspective

From the Homeschooler’s Perspective: A Student’s Journey

We had the privilege of sitting down with Clayton to get his personal homeschooler’s perspective. This seasoned homeschooler turned professional offered a compelling narrative on the impact and benefit of homeschooling in his own life. Let’s take a look at what he had to say. 

Initial Thoughts on Homeschooling

21stCentEd Homeschool: Could you tell me a little about yourself?

Clayton: I’m a married father of two. After being homeschooled K-12, I attended and graduated college. Vocationally, I am the SEO manager at a digital marketing agency. 

21stCentEd Homeschool: How would you describe your homeschooling experience briefly?

Clayton: It was memorable. My mother worked hard to ensure our learning experience was fun, hands-on, and educational. We often incorporated “real life” into our learning experience and pursued different hobbies and interests as a method of education.

21stCentEd Homeschool: What’s a favorite memory or aspect of being homeschooled that comes to mind?

Clayton: It was a different experience for me and each of my siblings. We are all unique, and rather than being forced to go through the same program, we were able to take different classes in different styles that were unique to us and helped us learn best. For one of my siblings, fractions came through baking and learning measuring cups, but for me, it was a computer game that helped me nail them down. 

Reflecting on His Homeschooling Experience

21stCentEd Homeschool: How did your typical day of homeschooling look? Were there any unique traditions or routines you followed?

Clayton: “Class” usually took place from 8:30 to early in the afternoon, depending on the lessons and course material. But that was a loose structure, and there was plenty of room for adaptation. One of my favorite “traditions” was that instead of having snow days, we had spring days. When the weather was particularly nice, we’d spend the day outside, at the park, or in the woods. We still did school during blizzards, though.

21stCentEd Homeschool: How did your homeschooling experience shape your approach to learning and education?

Clayton: Learning is a part of life, and homeschooling helped me develop a thirst for understanding and the ability to pursue something that interests me. My siblings and I all received this trait from homeschooling: genuinely enjoying learning and studying.

21stCentEd Homeschool: In what ways did homeschooling allow you to tailor your education to your interests? How did this affect your academic or career path?

Clayton: I realized I wanted to attend college early in high school. Because I was homeschooled, I was able to adapt a schedule that allowed me more hands-on learning experience during my day. Rather than taking high-level math classes, I could spend a day a week shadowing a professional in the field I was interested in. Because I wasn’t in a strict classroom setting, I was free on Wednesday mornings to take piano lessons. I could tailor my high school interests to what I wanted to pursue after high school while I was homeschooling. 

Transition to College

21stCentEd Homeschool: What was the transition from homeschooling to a college environment like for you, both academically and socially?

Clayton: Socially, there were no issues. We weren’t sheltered. I had plenty of interaction with other people my age through 4H programs, extracurricular activities like sports, and other similar avenues. The most significant adjustment I faced was moving to a more structured learning format and disciplining myself to follow through. I didn’t have anyone checking on me in college, so it was up to me to format my schedule, look through the semester, and decide when to start working on big projects, study, etc. For the first time, I was fully responsible for balancing my schedule between work, education, and my social life. Work/school/life balance was a huge part of growing up for me. It was challenging and took a lot of time to get used to. 

21stCentEd Homeschool: How did your homeschooling background influence your college experience regarding study habits, interacting with peers and professors, and navigating campus life?

Clayton: Homeschooling encouraged curiosity, so I was always very comfortable talking to professors, asking questions, and seeking to understand new material. I wasn’t embarrassed by what I didn’t know; I was only excited to learn something new.

Advice for Others

21stCentEd Homeschool: Looking back, what advice would you give to homeschooled students preparing for college?

Clayton: There’s a sharp adjustment required when moving from a relaxed and tailored learning experience to the structure of a college learning environment. Couple that with the fact that there’s no one to hold your hand or stay on top of you, and it takes a lot of discipline to come through that adjustment on top. 

Be confident in your education as being the best for what you want to do in life. Don’t worry about what you may not know. Homeschooling helps you learn how to live. I learned how to pursue education and teach myself anything I didn’t know. That is one of the greatest assets that homeschooling has given me.

21stCentEd Homeschool: How has being homeschooled affected your views on education and learning now that you’ve experienced both homeschooled and traditional college settings?

Clayton: Learning isn’t just a classroom activity; it’s a part of life. That’s probably the biggest thing about my homeschooling experience. Our schooling became a part of life, not something that distracted us from it. Because of that, I enjoy the excitement of learning and studying anything that interests me, from small hobbies to new industry methodologies for work. 

21stCentEd Homeschool: In what ways do you think your homeschooling experience has prepared you for life after college?

Clayton: I didn’t have to learn things I’d never use outside class. I was educated about life and learned the things I needed to do well as a person, not just as a student. Shop class meant helping on home projects; mechanics meant working on my dad’s car with him; fractions meant baking, and so on. My education became real because I learned to apply my education to my real-life environment.

To Conclude

As our conversation with Clayton drew to a close, it became evident that his homeschooling journey is a testament to what a tailored, flexible, and hands-on educational approach can have on a person. From the personalized lessons in his early years to the adaptability and real-world application of high school, Clayton’s story underscores the potential of homeschooling to foster a deep, enduring passion for learning. 

Are you looking for a STEM education?

As we move into the 21st century, STEM subjects are becoming essential for students to learn. Getting familiar with technology and learning to use and create it opens a wide field of jobs. Here at 21stCentEd Homeschool, we are passionate about helping young people prepare for a bright future in which their STEM skills will help them find relevant jobs in this digital age.

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