Homeschooling / College
Going to college for the first time this semester was a very new experience for me, as
Iím sure was the case for all college Freshmen. However, in my situation, the
experience may have been a bit more unique than most. Not only is this my first semester
in college, but itís also the first time that Iíve truly attended school. After being
homeschooled for my entire life, I have now stepped out of the home and into the
classroom, and have been enjoying myself so far.
Even though being educated at home is obviously very different than classroom
learning, Iíve observed several similarities as well. But Iíll start with the differences.
First of all, I never had to lug a deadweight backpack around at home. All the
materials I needed were kept right there. College classes have made me realize that
carrying a few books up to my room is much easier than dragging a twenty-pound
backpack from my car to the classroom and back.
Another minor issue is that of food. Here at college, I canít just walk down to the
fridge when I want a snack. Instead, I have to buy snacks from the vending machines.
On the other hand, the machines here usually have a much better (but less healthy)
selection than my fridge at home does.
The most noticeable difference, to me, is that of the age of the students. At home,
I was the oldest child in the family, and thus the farthest ahead, grade-wise. But the
college environment at UMA is very different. I went from being the oldest student to
one of the youngest. Iím sure this difference is not limited to homeschooled students
alone, but the age range of the other students in my ďschoolĒ (3 to 15) is much larger
than that of public high schools. Not only are the students here older than me, but there
are also a lot more of them. At home, we had a grand total of seven students, which is
still a lot for one family, but nothing compared to the number of students at a college.
Group learning has been a different experience for me, but Iíve tried to adjust as well as I
Despite these differences, Iíve found that College work is definitely similar to my
homeschool experience, in a few ways:
Getting to work on my own is something that I was completely used to. During my
high school years, there were certain subjects that I needed to work on each day, but the
order in which I did them was up to me. Sometimes I would skip subjects, or double up
on them, depending on how much needed to be done. As long as I was on-track to finish
my subjects by the end of the year, my mom usually let me pace myself however I
wanted to. College work is much the same. I still have to show up to all my classes, but
the rate at which I work is up to me, as long as I can keep up, and finish what needs to be
done before the next class. Homeschooling definitely gave me experience in managing
Another thing that me and my family are completely used to is paying for supplies.
Although my parents paid for textbooks while I was in high school, my education has
never been free for my family. Of course, parts of our taxes are still used in the public
schools, we just don't get any benefits from them. We still have to buy all of our
curriculum and school supplies despite the taxes that we pay, and despite the fact that we
are saving the state of Maine thousands of dollars per year by being homeschooled.
Attending college actually hasnít been much more expensive than being homeschooled.
The only difference is that I have to pay for it now, instead of my parents.
I believe that making the transition from homeschooling to college work hasnít been
as difficult as I thought it would be. I have had to adjust to a lot of differences, but I
think the newness of things like classroom learning has given me a greater desire to do
well. I also believe that I was very well-prepared for college, in the areas of academics
and time management. And although the social atmosphere in a school is something that
Iím not quite as used to, Iím trying to become more involved with that as well.