A Homeschooler’s Memoir
I am homeschooled, and I always have been. My parents decided they wanted to teach me at home where I would be safe and where I would learn good things. My dad was a great math and history teacher, and my mom helped out with everything else. I feel like through homeschooling I’ve been able to catch on to a lot more than I would’ve in regular school–not just because it gave me more time to grasp each subject, but because I got to travel and see what I was studying.
My friends would all give me strange looks when I told them I enjoyed homeschooling. In fact, they still do. There seems to be this universal bias that a homeschooler has no life and is stuck in the house all day with heavy books and the windows boarded shut. My life as a homeschooler could not be farther from that!
I go to Peru with my mom and my brother almost every year. I remember in 2007 we took another plane there to Cuzco, and were able to see the magnificent Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. I had read so much about them at home, and seen pictures from my parents’ visits to the place years earlier. I got to go see the ruins twice, gaze up at the mountains and feel the humidity. I was standing in history even as I learned it.
This was during the school year, when most other kids would be in a classroom just looking at pictures of the place. The pictures don’t even come close! I’ll admit that back then I didn’t realize what a blessing it was. The enormous stones put together create a maze-like structure with towers and long stairways all over. The sun bears down on it while the river sings nearby. It’s a surreal experience. To this day people cannot figure out what it was used for!
I got to see many other different ruins in Cuzco, all built by the Incas and all so much bigger than they seemed in the pictures. I would read books on the train back and forth, meet people of other cultures, and see ancient churches. I have visited the Cathedral of Lima. I’ve also seen the tomb of St. Rose of Lima, the house where she lived, and I’ve been to the church where they keep the body of St. Martin de Porres. I’ve seen world history, Church history, practiced a different language, and tasted a different lifestyle. If I wasn’t a homeschooler I wouldn’t have been able to take my books to another country and read them there.
I used to get uncomfortable when my friends gave me strange looks. They’d make me wonder if I really was missing out on something. But now that I look back at all the Lord has shown me, everything I’ve achieved with this lifestyle, I know that–at least for me–it was the best thing to do. This is the life God gave me, and it’s taken me so far. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Now I can say with certainty that I love being homeschooled. It doesn’t limit you to just home, the place where you live! For me, I got to see the world–a home so much bigger than home.
The whole world belongs to us, and I want to see it. Homeschooling has allowed me to take the first step.