My Homeschool Experience: Has Homeschooling Ruined My Life?

In a world where bitter tales of homeschooling abound, my personal experience tells a different story. Picture this: imagine stepping out of a dark, confining tunnel and finding yourself in an expansive field of vibrant daisies, basking in the warm embrace of sunshine. That’s precisely how my homeschooling experience felt—a breath of fresh air, a liberating journey that transformed my life.

Rebbecca Devitt

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In fact, my admiration for homeschooling was so profound that I felt compelled to pen a book, sharing my conviction that every parent should consider this alternative approach for their children’s education.

But let’s address the elephant in the room: Was I a victim of bullying during my time in traditional schools?

The answer is a resounding “no.”

Did anyone neglect or disregard my well-being?

Absolutely not.

You see, I attended a Christian school with teachers who embodied godly virtues, and my family was a pillar of love and devotion to the LORD.

Yet, despite these blessings, I still found myself suffocating within the confines of the school system, often returning home in tears due to the sheer exhaustion that seven-hour school days brought upon me.

So, in this article I want to discuss my homeschool experience especially:

  • Exhaustion: homeschool vs school
  • Test scores and academic results
  • Studying for only two hours a day
  • My homeschool experience with curriculum
  • Socialization: homeschool experience vs school
  • My spiritual walk before and after homeschooling
  • Whether homeschooling ruined my life!

(Interestingly, ‘homeschooling ruined my life’ is googled about 20 times a month in the US.)

My Homeschooling Experience: Has Homeschooling Ruined My Life?

Exhaustion: Homeschool Experience Vs School

When it comes to homeschooling, exhaustion might not be the first thing that springs to mind as a compelling reason to choose this educational path.

However, for me, it became a pivotal factor that drove my decision.

Why, you may wonder?

Well, it all boils down to a fundamental truth: sleep holds incredible importance, especially for young minds.

If our children are deprived of sufficient rest, the consequences can be far-reaching, affecting their academic performance and transforming them into grumpy, sullen beings once they step foot through the front door.

Regrettably, this is a reality countless families face when their children attend traditional schools.

Picture the scene: after a long day of classes, children return home, their precious time with parents marred by unpleasant, terse exchanges—much of which can be attributed to the weariness that engulfs them.

But here’s the twist: even as adults, we ourselves become exhausted and irritable when deprived of sleep.

So how can we expect our kids to evade this trap?

What is homeschooling like? Learn about my experience here. #homeschooling

Test Scores: Homeschool Experience Vs School

Once I made the leap into homeschooling, my educational journey took an exhilarating turn.

No longer bound by rigid timelines or the pressure to keep up with a class, I could finally embrace self-paced learning.

The power of personalized attention became my greatest asset as my parents devoted themselves to our education, offering immediate guidance whenever we needed it.

To my delight, my older and younger brothers, both possessing a knack for mathematics, willingly stepped up to assist me whenever I found myself grappling with numbers.

With their patient support, I gradually gained confidence in my mathematical abilities.

In a remarkable twist of fate, I managed to complete the curriculum of both Year 10 and Year 11 within a single year, surpassing expectations and finishing ahead of schedule.

Fueling my ambition to pursue nursing, I sought guidance from the local Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institution, which embraced my eagerness to start tertiary education earlier than conventional schools would typically permit.

This flexibility, inherent to homeschooling, granted me a head start, even earning me the distinction of being the youngest student in my cohort—an advantage that most teenagers seldom experience.

Driven by my newfound belief in myself and my capabilities, I embarked on a journey of higher education.

With unwavering determination, I pursued a degree in Medical Science, astonishingly ranking among the top 10 percentile of students.

Such an achievement may lead many to assume that I possessed innate brilliance, but the truth is far more profound—I had reclaimed my self-assurance, realizing that with hard work and dedication, I could excel in any field I chose.

Remarkably, my brother, who had also languished at the bottom of his class academically, experienced a similar transformation after embracing homeschooling.

Emerging as a top-tier student, he shattered the barriers that had previously held him back.

When I reflect on my academic journey, I can emphatically declare that homeschooling did not ruin my life.

On the contrary, it propelled me to heights I never thought possible, unlocking my true potential and offering boundless opportunities for growth and success.

My Homeschool Experience - Homeschool vs School. Has homeschooling ruined my life? #homeschooling

We Only Did 2-Hours of Homework a Day!

One of the extraordinary aspects that made my homeschool experience truly exceptional was the freedom to structure our study hours according to our own preferences.

As long as we completed our assignments, the timing was entirely up to us.

And let me tell you, it was a game-changer.

Imagine this: dedicating a mere two hours a day, five days a week, to our studies and accomplishing everything required.

It may sound too good to be true, but it was our reality—a remarkable arrangement that liberated us from the shackles of lengthy homework sessions.

Homeschool meme about my homeschool experience saying I mustn't have heard you right...did you say you studied only two hours a day? #homeschool #howdoihomeschool

Gone were the days of being bound to a desk for endless hours.

Instead, we reveled in the newfound freedom to pursue our education at our own pace, delving into self-directed learning that ignited a genuine love for acquiring knowledge.

The shift in dynamics made studying a joyous endeavor, devoid of external pressure or coercion.

We had the autonomy to choose the materials we wanted to explore, allowing us to engage with subjects that truly fascinated us.

This transformative experience had a lasting impact, even as I transitioned into my teenage years.

I found myself willingly dedicating countless hours to studying, driven by a newfound passion for self-improvement.

It no longer felt like an obligation but rather a conscious choice to delve deeper into the subjects that captivated my curiosity.

Looking back, it becomes evident that excessive hours spent at a desk were not the recipe for academic success.

Instead, homeschooling granted us the freedom to chart our own educational path, fostering a love for learning that extended far beyond conventional classroom constraints.

Homeschool Hours Per Day Studied Per Grade for homeschoolers: homeschool poll. #howdoihomeschool

My Experience with Homeschool Curricula

When it comes to homeschooling, one of the unique responsibilities lies in handpicking the educational materials for your children.

It’s a journey that our family embarked on with great enthusiasm, albeit with a two-hour drive to the nearest homeschool curricula warehouse in Canberra—a pilgrimage that ignited our quest for the perfect resources.

As novice homeschoolers, my parents, not being teachers themselves, sought guidance from the knowledgeable warehouse staff.

They eagerly soaked up advice and tapped into the wisdom of fellow homeschooling parents within our tight-knit community.

It was a collective effort to ensure we made informed decisions, selecting materials that would best suit our educational needs.

After careful consideration, we settled on the ACE paces curriculum, which served us well for a couple of years.

However, as we progressed and yearned for more substantial challenges, we decided to embrace a change.

Enter Abeka—a curriculum that sparked a renewed sense of excitement within me.

Abeka proved to be a breath of fresh air, propelling my mathematics skills to new heights through its emphasis on thorough repetition.

Every concept was meticulously reinforced, paving the way for a solid understanding of the subject matter.

Back then, options like online learning or easily accessible free homeschooling curricula, such as Easy Peasy, were unheard of.

We relied on the tangible resources available at the time, making the most of our chosen curriculum to foster our intellectual growth.

Yet, here’s what truly captivated me about my homeschooling experience—the unparalleled freedom to switch gears whenever a particular method or curriculum no longer aligned with our needs.

Unlike traditional schools, where rigidity prevails, homeschooling bestowed upon us the ability to adapt and tailor our educational approach.

It was a liberating revelation, granting us the power to embrace new methodologies and curricula that resonated with our individual learning styles.

Socialization: Homeschool Experience vs School

For many people, the socialization question is the biggest reason they don’t homeschool.

Many worry about homeschool socialization, afraid their children will become “social rejects” without the haven of school to socialize them.

But, my homeschool experience has shown me that it’s a myth to say socialization only happens in school.

Furthermore, unless parents severely isolate and neglect their children, homeschooling will give you a much better chance of socializing your children in a well-rounded manner.

For me, my school socialization experience consisted of me rejecting the good Christian groups in my class and gravitating towards all the ‘cool’ girls who came from broken families with problems.

These girls also had their share of problems.

My homeschool experience brought me back into more contact with my parents who were good influences.

Furthermore, our homeschool group consisted of a lot of great examples (parents and children) who helped me thoroughly in my walk with Christ.

As a homeschooler, I learned to socialize with people from all walks of life, including when:

  • my parents took me to financial meetings with their advisors,
  • we saw babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers all grouped together in my homeschool co-op,
  • we went to cycling meet-ups, table-tennis tournaments, and soccer games,
  • I had a part-time job at 15 and worked in a small shop and
  • I became a nurse at 16 and worked in local nursing homes.

This is just a small look into our social lives.

Our socialization experience was much richer after we stopped school!

My Christian Life: Homeschool Experience vs School

There were a number of differences between my homeschool experience and school as regards my spiritual walk and relationship with Jesus.

Let’s discuss them below.

My School Experience Spiritually

When we went to school, my parents noticed how we started walking away from anything to do with Christ.

Although we went to a Christian school, that Christian school (like most Christian schools in Australia) had a policy that meant they accepted a proportion of non-Christian students for evangelical purposes.

That meant that 50% of the class was from Christian families with Christian influences, and 50% were from secular families with secular experiences.

Of course, we all mingled, and (the idea was that) the Christian kids were supposed to convert the secular kids.

For me and many other children in school, this didn’t happen.

On the contrary, reverse evangelism is what happened.

I was slowly being converted to a secular way of thinking.

This was evidenced when my parents found me stealing Barbie dolls and Kinder Surprises from the local supermarket.

They were horrified as they said they hadn’t condoned or taught me that behavior.

But, I was stealing Barbie dolls because I was the only one in my peer group without a Barbie doll (and I wanted one so bad, I was willing to steal it).

Pretty soon after that, I became hooked on stealing stuff. I thought I’d figured out how to have everything I wanted without paying for it.

I was seven years old at this stage.

My Homeschool Experience. Christian School vs Homeschool. Has homeschooling ruined my life?

My Homeschool Experience Spiritually

When my parents pulled us out of school to homeschool (my habit of stealing was a real eye-opener to an underlying problem for them), they expected we would become academic failures.

My dad thought, ‘They’re going to become check-out chicks and ditch-diggers!’

But, they thought, ‘We don’t care – so long as they know Christ.’

This isn’t to say they thought homeschooling would save us.

But, they realized influences cause reverse evangelism – a process they saw happening in all their children.

They diligently sought the LORD and prayed about the decision.

(Indeed, it was a difficult decision for them as there’s a significant cost of homeschooling – most obviously the loss of a double income. – and plenty of stigmas attached to this non-mainstream choice of education.)

And then they dived in.

Was it worth it?

As I went through my homeschool years, my father regularly had long discussions about the Bible, Jesus, and everything Christian.

I rekindled my love of Christ, which had, it seemed, been stamped out in school.

My parents diligently devoted many hours to our spiritual education (which included carefully explaining and discussing our Christian homeschooling curriculum).

These days my brothers and I are all walking with the Lord.

My older brother is a pastor in a church, and my younger brother is an involved Christian in his local church.

We are all married and Bible study leaders with a real thirst for the Lord.

My homeschool experience is that you can more easily grow in your love for Christ when you have time to spend with Him unhindered by the (mental and physical) ‘noise’ that occurs in so many schools.

Far from saying, ‘Homeschooling has ruined my life,’ I have to say that it has helped to create a spiritual environment in which I have flourished.

What is homeschooling like? Learn about my experience here. #homeschooling

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Have you caught the homeschooling bug?

Eager to delve deeper into the realm of unconventional education?

Well, my curious comrades, rejoice!

There are splendid avenues awaiting your exploration.

Firstly, hop on over to my YouTube channel, where a treasure trove of homeschooling wisdom awaits. From practical tips to delightful anecdotes, I unravel the mysteries of homeschooling with a touch of wit and wisdom.

Subscribe, hit that notification bell, and embark on an enlightening journey with me.

Enroll in the Homeschool Parenting Program

For those yearning for a comprehensive guide to homeschooling, look no further than my Homeschool Parenting Program.

This illustrious online course will equip you with the knowledge, strategies, and confidence to navigate the exhilarating world of homeschooling like a seasoned pro.

Enroll today and unlock the door to extraordinary educational possibilities.

Conclusion: My Homeschool Experience: Has Homeschooling Ruined My Life?

Far from saying, ‘Homeschooling ruined my life,’ I have to say God was gracious and led me to a style of education that allowed me to know more of Him and more of my surroundings. I realized homeschooling doesn’t save people – that’s Jesus. However, I realize a lot of schools have a process that happens in them called reverse evangelism. As Christians, we need to consider our options wisely.

If you’re considering homeschooling, I can only speak highly of it. My homeschool experience was amazing academically, socially, and spiritually. So, if that’s what you want for your family, I encourage you to dive in and read the book Why on Earth Homeschool and our Homeschooling 101 article How to Homeschool: The Ultimate Guide.

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Rebecca Devitt

Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.

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  1. Did you then use Abeka all the way to “graduation”? I was homeschooled too. We used ACE all the way and I also finished a year early. I was interested in Abeka around the time I finished but didn’t know anybody using it.

    • No. Back in my day (when I was being homeschooled) my parents worried about how we’d get into college. So they enrolled us in government public school distance education. This wasn’t very good so I just went straight into a trade.
      But, these days you can do Abeka all the way through. They even have accredited options – which means technically you’ll then be studying with an online school instead of a homeschool.