Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How Homeschooling Helped Prepare Me for University

I was a homeschooler. Every day of my school life, right from day one, I was taught at home with my brothers and sisters. We read Shakespeare’s plays together for fun, we read books and we studied paintings together. And honestly, I wouldn’t have gone to school if you’d given me the choice. Homeschooling was amazing fun. I couldn’t imagine anything better.

But as I got close to the end of my high school homeschooling days I started to wonder, was I going to be ready for university? Did I have the skills that I would need when I started formal learning with a set curriculum? My form of homeschooling didn’t involve textbooks and writing essays on every imaginable, boring subject under the sun. How was I going to cope? Would I be better prepared if I’d been to school?

Well, I don’t know if I’d have been better prepared if I’d been to school, but I was certainly prepared enough through homeschooling. The course I wanted to do is all online, which meant no travelling to tutorials, sitting in long lectures, and travelling on the train every day, which in my mind was great. And because it is a university course, there is no one looking over my shoulder and telling me what to do each day for my work, like a teacher would in a lesson at school.

Homeschooling is so flexible that it allows you the space to learn a lot of skills, both formal and informal. There’s time to work on writing, which is good preparation for essays, even if you’re not writing essays for your school work. For my very first NaNoWriMo I spent most of my school time just writing, because I could. I was homeschooled.

And homeschooling allowed me the space to learn how to work on my own. With so many people of different abilities, you have to go and work on your own at some point while Mum’s attention is with another sibling. And you had to work with people of different ages for some things, just like in university.

Of course, there were difficult things, like submitting assignments to a due date. In our homeschooling there had never been a need for that. And maybe I’d have been more used to that if I went to school. But, thanks to being able to work on my own, I adjusted quickly, and didn’t miss anything. And maybe not being used to submitting on a date was good for me because it meant that I knew I had to be careful not to miss the date and made me work hard so that I hit it early.

I don’t know if I’d have been better prepared for university had I gone to school, but I do know that homeschooling definitely gave me a good start. And when you’re working towards a degree you really want, like I’m working towards a degree in writing and publishing, then you’re willing to work hard to get there.


  1. Hello Jane!
    I think both ways of schooling prepare your for university equaly well.
    I have never been homeschooled but you know you are well prepared for university and that is great.

    I don't think you would be better prepared if you had gone to school.
    But not less prepared either because you learn a lot of useful things in school I think, like deadlines and actually having class with a lot of people who are learning exactly the same thing as you at a diffrent speed.

    Also I have written way too much and slept way too little and have been in school for too long so I really don't know if I even make sense and will end the comment now

    1. Deadlines are one of those things that would have been useful about school. Normally I cope pretty well with them, but I still stress over getting them right sometimes. Maybe I would have been better at that if I'd been to school. And I didn't think about the learning alongside people who learn at different paces aspect. That would also be a useful thing about going to school.

    2. I think if it was not for deadline and the learning at diffrent paces I would probably hate school completly...
      I would still have to go because you can't be homeschooled in germany... but I would hate it because of all the forced interaction with people.
      On the other hand you learn how to really do group projects with people you can't stand and who don't do their share of work and that is probably improtant.
      I guess going to school is helpful in its own way even of I don't like it very much sometimes....

    3. I didn't know that you couldn't homeschool in Germany. That's a lot of good things to learn at school. I never really thought about those before either. this is quite the education for me now.

  2. Hi Imogen,

    I think that you have a cool life! I wish I had a life like that. My Mum homschooled me, yes, but it does not sound like I had as good a time as you as I was always wanting to go to school. I have almost finished my eduction now and it has all been at home, but I am starting to think I will not be able to get into uni and let alone pass everything. I am scared. But you have given me hope, thanks Imogen.


    1. I think that homeschooling is a better education than it seems, Monica. School has all the tests and exams that tell you what standard you're up to, and I know that while some homeschoolers do tests, a lot don't. it's hard to know how you compare to schoolers and it's easy to think that you're not going to cope with university when the time comes. But, honestly, homeschoolers are just as good when they get to uni as school students are. I have a lot of homeschooling friends and I don't know of any who have failed as university yet. I'm sure you will be fine, and I'm glad I could give you hope.

  3. My kids' mother and I considered homeschooling our kids when we were on the road with a theater company but then we decided to just settle down. I commend your accomplishments.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. Travelling with a theater company would have been interesting. I can see why you would have been considering homeschooling. But everyone has to choose what is right for them and their children, and I'm sure settling down was the right thing for you to do. Thanks for visiting Lee,\.

  4. My little boy goes to a Brazilian school, classes run 1pm - 5.30pm. So mornings I homeschool him in English and our history etc. Is he getting the best of both worlds, I hope so. Enjoying your posts, thanks.
    maggie winter

    1. I'm sure he is getting the best of both worlds. I have to admit that I haven't heard of people doing things this way before, but it sounds like a great idea.

      I'm glad you're enjoying my posts. It's always lovely to hear that people like what I'm writing. Posting so many times a week, I'm finding it hard to keep everything interesting, but you've encouraged me. Thank you Maggie.