The best part about my years as a child would be the years I was homeschooled, hands down. To be precise, that was about 9 years of my life.
Being homeschooled enabled me to earn a Black Belt at 12 years old, play in my band's first professional gig a few months later, start college at 16, graduate high school with two Associate Degrees, and earn my Bachelor's Degree at 21. It enabled my brother to start college at 13 years old and saw him become Chapman University's youngest alumnus at 17 years old.
Nevertheless, there is a herd of people out there who think homeschooling is the absolute worst thing one can do for their child. Here are just five things they say is wrong with us, followed by a real homeschooler's response.
1. "You have no concept of pop culture."
Yeah, no thank you. We know all about your pop culture. Why do you think we were homeschooled in the first place? Keep your PokemonGO, Whip Whip Nae Nae, and Kardashians to yourself, please.
2. "You'll never be socialized."
Well, I'm guest-posting on someone else's blog, so checkmate on this one.
3. "You only complete the bare minimum so you can have a fake graduation."
This implies that homeschoolers aren't interested in anything else but getting their education over with. Funny, because the homeschoolers I know go above and beyond the "bare minimum" studies and they usually master something pretty awesome. How about the Cherryholmes? They are a homeschooled family that excelled in music and ended up with several Grammy nominations. I would call that "genius". Ever hear of Atticus Shaffer? He's a big time actor who knows anything you ever wanted to know about American history, he can speak German, loves chess, and even works in film/documentary making. I've had the honor to meet him and keep in touch with him over the years, and I can assure you, his education and love for learning goes far beyond “the minimum”. I would call him "genius". How about Arran Fernandez? He was homeschooled and went to college at 15. Just three years later, he became the youngest Senior Wrangler at Cambridge University. Senior Wrangler is the mathematics' term for "genius".
4. "What, do you wear pajamas all day, too?"
Actually, this sounds pretty comfy, but it's still unrealistic for homeschoolers. We are those people that get out and get things accomplished. Whether it's starting businesses (Andrew Carnegie), inventing soda water (Joseph Priestly), starting a country (literally all of our Founding Fathers), or winning Nobel Prizes (Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Pearl S. Buck, Erwin Schrödinger and many more!), homeschoolers don't sit still!
5. “Doing school at home all day must be so dull and boring.”
One of my favorite college professors taught me a Latin phrase that goes like this: De gustibus non est disputandem.
For those of you who aren't yet fluent in Latin (get with the program!) this is the translation: There is no disputing about tastes. If you think living a life where you can learn with no limits, and become whatever you wish to make of yourself is dull and boring, I can't dispute that. However, I feel sorry for you. A homeschooler doesn't wait for someone to teach them something, they go and learn for themselves. That, my friends, is why homeschoolers are genuinely excited about learning. They wouldn't have it any other way. It’s an adventure to us. An exciting challenge. A thrill. These are not complete sentences…
Yes, I am THAT homeschooler. I've graduated, but still do intense research when something intrigues me. That's why you'll hear me talking about the practical effects used in theme park rides or movies I've never seen. That's why I'll visit ".org" sites to take official tests to see if I have synesthesia and then ask my friends if they have it too. That's why I find politics and social media (separately and together) absolutely fascinating and horrifying. I google ASL lessons, yodel techniques, Gaelic pronunciations, Civil War history, and so much more on my free time.
Oh sure, you’ll find different kinds of homeschoolers everywhere you go. Not all of us make goat cheese, not all of us ride horses, not all of us play banjo. We’re just as diverse as you could imagine. What can I say? Homeschoolers are cool like that.
Raised on vintage country and southern gospel music, singer-songwriter and entertainer Mark Wimberley is a full time Bluegrass musician with the award-winning Wimberley Bluegrass Band.
Mark received his first guitar at 11 years old, and has since learned 9 other instruments for the fun of it. He enjoys writing and arranging music, and can often be found going through old hymnals looking for forgotten classics.
Mark started his college career early at 16 and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies in May 2016. During his time at Chapman, he co-hosted a weekly radio show on campus which was recognized several times for outstanding listener-ship. Mark, along with five of his classmates and their professor, conducted empirical research on the Mental Health effects of Mobile Dating Apps, which they hope to eventually publish.
When Mark is not traveling with his band, he can be found hiking, fishing, or listening to his favorite genres of music. These include, but are not limited to Bluegrass, Country, Celtic, A Cappella, Southern Gospel, Ragtime, and Western Swing.
You can read his blog @ The Life of a Bluegrass Musician