Most of you have probably seen this picture. The truth here is that homeschoolers are often taught uniquely; that is, their parents get to choose what they teach their children. Whether it is melee weapons fighting, small unit tactics, underwater basket weaving, or interpretive dance, homeschoolers have free range to teach themselves just about anything.
Well, more realistically, homeschoolers are likely to learn advanced physics, voraciously read any book that interests them, and write their own newsletters. Self-Taught 20/20 is based on the common practice of learning how you want to learn and often learning what you want to learn through homeschooling. I lived in this lovely, rosy world of discovery and imagination, researching the Seven Wonders of the World, reading Girl of the Limberlost at least three times, and killing and dissecting my own worm for biology. Under these circumstances, the word “school” shot excitement through my brain. This delightful world ended abruptly.
I started college.
This transition wasn’t hard because I couldn’t keep up or didn’t understand the content. It was hard because instead of figuring things out for myself, I now had to take the teacher’s word for it. This may sound strange to those of you who weren’t homeschooled, but it was a dramatic shift for me. All of a sudden, I had to trust that my teacher’s opinion was the right one all the time. Of course there are classes where you research and draw your own conclusions, but lecture-based teaching often means the teacher teaches from his or her perspective.
Since this initial shock, I have learned how to balance my trust for the teacher’s opinion with my own research. My academic performance has benefitted from my willingness to find things out for myself, and when those rare, incompetent teachers come along, I do quite well teaching myself the material.
What are your experiences with this transition?