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Is homeschooling right for me..? I'm worried that I'll miss out on having friends.

ctgirl628ctgirl628 - Posts: 545 Member
edited August 2010 in Home Schooling and College
Hey, parents! This forum sparked my interest.. After reading a bunch of posts, I realized how perfect homeschooling seems for me. I am a rising junior and I have many interests (environmental studies/science, writing, photography, dance, music, theater, languages, filmmaking, history) I have recently begun involvement in extra curriculars that are outside of school with tremendous opportunity.. Unfortunately, school gets in the way of further pursuing these opportunities.

I have attended a low-ranked public school for the past two years and I've been absolutely miserable. The teachers seem to have no interest in the subject which they're teaching nor do they seem to care about their students. I have no interest in taking Precalculus, Calculus, Gym, nor do I have interest in being surrounded by kids who sneer at students with passion. I despise the competitiveness in seeing who can take the most APs without having a mental breakdown or who can rack up the most presidencies in clubs that achieve nilch.

I am in the midst of applying to a really great private school. I've been excited about attending for the past couple of months. There is a spot open for me - I just need to finish answering some essay questions. The student body seems very artistic and creative, as well as friendly and open-minded. I'd have to take a train ride to school every day, which actually seems exciting to me. The downsides are the price: $36K/year plus taxes.. I feel terrible doing this to my father who already pays $50K/year for my brother's college education. Also, I'd love to pursue the things that I list at the bottom of this post, which I would definitely not have time for with the 5+ hours of homework/night that the school says I will have.

I have 2 problems. First of all, I earned poor grades in the past two years. I was always #1 in my class and labeled as the "smart girl", a name that I once resented! In the 7th grade, my social life soared. I went out nearly every day of the week and stopped caring about school. Honestly, I'm happy that I got that over with then instead of in high school..I had some great experiences which I don't regret. Anyway, I, my parents and my teachers all know I'm capable of much more than I have been showing. I earned a 3.4 UW average in the 9th grade and I believe that my 10th grade average is around a 3.5. I'm a perfectionist. These numbers depress and frustrate me because I know that I could achieve so much more if I was not so stressed and unhappy.

I was, and still am, dealing with some serious familial problems which weigh down on me constantly. I had extreme difficulty focusing on seemingly-pointless schoolwork when I had so much else to worry about. In addition, I stopped hanging out with the 'popular' group in my freshman year because I didn't want to become like them.. I wanted to be independent. Due to this, I've had social issues for the past two years as well. My school has a tiny percentage of Honors students, leaving not many people to become friends with. I haven't had much luck, which, as you can guess, leaves me feeling terribly alone.

I'm worried that I will miss out on all of the fun social aspects of attending this private school. I crave a best friend and a boyfriend.. This is the only thing that makes me feel unsure about becoming homeschooled or "unschooled".

Also, how would I prove my academic capability to colleges? My dream schools at the moment are Yale, Dartmouth, and top LACs. What's better- to take online or CC courses? Edit: Actually, I think that I would be allowd to take classes at UCONN.

I have a feeling that my parents will be very apprehensive to this idea..

Please offer feedback, thoughts, and advice. From what I tell you, do you think that homeschooling is right for me? I feel like it is.

These are the things that I dream of doing:

Become more involved in the environmental NGO that I work for and work on the media aspect as well as attend climate change and biological diversity conventions, commissions and summits at the U.N and in Japan, South Africa, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil...

Get back to acting in local theater productions

Take voice, piano, continue guitar, and resume ballet lessons

Get an agent/Audition for film

Volunteer at the Bruce Museum (a wonderful arts and science museum!)

Write short stories, plays, children’s books and the novel that I've been itching to write

Start my environmental youth activism group

Become more involved as unpaid intern for the city waste/recycling department

Become trilingual..Improve my Spanish and learn French [my dad/his side of the family's first language]

Learn Latin

Go on trips and hikes and take amazing photography

Tutor Spanish-speaking immigrant children and/or low-income/inner-city children

Take a filmmaking workshop and practice

Spend more time with my family

Read everything!

Become a freelance writer (write for magazines, newspapers, and literary journals)

Take SAT Subject Tests in Latin, Spanish, French, Biology, Literature and U.S History
Post edited by ctgirl628 on

Replies to: Is homeschooling right for me..? I'm worried that I'll miss out on having friends.

  • ctgirl628ctgirl628 - Posts: 545 Member
    I apologize.. I haven't been getting much sleep lately and I probably did not communicate my thoughts as well as I could have.

    Anyway, I'd really appreciate some replies as I'm extremely anxious/excited/stressed out about the prospect of being homeschooled.
  • WartsandallWartsandall Registered User Posts: 14,151 Senior Member
    Perhaps you could attend an online school.
  • danasdanas Registered User Posts: 1,781 Senior Member
    You sound like a voracious learner, hungry for experiences.
    How does five hours a night of homework at a prospective private school square with that?
    My kids had the advantage of parents skeptical of the whole experience who were ready for something else. I will be honest. My kids trusted me completely in following a different path, but I realized more than they did that that there were risks in this.
    In my son's case, I think his academic results in school would have been much like yours. Competing interests, including social, but often having to do with stupid teachers and assignments. If he had a paper trail of his day-to-day reactions to such foolishness, reflected in his grades, I don't think he would have had the same college admissions results. He would be the first to say that he would have not gone to Dartmouth if he had to go to school. Dartmouth wasn't an outlier. He was also admitted to Amherst, Williams and other schools. A few "B" grades from not getting with the program would have struck these opportunities from his life. In our family, there were no online courses, community college courses, or any such alternatives to the local variety high school that seemed to be worthwhile.
    His sister was more of a "goody-two-shoes" re: school, and would have done better in the college admissions sweepstakes, but she too doubts she would have attended Princeton if she had to go to school. How on earth could she have been different from the folks trying to gain admission based on the academics? Nine AP scores rather than seven? Much more important would have been forgoing the opportunity to do things she couldn't do if she had to go to school.
    My son, with many outside interests (particularly his band), graduated in the middle of his class at Dartmouth. My daughter ranks very high in her class at Princeton. I'm mentioning this to counter the argument that they got into college by subterfuge, with no high school record. True, they took no courses and had no grades, but college admissions folks had no problem evaluating the applicant they had before them.
    I'm sure your parents have no context in figuring out home schooling, let alone trusting it, but you sound like the perfect person to undertake this, with support from some quarter.
  • ctgirl628ctgirl628 - Posts: 545 Member
    Thanks so much, danas!

    Two important questions that I have are:
    1. Will being homeschooled for the last 2 years of high school hurt me in terms of college admissions since I had poor grades when I attended public school? What if I took classes and earned A's? What would adcoms think?

    2. What is the best way to homeschool? My parents are definitely unable to teach me seeing as they work full-time. Should I join a group of other homeschoolers, take CC courses, what?

    Oh and thanks for the suggestion, Wartsandall, but I don't want to take online classes.
  • GeekMom63GeekMom63 Registered User Posts: 1,957 Senior Member
    1 - there is no foolproof way to predict what will affect things. My guess would be that if you follow through on some of your ideas, you will have a compelling story for admissions officers.

    2 - You can't follow your passions and still take a full load in UConn. I think what would be best would be to follow your passions (not all of them - you only get 80 years in your life and you need to trim your interests!!!!!) and take a few classes to show capability. Get As in those classes and be prepared to show the colleges you've turned over a new leaf.

    Seriously about following your interests - you can't do all that. You can't; it isn't possible. Pick a few that you really love and really pursue them. Take 1 - 3 classes a semester and get As, while also doing a few of the things on your list. When it comes time for college applications, you will be able to write about how homeschooling gave you the ability to do A, B, and C while rededicating yourself to studies. And DO take all those SAT II tests you were mentioning except maybe French.

    Good luck!
  • ctgirl628ctgirl628 - Posts: 545 Member
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!

    Jeez, this is a difficult decision to make. I talked to my dad about it and he isn't too keen on the idea but he is open to it. I was really excited for the social aspect of my potential new school..

    Do you that that it would be impossible to pursue a few of my passions while attending private school/taking rigorous classes?
  • GeekMom63GeekMom63 Registered User Posts: 1,957 Senior Member
    Of course it would be possible - lots of kids do it. It's easier if you homeschool, because it's usually a more efficient form of learning, but it's certainly possible to go to a rigorous school with lots of homework and still do meaningful ECs.
  • tootiredtootired Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I think if you are meticulously organized and plan every week of the school year carefully, you do not need to spend the thousands of dollars for the private school and you might even come across as a leader for potential colleges as having planned, directed your way... Good luck!
  • snapdragonflysnapdragonfly Registered User Posts: 646 Member
    You mention "CC" courses in your post - do you mean community college?

    If so, be sure to check with the universities that you are interested in as to how they view them. My daughter has some dual credit hours which are classes taken at her high school, physically, but in every other way are a class with the community college. They count as high school credits and IF the school accepts them, as college credits.

    We have found so far that all the state schools accept those hours just fine (and she retains her freshman status even though she will have over a semester of core classes) but that some colleges, like Oberlin, count them as either high school or college but not both. In other words if it was necessary as a high school credit it doesn't count as college.

    Dartmouth, actually, was one school we looked at and at the time (last year) it did not even consider any community college courses for anything. I think (not sure) that they might take dual credit classes offered through a university but not community college.

    My daughter has friends who were stuck with poor public high school choices and they homeschooled and all chose different paths and all of them who wanted to go to good colleges managed to do so. You just need to really research what the colleges you are interested in, are going to want of you.

    Good luck!
  • lotsofbookslotsofbooks Registered User Posts: 82 Junior Member
    One option would be to look into the independent study programs that also offer a HS diploma, and they would accept your other classes and put them onto a transcript. (Indiana U. did this--my d. only took a few at the high school) There's many other university "outreach" programs for high school. Some have courses but no diploma. If you really want a diploma, you need to find out one way or the other if one is offered. I actually recommend IU, but it's not easy. The tests aren't easy, but it really helps prepare you for college. The busy work isn't really counted much because they don't really know who does the homework. The tests are proctored and they know who does the tests. IU accepted other distance ed courses from other schools, plus those at the hs, plus they have dual enrollment college courses you can take. I actually thought the dual enrollment courses might be better than going to a college where the professor is hard to understand, or is poorly organized. IU edits their courses well, I found only one typo in about 10 years, and they really have more essay type questions than you'll get in normal HS courses. My d. didn't like to be online for hours per day, reading. She didn't mind doing the assignments online, but she wanted a regular book and a printed syllabus for instructions. These syllabuses are the discussion that you get in class, so a good syllabus makes a big difference.

    There's plenty of different HS/college programs to select from. For college courses, LSU is the cheapest. They're just discontinuing their HS programs this month unfortunately. I like the college classes, however,take a look at those.

    Also you might want to read the forums at the well trained mind website. HTH
This discussion has been closed.