At first, being home seemed fun and easy. However, as the subjects progressed, I felt myself falling behind. I would overhear other kids at the co-op talking about their classes and I was never learning about any of the same things.
My parents pulled me out of private christian school when I was only in kindergarten. I had recently been diagnosed with ADHD and was really struggling with school, despite my love of reading and how much I enjoyed being at school. At first, being home seemed fun and easy. However, as the subjects progressed, I felt myself falling behind. I would overhear other kids at the co-op talking about their classes and I was never learning about any of the same things. I was always behind, especially in math, history and science. My parents purchased us a chemistry course, but because we were impoverished, and couldn’t afford the items to conduct experiments, they asked us to just “do what we could with it.”
Later in high school, entire subjects were replaced with learning style computer games like Cluefinders and Carmen San Diego. By college, I was really behind. I flunked out of every math and science class, despite trying my best. My papers came back with exasperated comments from my teachers, and I knew I needed to make it up somehow. I’m very fortunate that I had friends, some helpful tutors, some very gracious teachers and a healthy community around me to help me eventually get to graduation.
I know that not everyone in my position is so lucky. I know others who have had an amazing, fulfilling and educational experience homeschooling and I want that experience for every homeschooler. Everyone deserves the right to a safe and successful educational environment. and I believe homeschooling is equipped to provide that with the right tools.
Valerie was homeschooled in Virginia from 2000-2010. For additional thoughts and experiences from other homeschool alumni, see our Community Voices page.