Monday, October 12, 2015

My College-Aged Homeschooled Daughter Gives Advice to Homeschooling Parents

atheist blog atheist homeschool atheist blog atheist homeschool atheist blog atheist homeschool atheist blog atheist homeschool 

This evening my daughter and I have been talking about how she's doing in college, at work, and in general in her life. She is just so happy, productive, and feeling positive that I thought other homeschooling parents might enjoy hearing how she is doing.  Here is a short conversation that she and I had together for this blog post: 

Do you read my blog?

LOL, yes, Mom, I do read your blog from time to time. I will get on and read multiple posts in a row, but I don't really read it regularly.
Now I feel like a terrible daughter!  LOL

What do you think of my blog and of how I write about you?

I think your blog is very informative for parents who need it and an interesting read because of our lifestyle. We have unique experiences and we're a unique family with our reasons for homeschooling, our atheism, living out of the country, and other things. 
As for the way you write about me, I trust you. I'm fine with it because I know it's not too personal or anything, you share it with me before posting it, and I feel safe with your readers.

What are you doing these days?  
Still homeschooling?

LOL, no I've gotten away from that. I'm a part-time college student
(she has three classes) and I'm loving it. I don't really homeschool anymore. I'm working alot of hours, doing homework, and keeping busy with theater and friends and things like that. I'm also taking private Korean lessons from a student at another college so I drive up to Washington University once or twice a week for those. I was just in a show at school that ended last week, so I'm getting used to having some free time again! I made a great friend during that show: the main character was played by a professor at school and she and I really became close; I love her; she's so amazing! I'm also working with you, Mom, with the photobooths and I love that. I'm doing some writing on my novel too, don't forget that.
And sadly, my best friend moved out to the west coast so, even though I have some friends, my best friend is gone!

Do you feel different from other students at school because you homeschooled?

At first I felt like it was obvious to everyone around me that I homeschooled, like it was seeping out of me Homeschooler here, Homeschooler here, can't function in a regular school environment!!!  I was afraid that I had Homeschooler tattooed onto my forehead! lol, but I know that that was my insecurities and anxieties about starting something new getting in the way. 

Between when I first started last spring and now, six semesters later, I know that I really do fit in perfectly and I know that having been homeschooled didn't impact me negatively at all. I feel like having been homeschooled makes me quite unique. No one really knows that I homeschooled unless I tell them and when I do, they are interested in what that was like for me. Most people are envious and wish that they had homeschooled too.
In fact, often when an instructor knows that I was homeschooled they tell me to tell Mom that she did a great job with if!

How did being homeschooled prepare you for college?

It did in that we did our lessons, math and essays and things, that prepared me for what to expect in my classes. You taught me about note taking, reading and researching, and creating outlines of lectures. We read some great literature. We worked in groups with our co op. We did lots of writing, essays, papers, poetry. I knew what would be expected of me by teachers. And, in fact, I'm quite good in my classes. Right now I'm in a writing class where we do peer reviews and my fellow students frequently enjoy my writing and are impressed with my ability to write well.
Also, my first semester in college I didn't take college-level classes but college-prep classes and those courses also helped me to prepare for college-level work and, more importantly, showed me that I was fully capable of doing this work.

Do you have advice for new homeschooling parents?

I would say to relax a little! Don't feel like you need to push lessons or information on kids. They need to be active and free and to follow their own interests. Don't get upset if they want to play instead of wanting to learn. Kids in schools are trapped in a 2x2 desk! You have an advantage in that you don't have to spend four or five weeks on a subject if you don't need to put in that kind of time; as soon as your child gets it you can move forward. Or if your child needs more time you can give them that too. There is no wasted time at all and alot less stress.
If your child gets does feel overloaded or stressed out or they need a break go read a book, put on a costume and play, do some art work. Use that advantage of not having learning time be between the hours of 9 and 3.
OH, and play alot!

Anything else?

Try not to get frustrated in your child doesn't get something right away. We've learned that children learn at different rates. If they don't get something now, put it away and bring it back in a month or two.
My brother and I are very close, we're both very close to Mom and Dad too, so that is another homeschool advantage! But mostly e
njoy your time together; it will be worth it!

What would you ask her, if you could?
Check back for answers.

ADDENDUM, 10/12/2015

Question from reader Amy to Elizabeth: What would be the one - or three- things you wished you would have learned (or done) to help prepare you for college that were missed?

Honestly, nothing academic. If you aren't college-level when you get to college, there are prep classes you can take to get you up to speed. Academics can be fixed there; that's what college is there for. There were dozens of adults in my below-college-level math class.

I wish I would have known how expensive it is. Because even community college is SUPER expensive and I feel like a burden to my parents. Even if deep down I know I'm not a burden at all, I still feel it. Now that I'm working toward independence I know the financial commitment that they have made to me, though they would never say that. I feel like, early on, as soon as conversations about college start happening, parents might start talking about the expense of college. That way kids who might want to help with the cost of it might want to think about how to prepare themselves to help with that financial burden.

For a long time I've had this thought, I felt like I knew what kids out there would be the snotty kids in movies, and I thought that was how kids are. But in college you realize that some people are, in face, still stuck in high school but most of them are not. Most of them are really nice people who want to befriend you and make you a part of their friend circle. It helps to actively pursue friendships rather than wait for them to come to you.

You think homework in homeschool is bad now? Homework in college will kick your butt. You have to stick with it, put your head down, and do it right away because there is no time to put it off. Not going to lie, for some classes you can get away without getting the homework done, but most of them require that you do it. I enjoy getting good grades and that requires that the work gets done on time.  

Thanks for asking!  ~Liz

Other posts you might enjoy:


  1. What would be the one - or three- things you wished you would have learned (or done) to help prepare you for college that were missed?

  2. From my friend Eugenia C.:

    Oh Karen, she's wonderful! You must be so proud! Tell her I'll try to remember to chill more... her words will haunt me now when I panic if it seems my daughter won't understand something.... 'get on a costume and play' will echo in my head :)

    1. Eugenia, Elizabeth is thrilled to hear this!!! :)


Leave a comment!