Homeschool, History and happiness

By Katie Follett

“What is it like to be homeschooled for high school?”

This question seems to be one of the most frequent ones that teens, and adults alike, ask me when they discover that I am homeschooled. From what other homeschoolers say, this isn’t the most unique question either; in fact, it seems to be very common.
Many times I have found myself wondering how different my schooling would be if I were not homeschooled.

I’ve noticed, especially when I am struggling with a subject or falling behind, that I revert to the excuse, “If I wasn’t homeschooled this wouldn’t be happening!”
Usually my mother just reminds me that I am homeschooled because she and my father knew that it was God’s will for them to provide all of their children with a Godly education, an education that would reflect our family’s commitment to Christ.
She also reminds me of the many struggles that public schooled children face, especially as Christians. Struggles that usually have nothing to do with their education. Often, when reminded of these things, I am very grateful to my parents for being willing to follow God’s will.
We started homeschooling when I was in third grade and my older sister was in fourth. By the next school year I had discovered the great interest I had in history, and my parents had as well. I can, in all honesty, say that I cannot remember a single year during which history wasn’t an emphasized subject. It wasn’t just history as a subject, either!
My reading, writing, and art were often centered around this beloved topic. If I had been educated in the public education system, this most likely would not have been possible. Because my parents homeschooled me, though, I was able to study what interested me and still cover all of the bases of a well-rounded education.
Although I am usually glad that I am homeschooled, on occasion I succumb to one of the greatest homeschooling controversies of all time, that of socialization.
I am not stating that I am anti-social, but rather that I have found it challenging to find friends who are like-minded, homeschooled or otherwise. At times this has been very difficult for me. Recently, though, my outlook was changed. It wasn’t because I met new people or even because I cultivated friendships with people I already knew. It was because I realized that friends are not promised in God’s Word, at least not in the earthly sense. God says that friends are good, when like-minded—just look at Jonathan and David! He says Jesus is our Friend and that He “sticks closer than a brother”!
God never promises to give me friends, though; in fact, He promises the exact opposite in His Word. He tells us that as His children we will be persecuted and that we will have trials and tribulations. He even tells us that the world will hate us because it hated Him. We aren’t to see these things as negatives but rather as tests that will refine our faith and make us stronger and more like Him. Believe me when I tell you, letting go and submitting to the Lord is one of the biggest struggles I have!
So, although homeschooling can have its challenges, and I don’t always love it, I try to remember that my parents are providing what they know to be the best for my siblings and me. Also, by honoring them and their decisions, I am honoring God. I would like to encourage you also to take heart and become a high schooler for homeschool!

Katie has been homeschooled since her family moved to Alaska when she was 8, and she absolutely loves living there. She loves the opportunities she receives as a result of being homeschooled, and she is now following my love of history by pursuing a BA in history while finishing high school a year ahead of schedule!

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Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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