Growing Up as the Home Schooled Kid

"Abbey - you know? *whispers* The home schooled kid?"

Welcome to the first 16 years of my life. I never went to school. I was the weirdo that was taught at home by her Mum alongside her two siblings. Every time I met someone new as I was growing up, I had to regurgitate the same answers to the same questions. I even began to predict in what order they'd be asked - they were almost always identical. "Why don't you go to school?" "Who teaches you?" " Is your Mum a teacher?" "How do you take exams?" And sometimes, even "Is there something wrong with you?" Well, I can assure you now, there's absolutely nothing right wrong with me. 

I'm here today to share my growing up experiences in collaboration with another wonderful blogger, Abbie from Abbie approached me, asked if I'd like to collab, and of course I agreed! Starting here, we'll be writing monthly posts together called the Ab Fab Collab. You can read Abbie's post here, it's all about how being in your 30's doesn't necessarily mean that you have to grow up! It's a great read, so click to her blog once you're done with mine.

Anyway, back to me being weird. Until I began attending sixth form at the age of 16 in order to take my A-levels, "weirdo" could've replaced "Louisa Rose" as my middle name. To help you understand my childhood and how I grew up, I've answered below some of the main questions that I was faced with during this time. I hope that they give you some insight into what my lovely, non-standard life was like while I was growing up, and I also hope that some unflattering stereotypes of homeschooling can be dispelled!

Why were you home schooled?
I was an early starter. I was reading and writing from a very young age (I won a handwriting contest when I was three), so my parents thought that it made no sense for me to start school at age 5 with all the other kids and sit through years of being taught what I already knew. Instead, I learned at my own pace at home, with my Mum supporting me through every subject. My Mum is incredibly intelligent so she had no problem tutoring me to a high standard. I took my first GCSE (in French, in case you're wondering) just before my eleventh birthday and came out with an A. Home schooling allowed me to pursue my interests and learn as fast or as slow as necessary.

Did you have a social life?
YES! It is such a misconception that home schooled kids have no social skills. Pretty much every night of the week throughout childhood I attended some kind of youth group or club. Swimming, gymnastics, music lessons, Girl Guides, kickboxing - I did it all. I had just as many friends as the average school kid, although I was always the weird one. At some stage I think I decided just to own the weird kid persona. Sometimes I did have the overwhelming desire just to be "normal", but now I'm ever so glad that I wasn't. Growing up as the home schooled kid made me who I am today and I wouldn't change that.

Why did you decide to go to sixth form?
I wanted to experience the sterotypical education system, just to see what it was like. I went to a rather crappy sixth form, where many of the teachers couldn't care less (so long as you scraped a grade C), and at times I wished that my Mum was still teaching me. However, I wouldn't give up the friends that I made there for anything. I met three people that stuck by my side through one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of my life, and those three still mean the absolute world.

Me, aged 5, on holiday in Gran Canaria

Was transitioning into sixth form and uni difficult?
These transitions are probably hard for pretty much anyone who goes through them. I was frustrated somewhat at sixth form because of the slow pace of the lessons and the fact that I'd only get to study a subject for an hour at a time. I was used to spending a whole day on English, then a whole day on History etc. at home, and getting really into it, rather than carving my day up into 1 hour lesson blocks. It didn't take me long to adjust though. At uni, you're expected to be an independent learner, and my experiences learning at home really helped me with this.

Was it hard to be disciplined at home?
The fact that my Mum did such an excellent job with making learning fun meant that I woke up every morning really excited to start studying! We had a structured school day, where we started lessons at 9am and ended at 3.30pm, like most schools, but we were able to pick our own timetables and do whatever subject we felt like every day, provided that we got everything done. It worked really well and that love of learning that I gained whilst growing up has never left me!

And most importantly... did you sometimes study in your pyjamas?
Obviously! I mean, who wouldn't if they had the opportunity?!

If you have any more questions about growing up while being home schooled, do comment below and I will answer. Don't forget to check out Abbie's growing up post as well!

Until next time,

A x