Choose Your Path

Just a simple midnight note to answer so many questions on my blog, formspring, twitter, and even real life, about how does it feel to be homeschooled. What is homeschooling? Why do you choose homeschooling instead of public / regular school? Do you miss your friends? How do you interact socially? Don’t you miss having a normal social life?

5 years ago, homeschooling was quite a breakthrough in Indonesia’s education program, though it wasn’t a new thing in other countries, actually it is pretty common and it started long time ago. Thank God for my open-minded parents, they did a lot of research of homeschooling & some schools here starting to support that program. For regular school & homeschooling, I’m not saying one of those is better than the other. For everyone have a different potentials, different needs, not every kids could be convenient with homeschooling, and vice versa.

Nothing is wrong with learning outside school building. Some people relate homeschooling with ‘quitting school’ or even a harsh word ‘uneducated’, just because we learn outside your usual school buildings. In fact, people learn every single day in their lives until they die. In homeschooling itself, there are still a few options and curriculums. I took full homeschooling, my parents do the teaching & customise the curriculum that fits me and my interests.

Do I miss my school friends? The answer is yes. Sometimes, a lot. They said high school times are the most precious, I felt lucky to be in it even just for 2 years. I was one weirdo in high school back then. Too quiet to be a popular student, but not too quiet to do weird and unusual things with my dysfunctional best friends (writing this brought back the memories of my high school, by the way). Sometimes we got too close that we walked together (literally together …well, we tied our shoelaces, four of us) across the field to the canteen while everyone were eating normally. We did indescribable stuffs. 

My school years were awesome. When I decided to take homeschooling, it was really hard. I wasn’t sure if I was old enough to take one important crossroads in my life, but I felt really glad to have a super supportive parents. And it was hard to be apart from my friends. We promised to stay in touched. But it still felt different. We got too busy with our own stuffs that we didn’t have any chance to meet at all. I have to study alone while everyone was tagging pictures on their school yearbook. I miss school pranks. I didn’t go to prom. But I regret nothing.

Being homeschooled didn’t alienate me. It forced me to get out of my little-shy-girl shell, I adapted to new situation, new environment. I met new friends, new people from different places, and of course, learned a lot of new things. I have a normal social life, maybe in even wider range than I could imagine. We choose our own path. I was wondering what if I chose different path than what I’m having now. I might haven’t find a way to overcome my shyness. I might never try to blog. I might never brave enough to take a step and start a business. I might have done something else. Who knows. The most important thing is, I enjoy every single decision I took, and never regretting any of them. Adapting from John Lennon’s sayings, I believe: the time you enjoy learning was not wasted. :)

me and my little brother, circa 2009. We were both homeschooled. :) 

PS. I also received some curious questions like “What’s making you ‘so busy’ until you decided to quit regular school?”, and some of them are cynically asking “Why are you taking homeschooling instead of regular school? Who do you think you are, some kind of celebrity?” I might ask you to get up from your couch, stop watching Indonesian’s infotainment and start googling. :)) Homeschooling doesn’t *only* belong to Indonesian’s celebrities and their kids. But that is one good alternative. In fact, Thomas Alva Edison was homeschooled too (no, he wasn’t a celebrity). He was homeschooled because the teacher said he was stupid and not like all other kids in the class. Well who knows that ‘difference’ was a sign of world’s famous inventor. :) most of all, be wise enough not to look down on people by their education level, because the most essential thing in any school is to find our passion, potencials & specialities on what we love, in any possible methods, because we are not a bunch of robots created to do the same thing. Each of us are unique, therefore there’s no exact determination of how smart or how stupid people are, the only measurement we can trust is how much are you willing to learn, because no man is too old or too smart to stop learning. :)

Anyway, here is one inspiring blogger I adore, which is also a mom of 4 lovely homeschooled kids, stalk her blog in the meantime!