I've been out of high school for 2 weeks and 3 days now. I don't think it has really hit me yet, or if it ever will, that I'm officially done with that cute little place we call PHS... One of these days I'll be out buying kitchen supplies, or laundry detergent, and it will occur to me that I'm really moving on with my life. One of these days...
Until then, I'll just act like I know what I'm doing with myself. I don't have any commitments except work and various family/church obligations, so my life feels kind of...empty. I feel like I need to start a project or something. Take a class. *Gasp!* I know...I'm thinking about educating myself...on purpose?!
Then again...that's really how my whole educational experience has been. My mom pulled my siblings and me out of grade school after I finished the 5th grade, and she home schooled us for four years, give or take. I honestly learned more in those four years than I've learned before or since. I didn't necessarily learn more facts or knowledge or skills, but I learned one thing that would become one of the most valuable pieces of knowledge I would ever have. I learned that my education is my own. Just because the state requires that we send children from 5-18 to school doesn't mean that it's the state's responsibility to educate them. They may require them to go to school, but they can't force a child to learn. There have probably been more students than the state would admit that went through 13 years of school and didn't learn a thing. That's why I was so grateful for my insightful mother, that saw how much school was getting in the way of my education. Those four years did me a world of good. During those four years of home schooling, I was given the liberty to study whatever it was I wanted. Anything I was interested in. Just think of the possibilities...
At first, I didn't want to study anything. If I got to choose, then I'd choose to study nothing. I think anyone right out of public school would have done the same thing. And then, after a few months of learning about paper airplanes, or building a makeshift stage in our basement and putting on shows for the family, I began to see how fun learning could be. I began to realize that school wasn't all about memorizing facts and dates of what happened when, but that it was more about applying myself and becoming something.
That's when my education became my own. I could now see how valuable education was, and that it wasn't going to happen unless I did it myself. Not just because I was home schooled and that there wasn't a teacher there to spoon feed me, but because no matter how many hours I spent in a classroom, I wouldn't learn a thing unless I chose to. I wouldn't learn a thing until I invested myself in what was being taught.
Education can't just happen on the outside. It's got to be internalized before it can really become a part of us. We can go to school for 13+ years and not learn a thing until we open up our eyes, ears, and hearts to what's being taught. Learning to love learning made this so much easier. Events like the revolutionary war weren't just a bunch of names and dates on a page anymore. They were things that really happened. That war was a real nation of real people doing their best to defend themselves and their families. It really did happen.
So, my education became more of an adventure, a quest for knowledge, instead of some dry, boring thing that I "had" to do or the state would come looking for me...or...something like that.
Those four years were some of the most valuable of my life. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Yeah, it was "weird" to be a home schooler. I honestly didn't have a ton of friends during that time. Most of the people I interacted with were other home schoolers that were just as "weird" as I was. Okay, I wasn't really that weird. It just seemed that every time someone found out that I was home schooled, there was some little switch that flipped inside their head that said, 'Wait a second, I can't be talking to you. You're one of those "weird" people with no social life. Is it even legal for me to be talking to you right now?'
So I like to exaggerate a little. Sue me.
Not really...I don't really ever want to be sued. The point is, those four years were worth all the 'trials and persecutions' in the world, and I wouldn't trade them for the world, because my education is now really, truly, my education.
Thanks mom for pulling me out of school and turning me into a social misfit. ;) I couldn't be more grateful. Really. :)
Have a nice day, eh?