I was homeschooled until around middle school age (6th grade) then I went to public school. My mom has a degree in teaching and she had a bad experience with the public school system as a teacher (even though we lived in a pretty affluent area with supposedly great schools). So I think her decision to homeschool me and my siblings was a bit of a knee jerk reaction.
When I was younger, I enjoyed it because I didn’t know any different. I was in a home school group with other kids, so it was in a way like our own little school. There were different age levels naturally and different parents (all moms) had their own specialty area. It was pretty strict in that there were certain hours that we went to “school”; somedays it was at my house and other days at other people’s. We did go on field trips but not a ton.
As I got older and more involved in sports, I really missed having the same experiences that the other kids did. They would talk about school and I felt so left out. I’m a pretty social kid so I began to feel very isolated and suffocated. Plus, I still encountered things that you would at every other school such as bullying. I had a very small group of friends (like 2) and yearned to meet more people.
My mom agreed to put us in the public school mainly because my sister was older and high school age and really wanted to have a real high school experience, both good and bad. Plus, she had started a new career a few years prior that was taking off (by then we were taught by the other moms). My youngest brother was 3rd grade when he went. He probably had the most trouble adjusting at first because he was a bit behind the other kids, which my mom didn’t notice at first because she gave more of the subjects to the other moms and the other moms, with no formal teaching education, did not know what to look for. My mom tutored him at night and he caught up fairly quickly. My brother’s teachers were great in helping him get caught up and realized exactly what he needed, something the home schooled moms did not.
My siblings and I are all very social but there were several kids in my group that were not and from what I hear, still are very socially awkward to this day. Home schooling is a very sheltered experience and I honestly believe you cannot learn to work with others unless you have than experience. Just “learning” about things isn’t enough. I cannot harp enough on the social aspect of it.
Now that’s not to say in some instances, home schooling can be good. If your child has a learning disability, it can be helpful especially in those early years. If your school system is terrible, it may be a good choice. However, in this day and age, so much is taught on the computer and I have heard of too many people that just plop their kids in front of the computer all day and call it “home schooling”. Even the youngest classes are taught on line (obviously that wasn’t available when I was young). I have also heard a lot of people home schooling because of religious reasons which I don’t agree with either.
Needless to say, I will not be homeschooling my future kids. I do not have an education degree so I want to defer that to the actual educators that have dedicated their lives to this. That’s not to say I cannot supplement, but I think that’s something all parents should do. I wouldn’t say my experience was terrible at first, but as I got older, I hated it and I wouldn’t put my kids through that.
Just my 2 cents.