My homeschool experience was a mixed bag, like most of my childhood.
I keep starting and leaving my homeschool story. My homeschool experience was as complicated as my parents were. Sometimes great, sometimes painful, leaving me prepared for the world in some ways and set back in others.
I got a great score on the ACT, but on the other hand my knowledge of what scientists *actually* believe about evolution was next to nothing coming out of high school. I thrived in college history classes, but on the other hand my knowledge of ancient history cuts out the entire prehistoric era because the makers of my ancient history curriculum believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, and my modern history had a strong Reconstructionist bias.
I read a ton of great books but had very little guided reading of literature.
I spent plenty of time with people of all ages, as my family chose other families to be friends with, but on the other hand have very little knowledge about how to make friends on my own, within my peer group. (one of those family friends is my husband, Luke, so there’s a big ‘pro’there.)
Despite these gaps, my education prepared me for life in one huge way — i mostly taught myself from books. I learned to research, to teach myself anything I wanted or needed to know. I can use books and the internet to fill in any educational gaps.
I even found a group of friends ready to welcome me when i became an agnostic by searching for atheist meetups on google!
As the oldest daughter, second child, of 7 children (now 8) I learned to take care of the house and children. I learned to manage my own schedule and fit in learning around taking care of very, very fussy babies and helping with chores. It may not have been the ideal situation, to homeschool under a hormonal and often pregnant mother, but I learned a lot about myself and my ability to work and help with children. I was able to help my mom through some difficult times, too.
My parents were demanding and often difficult to please, but I learned things even from that.
I might want to change aspects of my past, but all I can really change is my present, and my homeschool education helped give me the tools to do that. I can also change other people’s present, and my education gave me the sympathy and tools to help and love other children who may feel alone.
I think life is full of good and bad, and we can learn from the negative as well as the positive. We can, sometimes, change our past and make it a positive, by changing our current outlook on it; although it might take a lot of love and therapy. In the end I am not a product just of my homeschool education and my childhood, i am a product of myself, and what I choose to make of myself with the resources at my disposal.