I was just working on biology late at night (yeah, I know) and thinking about how this experience differs from science class at a regular school. When most people think about the differences between homeschooling and regular schooling, all they can think of is “oh no, socialization!” That said, I came home from seeing a movie with a friend who’s my age and regular-schooled, and then I got inspired to work on biology. Amazing, right?
One of the things I noticed about homeschooling today is that I’m moving through biology curriculum very fast even though I was one of the slowest students in my old science classes. There are a few reasons for this.
1. There is no homework versus schoolwork divide. My curriculum occasionally assigns videos, but mostly just lets me read the materials on my own. That means that instead of spending 45-90 minutes listening to someone lecture or having those rich “discussions” teachers are so fond of where students awkwardly pretend to have read, I just read the stuff and that’s it. Homework time is class time.
2. I can complete one class worth of work in uninterrupted blocks. If I’m on a roll with Biology, I don’t have to pause to go to Algebra. I can keep working on biology until I finish a unit if I want to, so long as I plan it out right.
3. A lot of the random, pointless stuff that takes up class time doesn’t happen for home school students. Imagine how much faster school would go if the teacher didn’t have to beg David to sit down or ask religious Joshua to stop yelling “IN THEORY!!!!” every time she mentioned evolution (in spite of her best efforts to be balanced and offer religious perspectives to appease some of these people). Imagine if lunch didn’t cut into your class period, meaning you had to deal with 10 minutes of everyone anxiously staring at the clock, followed by another five minutes (at least) of “I dismiss you, not the bell,” and then another 5-10 minutes of “settling down” once the class resumes.
4. Going at your own pace is always faster in a way. If you get behind in school, you will not understand the lectures AT ALL and then you’ll have to catch up and THEN re-learn the current material since you were too behind to understand it when it was taught in class. Obviously that’s awful, and it’s nice to avoid it.
Honestly, the part where I’d end up behind and then get NOTHING from the lectures AND have to struggle to catch up was the biggest time-waster in school. Not having to do that saves me an awful lot of time now. I need all the time I can get.