3 Benefits of Growing up Homeschooled: An Adult’s Perspective

Years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would homeschool any children that I might have in the future. I replied “Of course!” without missing a beat, and she was very surprised. We talked briefly about my experience and why I had found it to be so beneficial, and it really seemed to impact her; she later ended up homeschooling her own daughter.

Make no mistake: Homeschooling is not for everyone. Being in a position where you have the time and resources to devote to it is a privilege many do not have, and since every child has different needs, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some people thrive in public school – and others, like myself, thrive through home education. While there is far more to discuss than I could cover in one article, there are three key benefits that I would point to in analyzing my own personal experience.

A photo of me reading and working on a project

Developing my Resume

Homeschooling had a direct impact on my career as an adult, because it gave me the ability to begin developing my professional resume at a very young age. As a child, I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up – even before I knew how to read! – so I started as early as I could. My first piece of published writing appeared in a homeschooling magazine, Growing Without Schooling, when I was 13. The following year, I applied for a job as a freelance writer for the community section of our local newspaper. They later offered me a position as the editor of their Leisure section, which I had to decline due to child labor laws since I was only 15 at the time. At 16, I served on the Editorial Board of Contributors for another local newspaper. Being homeschooled allowed enough flexibility in my schedule to be able to take these opportunities and build a strong portfolio before I was even an adult – and as my mom said at the time, “Working for a newspaper is a great writing class!”

A column I wrote when I was 15

Building Confidence

I’m always amused when people say that homeschooling is bad for children because they won’t have the opportunity to develop social skills. When I first started writing for the newspaper, my assignment was to cover what was happening in the community – which meant conducting interviews with local business owners as well as approaching total strangers on the street and asking them if they’d like to give a quote about local issues. Many adults would get nervous doing those things, never mind a 14-year-old girl, so this should give you an idea of how gregarious I have always been!

As an adult, I often write about entertainment and frequently travel to Hollywood and New York City to attend press conferences for new movies, where I interview actors such as Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron. People have marveled over my ability to be comfortable in these situations and remain calm and outgoing while talking to high-profile people, to which I would say that I am not confident in spite of being homeschooled – I have confidence specifically because of my experience being homeschooled!

Becoming a Self-Starter

One of the most valuable life skills that homeschooling imbued me with was the ability to be self-motivated and take the initiative in learning how to do things and solve problems; the inherent self-directed qualities in homeschooling set me up to cultivate this. My dad told me recently that a very satisfying moment for him was when I taught him how to use a computer in the 1990s. I was an early adopter of technology, and when our local library got a computer with the Internet, I started going there every day to get online. I taught myself everything that I know about computers – priceless skills that I now use every day in my job as an adult. I showed my dad how to use a computer and get online when I was in my early teens, and at that moment, he knew everything had come full circle: All the time he and my mom had invested in homeschooling me had paid off, as I now had the skills to learn things on my own and become a teacher to him.

Beeb Ashcroft
Beeb Ashcroft

Beeb Ashcroft is a freelance journalist and social media professional. A homeschool graduate, Beeb was educated in two countries, starting in her birthplace of England and finishing in the United States, where she immigrated in 1989. She currently lives on the Oregon coast with her husband, Jai, and their pet rabbit.

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