When your home doubles as school




There are ups and downs that come with being homeschooled, as I was from third grade on.

The benefits:

It made me an independent person.

It let me take my education at the pace I wanted.

It gave me library days every week, in addition to allowing me to go the park and to roller skate every month. 

These were all nice, and they were made even nicer because we were allowed to do our homework in our PJs. 

But there were downsides, too.

I am shy, because of the lack of contact with many kids my age. 

I  second guess myself a lot, and I frequently compare myself to my peers.  

Another downside is that I graduated and started attending college never knowing how to take a standardized test.  

The first time I used a Scantron was my freshman year at Macomb Community College.

It was for the first exam for my intro to psychology class.

I had been extremely excited – and extremely nervous.

It was to be my first exam on the subject that I had been in love with since I was a young teenager.

I felt I had something to prove after being homeschooled.  

For weeks, I studied the first three chapters of the book back and forth until I could recite every single definition word for word. I felt scared but confident.  

I took the exam and waited ever so impatiently until 7 p.m. rolled around.

The results were in.

I had gotten a C.

To say I was devastated was an understatement.

I felt stupid, as if I would never stack up against my peers who had gotten a traditional education. 

Then I got an email from my professor.

She said that she wanted to see me in the hallway before class started again on Thursday.  

The first thing she said when we walked out into the hallway was, “Why did you only answer 70 questions? You got every question right. I’m confused on why you stopped.”

This is when I discovered that – apparently – there was a front and back to the Scantron, putting the total number of questions at 100 instead of 70. 

I was so happy I could have died.  

I wasn’t the dumb homeschooler, after all.

I was smart – or, at least, smart enough to get 70 questions right in a row.  

Knowing this made me feel eons better about myself and the things I was capable of.  

It also taught me a lesson about being kinder to myself.

Granted, I should’ve been doing that in the first place. 

But sometimes you just need to be homeschooled your whole life only to get a C on your first exam to realize that.