Can You Homeschool Yourself: My Daughter Tried

celena sketching

Are you thinking about homeschooling yourself or is your child thinking about this? Exploring new ways of education is a good idea sometimes. Let me share what my daughter tried.

It’s legal to homeschool yourself in the United States. A parent must submit a letter of intent to the school to officially withdraw. Be sure to confirm the legal reporting requirements and then then you can choose your methods and study by yourself. 

Homeschooling yourself is entirely possible and my daughter enjoyed the time she spent studying by herself. It may be a good solution in certain situations to explore other educational opportunities.  Let me explain our journey in homeschooling.

Homeschooling yourself is possible with the right preparation, mindset, and support. As we mentioned earlier, legally it is perfectly fine. All you need to do is contact your school and inform them that you are going to start homeschooling. Then you need to set some time aside to review the curriculum for your homeschooling. The next thing is to set a reasonable schedule for your subjects. Lastly, you should also make sure to have some time to socialize. Since you are homeschooling and you are not in a traditional school anymore there need to be some opportunities to meet and interact with other children.

My daughter chose to take one semester off and study by herself. She was planning to transfer to another High School. She felt she would be able to study some subjects that she had an interest in during this period. She had missed the cutoff date to enter a new high school so this is why she chose to do homeschooling in the interim. Her feelings about studying by herself were very practical. When somebody asked her how she felt about homeschooling she said it’s a good way to learn as long as you plan it and you follow your plan.

A Disciplined & Organized Student can Homeschool Easily

My daughter is 15 years old and she’s quite disciplined. She was on the track team for a few years and has very good work ethics. I believe these qualities were critical to her success and homeschooling by herself. Celena is very organized and mature. She’s disciplined because of her time on the track team. They learned about following through, teamwork, and personal development. It only works if you train hard. She has good work ethics and therefore could supervise her homeschooling progress.

In my daughter’s situation, she wanted to study by herself and selected her courses and books. Her interest was in history and social studies. She even studied and read a few psychology books. Celena reads about 2 additional books by herself every month. I did not have to spend much time to supervise her. If your child is mature and organized and very determined homeschooling is a very satisfying experience for them. And I was also very proud that she was able to do something like this all by herself. Of course, I supported her and if she had any questions I would be there to help her. She was on her own and she enjoyed her time homeschooling by herself. 

Explore New Hobbies as Well as Homeschooling Yourself

Cool Cassette Shop

Something interesting that my daughter did during her homeschooling was exploring a new hobby. During this time she was very interested in collecting old cassette tapes! She was also interested in antiques and did a lot of research into some very unique pieces. I thought this was pretty interesting because when I was a kid I liked antiques as well. Okay call me weird, maybe I was around a lot of antiques at my parent’s place. But nevertheless, my daughter showed an interest in a unique hobby and of course, I supported it. She got to learn about some old antiques and how to negotiate with the shop owner about how to purchase these pieces of art.

She also did a little study about old cassette players. She even hunted down an old Boombox from the 1980s. It was an old restored stereo cassette player and it was cool. It brought back some good memories. As she was homeschooling by herself, she was not only studying but also exploring new and interesting hobbies. She picked up many old cassettes and even found some old tapes for me like Eddie Money. Okay, now you know how old I am. But homeschooling can also be fun as well as educational.

old eddie money cassette
Old Eddie Money Cassette

Learned About Topics She Couldn’t Get in School By Herself

Celena learned about a few subjects that she was interested in. The first thing she studied was in European history. She felt this was something that she didn’t get in school but she still was very interested in Europe. She also learned some German the previous semester so I guess this piqued her interest. She also wanted to learn about social studies and specifically Urban Development. Yes, it sounds very grown-up but it was an interesting topic. For example, her teacher posed a question about what causes the property prices to be so high in a particular neighborhood.

The students had to come up with their own ideas about this topic. I thought it was pretty interesting and kind of an advanced topic. And why would kids want to know about this? Well, I’m not exactly sure but if she can learn something from it I feel that’s great. And this class was held on Saturday morning for 2 hours. I thought it was very impressive that she would get up early on a Saturday to join such a class. It showed her dedication and initiative to learn something all by herself. It kind of made me proud that she was learning something all by herself.

Lifelong Learning by Yourself is an Important Habit to Pick Up  

I’m not sure if my daughter will continue to do homeschooling in the future or not. But I do feel she is a life-long learner like myself. I joined Toastmasters in 2013 and I really consider it as a type of homeschooling myself. There are many different curriculum and Pathways to choose from. And you can learn how to develop your own speaking and Leadership qualities by yourself.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress

Frederick Douglass

And the most important part is you can learn at your own pace. I also introduced Khan Academy to my daughter and she was also very surprised about all of these online courses. And the most amazing part about it is it’s absolutely free. She was also amazed at the thought of an online curriculum. So I told her to try out some of the courses in her own spare time. I really do think she will take another course by herself.

Free Resources for Homeschooling Are All Around Us

The resources she used for most of her studies were basically just textbooks and books she borrowed from the library. She didn’t spend any money on anything except her new hobby. That was more expensive, about $110 for the old boombox and maybe around $50 for the old cassettes. She did take an urban planning course but that was a community-based class. It was free. 

Celena also found a few local lectures about some other topics like psychology and Urban Development. I think she just found these talks all by herself or from her friends and they were all free as well. Also there was a local old records and cassette shop it also put on a few different lectures. They discussed different types of music and some old cassette history. I only attended one of these lectures with her and it was pretty fun to hang out with the owner. He even gave me some old Elton John boxed set that he didn’t want anymore.

It Can be Lonely to Homeschool Yourself

celena eating by herself

One thing my daughter mentioned was that she did feel lonely at times. I think it was mainly because she was used to being around a lot of friends and other students in school. And she was also on the track team. After she finished Middle School she decided to take a break from track when she started High School. But then she decided to switch to a new high school because she felt the school focused too much on architecture. The school was a German-based vocational curriculum focused on apprenticeship and architecture. They learned everything starting from the materials and how to build a house from wood all by hand.

Of course, we were very supportive and we weren’t sure this was the right decision but she wanted to give it a try. After she found out it was not for her she started to homeschool. So she also made some other arrangements and she was quite free. She got to go out during the daytime by herself to explore. She just hopped on the bus or the subway system and she did a lot of exploring by herself. Celena said it was very fun at times to be so independent. She does enjoy being with her friends and it was lonely when she was at her desk studying by herself. But this is just one of those things that might happen when you homeschool yourself.

Learn some surprising ways to combat homeschooling and loneliness here.

Robert Dad

I'm Robert "Daddy" Macias the father of 3 wonderful kids. I am embarking on a new journey of homeschooling and green living. I realized my wife and mothers all over the world were doing this all by themselves. So I realized as a dad, I must jump into action!

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