Homeschooling, also known as home education, is the education of school-aged children at home or in a place other than a conventional school. Certain parents prefer to homeschool their children for a variety of reasons, ranging from religious to social. I spoke to four Nigerians who were homeschooled about their experiences.
I was homeschooled for six years. It was an unconventional type of homeschooling. My curriculum was set by my curiosity and creativity. I read a lot of books — educational, theological, recreational etc. I was 9 when I entered secondary school in 1991 and 14 when I graduated.
I went to the University of Benin in 1999 and the University of Port Harcourt in 2000, but I dropped out of both because I was uninterested in getting a degree. I’m a versatile creative in arts, sciences and social sciences; I’m a visual artist, tech inventor/innovator and brand innovation consultant, which is a whole lot more than I can say for many different people who attended regular schools and have certification from tertiary education institutions.
The best part of being homeschooled was waking up anytime I wanted. My teacher came over and taught my siblings and me till it was lunchtime. After that, they’d give us assignments. Homeschooling is very student-oriented. There was plenty of time to concentrate on our weak areas.
I moved back to a regular school in Primary 5. I found it hard to make the switch to regular school because I needed a great deal of concentration to focus on the teacher if I wanted to understand. It also seemed like my classmates were constantly talking, making it hard for me to concentrate. I struggled to interact socially with my classmates, mainly because I’m introverted.
I was homeschooled for eight years. We used the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum so it was very different from public school. We learned at our own pace and didn’t have teachers but had supervisors instead who only guided our learning but didn’t actively teach.
Switching to conventional schooling did not suit me because teachers are usually untrained, frustrated and impatient. Generally speaking, they had no patience for slow learners who were nonetheless brilliant. They also were unable to spot issues affecting students’ learning processes, resorting to calling them lazy, stupid or outrightly beat them. Regardless, I did quite well. Learning on my own equipped me with the discipline and ability to solve problems and think for myself.
I was homeschooled for most of primary school. Waking up late in the morning and walking into the kitchen to eat breakfast was really nice but sometimes I used to envy children who were going to school dressed smartly in their uniforms. I also used to struggle to explain to people what homeschooling was whenever they asked me what school I went to. My circle of friends were limited because I only had my siblings and the people I attended church with to relate to.
Going from being homeschooled to attending a military secondary school was not a good transition and I struggled a little. Still, being homeschooled was a decent experience.
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