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Returning to school guide

Whatever your reasons here are some things to consider.

A helpful guide for Homeschooled kids going to school

by Faith

My experience with school was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions. One day I would be super excited and motivated, and the next I would be in the corner debating my decision to go.

When I decided I wanted to try out school, I was ecstatic, so intrigued with the idea; I had no idea what to expect. Being previously homeschooled it was always a one to one lesson. I would go at my own pace and learn how, I felt, was best for me. At school this wasn’t the case, I felt like everything was tailored to the weakest players in the class, so naturally, things got boring quickly. I found out that, apart from being boring, it was also somewhat easier in the academical aspect, because half the lesson would be spent talking or getting the register done. There was more to do by myself in the form of homework, but this was natural for me and so this wasn’t the struggling part.

Starting in year ten was difficult, but not impossible. Thankfully I already knew a few people from the school and was friends with them, although I still found it overwhelming having to be around so many strangers all the time.

Whether it is your choice, or you’re being made to go to school, you must be prepared for a very different environment. When you’re homeschooled all the focus is on you, and all the lessons are what’s best for you, in school it is very generalised. It may be harder, or you may find it easier. If it is tough, you shouldn’t worry because you can always do extra at home.

There are many people at school and you are going to be faced with group projects and class presentations. Be prepared to have to do this and get over the anxiety it may bring. If you are an over the top extrovert, or a shy introvert, there will be things you are not comfortable with and the best advice I can give you for that is to accept it and to keep going.

School is going to get tough and you’re probably going to want to give up, but don’t, stay strong.

I think school could help you better prepare for GCSEs because the teachers have more knowledge and experience of what is needed to pass.

In school there’s so many new people. Socialising with others, and being able to communicate efficiently, will help you with your later life, and be good for things like job interviews. It is also a good way to meet lots of different people you possibly wouldn’t have met at home.

Although socialising is important, it can also be daunting, if it is, be a spy instead. This worked for me! Whenever I got overwhelmed or nervous, I would pretend I was on a secret mission and I had to collected data and report back to base with it. This helped with the crowds and gave me something to do when I got bored.

You’re going to be very interesting to many of the kids there because of your previous homeschooled background, and they will want to know all about you. Probably no one at school will have any experience with homeschooling and they will ask you many questions. I found this quite annoying but I suppose its understandable, although I never expected it to be such a cause of curiosity.

If you’re lacking the motivation and aren’t feeling great about school, then here are some tips and tricks that Sarah and I have put together to help you:

    • Talk to your parents so they know how you feel, don’t keep your feelings to yourself
    • Get involved in helping deciding which school you would like to go to
    • If you think it would help ask the school for another child to act as a mentor
    • The environment is pretty daunting, get a map and do a few visits prior to going, plot out where you will be having your lessons so you can get to grips with the routes.
    • Sitting still, you have to sit a lot! You may not be used to this, try sitting at home for 45-50 mins while you do some work to get used to it.
    • Presentations can feel awful but can be a good lifeskill, try them out at home if you can as a rehearsal, even if it is just in-front of the mirror. Record yourself to see how loud and clear you sound.
    • Testing is something that happens a lot! You need to understand the way the system work and that you will be compared against children of the same age, try not to worry and focus on yourself as long as you are making progress that all that matters!
    • Exams take a lot of work, if you are home schooling you need to be aware of how much work and plan way before you intend to do them.
    • Large groups can feel strange, a bit daunting. Get ready for it by attending some groups prior to going to school.
    • Buy some stationery, this will get you into the school, homework mind set and its just fun.
    • Get a folder and some dividers, (preferably a big one) so that you can organise your homework in an orderly fashion so it doesn’t overwhelm you.
    • Keep reminding yourself that when you have passed all of your GCSEs it will have all been worth it, you’ll be proud of yourself for sticking with it.
    • Dramas are a no-go zone. Don’t get in the middle of a drama, it will just end badly for everyone, and it’ll distract you from what you’re really there to do.
    • Good sleep is the perfect way to rest your brain so that it will work properly and efficiently.
    • Lastly, make set time in your free time to do your homework with a timetable, stick to your schedule. I promise it will pay off in the end when you don’t have to cram before exams.

Homegrownlearning’s Podcast episode 9 Interview with Faith, What is homeschooling like for young people?

Available through the website www.homegrownlearning.co.uk or on Apple and Spotify under Homegrownlearning’s Podcast