Homeschooling Then vs. Homeschooling Now

I was homeschooled Back In The Day. The days of the ‘80s and ‘90s. When Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston ruled the charts, My Little Ponies were brand new, we pegged our acid wash jeans, and the internet hadn’t been invented yet.

Homeschooling Now you have the best of the best in curricula choices. Endless varieties to suit your style, your needs, your budgets, your religion, your every whim. Homeschooling Then you had a Trapper Keeper and a Saxon math book, and maybe some of those pencils you begged your mom for: the plastic tube kind that had a dozen tiny pencil leads in little pink capsules that you lined up and could rotate around. Lose just one of those capsules (likely to be sucked up in Mom’s Rainbow vacuum) and you were screwed. And if you wanted an answer to something you had to write an essay about? You looked it up in the 1974 Worldbook Encyclopedia set that was missing the “N” volume. No Google. Seriously, homeschooling whippersnappers of today, respect your elders. We graduated without Google.

Homeschooling Now you have tons of support and peer groups who are doing the same thing. It’s not weird at all anymore to homeschool, unschool, whathaveyou. Homeschooling Then … well, let’s just say if you found another weirdo like you, you flew on angel’s wings to their side, where you embraced fervently, wept appropriately, and promised to be best friends forever (and you still are). Your Homeschool Club consisted of five kids, and four of them were your siblings.

Homeschooling Now they have Homeschool Proms and Homeschool Yearbooks. Homeschooling Then you had no such things. I mean, sure, I was Valedictorian, Homecoming Queen, and won the school talent show every year running … but yeah. I was homeschooled. My sister wasn’t much for competitions. Also, she was six.

Homeschooling Now no one bats an eye when kids run amuck during school hours. Homeschooling Then I cannot even tell you how many times I had to explain to some well-meaning stranger that I didn’t go to school. And it was legal. Yes, I was sure. No, they didn’t need to call my mom. No, I am not making this homeschooling thing up, I swear, ma’am.

Homeschooling Now the homeschoolers can take part in public school sports, or state wide testing, or go to school part-time for violin or whathaveyou. Homeschooling Then they might let you in, but you had to sit with the other outskirts: the jock, the nerd, the cheerleader, and the goth. No, wait. That’s The Breakfast Club.

Homeschooling Now consists of personal laptops, pop-up online professors at your disposal, co- ops, and endless help from the community. Homeschooling Then meant if you needed help with something you went to Mom and if she didn’t know, you biked yourself to the library to borrow the “N” volume.

And did I mention there was no google?