Find out what one student says about the difference between homeschool and public school

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be homeschooled — or if you’re a homeschooler, what it’s like to go to public school? Well, today I’m going to tell you about my experiences with both! 

My name is Hannah McDole. I go to Warren High School. But I didn’t always. In fact- I spent most of my high school and middle school life as a homeschooler. Switching after all those years of being homeschooled sounds scary and it is, but it is also very rewarding. Looking back, I am glad I was able to do both. I feel that it has shaped me as a person and has opened my mind.

Homeschooling Through The Years

In middle school, I attended a private Christian school for a few years off and on. I went back and forth -in a limbo-  while my parents tried many different homeschooling methods. Finally, when I reached high school, we settled on one called “ACE.” I wasn’t a fan of homeschooling, though it had its perks. We could do amazing things like, sleep in, skip days only to cram it all into a work filled weekend. I could stop whatever I was doing and go out and play for an hour and come back. I had no set schedule. Despite all of it, When I was little I was a social butterfly. I wanted to go out and do things and take part in everything. When you’re homeschooled, doing those things becomes…difficult.

My entry to High School

My whole life I’ve wanted to be in public school. I felt like I was constantly missing out on so much. Alas, my parents forbade it. However, I was still very interested. So I got my information on what high school is like from my friends, family, and movies. I’m not joking on that last part. By the time I was in the middle of my junior year, my Mom told us that some of my siblings were going to public school. I was shocked and a little bit jealous. I had always wanted to go, but the others did not.

When I asked my Mom about it, she told me I wouldn’t like it. Alas, the opportunity to meet new people and try new things was right there. So after much convincing, my parents agreed and off I went.

My First Day

Well, I’m not one for admitting when my Mom is right. But she was definitely right — at least in the beginning. On my first day of school, it was raining hard. While I was walking to the bus, unknown to me, my bag –and everything in it — was soaked. Nevertheless, I charged ahead. When I walked into the school for the first time, I felt like I was punched with reality. Later, I would tell people I had a “culture shock.” There were way too many people — or at least that’s what I thought. I couldn’t navigate with all the people. Then the bell rang. And that’s about when my stomach dropped.

Robotic Hallways

Apparently, there are two sides of hallways — one with people flowing one way and — the other side for people flowing the other way. I, unfortunately, did not get this memo. I was quickly thrown in and tried to follow along with the other students’ robotic movements. This was amazing to me.  This had to have been hard-wired into their brains. Once you got to walking, the flow of people never stopped. I was so busy looking around at all the people that it occurred to me I wasn’t really sure where I was going. So I jumped out of the robotic line and wandered around. I went to several classes before they directed me to guidance. Once there, with the schedule they gave me in hand, I felt much much better. So I left their office confident I could find my class on my own. Big mistake.

How it All Turned Out

Do you know about those mice that have to go through a maze to find cheese? Finding my class was like that, only they didn’t give me any cheese. The school was huge and I was very overwhelmed. By the end of the day, I was tired and shell shocked. However, as the days went on, I got better at “doing high school,” and I even started branching out. By the time school ended, I was ready to go back the next year. Although that first couple of days were pretty bad, they were also great. All my teachers pitched in and helped me get from class to class. The students helped. Everyone was more than willing to lend a hand. I love my time at Warren High School and enjoy all the memories I made and will make.