Written by Abby Kilgore, APSU Public Relations Major
Communicating as a homeschooler has always been interesting. Anytime you tell someone that you are homeschooled, there are a few routine responses. First, people always ask if you do school in your pajamas. The answer is yes, sometimes I did. Next, people act surprised that you can talk to them, because homeschoolers do not get “socialized.” I always found this amusing growing up. Until college, I never went to public school. Somehow, I managed to learn how to communicate and how to love the art of public speaking. I did this all as an “un-socialized” homeschooler.
In middle school, 4-H public speaking contests were always fun. One speech was on a shark and another on my pet dog. The possibilities were endless; I loved having the floor and feeling the power words can give you. The subject matter got more involved and personal, as I grew older.
One speech, in particular, stands out. I presented on euthanasia for an organization. The research and interviews I did pushed me to consider how I felt about the topic. A wonderful older woman, who is a dear friend of mine, ultimately became my inspiration for the presentation. I’ll never forget thinking, wow, Abby, this, matters. My words and how I convey them can persuade people to change their ways of thinking. Before this speech, I had always enjoyed public speaking, but this made me love it and realize its importance.
Now on to being an “un-socialized” homeschooler, I was involved in so many different things that I did not have a chance not to socialize. People who go to public school can have just as much trouble communicating, as those who are homeschooled. Most of it depends on the personality of the person.
In high school, speech and debate along with sports and various clubs kept me well socialized and busy. There are exceptions. There are homeschoolers who do not get out of their homes and may have trouble with this. However, it is not something anyone should ever worry about, if deciding to homeschool.
Effective communication transcends boundaries. It does not matter if you are homeschooled or attend a public school. I learned how to communicate and relate to others as a homeschooled student. I communicated and researched ideas that challenged me. The barriers of education can be dissolved with quality communication. That is what I love about the subject. It changes the way people think. It calls people to action. It matters.