Junior reflects on past homeschooling

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Illustration by Claire DePree

A big change for Studstill was the way her education changed from being more individual to being more group centered. “When you’re home-schooled you can decide how long you’re going to spend doing a subject,” Studstill said. “In [public] school you have a set number of things you have to do.”

Junior Natalie Studstill was home-schooled for seven years before she made the move to Renfroe in eighth grade. “I wanted to go really early on but my mom was more hesitant,” she said.

Studstill attended kindergarten at Decatur Presbyterian church, but took her education home for first grade. “One of the reasons [for home-schooling] was that my parents weren’t sure where I would go to school because we lived in Avondale,” she said. “They also didn’t want to move houses at that point.”

Eventually, the family moved into Decatur during spring break of Studstill’s freshman year, but had been looking at houses in town for the first three moths after the transition from home-schooling to public school.

In choosing between private and public schooling, “Neither of my parents had gone to private school so we weren’t really considering that,” Studstill said.

The family used their resources to figure out a good school for Studstill and her siblings. “A lot of people we knew from church went to Decatur,” she said. It made sense to go somewhere within a shared community.

In terms of education, public school was much less centered  around the individual. “The biggest shock was one kid could slow a class down,” Studstill said. “I used move at my own speed at home. In a classroom all it took was one kid being confused, and the teacher would stop everyone to explain.”

The way learning was structured also differed fundamentally between the two. “When you’re home-schooled you can decide how long you’re going to spend doing a subject,” Studstill said. “In  [public] school you have a set number of things you have to do. The sooner you accept that the easier it is.”

After her years in the public school system, Studstill’s change wasn’t limited only to academics. “I’m a lot more open minded and flexible now,” she said. “I guess being around so many different people really changed me.”