Recently I've found that a lot of people are saying that they'd like to start being home schooled instead of the traditional classroom style learning. A few of those people think that online schooling is just your parent/guardian handing you books, teaching you shit, and then letting you go do whatever you want. Most home schooling is actually done through the internet these days, and although there is more flexibility, you still can't just do the work whenever you feel like it.
I was enrolled in an online academy for a few months, and I was disappointed to find out that it was nothing like what I expected. We had a certain amount of hours we had to be on the site working, we had to do virtual classroom sessions at a scheduled time, and we had to keep up with the work or it would pile up way faster than in traditional school. We also had timed tests where our browsers could detect other tabs open (so we couldn't use google to cheat, which I was guilty of doing on the classwork at times.)
Not only were there a lot of things that online schooling threw at me, but when you're enrolled in an online academy there's a good chance that you'll only speak with a teacher a couple of times a week. Don't get me wrong, you can communicate with a teacher by phone or message, but you still won't be getting a full lesson like most teachers give, and you'll have less of a guiding hand to lead you through work. You have to do a lot of reading (A LOT!!!), and a lot of practice work. You may even be required to look up some additional info on your own. People who need extra guidance or need to see something demonstrated/explained more deeply should definitely rethink being home schooled.
Another misconception that some people have about online schooling is that they won't need text books. Au contraire my friend. Some online schools will ship you tons of books. I had six huge text books sent to me! I mean, I never touched them, but that's probably why my grade sucked while I used the program... Woopsy. If you loathe textbooks, don't expect to escape them by joining an online academy! The books will always find you!
My main issue with home schooling was the fact that I went totally stir crazy. I had no one to talk to, and I never had an excuse to leave the house. Previously, my only outings were the trip to and from school. I wanted to join an online academy to escape socialization and be alone, but I quickly started to miss being around other people. It gets really lonely when you don't get to socialize, even if you don't particularly like people. Extroverts probably won't enjoy home schooling much, but introverts should be fine with it for the most part.
Being forced to use the computer for 4+ hours a day can really make you hate technology. You don't get to play any games or chat up friends during your class work time (unless you're cool with missing a ton of information), so the four hours of work i soooooooooo boring. I didn't even want to check GaG while I was enrolled in online school. That's how much I started to dislike my computer. If you have a short attention span or just get bored easily, online school will drive you nuts.
One of my other issues with home schooling was the pace. My teachers would upload a new assignment every day, and since there wasn't a timed lesson planned, I was often stuck in place for an hour per class. Imagine having to read through textbooks, watch informational videos, and completing several assignments a day for eight classes each day with no time limit set for how long teachers can keep you busy. I couldn't jut work for the four required hours and finish it all, but I would get so mentally exhausted that I'd save some work for the next day. That was a bad idea, because then the work just started to pile up. Not all schools will be like this, and the pace could have just been my own speed at working, so don't let this discourage you! If you're a generally fast worker who can pick up on things quickly, you'll breeze right through!
All in all, home schooling just wasn't as great as I had expected it to be. I did get more flexible time, but I didn't learn a thing. I have a short attention span, so I really couldn't focus on my work. I'd skim paragraphs, and since I was forced into all honors classes, not knowing the right info caught up to me quickly on tests. My grades slipped more in online school than they ever have in traditionally schools.
Online schooling is a great alternative for people with social problems/anxiety, people with jobs, or even people with children who can't be away from home too long. You just need to enter the program knowing exactly what to expect. I may be a bit biased, as I didn't get accepted into the program I entered until a month into the school year (then had work just piled up to speed through until I caught up), so do some research for yourself before just taking my opinion as fact. Home schooling isn't all bad, I swear! You just have to keep up with your work and know that you have some rules just like any school does. Good luck with your schooling journeys, my friends, and I hope you find the education that's best for you!