The biggest negative effect would probably be loneliness, a tendency to be antisocial, having few people who understand what I did and why I did it and who did not think I was some kind of freak!
Is there anything that you missed about regular school?
Yes. The daily interaction with friends. And the guidance that a good teacher can offer you.
The ironic fact was that once I’d finally found something I was fascinated with, enjoyed studying, wanted to discuss and debate on – there was nobody to do it with! I relied on internet friends, libraries, outside jobs, etc. to ensure I didn’t turn into a hermit!
How did you like the move bac k to institution-led learning, now that you are in college?
I was very eager to start college. I looked forward to meeting more people my own age again, and having a higher, deeper form of education with teachers, who were just as passionate about the subject as I was, guiding me.
It has been three years since I was last in a classroom. I find the fixed schedules unusual and they will take some getting used to! However, I have made friends, and have a wonderful faculty.
But my one grouse about returning to the system is that while I had hoped the Bachelor Level would yield a better, more challenging, interactive syllabus, I was sorely mistaken. Mumbai University’s BA syllabus is constrictive, narrow in outlook and often disappointingly superficial.
Would you recommend homeschoolingfor others?
I think the skills and self-confidence that I received from having no one to rely on but myself are invaluable advantages of the homeschooling system. The ability to self-teach, learn from scratch how to do research, to create your own motivations and rewards are things I would never have learnt to do otherwise.
In that regard, I would recommend homeschooling at some point in life for everyone!
However, it’s not always easy. I had some really bad patches. I had to completely restructure the way I thought, studied and wrote because the two Boards were so different in outlook. Perhaps it was more difficult because I dropped out of mainstream education so late. At the end of the day, I will never regret the decision I made. I think it has helped vastly in making me the person I am today.