On Homeschooling with Henry Kindler

It’s a well known fact that transferring into high school is not the easiest task in the world. Incoming freshmen are often unaware of the format of the school and the differences in schedule is also very stressful and challenging… or at least I assume. I never dealt with this because I didn’t come into Kennebunk High School as a freshman. I transferred in this year, as a junior after being homeschooled my entire life. While this of course has its challenges I really can’t give a full overview of the difficulties a homeschooled transfer student faces coming into high school since I’ve only been here for two months. However, I was able to interview my friend, Henry Kindler, who also was homeschooled his entire life and transferred into Kennebunk his junior year as well. Being a senior, he’s had a full year’s experience and makes a better candidate than myself to talk about this subject. Here’s what he had to say:


How does homeschooling differ from KHS?

It’s very different. The biggest difference is homework. The school is structured so you have to be in classes all day then do homework into the late afternoon and evening. You’re also surrounded by people all day which has its pros and cons. It’s great to see your friends, but at the same time you’re always in social mode and that’s exhausting.


Was the transition difficult? If so, what factors contributed to making it difficult?

YES muy dificil!! I had no idea what to expect, so I was not prepared, I was basically going in blind. Waking up earlier was definitely difficult as well as actually having a structured schedule, having to be some place at a specific time.  


Do you feel you would have transitioned better going in as a freshman?

No. I was not mature enough as a freshman and I did not have the self- confidence I have now which I gained while completing freshman and sophomore year through homeschooling. I was in a much better position to make a huge transition junior year then I would’ve been freshman year.


Did you feel pressure to take higher-level classes coming in as a junior?

I didn’t feel any pressure from my guidance counselors, I was more pressuring myself. When talking to my friends about their higher level classes I maybe felt that I should be taking higher-level classes to prove that I actually learned things while I was homeschooled, which I did by the way.


Do you feel like you’re learning more at KHS than you did when you were homeschooled?

No. In my opinion, learning from the same teacher who’s had you for ten straight years and knows your learning style better than you do yourself, is going to be more efficient than learning things from six different teachers you just met. Teachers here also face the difficulty of teaching multiple students at once, which is obviously a struggle. 


Homework… Thoughts?

No. I don’t particularly enjoy doing homework but I do think it’s needed because it does help you practice and develop skills. To me, that’s how public school makes up for the multiple students and multiple teachers problem. You have to spend more time on subjects yourself working out things that are difficult specifically to you to learn at the same rate. 


Would you rather be homeschooled or in public school?

Right now I’d rather be in public school. I chose to come to public school because I knew I would face similar lifestyle changes in college and I wanted to be more prepared and get a head start on these challenges while I was still at home. With this being said, I’m still very glad that I did ten years of homeschooling when I did because that was what was right for me at the time. 


As Henry explains, homeschoolers face their own sets of difficulties while transferring into high school and of course these difficulties vary from person to person. So far, I agree and relate to Henry’s struggles. Workload, as well as the overall schedule and time management shift, is difficult. However, in my experience, both the staff and students at KHS have proven to be kind and helpful which made the transition much easier.