The Homebound Experience

The Homebound Experience

Affordable alternatives to the traditional school experience should be readily accessible.

For many students, anxiety and fear of socialization make a strong impact on the quality of their high school career. According to NIMH, “An estimated 31.9% of adolescents had any anxiety disorder. Of adolescents with any anxiety disorder, an estimated 8.3% had severe impairment.” Many others outside of this percentage also struggle to keep up with the social aspect of school.

Regarding the NIMH study, I would consider myself part of the 8.3% of all adolescents facing severe impairment. This means that anxiety and socializing strongly hinder my ability to function in a public school setting. 

Throughout most of my schooling experience, I’ve feared all social interactions. Presentations, crowded halls, and making friends all scared me from a young age. Because of this, I opted for homebound learning, as it seemed like the most realistic option considering I’d gone down this route in the middle of the school year. 

Homebound learning allows a student to learn from home, and must be given out by law when proven necessary. Even though it’s been extremely helpful, it’s not something I’m able to stick with for the rest of my high school career, leaving me wondering what else I can do. This has made me realize the importance of affordable alternative schools for those who don’t learn well in a typical school setting. 

As I’ve only lived in Virginia for a couple of years, I’d immediately noticed how limited schooling options here are in comparison to what I’d seen growing up in California. Despite researching numerous programs and education laws, very few accredited and affordable schooling options came up, especially for highschool students. There are quite a few legal options for high school homeschooling, however I’ve noticed earning class credits and a high school diploma are unfairly complicated, and often they are denied to those who learn from home. Choices for those who have social or learning differences are shockingly slim, and something must be done. 

My experiences with learning from home have opened my eyes to many issues regarding homeschooling in the state of Virginia. It’s important to bring awareness towards these issues so that more high school students are able to learn in their own way without being hindered by social hurdles. I believe the fight towards inclusive education is essential now more than ever.