Homebound. Sounds great, right? It’s accessible for those with a medical condition preventing them from being at school. You work one on one with a teacher. It’s even only an hour a day, in your own home. It doesn’t get much better than that, right?
It does, infinitely. Homebound, though convenient for staying in school, lacks the entire social element of high school. At first it seems like it’ll be similar to summer. You can just make plans with people when everyone has time, but that is the struggle. No one has the time that you do. All these people have somewhere to be for seven hours a day. Many work or have clubs, sports, or family commitments after school ends. They have their own lives, too.
Your education does benefit in some ways. I’m a junior and it’s the hardest year. Having individualized help definitely adds to my learning. I’m not sharing the attention of a teacher with thirty other people. But just as great as it is to have all my questions answered, I’m missing other people’s questions. You can learn as much from other people’s problems and solutions as your own. Sometimes, you don’t even know you have a problem until someone else mentions it.
I think the hardest part of homebound is trying to make up for time. Paperwork has to go through for it to even start. It can take about three weeks, so in those three weeks you have to request work but you’re not being taught it. Then say you have a condition that affects your learning (I happen to faint). That can conflict with your class time. You may miss a session or two. It adds up in the end.
When you’re being taught a week’s worth of work in an hour you already are losing time. The time spent on learning. A teacher can bring everything you’ll ever need and just not have the time to go in depth. I know in at least one class I am missing lab work. That adds to your understanding of a lesson, and it’s just something that you can’t do at your own house.
The work load even feels a bit heavier at times. You’re getting almost the same amount of homework and notes and you get a week to do it. But I can’t express how heavy it feels on you. Yes, I have all day to do it, but that’s what I do all day. Homework and studying. Not every second goes to that, but I can tell you more than a majority of my time is spent reading, writing, or calculating something.
You can try really hard to be social and still struggle. I’m missing the everyday little things that happen to my friends. I get the highlights, but I’m not seeing them everyday. The small things are just as important as the big things, and it’s hard to keep up with it when you’re not in their proximity. It tests who cares about you and also shows you who supports you the most. But it also tests people’s time. If you ever go on homebound and some people don’t contact you all the time, it’s not always because they don’t care. It’s just you’re not there. This is another struggle of homebound: keeping up friendships and being able to decipher who’s still there in the end.
Overall, it’s a great program. It’s considerate of people who can’t go to school but want an education. The flaws in it aren’t in the system. It’s the fact you’re missing that little world of education by not being there. But you shouldn’t feel guilty for what you’re missing. Sometimes you have to focus on your health and admit it’s just too much for you. It took me two teachers and a concussion to learn this.
Here’s a little how-to if you find yourself homebound.
You are the priority and homebound is there for you. You just have to work around the flaws and cope. The best I can say is pour every ounce of your attention into a class, take great notes, ask any question that springs into your head. You won’t have the teacher the next day to clarify things, so find a way to contact them in case you struggle with something. Don’t ignore your friends or be upset that you see them less. Reach out to them if you can. And don’t stop trying. Keep working through it. In about ten years, your stint in homebound will just be a faint memory, but for now it is a test, and it’s a test you can pass.