Homeschool Alumni Inverview: "I was raised with no knowledge of the world around me"

Posted in Homeschool Voices on April 5, 2017 - by Trybal Wolf


Trybal Wolf homeschool alumni interview

Hello, my name is Trybal Wolf (sorry, preferred name. I am sure more on that will be presented later.)

I am a 21 year old white male. I currently reside in East Lansing, Michigan.

I have no religious affiliation to speak of, am gay and in a closed relationship, and have 9 years of combined work experience across many different industries. I am a member of the furry fandom and my character is an orange grey and black anthropomorphic wolf.


My parents placed me in a private Christian school (Faith Baptist School in Davison Michigan) at the age of 4. I attended the school for two years until I graduated from the first grade.

Not caring much for sports, I spent the majority of my time in school playing with the girls as I enjoyed art and the make-believe activities they did more than soccer and other more traditionally (boyish) endeavors. My father was not happy with this as he believed that if I stayed in school I would grow up to be gay. As such, my parents pulled me out of the school at the age of 7 and opted to homeschool me.

I was homeschooled all the way through the 8th grade at which point my parents could no longer teach me and I became self-taught working through all the material on my own and doing the homework without any outside help.

An accurate breakdown would be:

  • Private School: 2 years
  • Homeschool: 9 years
  • Self-taught: 4 years


My parents wanted me to attend a Christian school and told me that if I would attend Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina that they would pay for my education. I applied, was accepted and traveled down to the college. When I arrived I received word from my parents that the had no intention of paying and realized that it had all been a ruse to get me to go to a school of their choosing.

I continued to attend for a few months before I was raped by a friend I had made there. When the college authorities heard about it they told me it was my own fault for being gay and I was expelled.

I also attended Lansing Community College for a semester and am currently sitting out due to my financial situation.


I work for a local restaurant in East Lansing across from Michigan State University.

I perform all positions in the restaurant, (cooking, bussing and doing dishes, ringing up customers, etc.) I also perform many duties that are outside my job description such as arranging interviews for new hires, diagnosing electrical and computer issues in the restaurant, doing general maintenance, and working directly with Coca-Cola and Ecolabs to solve issues with our equipment.

Your Homeschool

My parents chose to homeschool me out of fear that I would grow up to be gay if left in a traditional school.

I have three younger siblings who have all been or are currently being homeschooled. I would say that it took away from my education as they required my parents assistance with everything, but my parents did not understand my coursework as it was and could not have been of any assistance even were they to have not had other students viing for their attention.

Homeschooling was not financially difficult on my family. My parents spent approximately $200 a year of school supplies for me.

Your curriculum / method

We used the classical method. As far as curriculum went, it changed. A lot. I used 13 different math curricula during my homeschooling years. (Which made following the flow of concepts nearly impossible.)

Could you have attended another type of school if you wanted?

Unfortuantely, my parents would not give me the choice of any other kind of schooling. They were very concerned with molding me into exactly who they wanted me to be.

Do you think your parent/parents were qualified as educators?

Not in the slightest. Their aim was not to provide a quality well-rounded education, but rather to brainwash, to mold, and to restrict.

A Day In Your Life

My days were not rigorously structured, but there was structure nonetheless, part of the structure was due to chores and work my parents had me do, while other parts were self imposed.

  • 6:00am: Wake up, brush teeth, make bed, etc.
  • 6:30am: Head down to the basement and work on schoolwork.
  • 8:00am: Go outside, feed and water the chickens and ducks, and collect the eggs.
  • 8:30am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am: Meet in the living room for History and Bible.
  • 10:15am: Take a 15 minute break for a cup of tea.
  • 10:30am: Back to schoolwork.
  • 12:30pm: Lunch-time
  • 1:00pm: Back to schoolwork
  • 4:30pm: Finish up with schoolwork, do chores and clean the house.
  • 5:30pm: Help make dinner
  • 6:30pm: Eat dinner
  • 7:30pm: Get to work on the house (We spent 15 years renovating our house).
  • 11:00pm. Stop working, Shower
  • 11:30pm: Go to bed.

Your Perspective On Socialization

I would not say that my parents version of homeschooling provided me any degree of socialization.

My schoolwork was studied and completed completely alone, and they provided no opportunity for me to engage in any other kind of social activity as they feared outside influence.

As a homeschooled kid, I stood out in the worst way possible. I spent my entire childhood and teen years lost and absorbed in my own interests, completely oblivious to the world around me. I spent all my free time wandering aimlessly through the woods, wondering what it would be like to have friends, and longing for people to associate with.

Unfortunately, due to my isolation, I had nothing in common with other kids and could not connect with them in any way. Where they took interest in sports and popular culture, my interests were in the sciences. I sought out every piece of broken machinery I could find, dismantling and rebuilding the extracted bits into new creations. I saw myself as a creator, as an inventor, as a person who put an immense amount of thought into everything and was extremely disillusioned by the shallowness I saw in other kids my age.

Thus, my loneliness, and anxiety was in part my fault. I saw nothing to be desired in those around me and withdrew myself, refusing to befriend those who I saw no promise in. It was bit of a vicious downward spiral.

Socialization through extracurricular activities

My parents were extremely religious. I calculated once that I spent over 15,000 hours of my life in church related activities (services, commute, etc). I had no friend groups, or any other social experience of any kind.

Sometimes homeschoolers are called "weird..."

I was most definitely called “weird”, “odd” and the like. At the same time I was highly respected yet despised by my peers for my interests and intelligence. At the same time I possessed a disdain for other kids as I saw them as stupid and possessing no drive to learn.

Society & Family Reactions to Homeschool

Did you dread being asked “what high school / school do you go to?”

I never dreaded people asking me about my school. Whenever I told anyone that I was self taught they would typically say that it was great and how motivated and self-reliant I must be.

Did you have to deal with ‘judgement’ from society about being homeschooled?

No, even those who disagree with the method of education I received generally are impressed by how much I was able to gain from it.

Did you have the support of your extended family in your decision to homeschool? 

Yes, all of my extended family supported it.

What is the dumbest question anyone asked you about homeschooling?

Dumbest question, let’s see… People will often ask me if I just sat around all day in my pajamas. No, I did not. I had chores to do outside every morning and pajamas would not be suitable attire for taking care of animals.

Takeaways From Your Experience

Best parts about homeschooling

The best part of my homeschooling experience was the ability to dive into whatever interested me. The ability to dig deep into my interests and hobbies definitely helped to mold me into who I am today.

Did homeschooling offer opportunities public school could not?

None to speak of.

Worst parts about homeschooling

The worst thing about being homeschool was that it was completely subject to the desires and whims of my parents. As such there were things that I never learned about.

In what ways did homeschooling limit you?

Thanks to my parents, I never knew anything of sexuality. To be completely honest, I learned about sex and reproduction while reading through veterinary handbooks. I happened to be reading and was suddenly hit by the fact that the same thing must exist for people… Was a bit of a mind blowing discovery.

I knew nothing about the changes taking place in my mind and body and was horrified thinking that things were going terribly wrong, while being to afraid and embarrassed to ever ask my parents about it.

What did you miss by not attending public school?

I don’t know… So much… An accurate understanding of the world around me? Sex in the locker room? Or what about friendships, meaningful relationship, the feeling of being liked?

As I meet other people who had a different method of schooling, I am always hit by a painful sense of envy, of loss, and of longing. I mourn the past I could have had. I hear of childhood romance, of swim team escapades. And all I feel is pain. I feel like there is a void within me… A void of life, of love, and of experience… I figure it is similar to how a convict feels when he is finally released from prison, looks around him and sees all he missed… It is an anger overtaken by mourning.

School at home

It was hard to do school at home. I was always very distracted. I still managed to get my work done, but was very, very distracted.

Did you have any medical challenges that made schooling difficult?

I do not.

Did you ever ‘cheat?’

I’m ashamed to say I did a couple times. Mainly when after working on the same calculus problem for days I finally just found a way to convince my parents I got the right answer.

Do homeschoolers have less exposure to new experiences, ideas, and fields of study?

Homeschoolers, in many cases, have much less exposure to new experiences, and ideas. I also feel as though not having access to equipment could also steer homeschoolers away from certain fields. There are some big limitations to doing "school at home."

Were there subjects you were glad you could tackle as a homeschooler?

No, a teacher would have been highly appreciated. Again that was mainly due to my parents methods.

What would you tell your parents if you could travel back in time?

I would tell them that homeschooling is a great thing, but that they might not be cut out for it. I would ask them whether they would be educating me to live in their world, or in the real one? Would they be able to set their own beliefs to the sidelines and teach facts?

Furthermore I would ask for their motives… Homeschooling a child because you fear he is gay and want to manipulate him into living the life you want him to is a terrible excuse that will only end in pain and broken hearts.


For homeschool parents: Discover and analyze your motives. Are you doing it for yourself, or for your child?

I would highly recommend to all homeschool parents: If you choose to homeschool, let your kids follow their passions.

For homeschool students: I have none to give. I wish you the best. The internet may be your only source of truth. Google everything you can and study things until you have exhausted every resource.

Favorites & least favorites

Favorite high school level book: How to Teach Quantum Physics to your Dog

Favorite book from your early homeschool years: White Fang

Favorite curriculum / course

I really enjoyed all the sciences. Really just because they were my passion.

Anything to stay away from?

Books that exist only to brainwash or indoctrinate?

Religion, Faith, & Belief

I was raised a conservative fundamental baptist christian, then became an agnostic, then an atheist, then an absurdist, a metaphysical nihilist. At that point I had no idea what was true and believed that everything was just a construct of my mind. So I devised an experiment to see what was true.

I forced myself to chose a religion and to believe it entirely. Once I was able to do that I would see how my view of the world changed and would move on to another religion or belief system.

After going through over 20 religions and belief systems I realized that whatever I most believed changed my perception of reality. To this day I have no idea which religion is “the right one”, yet I still reap the benefits of my experiment. My belief creates my reality and by altering belief, I can alter my perception of the world into one that I would rather see.

Religion in education

Religion has no place in education, save to show how religion affected world history, as a part of cultural and art studies, and to illustrate how it has held back the advancement of science.

Although I am not religious, over half of the curricula used by my parents was religious in nature. Bible classes, biblical history, creationist sciences, etc…

Do you think that your parent’s religious beliefs were forced upon you?

Yes, to every possible capacity. It was definitely a con.

Homeschooling’s Impact On You

Although we've already talked quite a bit about homeschooling's impact on you in earlier sections, let's dig a little bit deeper.

Do you think you were “sheltered?”

Yes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. I was raised with no knowledge of the world around me. No idea of any mode of thought outside the one my parents endorsed. I was raised not knowing the “darker side” of life. Demonizing 90% of all people in the world for anything from drinking alcohol, to tattoos and piercings, to even just having long hair. If I saw anyone who was “different”, I would immediately assume that they lacked moral character. Thus I was sheltered to the point that I feared and judged everyone for the most mundane things. I was a religious child extremist, brainwashed into hatred of my fellow man.

Did homeschooling impact your approach to learning?

In spite of my parents methods, over time I learned that the only way to learn was to do it alone. That the only way I would truly learn about the world was to take an interest in it and follow the path of knowledge from page to page of dictionaries and thesauri. If anything it just taught me to be an independent learner, and an exhauster of resources.

Did homeschooling give you more free time?

If it did, my parents utilized it to work me like a slave. Time free from schooling, yes. Time free, what is that?

If you could do it over again, would you pick homeschooling?

I would. In a heartbeat. Positive or negative, homeschooling made me who I am. Regardless of how successful others may say I have been, I love my present, and wouldn't change it for the world.

Will you homeschool your children?

I feel I would take a hybrid approach. I would like them to be schooled in a way that gives them social opportunities and experiences, to learn in the company of peers, but it would also be highly reinforced by teaching at home to fill in holes in their education.

What was most formative about homeschooling?

The most impactful part of homeschooling for me, was the absolute necessity of independence.


Homeschooling did not academically prepare me for college. But I learned enough on my own to prepare myself. It did not prepare me at all though for deadlines, schedules, and team or group work. Looking back, there really isn't anything I would have done differently to better prepare myself.

The college process as a homeschooler

It was a pretty easy process. I had high enough test scores to make entrance easy, though my parents desires as far as which colleges I should attend complicated things.

Any advice on good/bad universities for homeschoolers?

Not in my experience. Apply to Bob Jones University if you are a fundamental christian extremist and wish to keep the blinders on.

College prep advice

Just use traditional college prep books and materials.

How did you perform on the SAT/ACT?

I performed decently on my ACT, getting a score of 29.


Everything that pertains to a workplace I have learned in the work place.

Closing Remarks & Final Advice

Be true to yourself and follow your drives and dreams. Don’t let the desires of those who have raised you sway you from being yourself.

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About the author: Trybal Wolf

Trybal Wolf is a homeschool alumni living in Michigan. He was pulled from school at the age of 7 when his father became worried he would grow up to be gay in the public system. Although his homeschool experience was certainly far from perfect, he believes that, positive or negative, homeschooling formed who he is today.