Monday, July 19, 2010

Pluses and Minuses of Homeschooling for 2010 Graduate

 Stephany from Denver, Colorado USA writes about the advantages and challenges of homeschooling in her last monthly report before graduating. Here are her comments:

"I feel I have learned a lot of good stuff by being homeschooled. I learned about life and family, received a good education and I also really enjoyed being homeschooled. Like any school it was tough at times.  The good thing is we were able to find some homeschool programs and a gym program for home schoolers.  I am not sure that it would have been that much fun being home schooled without other homeschoolers for friends. I'm also glad I was in Girl Scouts and Westernaires.  In these outside programs I was able to make many friends. People need friends, and I'm grateful that God brought me these things. I learned that it takes much more effort and discipline to be homeschooled. I also got to have a closer educational and personal relationship with God as a homeschooler. I also didn't have to stress out with homework, peer pressure or the drug scene as a homeschooler. One fun thing is that I got to sleep in and do school in my pjs.  However, homeschool isn't all fun and games, it is hard in many ways. For instance, if I wasn't in Girl Scouts or Westernaires, I wouldn't have all the friends I do now. Life isn't fun when you’re a teen or kid without friends, and some homeschoolers have to work hard to find friends.  Another hard thing is the responsibility was mine to prepare myself for college and my future.  It is always a temptation when you have a TV and computers in your reach not to do school and watch TV or play on the computer instead. Trying to do school can also be a pain in the neck when your siblings are in the same classroom.  However, homeschooling has taught me to be more patient than some teens I know, especially with younger siblings. I think I have a pretty good social life for being homeschooled. I really think highly of homeschooling no matter what non-homeschoolers may say. I love how everyone I know that isn't home schooled is very interested in my homeschool life. I have also learned that a lot of people out there would love to be homeschooled. But even though my school years have the normal ups and downs, I still feel it is a great way to be educated and a lot better than public schools. I wouldn‘t change it or my life in anyway."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Reflections on a Life of Change

A 2010 Colorado USA graduate reflects on the ups and downs of her last 4 years

"I never knew I could change or watch others change SO much in such a short period of time.  Some things have definitely stayed the same but some things really haven't.  In just four short years I have carried at least 5 different jobs (maybe more!) and I have had 2 new baby brothers born into my family.  I’ve fallen in love with a sweet, young kid and fallen out of love with the same, stupid kid.  I’m really happy with all of my decisions so far, even if they’ve hurt me a lot.  It is through pain and redemption that I am able to find and understand more of myself.  And let me tell you, high school has been painful and, at some points, redemptive.  I've met so many people, learned quite a few hard lessons, and there are things I've learned that before I never used to consider as important.  I've changed my mind a million times and I've failed in enough situations to know how much it hurts.  I've also stuck with a few of my values and I've succeeded enough to know how powerful the taste of ambition is, and the sweetness that comes after you've accomplished your goal.  I've loved and lost.  I've loved and gained.  I've lived with my mother, my father, and my basketball coach in the course of just 3 years and that, more than anything, has really opened my eyes to the diversity that exists just within my own small world.  Family dynamics are such unique and complicated things and I've really enjoyed moving around and finding the small differentiating details.  So far, the best place I've lived is with my coach, Monte, and his wife, Kiva.  I love the way this household is run--efficiently, smoothly, and most of all, honestly.  Everyone is usually on the same page and if we're not, we make sure we get to the same page within an hour or so. Communication is clear and prominent and respect is the foundation for all of our relationships.  It's a beautiful thing, to be able to come home to a place that is calm and well rounded, through both people and vibes.  It's like having a recharge station... and I've never had that before...

"...As of right now, I’m enjoying my last summer of financial freedom (since I have minimal bills and all that good stuff) and I’m looking forward to my new experiences as a college student.  High school has been an incredible experience for me and now I am ready to move on to bigger and better things, both academically and personally!  So thank you for this wonderful program and the chance to write all of my experiences and thoughts down for the past 6-8 months.  I’m glad I got the opportunity to do this and I’m so thankful for the fact that I will be able to have an actual diploma at the end of it all.  You’ve really made a difference for me and my future and I thank you for that!"