This Backstory is a personal one. As a young teen, I had the opportunity to peek into this Homeschool and form some organic conclusions about the whole business. Neither high-minded nor philosophical, John's mother simply determined to do her best by her son, often declaring, "I don't do this for my health. I just do what I gotta do." She set about the task of giving him the foundation he needed after casting about only to find the alternatives lacking. John, a bright, energetic and earnest boy turned dedicated family man, builds firmly upon that foundation as a father of three of his own boys and husband to high school sweetheart, Naomi, with whom he resides in New York state. Recently, John managed to get himself inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society while simultaneously supporting his family working full-time with at risk teens and carrying a full college class load pursuing a degree in social work. And, in his spare time, he does a little mission work in Alaska. His hard work pays tribute to his homeschooling roots and his story still inspires me to keep going.
Be encouraged and inspired.
When did your homeschooling begin and how long were you homeschooled?
I was homeschooled 1st through 12th grade.
How would you characterize the teaching/learning style of your parent's home?
My mom used every resource available to her to make my schooling the most effective. To give it a modern term, she cut and pasted curriculum to suit my educational strengths and focus on my weaknesses.
What was your favorite area of study?
I am a self proclaimed nerd who loves knowledge that is useless in everyday life unless you are playing trivia or need to phone a friend on a game show. I loved world history, classic and modern literature and every kind of mythology I could get my hands on.
What was the best part of homeschooling?
I loved the flexibility of the schedule and how seemingly mundane activities could be turned into a lesson. I am the type of person that, if subjected to monotony, will go crazy. Homeschooling turned the world into my classroom.
What do you wish had been different in your homeschooling?
Honestly? Nothing. I loved the education that I received and feel that had I been enrolled in a traditional school, I would have failed at that point in my educational career.
How did your peers view you as a homeschooler?
For the most part, my peers were fellow homeschoolers. The few who weren't thought it was "cool" and envied my ability to sleep in on week days.
How do your peers view you as a former homeschooler?
When I first enrolled as a college student in New York state, I got the impression that here homeschooling is viewed negatively as it is usually reserved for delinquents. Other than a few questions, I am now judged by my abilities rather than my educational background.
Do you feel you missed out on anything as a homeschooler?
My parents plugged me into anything and everything to provide me with the social component that was missing from not being in traditional school.
How did homeschooling shape you into the person you are today?
It imparted in me a life-long love of learning. I regularly and willingly subject myself to literature, old college textbooks and documentaries because "it's interesting". Homeschooling made learning fun and made me want to continue learning.
Thank you for sharing your Backstory, John!