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What Do Homeschooled Adults Have to Say?

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What Do Homeschooled Adults Have to Say?

By Linda Dobson

homeschooledSometimes, in the fear and anxiety ridden time of considering homeschooling for their families, parents torture themselves with “What if…” questions that are just plain unanswerable, at least specifically unanswerable, before the journey has even begun. The wisdom that comes with time and experience, however, shows there is one answer, at least a non-specific answer, to all of those what-ifs: As a person who loves your child more than the vast majority of others on the planet, you will always act with your child’s best interests at heart. How many others can you say that about?

Homeschooled children grow up. We can learn from them. Here’s what some of them had to say when interviewed for Homeschoolers’ Success Stories: 15 Adults and 12 Young People Share the Impact That Homeschooling Has Made on Their Lives by Linda Dobson. (All facts relevant as of copyright year 2000.)

What Do Homeschooled Adults Have to Say?

My favorite thing to do was wander through the woods and fill up my pockets and little bags with nuts and rocks and sticks. We have boxes and boxes in our attic just labeled “Jed’s Nature Stuff.” I loved fossils. I’d go through our driveway gravel looking for shell fragments. I collected feathers, mosses, and big buckets of frogs’ eggs from the pond and creek.

~ Jedediah Purdy, Yale University Law School (2001), author of For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today

Earlier this year, when all the media was bothering me, several people after the interviews told me that I was not their typical representation of someone who’s supposed to be “smart.” I’ve always taken that as a compliment.

~ Monique Harris, John Brown University, received 1600 SAT score

I didn’t learn to read until I was 13, just didn’t have the desire to. My sister would read to us, so we didn’t need to read. We’d go off and pick berries for jam and my other brother would go hunting. The biggest thing was training a stallion to ride when all the old farmers said I couldn’t do it. He was the gentlest riding horse. He didn’t a name really, we just called him The Stallion.

~ Aaron Timlin, Owner and director of Detroit Contemporary Art Gallery, GyroDesign Website curator, apartment building manager

It’s a crime to keep a kid from being able to reach is potential. Just because a kid is homeschooled, he can’t compete for a scholarship, go to college, and maybe get a one-in-a-million chance to make it to a professional level and fulfill a dream? Just because some guy sitting behind a desk somewhere doesn’t want him to be able to play? Really, it’s a crime.

~ Jason Taylor, National Football League Miami Dolphins defensive end (very recently retired #99, good luck with your next endeavors, Jason!)

There’s no way I could have learned as much about business at such an early age in a typical structured school environment. Homeschooling’s flexibility helped me an awful lot.

~ Aaron Fessler, owner of Allegro, sold 6 weeks prior to interview for $55 million

See also “The Homeschooling Legacy

A successful life is one that makes you truly happy. Often in America the term “successful” means you need to have a high paying job, big house, and nice (expensive) cars. I believe that if people feel they and their families would be more satisfied with a more meaningful job that pays less – thereby making them more content with a smaller house and car (or perhaps no car at all) – they should not sacrifice the contentment and happiness that comes with it, simply for the views of outsiders. If you are happy in what you are contributing to the world, then the world is that much of a better place for it.

~ Shannon Cavin, U.S. Navy airman apprentice at the Defense Language Institute

I didn’t really know what school was about when I was young. I never looked at what I was learning in school. I didn’t know until my junior year when I was away from school, came back, and saw that, whoa, I should take the classes I might enjoy.

~ Todd Lodwick, National Ski Team for Nordic Combined

With all my parents’ mistakes, they always had the right intentions. They homeschooled for us. It was their personal problems that messed up things.

~ Tracy Pizura, self-educated, self-employed personal chef; Elegant Edibles Personal Chef Services

I think I always educated myself. Since I started working at the age of 8, I wasn’t in school that much, so I realized that my life had to be my school, my whole life had to be my education.

~ Elan Rivera, touring worldwide with singing group DLG (Dark Latin Groove)

When I was 10, I talked my parents into getting a small, unfinished dinghy. My dad said he’d get it for me if I’d fix it up. It was built, but it needed paint. I sanded the thing down and we painted it. We lived in Morro Bay at the time, so every day after school I’d take it out in theh bay and go sailing. That was the catalyst that resparked my dad’s vision to sail through the South Pacific.

~ Robin Graham, (formerly) youngest to solo sail around the world, self-employed building contractor

Homeschooling made it possible to be different.

~ Amber Luvmour, program leader, EnCompass Authentic Education and Conscious Parenting

A lot of parents don’t realize how bad public school is, how rampant drugs, gangs, and violence are. I’m a police officer; I’ve been called in for bomb threats, fights, interracial fights. Drug dogs randomly sniff lockers and they’ve caught kids as young as third grade selling marijuana they got from their parents to other students. Too many parents have absolutely no idea.

~ Kitty Gilmore, Arkansas State Police trooper

So many people have said to me, “But homeschooling is such a great responsibility.” I say back to them, “But you have the exact same responsibility; you’re just not taking it.”

~ Becky Amos, homeschooled and now homeschooling the next generation, freelance writer

While I was still in school, I had this feeling that it was stifling me, but I had to take a look at it from the outside to actually know it, to actually see it.

~ Edward Rembert, Coast Guard Reserve seaman, University of Detroit, part-time music teacher

I don’t know where she got the idea, but Mom started hanging up cool sayings on the bathroom wall as we homeschooled and learned to read, constantly adding them as she found them. They said things like: Mistakes show us what needs improving, mistakes are the portals of discovery; Don’t let what you’re being get in the way of what you might become; and one from Albert Schweitzer – “One thing I know. The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” Those were phrases and sayings that meant a lot to me.

~ Chuck Dobson, fire driver, emergency services technician, Adirondack Medical Center emergency room (police sergeant, volunteer firefighter now; I keep up with this guy)

What do homeschooled adults have to say? They’re glad they were homeschooled.

Adapted from Homeschoolers’ Success Stories: 15 Adults and 12 Young People Share the Impact That Homeschooling Has Made on Their Lives by Linda Dobson

For more information on this topic, please visit The Innovative Educator.



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6 Responses to “What Do Homeschooled Adults Have to Say?”

  1. Thanks for sharing these stories. Even though my kids will just be turning 6 in April,I don’t have any worries about how they’ll be able to take care of themselves financially. I think there’s a huge shift taking place where more and more people will either be self-employed or need to be very self-direced if they’re employed by others. There’s no better training for this than to be educated at home where they can take charge of their own education.

    • There’s nothing I can say to this besides you are 100% correct! (And that I’m just a bit envious that you have such a large part of your homeschooling journey ahead of you .) Enjoy it all…thanks for reading and writing!

  2. Thank you, Linda. It’s great to hear these from kids that are not your own. 🙂

  3. Cindy says:

    I guess you can always find complainers (I’ve blogged about one), but by and large, kids who were raised by their own parents and not bored to death in desks for their entire childhoods are going to end up well-adjusted adults. I love these quotes. Tweeting it now. :0)

    • Hi, Cindy, Yes, nothing is perfect, but I think complaints about homeschooling are few and far between – especially in relation to complaints about school attendance! Thanks for tweeting out the quotes from some terrific grown homeschoolers!

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