My name is Rachel Thorn, and I am seventeen. I have been homeschooled all my life.
HSA: What is one amazing thing that happened to you because of homeschooling?
Rachel Thorn: One amazing thing that happened to me because of homeschooling this year, is I’ve been helping in an early elementary-level class at my home school co-op. I’m so glad that I’ve had this opportunity to gain experience in this area, especially since I plan to major in elementary education in college.
HSA: What was the best thing you learned as a homeschooler? (This doesn’t have to be an academic subject, but it could be.)
Rachel Thorn: The best thing I learned as a homeschooler is that the most important things aren’t what you learn from the books. It is what you learn from your life. I have learned self-reliance and self-motivation, time management, and independent learning, all because I have been homeschooled. Also, I have had more opportunities to interact with people of all ages – not just my grade level – and to learn from those interactions.
HSA: Did you ever feel like you missed out on typical teenage opportunities because you were homeschooled?
Rachel Thorn: I haven’t ever felt like I’ve missed out by being homeschooled. I still have a social life, I can still participate in everything I want to – actually, because I have been homeschooled, I have the freedom in my schedule to do more than otherwise. I have never been bullied or felt social pressure.
HSA: What are your plans after graduation?
Rachel Thorn: Next year, I am going to attend Corban University in Salem, Oregon. I plan to get a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, and then transfer for my master’s in special education.
HSA: Some parents stress out about homeschooling kids through high school. What is one piece of advice you can share with stressed out parents, now that you’re almost done?
Rachel Thorn: Don’t worry about not finishing all the books on time! It’s more important that your students know the material they have got than that they get pushed too fast. Take your time. Make sure your students have time to enjoy themselves while they can. High school doesn’t last forever – and it ultimately won’t matter if your student finished algebra before June. If it takes until August – well, you won’t have forgotten anything over the summer.
HSA: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Rachel Thorn: Anything else – I am so glad that I’ve been homeschooled. It has offered me a myriad of opportunities that I would never have had otherwise.