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by Karen Paulson
November 25, 2000
In an effort
to help match
young teenage pen pals last summer, I met a home schooled girl named
Kaitlin, who is 14 years old, lives with her parents, an older sister,
and a younger brother in Canada. All of the children are home
and their mother is the primary teacher. Kaitlin has a friendly,
personality, and welcomed answering some questions I posed about her
Karen Paulson: Have you ever attended a public or private school?
Kaitlin: Yes, I have attended a Christian school. I was in school since pre-kindergarten, to grade 5.
KP: How long have you been currently home schooling?
Kaitlin: I have been home schooled for four years!
KP: Why did your family decide to start home schooling?
Kaitlin: Because, my mom took my brother out (of school), and my sister and I thought that it would be really cool to try it. So, our mom said to finish our year at school, (and then said), "If you still want to come home, then you can".
KP: What kind of things do you do on an average "home schooling" day?
Kaitlin: On a home schooling day, this is what we do: Piano, voice lessons, helping with the baby that we baby sit, let the dog out, math, editing, wordly wise, spelling, and reading. Those are our main things that we do, but my mom gives us other stuff, too.
KP: What would you say is the best thing about home schooling?
Kaitlin: What I find best about home schooling, is if I have trouble in my work, my mom can help me "one on one". That way, I can definitely understand it, and have no trouble.
KP: What would you say is your least favorite aspect of being home schooled?
Kaitlin: What I find worst about home schooling, is that you can get tired of the same teacher! (Laughing) No, just kidding!...I don't really have any regrets about being home schooled.
KP: Since you are home schooled, do you ever think that you may be "missing out" on things that public or private school students do or have?
Kaitlin: I don't think, myself, that I am losing out on stuff. I still go to other stuff after school, and we have special things for home schooling kids! I find that I have more friends now, than I did have in school!
KP: So you have friends that are home schooled, too?
Kaitlin: I have many friends that are home schooled!
KP: In the future, if you become a parent, do you think you would consider home schooling?
Kaitlin: If I
a child, I would consider home schooling him or her, because- same as
if they had any trouble, I could help them, and make sure they
what they were stuck on. I would ask them what they would like to do
because I think that they should choose what they would want to do.
One of Kaitlin's passions is horse riding. Because of being able to accomplish her academic studies in a more compacted time frame each day, she has an ample amount of time to pursue her hobby. Choosing to be home schooled has proven to be a positive, beneficial decision for Kaitlin. Learning in a relaxed environment, and receiving individualized help is a luxury she did not have so readily at hand when she was in a classroom full of other students.
After having experienced traditional schooling, and now home schooling, I wondered if Kaitlin would choose to return to school any time soon... and the answer? In a word, "No".
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