Thursday, May 05, 2005


I just found out that a 17-year-old boy I know is having his dream come true, and it never would have happened if he hadn’t been homeschooled.

He lives in eastern Nebraska, and his mother has homeschooled him since sixth grade. He did so well that he has already “graduated” from high school while his age mates are still juniors. He already has 35 college hours under his belt, with a 3.9 GPA and membership in the honor society. So he’s more than two years ahead of them in his schooling, and doing great.

But not only that: the freedom of homeschooling allowed him to concentrate more on his strengths and his loves. His dream: to become an automotive designer.

While his mother made him study all subjects, not just science, he was able to restore a 1962 Criss Craft boat, and rebuild several cars, and learn to weld and run a lathe, and to design, turn, photograph and mount his own crankshaft. Finishing his high school curriculum early afforded him time to take computer-assisted design classes and build more and more design skills as well.

The portfolio he has gathered through all those homeschooling projects won him entry into the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. – one of only five schools in the WORLD to offer exactly what he needs to fulfill his dream.

He will have to go to a nearby city college to obtain higher-level rendering skills next year, but that was the only hitch in his ability to “make it” into a world-class training school, whose graduates are happily plucked by the likes of Toyota and GM. Most of his classmates will be 10 years older – but that’s OK. Through homeschooling, he has learned how to be friends with all ages, not just his own.

You know, whenever I run into people who try to paint homeschoolers as some kind of lonely weirdos, in Pilgrim’s outfits writing on slates with homemade chalk, out of the loop technologically, and not very smart, I just want to scream, scream, scream.

Someday soon, I bet I can drive around in a beautiful CAR that this kid has designed, and scream, and THEN maybe somebody will pay attention.

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