A Student's View

  • Homeschooling: Not Just For Nerds
    by Emily Guimont

    You've heard about home schooling and might think its for nerdy kids who get babied by their parents.  Well, it's not.  I'm an eighth grader and this is my first year home schooling through the Folsom Cordova Community Charter School.  I went to a public school for kindergarten through fifth and a private school for sixth and seventh so I know all about the different kinds of schooling.  I can tell you this: I have never learned more and I have never had as much fun learning as I have through home schooling.

        One of the great things about home schooling is that it is all about the individual student.  With the absence of classmates, the focus is solely on what you are learning and how youwant to learn it.  The curriculum can be molded to the student's learning style.  If you are a hands-on person, you can go out and experience what you're studying in the real world.  If you are an independent learner, you can fire on ahead with your work without waiting for classmates.  The amount of work you can get done without the classroom distractions slowing you down is surprising.

        If you home school, you can expand upon the subjects you are really interested in much more than if you were with a bunch of other kids that don't share your interests.  You can spend one whole day at the park or by a river studying the wildlife or weather or rocks.  You can take field trips to museums and to exhibits that you want to go to, not what some teacher or guide takes you to.  You can develop a passion for something and start turning it into a career.

        There are also downsides to home schooling.  For instance, the absence of classmates can make school lonesome and all your socialization falls outside school hours.  It's true that school isn't supposed to be all friend-time, but you get to see them and be with them during lunch and recesses.  But there are ways to solve this: getting into team sports or joining organizations like Girl Scout and Boy Scouts are great ways to stay in touch with friends and have fun.

        Even though home schooling has its drawbacks, they are very minor compared to the benefits you can receive.  I believe it is one of the best and most successful teaching methods.  Home schooling provides a better education because of its caring environment, individualized curriculums and single student classes.  If you are looking for a change in your education, why not try home schooling?



    Why Homeschooling Rocks

    By Dani Demas

                When my mom first told me that I would start homeschooling in 5th grade, I wasn't sure how to feel. I probably wouldn't see my friends, and I'd have to stay home with my mom all day. On the other hand, I wouldn't have to get up early every morning or drag around heavy books in my backpack. So, I agreed to give it a try. In 5thgrade Mrs. Knott was my teacher. She'd give me my assignments from the textbooks, and then I'd go home and do them over the next two weeks. If there was something I wanted to do more, like learn about butterflies, for example, I could get caterpillars and watch them turn into butterflies, instead of just reading about them. Mrs. Salter was my teacher in 6th and 7th grade and Mr. Edney was my teacher in 8th grade. The system was the same every year: we'd meet every other week and my teacher would give me my assignments. It didn't take too long to do the basic subjects, so I had lots of time to do fun and educational things.

                My mom and I went on many fun "field trips" in the last four years. Since 6th grade, we've gone to matinee shows at the Mondavi Center in Davis. We saw a lot of different acts, including dances, musicians, plays, and other interesting shows from many different countries. We even saw a guy who dressed up like a baby, and I'm not even kidding! We also attended the Speaker Series at the Mondavi Center. Not to drop names, but I got to meet Bob Dole, Jane Goddall, Terry Gross, and many others. I probably got more excited to learn about marine exploration from listening to Robert Ballard (the man who discovered the Titanic) speak for two hours than I ever would have reading from a book for two years. We also got to take field trips to faraway lands, such as Santa Rosa and Anaheim. In Santa Rosa, we went to Safari West, where we stayed in an oddly-nice African safari tent with giraffe’s right outside our door! Safari West gives tours through their huge nature preserve in a two-story jeep, where we got chased by ostriches, saw a lot of animals, and I had a giraffe eat a treat right out of my hand! In Anaheim, we got to make a trip to Disneyland educational. I went on a physics class/tour in California Adventure. Our guide took us on different rides and then told us about the science behind the ride. Believe it or not, when you start to go really fast in California Screamin', you're actually being pulled by magnets. We've also gone on a cruise to Alaska, and, more recently, a cruise to Mexico. In Alaska, we cruised right up next to a glacier, I touched an iceberg, we saw glass blowers and then made glass ornaments, and pulled up crab traps on a fishing boat. Also, when we went salmon fishing, we saw a pod of orcas! So, I assume the whale watchers caught salmon. In Mexico, we released tiny baby sea turtles into the ocean, swam with dolphins (I mean, we literally petted them and they pulled us through the water), we went kayaking and snorkeling, and we saw a coconut plantation. I met a lot of interesting people and learned a lot about Mexican culture.

                Of course, it isn't all fun and games. You can really work at your own pace in any subject. This year, I got to take an online Geometry class at Folsom High. It was challenging, but well worth it. I also take cello and banjo lessons, I'm in a play with an all-homeschooling cast, and I used to take an art class from a Folsom artist, so I get a lot of variety in every day. I also had the opportunity to enter a lot of contests. I lost a few, but I won a few, too.

                Looking back over the last four years, I feel so fortunate to have been through so many great experiences. I'm really going to miss all the kids and teachers at the charter school, but I feel prepared for high school next year. These years have gone very fast, and I'm really glad I decided to homeschool when I did. Please don't think that homeschooling is taking kids away from the world, but instead exposing them to it.