The Face of Homeschooling: Interview with Alexis

The April 2012 edition of The Face of Homeschooling is an interview with a 13-year-old homeschooled girl. Learn what she thinks of homeschooling and how it's impacted her life.

Welcome to the April 2012 edition of The Face of Homeschooling


Each month I interview a homeschool mom, adding another face to the mosaic that makes up the homeschooling community. This month, however, I am doing something different. 


This month, I've decided to interview a homeschool student. This student happens to be my daughter, Alexis.

I had no idea what to ask my own child, so I put a call out on the Facebook page and ask you, the readers, to post your questions. Here is the interview: Your questions; my daughter's answers.



Q: Alexis, how old are you?

A: I'm 13. I'll be turning 14 this summer.


Q: We know that homeschooling begins at birth, but how long have you formally been homeschooled?


A: I've been homeschooled since I was 7 years old. Before that, I attended private and public schools.



Q: Do you ever consider going back to school? Why or why not?

A: I never consider it. I have Dyslexia. In school, teachers didn't recognize the problem. They chastised me for daydreaming when I was actually struggling with understanding what I was reading. Also, it seems that there is a lot of bullying in schools and I think I would be a target for that due to my challenges. So, no. I never consider going back.



Drawing by Alexis

Q: Is there anything you think you miss out on as a homeschooler that you would get as a public school student? if so, how could those things be accommodated in a homeschool environment?

A: I used to think that I was missing out on art and music classes, but I now realize that public schools have taken those classes away. When I first learned this, I felt sorry for all the kids who won't have a chance to learn those things. At home, I spend a lot of time drawing, listening to music, and dancing. I wouldn't be able to put as much time into those interests if I were in school.



Q: Do you think homeschooling hinders your ability to socialize?

A: I think with all the school work and homework, there would be no time to socialize if I were in school. When I was in 1st grade, I came home from school at 2:00 p.m. I had homework 2:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. I had no time to play at all.

As for social skills, I don't think I'm missing anything. Being homeschooled, I have plenty of time to be around a many people of different ages. I am able to have socialize with people of all ages from toddlers to older adults. I wouldn't have that opportunity if I spent all day in a classroom.


Wildlife Study: The Possum

Q: How do you and your family ensure you are getting a complete education?

A: When we switched to the Charlotte Mason style, I found that I learn more in smaller periods than I learned when I was in school. The amount of things I learn, even in one day, is more than what I'd learn in weeks or months of sitting in a classroom.

At home, we are able to study artists, composers, music, art, and nature. I never would have learned those things in a classroom. This makes my education complete and well-rounded.


We study a variety of subjects and study them in-depth because we don't use textbooks as our only source of information. When we study something, it sort of becomes our life for a while. We spend a year on a period in history including geography, art, music, composers, and anything else we come across. I know I'm learning more this way than before we started the Charlotte Mason method.



Q: How many of your ideas are put to use when planning what to learn? Are you able to be creative? Or do you have to stick to the curriculum?

A: I don't think I'm limited, but I don't really offer ideas for our lessons. The things that I, personally, am interested in are the things I research and learn in my spare time. My sister may say, "I want to learn about the stars," and mom will work that into the curriculum. I could do the same, but really my interests are not something everyone else would be interested in learning.



Gathering the invasive Air Potato at Gemini Springs

Q: What do you think makes your mom and effective homeschool teacher?

A: Wow! That's a hard question to answer! I don't know, but I think it's because she really enjoys being around us all the time. She didn't like when we were in school and couldn't wait for breaks and summer. I also think she likes learning with us. She isn't just teaching us; she's learning too.



Q: What is your favorite part of your day, and why?

A: I like mornings. The air is crisp and everything is quiet. I enjoy just getting going with the day. I know it's ironic that it's the morning that I like because I have a hard time sleeping and I don't always see the mornings. I think that makes me appreciate it because it's not common for me. I enjoy being able to get up early when I can.

Q: What are you most interested in learning?

A: I have several things that I'm really interested in learning. I'm interested in writing. I also like learning about different cultures. My favorite is the Japanese culture. I've been studying the Japanese culture since I was 8 and I've been studying the language for the last 8 months. I enjoy creating anime through drawing and digital art. I love photography too.


Digital art creation by Alexis when she was 12

Q: How would you describe who you are? How did homeschooling help define this?

A: (laughs) I don't usually talk about myself! I think that I have a very strong imagination and it helps me to write and draw. Being homeschooled helps me keep my imagination alive because I have the freedom to use it.


Clothing designs by Alexis

Q: Are most of your friends homeschoolers, too? Or do you have friends from public school?

A: I would say it's half and half. I know many homeschoolers but I also know a lot of public school kids through our congregation. If not for our congregation, I would probably only know homeschoolers because there aren't a lot of kids in our neighborhood. But my friends are both schooled and homeschooled.


Learning a game from the 19th century


Q: What is the biggest benefit you're receiving from homeschooling?

A: The biggest benefit for me would be the freedom to study the things that interest me. I would probably not be able to focus on art, drawing, writing, or learning Japanese if I were being limited by a public school curriculum and bogged down with homework. 


Alexis at age 13

Q: Finish this sentence: Homeschooling is _____.

A: Freedom.


Happy Homeschooling!

Comments

  1. Oh, Michelle -- I enjoyed this so much!! Alexis is an absolutely beautiful, radiant girl. God bless her gift, and infinite blessings on your whole family.

    Love,
    Tanya

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  2. Audrey_Sheppard4/01/2012

    Very interesting interview.  I love how well Alexis was able to put her thoughts into words, and her drawings are very good.

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  3. Kristina Dyck4/03/2012

    Wow, she is very talented!!

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  4.  Admittedly, she struggled a tad. Processing is a challenge for her (even the spoken word). We had to pause and re-think a few times or she'd flat out ask me "Ok so what does that question mean?" and I'd have to break it down. (No easy task when it makes perfect sense to ME!) But all in all.. "She done good'. :-)

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  5.  On her behalf I thank you.

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  6. I think your daughter and my daughter should hook up by email or something.  They have a lot in common, especially their drawings!  Jasmine is 15.

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  7.  Hi Marsha! Is your daughter on Facebook? Alexis is. .. email me at holistichomeschooler@gmail.com and we'll figure it out.

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  8. What wonderful art work Alexis!  I can see your maturity and sincerity shine through your words and I believe that you will find greater joy and creativity as you use God's gifting and talents in your life.
    Michelle, isn't it wonderful that you have been able to watch your daughter bloom and grow in such homeschooling freedom? 

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  9.  Nadene,

    Yes. I have a deep appreciation for being the teachers of these beautiful people. It is a privilege to be their mom!

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