Posted by DAVID BC TAN under: Homeschooler Profile on 11 Nov 2009.
18-year old Rachel Spoelman has been called an actress, a writer, a college student, a Malaysian, an American, a genius, a sister, a char koay teow lover, a Milo addict, a geek, a purple-haired backwards guitar playing cowgirl, and an inside-out banana. Perhaps she is all of these things, perhaps she is none of them – that is for you to decide. 18-year old Rachel is presently in her second year of studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. She is taking an Asian Studies Major. In this essay, Rachel tells us why she’s glad to be homeschooled
I WAS A HOMESCHOOLED CHILD. When my mom and dad first told their family and friends that they had decided to homeschool their kids, the relatives all thought that Mom and Dad were crazy. They came up with many objections. They said that Mom couldn’t do it, and that even if she could teach me the elementary school subjects, that she, without a college degree, would never be able to handle teaching me when I reached high school age. They said that she was making a terrible decision for her child, that because of being kept at home and being homeschooled, that I would never develop socially, that my social skills would always be far behind those of my peers. They said that I would lack the opportunity to participate in the sports and extracurricular activities and service that I would have if I went to a private Christian school. They said that I would never be able to go to college if I didn’t have a ‘real’ transcript from a ‘real’ school. They said that successful homeschooling couldn’t be done.
But my Mom did not let everything they said stop her from doing what she felt was right for her family. She started teaching me the alphabet when I was three years old, and has never looked back.
Thirteen years later, we have found that they were wrong. I have now graduated from my homeschool high school. I have been accepted to college, I have served at my church, teaching children’s and youth classes, helping with VBS, and visiting elderly people in nursing homes for as long as I can remember. My Mom laughs when she remembers those people who told her I would have no friends if she didn’t send me to school; she thinks I spend far too much time having fun with my friends. What is more, some of those close friends are my younger siblings. That’s right, my Mom has had six younger children than me, and is homeschooling each one of them, so that all of us kids can stay together everyday and not be separated like we would be if we were sent to school. We have grown up all going to school together in the schoolroom in our house, and we have loved it.
I am so thankful for the decision my Mom and Dad made all those thirteen years ago. Sometimes people may say all kinds of things of discouraging things about the decisions you make or things you do in life, but I’ve learned that those ‘people; might not know everything there is to know. After all, they all said Mom couldn’t do it, that she couldn’t homeschool her kids, but today I am so glad that my mom did not listen to what they said!
This essay was originally published in The Random Writings of Rachel, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the author. To buy a copy of Rachel’s first self-published book, please email rdeen_phillips(at)yahoo.com