This I Believe

Laura - Burnsville, North Carolina
Entered on March 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Joy of Learning

As a high school senior tackling an intense schedule in the last strides of my long race toward graduation, I didn’t necessarily associate school with pure joy and contentment. With more pressure than ever heaped on my shoulders, I knew that I must buckle down and face my challenges no matter how many potholes scattered my path. Sure, not everything concerning high school was bothersome; I loved waking up in the morning with the anticipation of seeing my friends and learning from my engaging teachers. Yet, there came a time when I just wanted to travel back to my early childhood when I enjoyed my status as a spirited explorer of not only academics but also life’s other important lessons— all in the comfort of my own home. I believe in the right to home school (under the right circumstances).

The early years of a child’s life provide life altering experiences that shape that child into the person that he/she will become in the future; I had the opportunity and privilege of being home schooled in these most important years. I can still remember the daily routine of waking up around 9:00 in the morning to nature’s song orchestrated by the birds—no alarm clock threatened my calm, deep sleep. Hopping out of bed, I scampered to my first creative playground: the kitchen. Making breakfast may seem routine to others, but a youngster sees a chance to use ordinary tools to make extraordinary culinary creations. My favorite concoction consisted of toast with jam accompanied by eggs resembling popcorn, scrambled to the point of no return.

With my brain food digested and a fresh mind ready for action, I began my studies with my mom by my side. One of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced came from the satisfaction of learning to read my first book: See Spot run. See Spot jump. When my dad walked through the door from work, I ran to him, book in hand, ecstatic that I could read just like him. Seeing my parents’ faces glow with pride, I knew I had done something big.

Academically, I had it made; when I struggled with a concept, my mom knew just how to clear up the confusion by developing different tactics that worked best with my individual learning style. I learned science concepts by taking hikes in our woods, and playing an educational computer game made social studies issues click when books didn’t cut it. I enjoyed learning in the company of my mom and older sister; nothing can sever the bond we created through our learning experiences together. While Mom rigorously pushed my older sister and I academically, we also regularly participated in social events like 4-H— launching homemade rockets and parading my dogs around in a pet show top the memorable list. The lessons acquired during this unique period in my life will always help guide me wherever I go. This is why I advocate the benefits of homeschooling.