Home school students get a lot of negative criticism from those around them and from those in the media. Critics of home schools claim that parents cannot teach their own children as effectively as professional teachers, or that homeschoolers are not properly socialized and are isolated from the real world like public school students. But for all the negative press, homeschoolers have generally excelled academically. Some home schoolers even get a full ride scholarship to Harvard.
12-Year-Old Kerry Anderson Home Schooled on the Road
As a young girl, Kerry was home schooled in the cab of a big rig truck as her mother drove for a living and made deliveries around the United States. At the young age of 12, Kerry decided to trade the traditional educational model of public school and join her cross-country truck driver mom on the road. Steven, her younger brother joined them. Kerry and her brother visited and saw more places than most folks ever see in a lifetime and learned about things most other kids only read about in books or see on TV.
Truck Driver Mom as Home School Teacher
How many kids have ever wondered just how Algebra is going to be used in real life? Kerry’s mother, who has no teaching background, would teach using practical examples. Education is more than just book-learning, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Education is about learning the basics, of course, but it’s also about how those basic skills and knowledge can be applied in real life. Kerry and her brother would plan where her mom would drive and calculate how long it would take them to arrive at their destination, and how much fuel would be required. Practical uses of math and geography used in real life. Through her mom’s truck driving travels, Kerry and her brother experienced many things about life.
A Homeschooler’s Road to Full Scholarship at Harvard University
After completing middle school and high school on the road, Kerry was ready to change to learning in a more conventional way. She attended Valencia Community College to continue toward earning her college degree. While studying at Valencia, she made the dean’s list, became active in campus activities, and participated in community service projects with other students. So much for the lack of socialization argument from home school critics.
For her service and dedication, Kerry was named the Distinguished Graduate for 2007 by the Alumni Association at Valencia College. At her graduation, Kerry addressed more than 4,500 of her fellow students. From there, she earned a full scholarship to Harvard University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in government. Kerry has always been interested in politics and is considering law school and a career in foreign policy and international relations.
Perhaps it’s time the critics of home school students take another look at the sort of kids coming out of home schools. Maybe one of the greatest benefits of a home school education is that children can be protected from the negative and dangerous characteristics of being socialized in the public school system. In a typical home school environment, things like negative peer pressure, immaturity, immorality, drugs, gangs, and violent behavior are not part of the overall socialization process.
OrlandoSentinel.com, “‘Road scholar’s’ odyssey: From big rig to Harvard”
NPR.org, “Cab-Schooled Student Earned Ticket to Harvard
CDC.gov, “Youth Violence: School Violence”