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Fifteen, Punk, and Homeschooled

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In a world that’s run by computers, it’s very easy to accept the concept of computer school. Goodness knows there’s a time in every kid’s life when they beg their parents to be homeschooled. Well, I’m here to tell you kids just how much you’re missing out on. Ha!

I’ve attended a digital academy from home since junior high school, and probably will remain schooled from home until the cows come home, or my junior year when I plan to go to the vocational school to study graphic arts. I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty awesome. Can you imagine a world where you wake up, stretch, yell to your Mom, “Mom, I’m off to school!” take five steps, sit at a computer, and start your schoolwork? That is a great world.

Many people don’t see it that way, though. There’s only one class I take at the high school: orchestra. Violas rule! Anyway, I once had someone ask me, “Why are you homeschooled? I could never deal with that.” I responded, “Because the school is messed up.” The truth is I also had a lot of problems with schoolwork, so maybe I’m just bitter.

I had problems paying attention in school. Basically, every time my teacher would talk I would use my crayons and create a fantasy world. Maybe if school was more like The Magic School Bus then things would be all fine and dandy, but my school was boring. Not to mention that math was a mortal enemy of mine. I really wasn’t good at math, and that really bugged me. They tried to blame it on ADHD, which we all knew I didn’t have.

There are kids out there that have it and truly have trouble because of it. A few of my friends do, but I don’t. In a way, they were trying to find an easy solution for a problem that just required some work. As sad as it is, that’s what happening at a lot of schools. Thankfully, my parents knew there was something more to my problems and got me the help I needed. This all played a big part in why I’m homeschooled in the first place.

I also like the time factor. Instead of spending six hours doing schoolwork, I spend two hours on it. That gives me a lot of time to play Guitar Hero, Pac-man, and spend more time on the computer. Just like every other teenager in America, I’m addicted to my computer. Most days, I have enough time to work on stuff that might help me prepare for my future – like writing or making movies.

Some people say homeschooling causes social problems. Um, have they met me? I talk to people till their ears bleed. School wasn’t really meant for socializing anyway. We’re there to learn. Socializing is for later in life. Besides, some of the world’s most famous people were loners: Albert Einstein, Jane Seymour, Hannibal Lecter – you know, those guys.

In a way, orchestra is a way for me to socialize. I’ve met some of my best friends there. Horse riding is also a way for me to socialize. I met my best friend that way. I’ve met many close friends at my barn. If you take classes somewhere, like at the YMCA or maybe join the regular school’s drama club, you can be social that way, too. You can meet people you have a lot in common with.

Some parents get concerned because if their child is homeschooled, they won’t get on the sports teams, like football and basketball, or in the case at the local public school, track and lacrosse. As it happens, Kathy (another homeschooled student in orchestra) and I have made our own sports team. We’re the Digital Academy Lady Otters and we’re very strict with practices. Every other Saturday we go over to Kathy’s house. She has a basketball hoop and we sit in her driveway and drink Sunny Dee. Every time we win a game, we have pot-roast to celebrate. Mmm, pot-roast. Okay, I made that part up, but we do talk about playing basketball sometimes.

In all seriousness, I partake in horse riding. It’s great exercise. I also used to take karate, in which, yes, I kicked butt. It’s a good form of exercise and a great way to let your mind be free.

In the future, everyone is going to have to learn to use the computer. As it is, our fast food system is run by computers, so why not our schools? This way, our schools can teach us everything from working in stocks to working in fast-food joints. It’s an all-around system.

I say that however parents choose to school a child should be based on how their child reacts. If your kid works better with computers, maybe consider homeschooling. If you like regular school, go for it. Personally, I’ve just always been a homeschooler at heart. It works a lot better with my study habits, but we’re all different people and we all enjoy different things. I guess you just have to decide what way will give you a better education.

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About Kate

  • Katelynn Phillips

    Thank you Mark! You’re comment was so nice, wow….I’m typically good at english, it’s math that sucks my will to live…thanks again!

  • wow, i’m stunned at the maturity you’re displaying. at your age, i’m fairly certain i could not have strung together two complete sentences.

    i do have faith about my future though, since apparently longer rule, or something like that.

    welcome to bc katelynn.

  • Katelynn Phillips

    Hey everyone! Thanks for the comments, this is my first article on blogcritics so hearing so many positive things is awesome!

    Maddy- Thank you very much! Being on you show got me into this, and now I’m having the time of my life. I’ve never felt better about my writing, thank you so much.

    Justene- Thanks for the comment, homeschooling is fun. I’m sorry you couldn’t get Maddy and Amanda in it….Maybe next time.

    Phillip- I found your comment interesting. I probably will look back when I’ve graduated and realize the true flaws of regular school and apprieate the oppertunity I had growing up. Thank you.

    Connie (a.k.a Mom)- Could not have explained it better myself…It was a very good comment, Mother…Love you! Thank you.

    Leslie- Thank you very much! I try not to be normal, which I suppose at the school I go to orchestra too, I would be considered ‘not average’ But your comment made me feel very happy, thank you.

    Dana- Thank you, I put alot of effort into the article and title…well, okay, it just came to me, but I’m proud of the name, thank you for your wonderful comment.

    Ruvy- Thank you for your comment. I very much believe alot of the effect my parents had made me the person I am today, and home schooling has just done wonders for me. And wow,Israeli? That’s interesting, i really don’t think we truly understand another country’s customs until we’ve been there. Best of luck to you too and thank you.

    Jon- Thank you, that’s exactly how I feel! It always seemed like spending 6 hours in class made it hard to concertrate through out the whole day. I heard in some places they want to make the school day longer….That’s just ridiculous, like you said, if we just got to the point the day would go alot faster.

    Summer- Thank you, it’s good to hear from a home school Mom. I think it’s wonderful that you saw an alternative and work hard to make it come true. Home Schooling has changed me for the better, and I wish you all the luck, and thanks again.

  • Great article! As a homeschooling mom I love hearing from teens how their experiences are.

  • Your comment about spending two hours doing schoolwork instead of six hours jumped out at me. When I was in school – at least up until 7th or 8th grade – I always felt that most of the school day was a huge waste of time. Except for math, we just learned the same stuff over and over every year, with a new textbook with exactly the same information (with smaller text and slightly bigger words). So definitely, if we could have just concentrated without all the distractions of being in class, we could have learned all the material in much less time than we actually spent at school.

  • Katelynn,

    Your article is no surprise to me; your mother definitely deserves credit for doing the right thing by you in home-schooling you – even if it is not precisely home-schooling.

    One of our friends from southern Minnesota home-schooled her children and the results were fantastic. From what I’ve seen, schools world wide are designed to turn out obedient sheeple. I would have loved to have been able to home school our kids, but the money just would not have worked. Young boys need your time, and when our boys were young, I had to spend my time earning my part of the mortgage.

    When we moved to Israel, I 3was anxious to send my kids to school simply so that they would learn Hebrew and develop the network of friends they would need to survive here (Israeli society is very different from American society that way). But the schools here are so deficient that I’ve had to “home-school” our kids a lot anyway. I’m just glad that I never threw out the TIME-LIFE books my mom bought me when I was a bored young snot in high school.

    Boy, have they come in in handy!

    Best of luck to you!! Do hook up with Maddy (comment #1). She has a cool radio show!

  • I love your title and your observations.

  • Leslie Bohn


    Very good writing. Keep it up. One quibble: Don’t describe yourself as “average,” as you do in your tag. That’s nothing to strive for, and it doesn’t sound true to me, based on this small sample.

  • Nice job with your first article, daughter.

    While Katelynn calls what she does home school, because she can do her school work in her pajamas at her computer, she is actually a student of a Digital Academy. So, it’s not quite the same, though all the concerns she addresses do apply.

    However, she has assignments which are given by and have to be returned to accredited teachers who are part of a recognized charter school that works closely with our public school. She is allowed to take one class a semester from the school and can participate in any/all extra curricular activities.

    Upon completion, she will receive a diploma from the local public school. That is, unless she follows through with the plans to start at the vocational school her junior year, then she would graduate from that school.

  • Home education does have drawbacks, but the criticisms leveled by most people are *way* off. Socialization? Academics? Extra-curricular activities? Ha!

    A few years after you’ve graduated, you’ll look back and see more clearly what the flaws actually are, but overall, I’m glad things are working out for you.

  • Justene

    I think homeschooling is cool. Could not talk my kids into it. They are sure that if they liked it, it wouldn’t be school.

  • CallmeMaddy

    Hey, nice article! You have a nice style–very mature, but still contains that ‘teenageness’ in it. Very cool.

    I think we should discuss this on the radio tomorrow.