By Kerensa McElrath
I don’t imagine that many of you have as many sisters as I do, mostly because being the penultimate child out of five girls isn’t something that many can lay claim to. But then again, neither is being homeschooled for your entire education up until 9th grade.
Did I trick you into thinking I was normal? Let it be a lesson to you: Never take anyone for granted.
I don’t remember when my mother started teaching me, exactly, though I’m sure I must have been five or six since that’s about when I was learning to read. Homeschooling to me was an unalterable fact of life, like the house my family’s lived in since I was born or the color of my eyes. It was an interesting factoid when I was around other people who didn’t share my experience, but mostly it was just how life was, especially since I, unlike my three older sisters, had never gone to kindergarten or elementary school before our parents started homeschooling us. And by “our parents,” I do mean my mother, being that she was the dedicated individual who made teaching us her job.
Looking back, I enjoyed being homeschooled. I enjoyed being able to stay up as late as I wanted (which, back then, wasn’t that late) reading books and then getting out of bed at ten the next morning. I liked having the free time to read as many books as I wanted and going on field trips with my mother and sisters instead of spending eight hours a day in school. I liked having having my mother read aloud books to the five of us, though of course I preferred reading them myself. You can imagine the protests that were raised when I wanted to read ahead of everyone else-- let’s just say that in our family, Harry Potter is serious business.
So yes, I did like the freedom of learning at the pace I set for myself and yes, I think being homeschooled has shaped the person I am today in a lot of ways. But to be honest, you’d have to promise me supreme dictatorship of the world to convince me to go back to spending every day at home by myself. Yes, the experience was valuable, but I actually do love it here at La Cañada. Yeah, I know, it’s kind of weird to like school, but I don’t know if everyone who’s been in public schools their whole lives realizes what they have here. I love my mother, I really do, but the teachers here at this school range from great to incredible and I consider myself lucky to be able to be taught by them, especially the English department (You guys know who you are).
I’m also happy to go to school with the people I go to school with every day. Over the past two years and counting I’ve met and befriended a ton of amazing, amazing people and I know by the end of this year I will be able to count even more of you among my friends. The friends I’ve made here are particularly important to me because the truth is that for the greater part of my life I haven’t had a lot of friends and I often struggled to make new ones. So, I guess in conclusion, I guess I’d like to give a shout-out to you--to the student body of La Canada and to the friends I’ve made that have helped me feel so accepted here. Here’s to you!
We speak our mind in the Opinion Section, publishing our take on current events, school controversies, and anything else we think might pique your interest.