Homeschool Student Interviews – Part 7

This month’s interview is with one of our regular bloggers!

Austin is a former homeschooler who never truly got the idea that graduation meant a stop from learning. Self-induced learning activities include traveling the nation filming short videos of historical locations, reading through 500-page books on the Apollo space program, and just about any other fun learning thing he can think up. This spring he will be graduating from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee with a degree in biology, but is already looking forward to the fall when he will begin graduate school at Andrews University in Michigan and keep learning!

1) What is your name and what country/state/province do you live in?

My name is Austin Menzmer, and I currently live in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

2) How long were you homeschooled?

I was homeschooled all the way from K through 12! Loved it!

3) What did you like most about being homeschooled?

Most of all, I really liked the flexibility that homeschooling gave me and my Mom — both with regards to what subjects were studied and our daily schedule.

For example, I really liked science in high school. While I took the required biology, chemistry, and physics, I really wanted to take an additional biology class, human anatomy, and physiology. I doubt that would have happened in regular high school, but it sure did my senior year in our homeschool! I thoroughly enjoyed that course, which was a major factor in my deciding to became a biology major when I got to college.

Secondly, is our daily schedule. For those of you who don’t know, I have a physical disability and at times have gone to therapy six days a week. Homeschooling gave more flexibility, in the fact that I could attend therapy appointments during the day rather than just in the afternoon/evening when “school got out.” We were able to fit (and accomplish!) my schoolwork around these therapy appointments, so I could still be a “regular kid” and have some free time later on in the day.

4) Was there anything you dislike about being homeschooled?

Honestly, nothing. (And my mother didn’t even pay me to say that!) Even now in college I still have a passion for learning, period. It is such an incredible privilege that so many take for granted.

5) Since learning never really ends, what is your favorite thing to study and learn more about?

Ha, ha! Exactly! I love learning about history in my spare time (could you tell from my virtual field trip articles??). It is so interesting to learn about how people used to live “way back when,” why they made the decisions they did, etc. I love seeing history come alive as I visit various historical sites and museums, particularly air and space museums!

I also really like studying biology (my major) and religion (my minor). In my mind, biology can be defined as “God is AWESOME!” My jaw seriously keeps dropping every day as I’m in class learning about some new aspect of how God created our universe. Truly, “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom,” Isa. 40:28. And, what can get better than studying God’s Word? I love studying the Bible, regardless if I’m getting college credit for it.

6) What are your favorite hobbies or activities?

Reading 500-page history books, playing with my sister, and making videos for my history-themed YouTube channel. I really like both the creative aspect of capturing video clips onsite and then editing them all together. I feel very fulfilled when I can help people virtually “visit” a place that they might not have the chance to go to in real life. I help educate them along the way when they just think they’re having fun watching one of my videos! Reading history books increases my knowledge and appreciation of different aspects of history that I would definitely not have otherwise. And spending quality time with those you love is never a waste. 🙂

If you haven’t seen my weekly videos yet and want to, be sure to check them out at www.youtube.com/tnphotobug. And, here is a link to a 60-second sampler of what you’ll find on my channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw2lITMzQb8.

7 ) How did homeschooling prepare you for college and/or the workforce?

I feel that being homeschooled really gave me the upper edge on practicing proactivity and other real life skills. For example, I had a bread business starting when I was around the age of 10 or 12. We lived near SWAU [Southwestern Adventist University] at the time, so that was my customer base. However, while my Mom would let me use her kitchen, she made me approach SWAU faculty and staff about buying my bread, she made me make the bread, and she made me pay her rent for use of her kitchen. Not only did I learn how to work and interact with others, but also some on personal finance and budgeting. Sure, I had a small percentage to spend how I chose, but we also had considerably larger sections for tithe, offering, and college/big savings. A year and a half ago, my parents and I jointly bought my first car, and a lot of the money I contributed was from all those years of saving my bread business money!

And, none of this would have occurred if I was not being homeschooled. It gave me a great opportunity to get some real life skills in ways I definitely wouldn’t just sitting in a classroom all day! Looking back at my college career, I am very happy for this early training in proactivity, because being proactive has helped me greatly in college, too.

8 ) What is the most annoying thing that people say to you when they learn that you were homeschooled?

Honestly, I have never had to face that problem. Wherever I have lived there has actually been plenty of other homeschoolers. So, nobody has really called me “weird” for being a homeschooler. I made a lot of friends with other homeschoolers at church, and many of my initial college friends were homeschoolers. Even with my college friends who were not homeschooled, they have never teased me at all. I feel very blessed!

Can I just momentarily give a plug for my school, Southern Adventist University?? It is awesome, you should definitely send your children to college here! I really like the spiritual nature on campus and the opportunities to grow your relationship with God. We have very strong academics, and the students here are definitely the dedicated, God-honoring people that you would want your kids to be lifelong friends with. Come “be a part” of Southern and learn more at www.southern.edu!

Homeschool Student Interviews – Part 6

Today we meed a 17-year-old young man who is half of a pair of identical twins. They are the eldest of four boys total and live on a five-acre ranch, where they grow a big garden each summer. The twins are members of their local rural fire department’s junior program. They participate in all the same training as the adult members, and participate in all calls except structure fires. They are also training to be EMS technicians when they turn 18.

1 ) What is your name and what country/state/province do you live in?

My name is Andrew and I live in Idaho.

2 ) How long have you been home schooled?

I have been unschooled the whole time.

3 ) What do you like most about being home schooled?

That’s a hard one. There are so many benefits. I guess if I had to choose, it would be the ability to learn at my own pace.

4 ) Is there anything you dislike about being home schooled?

That’s an interesting question; I don’t think I could come up with a single thing I dislike.

5 ) What is your favorite thing to learn about?

History and science. I especially enjoy learning about the political events of the past such as the complex causes of World War I.

6 ) What are your favorite hobbies or activities?

Volunteer firefighting is the hobby and activity which takes up most of my time. Beyond that I really enjoy creating model fire trucks, planes, trains, and military vehicles with legos. Once you throw away the instructions they come with, the sky is the limit for what you can build.

7 ) What would you like to do when you grow up?

I plan on doing some sort of firefighting, perhaps wildland firefighting.

8 ) Do you have a favorite project that you have worked on for school?

As an unschooler, there aren’t really school projects per se, but I have worked on a couple projects with my fire department to rebuild old trucks for our use. We’re volunteer exclusively so we have a very small budget, no room for new trucks. My part was helping repaint and stencil the logo on one truck, and installing storage drawers and equipment on another truck.

9) How has homeschooling prepared you for other aspects of your life?

Being able to help my parents with shopping, home and car repairs, bill paying, and even their jobs sometimes has prepared me for a lot of aspects in life that I wonder if kids who go out to attend school are able to learn. I would have missed out on some pretty epic things like crawling under the house to repair a burst water pressure tank if I had been in school at the time. I’ve also been able to volunteer with the fire department and been on many fire calls when I wouldn’t have been able to were I in school. I think the benefits of homeschooling will pay off well, as I already have local businesses interested in hiring me once I turn 18 because they know of my work ethic.

Andrew (2nd from left) and his twin Matthew (2nd from right) with other members of the junior volunteer firefighters

Homeschool Student Interviews – Part 5

tessaThis month’s homeschool student interview is with a talented young lady from the Pacific Northwest. She is learning to play the organ. Recently she started a pay-it-forward style group with a friend, called Daughters of the King, to share kindness with people they encounter in their community.

1 ) What is your name and what country/state/province do you live in?

Tessa Kimmel. Washington State.

2 ) How long have you been home schooled?

Six years.

3 ) What do you like most about being homeschooled?

That I can go places and catch up with school later.

4 ) Is there anything you dislike about being homeschooled?

That I don’t get to see my friends every day.

5 ) What is your favorite thing to learn about?

I like to read about people’s lives.

6 ) What are your favorite hobbies or activities?

Skiing, reading, crocheting, playing piano, riding horses, and drawing.

7 ) What would you like to do when you grow up?

Be a homeschooling stay-at-home mom.

8 ) What is your favorite project that you have worked on for school?

We did Story of the World last year, and I made naan bread while my mom was taking a nap — and I had the whole kitchen to myself!

Homeschool Student Interviews – Part 4

This month’s interview is with Bruno, a young entrepreneur. He has a business with his father repairing small engines such as lawn mowers and snow blowers. He is involved in some town sports and Pathfinders, is learning to play the guitar, and participates in lots of field trips and homeschool classes as well as a co-op this year. He loves airplanes and Legos. 🙂

bruno-1

1 ) What is your name and what country/state/province do you live in?

My name is Bruno Rondinelli and I live in Massachusetts.

2 ) How long have you been homeschooled?

Forever! Since I was a little kid.

3 ) What do you like most about being homeschooled?

What I like about homeschooling is having a flexible schedule.

4 ) Is there anything you dislike about being homeschooled?

No, not really.

5 ) What is your favorite thing to learn about?

I like history the best, especially the years between 1939 and 1945.

6 ) What are your favorite hobbies or activities?

I like to play ice hockey.

7 ) What would you like to do when you grow up?

Besides being a professional hockey player, I would like to be an Air Force pilot.

8 ) What is your favorite project that you have worked on for school?

The cells we made with vegan gelatin because I got to eat it.

bruno-2

Homeschool Student Interviews – Part 3

Charity and her beautiful violin

Charity and her beautiful violin

This month’s installment of “Homeschool Student Interviews” features 10-year-old Charity. She is involved with a youth symphony and a girls choir. In addition to her regular homeschooling, she is also taking a couple classes from northstar-academy.org and Homeschool Spanish Academy!

1 ) What is your name and what country/state/province do you live in?

My name is Charity Duran and I live in Minnesota, USA.

2 ) How long have you been homeschooled?

I have been homeschooled since I started Kindergarten.

3 ) What do you like most about being homeschooled?

I enjoy having a flexible schedule so that I can do a lot of things in the middle of the school day. 

4 ) Is there anything you dislike about being homeschooled?

I maybe dislike a little not being with my friends. 

5 ) What is your favorite thing to learn about?

I like literature the best. 

6 ) What are your favorite hobbies or activities?

My favorite hobbies/activities are violin, singing, doing things on my computer, and teaching myself gymnastics. 

7 ) What would you like to do when you grow up?

I would like to be either a National Park Ranger or a professional violinist. 

8 ) What is your favorite project that you have worked on for school?

My favorite project was writing a report about salt. Did you know salt was once used for money?