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Homeschool Success Stories
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Want to learn the secret of homeschool success?
Check out the stories and links below...

May 30, 2006
Just wanted to tell everyone that my son won an essay contest! It was a Lewis and Clark essay contest sponsored by the National Guard. He won an all expense paid trip to North Dakota this summer to celebrate the 200th birthday of Lewis and Clark. It's called the Lewis and Clark Youth Rendezvous and it will be a fun filled educational trip. Here's the link.
July 27, 2004
My 3rd (homeschooled) son just got back from Military Enlistment Processing Center here in Seattle. I thought some of you might like to know how it went.  He says he owes his success in part to Saxon Math-Physics and in large part to his homeschool mom : ) The Saxon method does help reinforce abstract concepts however; it does require a leap from the problem sets to application--but the 2nd editions seem to do this better.

On the Navy advanced training exam (trigonometry, kinetic physics and chemistry) he scored 94%. Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery--he scored 99%. To be considered for Navy Nuclear Power School (NNPS) requires a combined score of 250, he scored 262 (~94%), Maximum is 280.  He has been accepted as a volunteer into NNPS and into nuclear submarine school.

He got a $15,000 signing bonus + he enters the NAVY CASH-delayed entry program as an E-2 $1300 per month (--after paying CC tuition and books he will bank about $8,000 living at home) September 2004 to late April 2005 to complete his 2nd year of community college in pre-engineering. Plus add $35,000 in Montgomery GI Bill benefits post Navy ( ~ $972 per month for 36 months (4 years X 9 months per year ) to complete the final two years of his BS in Electrical Engineering (EE) and an MS in EE--all debt free. By completing NNPS he also gets 31 semester hours of engineering school credit at most engineering programs.
 This is in addition to whatever he makes and saves during 6 years in the Navy (with extra at-sea pay and on top of that added sub pay).  Submarines in combination with Navy Nukes attract the top 3% of the entire Navy.
May 21, 2003
Sandi  Orsig
On May 21, 2003, ten finalists squared off against each other in the contest, vying for the top prize of a U.S. $25,000 college scholarship. Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy!, moderated. James Williams, a homeschooled 14-year-old 8th grader from Vancouver, Washington, won the bee.  Second place went to Dallas Simons, of Nashville, Tennessee, while third was taken by Sean Rao from near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The final question was "Goa, a state in southwestern India, was a possession of which country until 1961?" Williams correctly answered, "Portugal." You can view the webcast here:  Want to test your skills on geography?  Visit this website and take the challenge!

March 6, 2003
Jeanne Biggerstaff
Congratulations are in order to the two Oregon Home Education Network (OHEN)secondary (high school) level teams that competed on at the Metro West Regional tournament on March 1st.   The teams finished in first & second place and will be competing in the state tournament on the OSU campus on April 12th!  If you are interested in learning more about this creative problem solving competition you can visit the national DI web site at  The state tournament will be an excellent opportunity to see some of the best teams from around the state and learn more about DI.  Not to mention we'd love to have a supportive audience!   I can't say enough about this program and the important skills it teaches.

1)  Kids learn how to learn on their own.
2)  Their education can be tailored to suit their needs.
3)  Kids learn how to think instead of what to think.
I know for my teen a couple of things really came into play when his growth spurts hit! One is being able to get enough sleep. Another is being able to eat when he's hungry and not just when a bell rings. He also has time for sports without them competing with his studies. I'd say this physical activity, healthy more natural sleep and eating pattern helps him concentrate better.  I'd also have to add being able to study a subject and take off in the direction of a personal interest in depth makes the original study stick with them better. Also without the social stresses and the occasional control freak teacher looking over their shoulder I think my kids learn better... less stresses.... safety .... more relaxed environment allows them to enjoy learning. There are just so many things. My touchy feely kid can get his hands into things. My quick learner can speed her way through when she wants to. My reluctant little one can get the extra time he needs when he needs it.  They get all their questions answered not passed over. 
Advantages: Learn at your own rate, more freedom, you have a choice in what you study, you don't have to wait for everyone in the class to get something, you have time to read books, you get things done faster.
Ann Lahrson Fisher is in the final stages of publishing a book that looks at
common characteristics of homeschooling families that use a broad spectrum of homeschooling styles.  (It's a good book -- I expect it will be like the "Joy of Cooking" for homeschooling, a good starting point for new homeschoolers and a handy reference guide for more experienced homeschoolers.)

Among other things, she points out that homeschooling families spend more time in conversation (rather than one-way teacher-to-student lecturing in the classroom), which gives children an opportunity to develop critical thinking skills and to gain confidence in their ideas. 

I also believe that one of the greatest strengths of homeschooling is that our children are allowed to be children, with time to play, time to think by and for themselves, and time to get to know themselves.  I don't know if this
necessarily translates into higher test scores, but I know that it directly translates into young adults being well-prepared to face the world with joy, curiousity, imagination, ethics and self-confidence.
They have more time to work on their specialized talents. You are free to teach those things that the public school does not offer. They can be more involved if you have a home business. They can also learn cooking and all those domestic things you do around the house. But that is the main thing which you already mentioned is that the kids learn how to learn on their own. There's a few just off the top of my head. I'm sure other people have alot more to share too.

As Gatto and Holt have noticed, the learning process does not fit well (if at all) into the industrial-style environment of the classroom. So, simply taking them out of that environment is a huge boost to learning.

I think kids learn who they are without the distractions of others (peers, etc.) telling them who they *should* be. I think because of this, they also learn to trust hemselves.

I think this strand is another example of why home schoolers do so well. There is no such thing as an obstacle with you guys, where the road is blocked, you create a path around it.  What an awesome thing to teach!  I am so well trained at working within the system, I can learn so much from those of you who have deleted off of your hard drives!

What is making it work for us so far is....The learning of values, morals and good old fashion respect.  These three things have played a BIG part in our learning.  Family has become important again.  I had lost alot in the 3 and 5 years they were in public schools.  They have slowly come back and are gradually loving learning again!!  The freedom to research things that interest them, eating when hungry, restroom needs handled without permission, the questions they aren't afraid to ask, biological clocks working in their favor, taking two days to learn something that they couldn't get in 40 minutes and taking 5 minutes to learn something instead of 35 more minutes of wasted time, one on one education, learning resources to tape other people to help them learn and not depending only on me or one person in their lives, the unique ways in which they each learn are all issues that are easily addressed through homeschooling.  

1) they feel loved, accepted, encouraged
2)More one on one, individual attention and small group interaction
3)They never have to be held back with the rest of the class or pushed forward when they are not ready!
4)Spend a lot more time on those things that really grab their attention.

The biggest advantage, I believe, is relationship!  We are with our children 24-7 and we actually get to know them.  After NOT homeschooling my first 3 (except for Althea a couple of years)  I found it was hard to know where they were coming from and it was hard to work through growth and peer stuff. Not that it's easy now, but I know these girls and I can make more accurate judgements in their behalf than I could with the older ones.

All men who have turned out worth anything, have had the chief hand in their own education.  ~ Sir Walter Scott