My name is Olivia D’Agostino. I’m 15 years old and I’ve been homeschooled since first grade. I love reading and writing, especially fantasy, and I’ve been doing gymnastics since I was three. I also enjoy the company of animals and my family and roaming the great outdoors.
By Olivia D’Agostino
When many people hear the word “homeschoolers,” they immediately think, “weirdos.” To be homeschooled means your parents are over-protective, or you have no life. Or maybe you’re just stupid. But a single day in a public high school is enough to uncover the truth: public schoolers are the crazy ones. Most know so little about homeschooling that it’s clear, they’re the uneducated ones, not us.
But homeschooling is so much more than that. Homeschooling is the ability to get up at 5 in the morning and be done with school before noon. To build a tree house or a potato cannon for a physics project, or to cook a five course meal for chemistry. Rather than sitting in a history classroom for hours on end, homeschoolers can take the best field trips to D.C., Gettysburg, Niagara Falls, or wherever.
I’m a competitive gymnast. That’s my P.E. For English, I’ve written three novels—not novellas, but real, full length novels. I’m so far ahead in my schooling that, at 15 years old, I’m enrolled in three classes at Berkshire Community College (BCC). Last fall I took Pre-calculus there and passed with a ‘B’.
Because of the path my siblings and I are following, my family is going to take a year long vacation. My senior year of high school the five of us are packing up and travelling to all the national parks. Talk about a history lesson!
Homeschooling cuts the social drama to a minimum and helps prevent age barriers. I have no trouble talking to both four and 40 year olds (though maybe not at the same time). Public school teachers have told me outright that I’m more mature and pay better attention than many of the kids in the school system. Even the kids notice it, though they call it “overachieving” and “stuck-up” rather than “interested” or “respectful.”
I identify myself as a homeschooler. It’s as much a part of me as my feet. It’s the freedom to choose, the encouragement to be original and creative, and a way to experience a love for learning.