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Other Side of the Homeschool Table...Leanne Hanson
2/28/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Susan Lyttek

                It is my intent that this interview with Leanne Hanson be the first among many interviews with adults and teens with a homeschooled background. I call it ‘the other side of the homeschool table’ since more often than not the home table becomes the school room. I think the homeschool community can learn much from those who lived the education.

Homeschooled by Homeschooling: Leanne, thank you so much for agreeing to be my first guinea pig for this column.

Leanne Hanson: (Laughing) No problem. I’m looking forward to it.

HBH: When were you homeschooled and why?

Leanne: I was homeschooled for four years from 3rd to 6th grade. The school system changed my brother from a reader to a non-reader and I was having my own frustrations. The school made reading unbelievably boring and difficult.

HBH: What did you enjoy about homeschooling?

Leanne: My favorite subject was probably English. But I loved taking field trips for science and using a baseball diamond to learn the times tables. If my brother and I made it through a stack of flashcards, we got to move forward a base. It was awesome when we scored a run! We also learned fractions with peppermint patties and took many, many great field trips to the Smithsonian and Washington D.C. sites. Did I mention the field trips?

HBH: I think homeschool parents like the field trips almost as much as the kids. But how did the effects of homeschooling impact you after high school?

Leanne: Homeschooling gave me confidence in myself and confidence interacting with adults and people older than me. Because of that, peer pressure and bullying never got to me. Also because I learned early on how to self-pace my own learning, I didn’t have to surmount that hurdle once I got to college.

                When I spent a year teaching, my homeschool experience both helped and hindered me. It helped because I recognized the different ways students learn and I could adapt to my students’ strengths when developing my lesson plans. Because homeschooling helped me thrive by getting to know individuals, it made covering the material a bit slower when I had a group of fifteen to twenty. I much preferred teaching smaller classes or doing one on one after school when I had more personal interaction.

HBH: What else did you like about being homeschooled?

Leanne: How our neighborhood friends envied us for getting done with our work so much sooner than they did!

HBH: What else would you like to say?

Leanne: Homeschooling made me the confident person I am today because my mom took every opportunity to socialize and educate my brother and me as well as she could. Fieldtrips and co-ops helped with both, as well as the responsibility of being in charge of what work we got done that day (if we didn’t finish, we’d have to do it the next day on top of that day’s work, too!). Oftentimes, she’d let us work ahead if we wanted to, so we could finish up early and have time for a field trip. And of course, with so much free time on my hands, I fell in love with reading and writing stories—which is probably why I’m looking to get published soon. J I loved being homeschooled and have a huge amount of respect for those parents who take it upon themselves to teach their children. I would love to homeschool my kids if/when I have any.

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