Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sabrina Avedisian: Home schooling has given me tremendous opportunities

The following piece appeared in the Union Leader.

Sabrina Avedisian: Home schooling has given me tremendous opportunities
Monday, May. 12, 2008

HOME SCHOOLING provides amazing opportunities for students. At the age of 12, I planned to squeeze four years of high school into a two-year-period by studying through the summers. At this rate, I would graduate high school by the age of 16. This was my grand plan until through home schooling I became involved in a national speech and debate league.

Instead of graduating in two years as I had planned, I quickly realized that I wanted to spend five years in high school. From the ages of 12 to 16 I was seriously involved in speech and debate, winning many awards. I was able to win several state championships and go on to place in the national tournament.

Last fall, I decided that I would stop my "career" as a speaker and move on to something that I could not live without: music. After studying various forms of music for many years, I decided to attend a music conservatory in Cambridge, Mass., for voice. I am enrolled in the Young Performer's Certificate Program. I also began to teach piano. Home schooling has allowed me to follow my dreams and major in music for high school.

Home schooling presents the incredible opportunity for each student to follow their educational dreams. Anything is possible. Advanced aviation, music and science are all at the finger tips of these students.

None of this, however, would be possible if it weren't for dedicated parents who stand ready to support their students in their dreams. I am especially grateful for my parents, and particularly my mother. Every Saturday she makes the three-hour round trip to the conservatory.

One benefit of home schooling is the unique relationships built in home-school families. Home schooling has brought my family together in a special bond. As a family, we have been able to learn and travel together in a way only possible in home schooling. I am truly grateful that I can home school.

Although not every parent or every child was meant to home school, I feel that every child should have the opportunity. I also believe that every parent should have the choice. Home schooling provides students with opportunities that they might not otherwise have. Home schooling is a choice I am grateful my parents made for me.


Sabrina Avedisian is a home-schooled student from Auburn.

Within the comments section someone who appears to be a teacher named Joan made some snide remarks to the above eloquently written essay.

The following response which was not posted on the Union Leader to Joan comes from Jim Peschke.

I think what we have here is a teacher with poor reading comprehension trying to demean the well-written letter from a successful homeschooler. Joan, you get an "F" for Reading Comprehension, because Sabrina most certainly did back up her main point with copious examples from her personal life. Did you even read her letter?

Sabrina is NOT mistaken in her inference that her opportunities would be denied a public school student. No matter how much a student might get from their public school, it remains watered down because of the one-size-fits-none approach of public ed, endless red tape, and incompetence protecting tenure.

Sabrina is not responsible for "inspiring students in a group environment". That is the responsibility of the school teacher, a responsibility they frequently fail to meet.

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