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Home schooling passes the self-motivation test

RYAN WARD

Home schooling is an alternative education usually best fit for minds who think outside the box. I've attended them all -- private school, public school, and also home schooling. If you ask me, I would compare home schooling to college. Important questions about home schooling are: Will I miss out on the high school experience? Do I miss the classroom atmosphere?

The reason home schooling is best compared with college is because you need the self motivation. In college, the teacher will not be on your back to get your work done. If you don't do your work, you fail. That's almost the same way it is with home schooling. While you're home schooled, sure you've got your parent there 24/7, but they are not going to put all the pressure on you to get school work done. You have to do it on your own. If you want that diploma, and if you want to go to college, then you need to get your work done, point blank.

Everything you have socially is going on outside of the school. It is kind of hard to keep up on a social life at a school where one of the major rules is "No talking." I have an amazing social life.

During school hours, I'm inside working, or helping out around the house. But when my friends are out of school, I'm out for the time being also. Until it gets to be 8 o'clock, when I can return to my kitchen, pop in "The Departed," and do the rest of my school work while enjoying a new American classic.

Do I miss the classroom atmosphere? Yes, if I miss getting yelled at for talking out of line, or being sent to the principal because the teacher obviously has no sense of humor.

One big issue with me, though, is my image. I don't want to be looked at as a kid who has dropped out of high school. And if you tell me that as a joke, I will snap on you, and let you know that I'm gearing right now to steal whatever spot at whatever college you want, and I will do it.

All in all, I am what I am. Whatever I put into high school, I'll get out of it, and I am making it clear: I'm going to be ready for college.

Ryan Ward, 16, is home-schooled and lives in Hyde Park.

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