I really love today’s interview. I love it because as a homeschool mom, I love seeing a child who has been homeschooled successfully navigate their way to college and do well. I know that may sound silly, but I love talking to moms and kids alike who have made it through the homeschooling process and come out better in the end!
Today’s interview is with Jarryd Hawley, son of Nicky, who was interviewed in our last post. These interviews were done in 2012. At the time of the interview he was almost 19, and was finishing two associate degrees (now he didn’t tell me this for the interview, but I think he had a perfect GPA in his college classes). He then graduated from University of Illinois. He went to “regular school” until 8th grade, and then from 8th to graduation was homeschooled. He is originally from St. Clair, NSW, Australia, and moved to the States when he was 12. Now let’s get on with the good stuff…
Sacha: As a child who had been in both types of school, which did you prefer? Why?
Jarryd: I really have done all kinds of schooling. I spent six years in a private school, one year in public school, and five years homeschooled. With that being said, my homeschool experience was far and above the best of all. I preferred it for two main reasons; I was able to continuously work on my relationship with my family and do a curriculum that taught from a Christ-centered, faith-based perspective. I also loved doing school in my pajamas.
Sacha: What was the hardest thing for you in public school (peers, school work, waiting, etc.)?
Jarryd: I think the hardest thing in public school was the lack of a Christian environment. I struggled with the swearing, and severe disregard for what is right that was evident all around me in public school. It was hard for me to have a faith-based environment at home, and a morally depraved, worldly environment at school. For anyone trying to raise their children in Christian morals, this creates immense hypocrisy.
Sacha: What was the hardest thing to adjust to when you switched to homeschooling?
Jarryd: It was hard to adjust spending so much time around my siblings. While at school, you have that disconnect from them, in which you see them at night go to bed and repeat the process, only spending a large amount of time together on the weekends. This disconnect created animosity between myself and my siblings so that we really had to work through it in order to survive spending so much time with each other as a result of being homeschooled. As a result of this we now all have a great relationship that has developed from spending so much time together.
Sacha: Are you glad your parents chose to homeschool you?
Jarryd: I’m very pleased, and plan on making the same decision for my children.
Sacha: Was it a smooth transition, or were you mad about it, etc.?
Jarryd: It is quite a lifestyle change, but I was very eager to homeschool and, as a result, very flexible to whatever had to be done to make it work.
Sacha: If you had to do it all over again, what would you want your parents to have done differently?
Jarryd: I would have tried to get involved with more homeschool social groups (co-ops, sports, etc.). Apart from that, I think that I would do the same.
Sacha: How did being homeschooled prepare you for college?
Jarryd: Homeschooling prepared me for college by teaching me self-discipline and a desire for perfection with my grades. Every day I had to get up and gather everything I needed for school; this taught me a responsibility that has helped me in college. Also, when you are homeschooled, your parents see all of your grades, so every time you do an assignment you want to please them.
Sacha: Did you think you missed out on things that other public school kids were able to participate in?
Jarryd: I think that sports were the biggest thing, but in comparison to the benefits that I gained from being homeschooled, it was well worth the sacrifice.
There you have it…I would like to thank Jarryd and his mom, Nicky, for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Next up, we will continue our series of interviews on Choosing to Homeschool, After Having Your Kids in School!