The Washington Homeschool Organization Scholarship Selection Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Emmett Comer Scholarship:


Grace lives in Puyallup, Washington. Her winning essay was titled “Advantages of Homeschooling”. You will enjoy reading her essay here. Grace has won $1,000.00 to be used for her future education goals.

On behalf of the Washington Homeschool Organization

Congratulations, Grace!


Grace Thomas

Advantages of Homeschooling

Since my junior year I have been a tutor at Pierce College. Many of the students that I tutored were shocked upon hearing that I was homeschooled. I shared equal bewilderment; why was it such a surprise that I was a well-educated, well-spoken, social homeschooler? It dawned on me that the advantages of homeschooling that were so clear to me were not evident to those outside of the homeschool world. Thus, I aspired to inform these individuals of how homeschooling has shaped my success.
Because of homeschooling, I was able to work on school subjects at my own pace and choose curriculum that best fit my needs. In middle school, the math I took proved to be difficult; some days, a single lesson would take me four hours to complete. However, this difficulty benefited me and significantly strengthened my knowledge of the subject, allowing me to excel in math during high school. By the end of my junior year I had completed Calculus 3 and was warmly accepted as a Calculus tutor. My age and education often impressed the adults that I tutored, and I owe that to homeschooling.
Homeschooling also taught me how to be well-organized and responsible. My flexible schedule allowed time for me to pursue my passions such as art and music, yet it it also taught me at a young age to find balance and create a schedule. I now use my time management skills to balance my education, a part-time job, and the position of president of the Swing Dance Club at Pierce College. Privileged with the opportunity to develop these skills at a young age, I have been able to maintain a crazy schedule without allowing my grades to suffer.
What shocks people most is the fact that I am a homeschooler who is comfortable with socializing. Because I was not constantly surrounded by my peers growing up, I had to actively pursue friendships and opportunities to meet new people. One such activity that I pursued was the chance to serve at a food bank each Friday afternoon. At the food bank, I met a wide range of individuals of diverse personalities, ages, religions, languages, and wisdom. As a result, I learned how to cooperate with people I may never have chosen to interact with otherwise. My choice to work at the food bank provided me with experience in socializing with others; this proved to be helpful when I made the transition from homeschooling to the public environment of Running Start.
Instead of simply admitting to being homeschooled, I take pride in acknowledging its place of positive influence in my life, seeking to help others recognize its advantages as well. As a result, I have gained the respect of fellow students and grown in confidence. It is possible for homeschoolers to have a successful education, job, and social life. I am proof of this, and while some still marvel at my success as a homeschooler, I trust it means I am doing something right.