2020 Emmett Comer Scholarship Winner – Raena Mawson

Raena’s winning essay:

If you were to walk up to any random person on the street, and ask them to give you an advantage of homeschooling, chances are they would not be able to think of anything. However, contrary to what many people think, being homeschooled has given me many advantages in my schooling. It has allowed me to have a curriculum tailored to me, helped me build better relationships with my siblings, and has overall given me a great deal of flexibility.

Homeschooling allowed me to pick subjects I am interested in, and take classes that are not typically offered at public schools…

Being homeschooled means my curriculum is tailored to my specific needs and interests. I can pick subjects I am interested in, and take classes that are not typically offered at public schools, such as forensic science, critical reading, and logic. During my sophomore year, this ability to tailor my curriculum enabled me to switch from Geometry to Algebra 2, a math level I was more comfortable with.

Having my siblings home all the time has also helped us build better family relationships. Since we are in close contact with each other all the time, we know each other very well. Every Christmas, my siblings and I participate in Secret Siblings. We are all assigned a sibling to buy a present for. Last Christmas, right after we moved to Washington, we went to Goodwill to buy presents for each other. My grandma went with us, and afterward told my parents how impressed she was that every one of us had specific ideas for what our siblings would like. Even my three-year-old sister knew what she wanted to get me. This level of closeness with each other would have been harder to attain if we were gone all day in public school.

In addition to creating close relationships, homeschooling has given me a great deal of flexibility in my education. Not only can I tailor my curriculum, but I can change the length of time spent on each topic. I can strive for mastery of each skill, taking as much or as little time as I need. I do not have to move on before I am ready, nor do I have to wait for classmates to catch up. Taking days off when needed, as well as postponing lessons until later in the day or week, is an option readily available. During the time I have been homeschooled, my family has moved three times. This flexibility of timing has been of enormous benefit to us throughout our moves, and during the regular school year as well.

I am grateful for the opportunities and advantages homeschooling has given me. With the help of tailorable curriculum, better family relationships, and great flexibility, I have learned to be an independent learner, preparing me to do well in college. The skills I have learned because of these advantages will stay with me throughout my life, and will especially benefit me in my college experience.