This week, One of HomeLink’s oldest members provides depth and insight into the group in a way that other members have not. He said, “HomeLink was really laid back years ago when I first started, and they only had about 40 kids. Once they got the current place, more and more kids started coming.” Over the past decade, HomeLink has acquired an average of 500 children—a stark contrast to the 40 kids that they began with. While HomeLink is by no means the only homeschooling support group/co-op, it is by far the largest. Logan started at HomeLink when he was in the fifth grade. He said, “Basically going through public school, my anxiety level was through the roof. When I was younger my energy level was very, very high, and I would have no way to get energy out. Every day I would come home, do homework, eat dinner, do homework, and then get ready for bed. The only downtime I had was on Sunday, and it wasn’t enough. By the time I reached fourth grade, I would cry at homework and school because it was stressing me out so much— it was really, really tough.”
Over the past five interviews the only thing that has been a common denominator throughout each and every interview, is the fact that students feel as if they can study what they want and at their own pace. Logan was one of these students as well. Logan said, “With homeschooling I can study the things I want to study. If I want to read about history, I can do that. If I want to go into physics, I can do that, too.” In addition to that, he mentioned that he could go at his own pace. Logan said, “Everything came quicker to me. I could take the time to slowly read through stuff and not rush through. In school you had a limited amount of time to finish things.”
While talking about misconceptions about homeschoolers, Logan took to a past interviewee’s approach of rhetoric, that of Liyu. He said, “People ask a lot, oh, do you go anywhere? How much do you actually learn? Do you have friends? They have no idea. They think it’s just this complete alienated world.” Logan wants people to understand that, “You do have opportunities. You can go take classes at multiple homeschool groups. You can meet people, you can have boyfriends and girlfriends, prom, and homecoming.” Homecoming, prom, and graduation—events that are considered nearly a right-of-passage for many high school aged students in America—are things that kids at HomeLink do not miss out on. In fact, due to the concentrated number of the teenagers at HomeLink being in varying grade levels, the co-op provides four homecomings and four proms, as well as a graduation ceremony. The dances are held at banquet centers complete with dinners, and the graduation ceremony is complete with robes, a commencement speaker, and a biography of each student’s achievements that accompany a slideshow of pictures—usually held at a local church. These are just some of the things that Logan used as examples of the vibrant social life he and his friends maintain as homeschoolers.
In the future, Logan hopes to go into voice acting. While he feels that he hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunities to do so as a homeschooler, he did say, “I can’t thank [homeschooling] enough for all the things it’s done for me.”
The next and final interview will be posted on May 5th—in which we will talk about one last organization for homeschoolers within St. Louis.