Does homeschooling really work? What about socialization? Will my child get into college? Can he get a job? The success of home education and discipleship is the testimonies by homeschool graduates themselves. What blessed evidence of God’s grace!
Abby Alonzo – 2002 homeschool graduate
Homeschooling benefited me in so many ways. I was involved in many extra-curricular activities including speech and debate, piano lessons, surfing, swim team, church ministries, volleyball, sewing classes and more. I was able to cultivate long term relationships with others, homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike! I learned social skills and how to interact with EVERYONE…not just kids my age!
The homeschooling environment helped me realize that I was my only limitation! It encouraged me to persevere academically; I could study my favorite subjects in as much depth as I wanted!! It prepared me for college by training me to study independently.
Being taught at home encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. That was probably the biggest benefit of being homeschooled. I was able to learn from God’s Word and grow in my relationship with HIM.
After graduation, I attended Kapiolani Community College and pursued a nursing degree.
Currently, I am a domestic engineer to 4 keiki. By God’s grace, my husband and I are homeschooling our children, ages 2 – 9. We attend Lana’i Baptist Church where I play piano for church services and assist with Sunday School classes for the little ones and various church ministries.
Praise the LORD for HIS sustaining grace and power!
Charis Brown – 2019 homeschool graduate
I graduated from the Brown Family Homeschool Academy in 2019. Through homeschooling, I was positioned to develop close relationships with adults from different settings (church, internships, the homeschool community, etc.); these adults modeled the character traits I wanted to develop.
I am currently studying Exercise Science: Therapeutic Science at Liberty University and plan to go on to graduate school for my Doctorate of Physical Therapy.
As a member of Timberlake Baptist Church in Virginia, I love serving at this church as well as in the community.
Nicole Lam – 2003 homeschool graduate
Being taught from a Biblical worldview and learning alongside my siblings laid a foundation that has shaped my relationship with God and built a close bond with my brothers and sisters that has continued into our adult lives.
Homeschooling efficiently used “school hours” so that I was able to get all my schoolwork done before going to dance class in the afternoons. I was therefore able to come home at night and get the much needed rest and time with family that many of my fellow dancers in private and public school were not able to have.
Personalized education allowed me to learn things that were not only relevant to my interests at the time but were also applicable for my future profession. I was able to start student teaching ballet at age 16, which allowed me to have an early experience in my field of interest.
After high school, I took one semester off and then enrolled in Kapiolani Community College. After two years, I transferred to UH Manoa for another 3 years and received a BA in Dance.
During the 5 years I was in college, I taught for the dance school I was trained at and then started my own business and ministry teaching ballet to homeschool children. After a few years I was teaching ballet across Oahu at different locations in town, Kailua, Waialua, and Kapolei. These classes were formed into Prisma Dance, a Christ-centered dance school that offers classes in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and acrobatics.
Currently, I am the owner and director of Prisma Dance. Our 10 instructors serve 350 students at our two dance studios in Kalihi and Kailua. We also partner with a church in Ewa Beach to provide classes. Our dance school has taken groups to share the gospel through dance in Kenya and India.
Ever since I was very young, I loved the Lord. We often started our school day reading the Bible and memorizing scriptures. To this day I can still recite many of the verses and chapters we memorized. My mom was a huge spiritual mentor and encourager in my relationship with the Lord and both my parents supported my dream to see business, ministry, and the arts mesh together. To this day my relationship with the Lord keeps deepening and expanding, and I believe the foundation of my relationship with my Heavenly Father was laid in those early years of homeschooling with a Biblical worldview.
Matthew Murai – 2019 homeschool graduate
One of the blessings of homeschooling that I really appreciated was the freedom to focus more of my time on what I was passionate about – music. Homeschooling allowed me to have time for opportunities that I would not be able to pursue if I was attending a public/private school.
I graduated in 2019 and took a gap year, working at Best Buy until I was furloughed because of COVID. I also worked on music at home (in my mini music studio set up in my room) as well as at a relative’s music studio. I am currently studying music production in Norway at the Lillehammer Institute of Music Production and Industries.
Aime Nagel – 2009 homeschool graduate
Some people seem to experience an idyllic homeschool life: museums, beaches, big stacks of books, and awards. Other people seem to experience a constant slog of difficult academic concepts, parent/child tension, and hard days. Or maybe you are more like me, and got a mixture of the two. God blessed me with a wonderful homeschool experience – not perfect, but wonderfully messy and sanctifying. I can wholeheartedly say that now.
Since graduating in 2009, I have had a few years to reflect on my homeschool experience. It gave me an opportunity to work part time in high school, compete in sports and academics, and volunteer in my church and community. I did not truly value this until much later.
After my homeschool graduation, the plan was to graduate from college in California and return to Hawaii to be near my family. In His providence, God brought me and my now husband (who was also homeschooled) together in college. Work kept us both in California where we still live with our two children whom I homeschool. I also teach online writing classes for and tutor homeschool students who are looking to prepare for college writing.
Our family attends church and still reaps the blessings from the work our parents did in homeschooling and discipling us. Standing in my mom’s shoes, I am thankful for her work and God’s faithfulness to both of us. Some of the longest lasting lessons aren’t the ones from textbooks, but the ones I learned in the midst of daily, mundane, faithful life. That daily mundane was my proving ground for life lessons like how to learn, time management, and space to explore my ambitions. More importantly, it was my primer into how God shows up in the small, insignificant things, and uses them for His eternal purposes.
Carmi Palicte – 2004 homeschool graduate
Homeschooling taught me how to manage my time and helped me develop good self-study skills and habits. Being at home also provided lots of time for my parents to instill solid Christian values/morals into my life – values/morals that I still strive to live by every day.
Initially I planned on majoring in oceanography in college. I attended Kapiolani Community College and completed my Associates of Arts. After switching to a major in business administration, I completed my BA at UH Manoa, Shidler College of Business in 2017.
I am currently working as a Firefighter 1 for the Honolulu Fire Department, assigned to Engine 34, 3rd Watch, serving and protecting the Hawaii Kai area. 2021 will make 14 years of service.
My wife and I currently attend University Avenue Baptist Church with our two sons. We are prayerfully considering homeschooling our boys.
Everyday is a challenge to keep pressing on in the faith and strengthening my relationship with Jesus. His grace is sufficient!
Grace Pennington – 2020 homeschool graduate.
I feel that homeschooling allowed me to take a more flexible approach to homeschooling. I was able to focus on preparing for college earlier than normal, and I had the freedom to fully examine subjects like math that interested me.
The flexibility of homeschooling allows students like me to take advantage of special opportunities. I went on several field trips to places like Iolani Palace and a Benedictine monastery during the middle of the day when those places weren’t very busy. Online classes and programs for homeschoolers ended up preparing me for 2020’s quarantine, even though we didn’t know it at the time! I also took advantage of the strong homeschooling community in Hawaii, going to homeschool clubs and classes for debate, dancing, and even theater!
I also appreciate the classical learning style that we used in the course of our homeschooling. There was a strong emphasis on learning how to learn and asking effective questions to better understand a subject. I feel that this development of critical thinking skills has helped me so much in college already!
I am a freshman Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Alabama in Hunstville. I just finished my first semester of classes with a 4.0 GPA and I am excited to start more classes in my major like Calculus B, Intro to Computing for Engineers, and Gen Physics I. Even in a pandemic, I’ve met a lot of people on campus and I’ve made a lot of friends! I feel confident that I’m where God wants me to be right now, and I will follow Him where He leads me.
Jonah Swanson – 2019 homeschool graduate
The following were some benefits or opportunities because of homeschooling:
- Ability to learn in such a way that it became an enjoyable experience (non-obligatory);
- Learning at my own pace, but still with certain (non-stressful) deadlines;
- Being able to spend lots of time with my family;
- Being taught important Biblical values and virtues which many schools don’t teach (also being able to be taught in part by my parents, who know me much better than any arbitrary teacher at public/private school);
- Avoiding some of the social problems and drama which accompany public/private school—such as counterproductive peer pressure, relationship drama, recreational drug use, and rivalries or bullying.
I am now a freshmen student at Westmont College pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
Josiah Swanson – 2018 homeschool graduate
I am so thankful that I homeschooled because, growing up, I was blessed with freedom. The gift of homeschooling, in my opinion, is being able to create your own schedule and learn at a pace that seems fitting to you. For example, in high school, I was able to get ahead in Math and take my time in English. This kind of schedule cannot develop in most public and even private schools.
One of the greatest benefits I got as a homeschooler was my growth in virtues like time-management, self-discipline, and academic integrity. These virtues are hard to come by, but they develop naturally in the homeschool life-style. The freedom of homeschooling is a big responsibility for both the students and the parent-teachers, but I believe that this pattern of life is a treasure-trove of potential for a new generation of virtuous and well-equipped men and women.
I am a Junior at Westmont College, studying Data Analytics and Computer Science. Meanwhile, I am interning remotely at a new, Hawaiian IT consulting business. I am also studying stock investments, and writing fiction when I have time.