This week I decided to do a little research on my own. In a room full of students attending Brevard HEAT Academics, I opened up the discussion to the teens to tell me what was the thing they most liked about homeschooling. Overwhelmingly, they immediately responded how much they appreciated the flexibility in their schedules afforded to them by not being tied down to a desk in a classroom that was controlled every 50 minutes by a bell. The homeschooled teens admitted that they have more time to not only get their school work finished but also to pursue extracurricular activities than they did when they attended a 9-5, well really 8-4, type school program. They also liked being able to take down time when they needed it to read a book or to catch up on much needed sleep they missed from all their extra activities. When asked about these activities, they each had their own area of interest in which they seemed to be excelling: one student has produced several clamation videos, another had just claimed the title of Junior Golf Champion in the southeastern region of his state, while others have starred in local musicals, traveled Europe, produced portfolios of professional-style photography, earned awards, read copious amounts of books, and the list could go on with accomplishments that “regular” high school students normally wouldn't have time to seek after because of their already prescribed schedules.
Even though these teens are all on the brink of young adulthood, it was evident that to them there was something “warm and fuzzy” about being educated at home. But after listening to these future leaders tell about their schedules and all that they are accomplishing in their homeschooling time, I began to think that the flexibility they appreciated wasn't so much to have “free” time but to have time in which they are free to pursue the areas of their gifting.