My 19-year-old daughter, Kennedy Catherine McCain, just completed her sophomore year of college, receiving her associates degree with high honors from Hagerstown (Md.) Community College.
Kennedy still burns with resentment over the single “B” on her collegiate record. After being home-schooled from third through ninth grades, she enrolled at Highland View Academy as a 14-year-old sophomore, graduating with honors at age 16. She would have completed her college associates degree at age 18, had she not spent a year in Argentina in a full-immersion Spanish language program.
Did I mention she is working her way through school, earning money to pay that part of her tuition not covered by scholarships? When I tell people I have six children, they are prone to ask how I expect to pay to send all those kids to college on the meager earnings of a journalist.
Short answer: I won’t. The kids can work their way through, like Kennedy does. Also, I’ve suggested to my sons that they should consider matriculating through the most elite undegraduate program in the nation, the University of Parris Island — qualifying them for a chance at free travel to exotic destinations like Iraq and Afghanistan — and then continuing their studies on the GI Bill. My 16-year-old twin boys are somewhat skeptical of that plan, which they fear won’t allow adequate opportunity in their preferred fields of study, girls and cars.
Bragging on one’s children is an especial joy when the kids are home-schooled, since Kennedy’s achievements reflect credit on her mother, who spent seven years teaching our daughter at the kitchen table.
The success of home-schoolers is a refutation to the arrogance of a government education bureaucracy that is prone to assert, with the self-righteeous authority of official expertise, that my kids and the estimated 1.5 million other home-schooled students in America are being deprived of something useful. My only regret is that more children are not similarly deprived.
Since I only skimmed the Department of Homeland Security’s “Rightwing Extremist” report, I’m not sure if they listed home-schoolers among the looming domestic terror threats, but at least one prominent anti-government radical is a proud home-schooling dad.
Wayne Allyn Root was the 2008 Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate and when I saw him last month at the Georgia LP convention, Root spent most his time bragging on his home-schooled 17-year-old daughter Dakota, a black belt in martial arts who also competes in international fencing:
Dakota has been in the sport only four years, but she is considering attending college at Ivy League fencing powerhouses such as Harvard and Columbia as well as Duke, Northwestern and Notre Dame. There appears to be reciprocal interest. . . .
She has achieved scores of 2,240 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (Dakota still hopes to break 2,300) and 31 on the American College Test. . . .
Last November she traveled to Germany and Austria for 16-and-under World Cup tournaments. Dakota fenced especially well in Germany, making the fourth round of pool play.
Showing that performance was no fluke, Dakota in April won under-19 epee at the Pacific Coast Championships in Long Beach, Calif. She was second in the senior epee, which was open to all ages.
That’s a head-turning rise through the ranks for a relative newcomer. It’s also a rise that could continue, perhaps even to the Olympic Games, with 2016 as the likely target.
Please read the whole thing.
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