Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dispelling the myth

Intel has just selected homeschooler Julie Boiko as one of 300 finalists in their nationwide science talent search. Winning over a skeptical reporter from the Mercury News:

Sure, I was an eye-roller.

I mean, we all know about home-schooling, right? Wacky families on the political fringes. Protective parents sheltering their kids from reality. Hopeless nerds who break out in hives at the thought of a school dance.

Then Julie Boiko hit me right between the eyes. OK, she didn't punch me. She's too cool. Too collected. Too practiced at smacking down the questions about being 17 and home-schooled since kindergarten.

"Truthfully, I've never felt I had to prove myself,'' she says, "or disprove any stereotypes.''

No matter. She's done both. Sitting in her living room, Julie is confident and outgoing. She wears her blond hair over her shoulders and she wears her smile constantly.

And she has plenty of reasons to smile. She has the chance of being one of 40 to go on to the finals and a scholarship worth $100K. Julie has already been accepted at a few universities. I'm excited for her and her family. And grateful that she, like many other homeschool children who may never win these kinds of awards, is showing that homeschool children aren't the anti-social nerds that some people want to believe they are. Even the ones who never go on to college but choose to stay home and become moms like Crystal at Biblical Womanhood.

(HT: Joanne Jacobs)
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