Ignite Your Passion June 1, 2017

Ignite Your Passion

How Homeschooling is Helping Excel Academy High School Junior, Sam, Pursue Speech and Debate, Taekwondo, and Music all at Once 

Homeschooling is more than just students learning at home; it’s an opportunity for students to experience true self-fulfillment in and out of the classroom. At Excel Academy, students enjoy a flexible, online curriculum supplemented with on-site classes and vendors offering a world of extracurricular activities. Take, for instance, Excel Academy high school junior, Sam. He manages to excel in speech and debate, taekwondo, music, and school—all at once. How does he balance them all? 

Sam’s School Schedule: Full Yet Flexible

Sam attends physical classrooms on Mondays and Wednesdays from the mornings to 3 p.m. The other three days of the school week, he studies at home. His curriculum currently includes pre-calculus, speech and debate, U.S. history, a class called urban workshop, AP English, and an independent physics course. That might sound like a packed schedule, but Sam insists he has plenty of time to do the things he loves. His mother, Julie, adds that he never seems stressed about classes, even the more challenging ones such as AP English and pre-calculus. 

“I love the flexibility and freedom that I have with homeschooling,” Sam says. “The combination of on-site and online classes is perfect.” 

Character Development

One of Sam’s favorite activities is taekwondo—but more for the character development than the self-defense. He explains that his instructor, whom he has been training with for five years, focuses primarily on the discipline, integrity, and respect aspects of martial arts. Sam has a black belt, and attends taekwondo twice a week to continue to build on the skills he has learned. He has gotten so good at taekwondo that he also teaches classes with his instructor every Tuesday. 

Communication Development

Sam also enjoys speech and debate. His first exposure to debate came during the summer between his freshman and sophomore years, when he attended a weeklong camp at Point Loma Nazarene University that included a homeschool debate league. He then joined a speech and debate class for his sophomore year and took first place with his teammate in a local tournament. He is again enrolled in speech and debate for his junior year. Sam’s success in this arena is an example of how Excel Academy helps students find and cultivate new passions.

Creative Development

Sam has been playing guitar for four years and piano for six years. His latest endeavor is channeling his instrumental background into digital music production and making his own fully produced music. This is a particularly good match for his school schedule because it’s something he can do at home. 

“Sometimes, he’ll take a break from his studying and do music for a while,” Julie says. “Other days, he’ll power through his schoolwork so he has the rest of the day free.” 

Supported, But Self-Motivated

Sam and Julie share an appreciation for Excel Academy’s Instructional Funds

“We’re thankful for the allotment we receive for Sam’s education and extracurricular activities,” Julie says. “Without it, he wouldn’t be able to do all of these different things. Between the funding and the flexibility, it truly is the perfect homeschool program.”

In turn, Sam shows a strong internal drive to perform at a high level.

“My philosophy with homeschooling my children has always been that they need to work hard,” Julie says. “Sam has developed an incredible work ethic on his own. I don’t have to get on his case. He knows exactly what he needs to do in school, and he gets it done.”

With one year of high school left, Sam is leaning toward majoring in biology when he goes to college. He is also considering continuing speech and debate at the next level and has already begun to release some of his music. You can tell in speaking with him that he has the skills, demeanor, and focus to be successful in just about anything he wishes to pursue.

To learn more about flexible learning at Excel Academy, click here.