Interview with Homeschooled Student Rachel Foy

Note: This is a column I wrote for the Barrow Journal.  

Every once in a while my husband will have a student in one of his college history courses that was homeschooled. Usually they are dual enrollment students, which means they are taking college courses during their high school years for early college credit. He has always said good things about these students, which is one of the reasons we know homeschooling can be a good thing. He usually comments that the homeschooled students want to be in his class, and they want to learn.

Recently he came home to tell me about such a student named Rachel Foy. He was impressed with her academic ability and her conduct, and he told me I ought to interview her, so I did.

I found out that Rachel was homeschooled from Kindergarten through the 12th grade. Her older brother, Christopher, was homeschooled beginning in the fourth grade. Rachel said that her brother had a slight case of dyslexia, and while he was in public school, he didn’t get the extra attention he needed, which is one of the main reasons her parents decided to homeschool their children. Like many homeschoolers, they also felt it was important to instill their beliefs and values in their children without the negative peer pressure that so many young people can face today.

During the early years, Rachel’s parents used a variety of sources to homeschool, including such curriculums as A Beka, Learning at Home, Saxon, Math-U-See and Bob Jones, but they decided to use an accredited high school program called Light House Christian Academy for high school. Both Rachel and her brother were sent official high school diplomas upon completion.

When I asked Rachel if she liked being homeschooled, she said she loved it. “I got to sleep until 10:00. I would get up and finish my school before all my friends came home from school. I also had more free time to do stuff I enjoyed.”

Her dad was in the military, so they lived many different places, and she says they were able to take some amazing field trips. They visited Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, the Grand Canyon, James Town, and many aquariums, zoos and museums.

There was a time during her middle school years that she wished she went to public school. She said her friends would come home talking about their teachers and classes, and she felt left out. Her parents tried to understand how she felt, but they reminded her that they were doing what they felt was best.

She says during this period her mother allowed her to pretend she was going to public school. “I would get up, pack my back pack, say bye to my mom, walk to the end of my driveway and then turn around and walk to ‘school.’ This only lasted a few months before I realized that I really did enjoy being homeschooled.”

She says she also grew up knowing a lot of other homeschoolers, though most of her friends went to public school. She says her homeschooled friends all enjoyed their experiences and are doing well now. A lot of her friends who went to public school told her they wished they could be homeschooled.

Rachel says she has dreamed of becoming a veterinarian ever since she was five years old, so she’s planning to transfer to UGA and major in Animal Science. She hopes that eventually she’ll be accepted into vet school at either UGA or Auburn.

As I have written before, there are many different kinds of homeschooling families, and there are many different reasons that parents chose to homeschool their children.

As a parent who is planning to attempt this road for her children, it does me good to meet a young adult who values her experience and who is working hard to succeed in her future. I can only hope that my boys will feel the same way.

Interview with a Former Homeschool Student

Note: This is a column I wrote for the Barrow Journal about a former homeschool student who is now a graduate student at the University of Georgia.  Click here to read the column on the Barrow Journal’s website.

For other interviews with homeschoolers, be sure to click on the “Interviews with Homeschoolers” in the margin.


I think that almost every homeschooling parent has moments of doubt when they wonder if the road they’ve chosen is going to hurt their kids. I know I do.

That’s why I was glad to meet Bethany Battig, a graduate student at UGA, who was homeschooled from the very beginning through the 7th grade. If anyone thinks that every homeschooled student will be at a disadvantage, they should talk to Bethany. She is articulate and well mannered with a professional appearance.

I asked Bethany if I could interview her, and she said yes. I was happy to learn more about her experiences and why her parents decided to homeschool her and her four younger siblings.

Bethany was homeschooled in the early part of her life in Jackson, Mississippi, but when her father took a job as a computer science professor, they moved to Vermont. She was homeschooled there for a few more years before attending public school, starting in the eighth grade.

Bethany’s mother, Heather A. Battig, told her, “We, like all intentional parents, wanted to give our children the best possible education that would benefit their lives and souls. We thought homeschooling was the wisest road to take toward that end.”

Like many homeschoolers, Bethany’s parents wanted their worldview and beliefs to permeate their children’s education in a way that they didn’t feel the public school system could do. She says they wanted to give their children the “big picture” approach to the world and to education, and they wanted to choose areas of emphasis specific to the strengths and weaknesses of each child.

Bethany says, “One main emphasis for my parents was history and the belief that the public school history is taught in a manner that is too ethnocentric in the United States.” Bethany and her siblings studied history from the beginning, exploring Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome, and it wasn’t until their upper elementary grades that they studied American history in depth.

She also says, “My parents’ intentional exposure to international experiences through field trips and befriending of families from other cultures is something that I’ll always appreciate and admire greatly with regards to my upbringing through homeschooling.” Later, her parents encouraged Bethany and her siblings to travel abroad and gave them opportunities to volunteer in countries such as Cameroon, Cambodia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina and others.

Another reason her parents wanted to homeschool their children was that it gave the family more time together. Bethany’s father attended classes to get his PhD while also teaching full-time to support the family. Homeschooling allowed them the flexibility to spend more time together, and they could take family vacations when he had time off.

Bethany’s parents didn’t use any one curriculum because they wanted to thoughtfully consider what would work best for each course of study. They used a variety of resources, such as McGuffey readers, Saxon Math, Greenleaf Press history, and A Beka Book for English and others. Because of the flexibility, homeschooling allowed them to focus on more subjects than they may have studied in public school, and they were also involved in a number of homeschool co-ops.

Bethany remembers one co-op in which they were doing a unit study on the solar system, and each child had to represent one planet in the solar system and present findings on that particular planet. Bethany’s sister was Saturn, so she made a costume using a hula-hoop for the rings and a papiermâché ball for the planet (with holes in it so that her legs could fit through). She says a project like this incorporates arts and crafts and motivates kids to research, learn and present their findings.

When I asked Bethany what her personal feelings were toward her education, she said, “Homeschooling to me was natural and fun and never something that I considered a chore. My siblings and I soaked up information like a sponge, and I have many fond memories of being taught together (albeit, in different levels) at our kitchen or dining room tables. I feel privileged and blessed to have been homeschooled, and truly believe that it gave me an edge when I went into high school and even college, since I had had such an eclectic background in so many subjects.”

She also said, “I don’t think I realized that other children were schooled differently until I was much, much older!”

Bethany received a bachelor of arts with honors from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, where she graduated with a double major in Spanish and Government. She is currently attending the University of Georgia and pursuing a masters in Spanish Literature. She says that her future goals are to use her passion in the Spanish language to help others in some way, though she’s not sure whether it will be as a teacher, business professional, translator or something else.