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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Home-schooled students succeed socially, in class

Siblings Danielle and Adam Vera were home schooled their entire lives until they enrolled in the TCC Dual Enrollment program. They both say TCC has enriched their lives. Martina Treviño/The Collegian

By Frankie Farrar-Helm/entertainment editor

Siblings Danielle and Adam Vera were home schooled their entire lives until they enrolled in the TCC Dual Enrollment program. They both say TCC has enriched their lives.
Martina Treviño/The Collegian

Some might say home-schooled students struggle to adjust to the public school environment, but Adam and Danielle Vera are not the average home-schooled kids.

Home-schooled since 5 years old, Adam and Danielle came to NE Campus to further their education.

They participated in TCC’s Early High School Enrollment program, which allows high school students to take courses for college credit, and the Dual Enrollment program, an additional option for high school students to earn both high school and college credits for the same course.

Danielle, who is currently home-schooled and taking classes on NE Campus, said it wasn’t difficult entering the public school atmosphere.

“My brother, who went to TCC before me, and my parents told me what to expect in public school,” she said. “It’s my third semester, and I am enjoying it.”

Danielle, 16, said she got her first taste of college during the Summer II session last year.

“It was different than learning at home, but college is different than any high school,” she said. “I think it was the same adjustment as any new student, [but] it might have been easier for me because I was used to a fast-paced curriculum. I attended class and worked hard and got to know my professors and enjoyed it all — like anybody would, I think.”

Danielle said she wouldn’t be where she is today without her mom teaching her at home.

“I am glad she home-schooled me because I feel that being taught one-on-one with my mom, the one person who perfectly understood how I learned and knew how to explain concepts to me, furthered my learning greatly,” she said.

Her brother Adam, 18, graduated from the home-school program last May but has attended classes on NE Campus since  fall 2009.

“The new classes were very exciting for me and challenged me, and it was overall a very positive experience,” he said. “I adjusted pretty easily since my mom prepared me by teaching me to be disciplined in my studies and to be responsible for my work. I also started off with only two classes, as were the rules of early high school enrollment, which let me get used to everything gradually.”

Adam said his teachers have inspired him to become a college professor.

“New professors with different viewpoints and personalities have challenged my views and helped me broaden my horizons,” he said. “The professors have been very kind and helpful to me, especially Professor Peter Hacker, who has nominated me for several scholarships, and Dr. Clair Ossian.”

People often ask Adam if home school is better than public school, he said.

“My answer is definitely no. Neither one is inherently good or bad. I am happy I was home-schooled because it worked for our family,” he said. “Lots of good, smart kids come out of both, and both have their problems as well.”

Adam said a common misconception about home-schoolers is that they are unsocial.

“This could not be farther from the truth,” he said. “It depends on the individual, but, in general, home-schoolers are very social. The ones I have known are very friendly and outgoing and adjust to different social situations and people.”

The Veras use a home-school program called A Beka, a Christian-based kindergarten-through-12th-grade curriculum, that provides all core subjects such as basic reading, writing and arithmetic, said their mother, Paula Vera.

“They learned like sponges, absorbing all we showed them and introduced them to,” she said.

Paula and her husband decided she would be a stay-at-home mom when Adam was born, she said.

“I enjoyed working and playing with them [Adam and Danielle] … and we were already conducting our day’s activities with what [A Beka] could provide, so we just continued to keep them home,” she said. “The three of us enjoyed our days, and then it all evolved into full-blown schooling.”

Danielle and Adam understand the benefit of an education, which she believes came from the home schooling, Paula said.

“They didn’t just ‘get by,’ which we all feel laid a firm foundation for their educational career. They have superb personal discipline that they apply to their studies,” she said. “They are so advanced. They were ready for the higher learning.

“We have a very high opinion of TCC. The staff and faculty have been super in many ways. We can’t say enough about TCC.”

NE Spanish instructor James Palmer said home-schooled students tend to adjust slowly to the social element of interacting with a diverse student body.

“For the most part, home-schooled students are more educated and know how to study, but they are generally lacking in social skills and working in group projects,” he said. “The two in our class are really making progress in adapting to the diversity of a class.”

Palmer said Adam and Danielle are good students in his fourth-semester Spanish class.

“They’re very intelligent, and I think they have adjusted well,” he said.

Adam said he is grateful for his mother’s hard work home-schooling him and his sister.

“I am glad she taught us because she worked to make everything in our education work for us,” he said. “She really cared and always made sure we were challenging ourselves and doing our best. You couldn’t ask for more in a teacher.”

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