My Homeschooling Experience: Cultivating a Love of Learning

by Ryan Dalforno, 2017 CHEA Support Network Scholarship Recipient,

Homeschooling comes with many advantages, but perhaps greatest out of all of them was the scope and breadth of my education. Because of homeschooling, I received a rigorous and exciting education that instilled in me a lifelong love of learning.

Most notably, my homeschooling experience allowed me to study all subjects at an accelerated pace. Ever since I learned how to read, I voraciously absorbed any book I could find. While most students would have been stuck in a classroom, forced to wait until the other students had finished their work, I was free to delve into book after book after I had finished my spelling or long division. Because I was able to accelerate my regular studies, I moved on to more advanced subjects more quickly than many of my peers. Eventually, I began to attend community college at age thirteen, giving me another opportunity to learn in an environment not yet available to my traditionally-schooled friends. Homeschooling was ideal for an academically advanced student such as myself.

Through the unique academic rigor of my education, I’ve learned to tackle complex concepts with vigor and efficiency. Due to the opportunities for diverse and extensive reading, I have been exposed to many different worldviews and am able to compare and contrast the pros and cons of each. Now, I’m able to examine and discover truth against the background of my Christian faith. However, my worldview is far from one-sided, for homeschooling provided me with the tools to understand, respect, and empathize with individuals with differing opinions because I understand the foundations of their thinking. It’s allowed me to participate in intelligent discussions with friends, defend my views on controversial issues, and think critically about the world around me.

Love of Learning
Most importantly, my homeschooling journey gave me a love of learning that has continued throughout my study of literature, music, science, math, economics, and politics. I’ve come to view learning as an experience in and of itself, not merely as a means to a grade or a degree. For me, learning has become something that takes place through experiences, discovery, and mentorship, not simply through worksheets or memorization. Homeschooling, because of the freedom and opportunities it gave me, allowed me to become a diligent lifelong learner. More pertinent to the near future, however, homeschooling has perfectly prepared me for college because of its inherently self-motivated nature.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully express my immense gratitude to my parents for choosing to homeschool me. My unique educational experience has provided me with a self-assured confidence in my learning ability, a motivation to succeed, a close relationship with my family, and the opportunity to deepen my relationship with Christ. I would not have wanted to be taught any other way.

Meet Ryan
Ryan Dalforno was homeschooled from K-12, and is the son of Greg and Amy Dalforno, members of Santa Barbara Christian Homesteaders, a CHEA Support Network group.  Ryan is an accomplished violinist and has served as assistant concertmaster in the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, earning the Director’s Award.

Ryan was also a founding members of the Homesteaders’ Young Americans for Freedom Chapter, serving as vice president from 2014-2016 and president from 2016-17.  He is active in his church and has served on short-term mission trips, including trips to Honduras and Mexico.

He entered Santa Barbara City College at the age of 14. His intended college major is chemistry/neuroscience (pre-med) and music.

“In my opinion, Ryan has not only proven himself as a hard worker by the amount of his achievements, but his diligence to do them well. . .” said Daniel Hendrickson, high school pastor.

Congratulations, Ryan! We look forward to hearing you speak at the 34th Annual CHEA Convention in Pasadena.

CHEA’s Support Network provides one $1000 scholarship each year to a CHEA Member who is also a member of a CHEA Support Group and a graduating senior. Deadline for application is generally February 28 of each year. Ryan will be speaking briefly and receiving his award at the 34th Annual CHEA Convention July 13-15, 2017 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

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One Response to “My Homeschooling Experience: Cultivating a Love of Learning”

  1. Bob Kessener Says:

    Well written, well received. Freedom promotes happiness, Ryan’s testimony can be your child’s testimony as well.


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