DEAR ABBY: I'm 11 and in sixth grade. I'd rather be home-schooled than stuck in a classroom with a bunch of misbehaving kids. When I mention the fact that I'm home-schooled to kids who go to a public school, they tell me how lucky I am.
I read on an adult level and enjoy it very much. Cooking is another thing I enjoy. I have a collection of cookbooks. Recently I became interested in writing stories and poems. I entered one of my poems in a contest for adults and got an honorable mention.
Home-schooling may not be perfect, but as far as I'm concerned, it's more perfect than anything else. These are my own words, Abby. Nothing I have written was even suggested by my parents. -- RAQUEL MUTTON, BLOOMSBURG, PA.
DEAR RAQUEL: Thank you for sharing your opinion. It echoes the vast majority of enthusiastic letters I received from hundreds of home-schoolers and former home-schoolers nationwide. I was impressed with their level of literacy, and regret that space does not permit me to print more. Read on for a sample:
DEAR ABBY: I'm a high school junior who has been home-schooled since first grade. I have many friends that I met in the neighborhood, at church and on sports teams.
The success of home-schooling isn't in the location, it's the spirit of the instructor. If my parents were abusive and kept me isolated, I would probably hate home-schooling, too.
Being home-schooled has taught me it's OK to look to my parents and authorities for guidance instead of my peers, who are often just as ignorant as I am. Home-schooling, though, is not a magic pill. I know home-schoolers who are one step from reform school (sometimes they've been expelled from school), and I know plenty of conventional school students who are responsible, intelligent and well-behaved. I'm proud of being home-schooled.
Please don't judge me on what you've heard about home-schooling. Judge me for myself. Thank you, Abby, for the chance to express my opinion. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. -- REGINA BURGESS, FORT BRAGG, N.C.