By Sabrina-Lee Crawford
My name is Sabrina-Lee Crawford and I am 16 years old. My sister and I were born and raised on my parents’ honey farm called 3Acres in Dunham, Quebec. I’ve been homeschooled all my life and here’s the story of how it all started and my experiences of being homeschooled.
It began when my mom asked me, “Sab, do you want to be homeschooled or go to school?” I answered, ‘‘Homeschooled,’’ because I felt like doing exactly as my sister was doing, and I’m so happy I took that design.
We had schooling from 9 a.m. to noon 5 days a week. We did English, math, science, world history and geography. In the afternoon I had swimming classes so it kept me busy a lot. Both my Mum and Dad shared the teaching tasks equally.
In our family, we are perfectly bilingual, French and English, and my sister and I speak some Spanish as well.
Many people were afraid I wouldn’t have much of a social life because I was home educated but that was sure not the case. I can say that I have a very active social life. How did I make friends? Well, my parents’ friends had kids the same age as us and through them we met their friends and it just goes on and on. I made friends when I swam in Cowansville 3 times a week and went on outings with other homeschoolers. I’ve always loved being around people.
I’ve always had a thing for cooking and doing photography. I took my first photo when I was 4 years old and have loved it ever since. At the age of 11, I had my first photo exhibit in a café in Sutton. A couple of months later, I entered a contest in the Wildlife Federation magazine and won first place – my photo was published on the front page of the magazine. A year later, I participated in a project called Le Labohem. My friend and I entered a video contest called ‘Short & Sweet’ and won first place as well, in the 15 to 18 year old category. Last summer I did a really neat project with Le bocal de Sutton called Les chroniques du village. I’ve had contracts for proms and companies, and hope to do a couple of weddings this summer.
Through my parents’ company, we learned a lot about what it takes to run a business and all the hard work that goes into making it work. This experience initiated us to the world of private enterprise.
Homeschooling gave me the chance to travel the world. Since my parents only work with the bees in spring, summer and fall, we get to travel for a month or two during the winter. I’ve learned the world’s geography and history by visiting the places and living with the locals of small villages. Last year I attended school in Spanish for a month in El Salvador and loved it. I went to school every day with the locals and made really good friends there. Connecting with the people who live there is the best way to learn about other cultures.
We’ve been to Ethiopia, Morocco, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and most of Central America.
My sister is in Europe right now, ending a 6 month trip. She started off in Cambodia where she stayed for 2 months teaching English to little kids. She then travelled up to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Six months of travelling and enjoying herself to the max.
As for me in the work place, I’ve worked at a couple of places but right now I’ve just started working as a cook at a new little café which is a lot of fun and I love it, but my passion is really photography. What I really want to do later on is to travel the world taking photos, showing people the beauty of the world from my point of view. I must say that for now I’m not interested in going to college or university but rather to apprentice with a professional photographer to learn the tricks of the trade.
Homeschooling gave me the chance to let me do what I love and to follow my dream. Instead of being in a classroom all day, I could be out in the afternoon taking photos of nature.
For parents who are thinking about maybe homeschooling their kids, well I’ve just got 3 words to say, “Go for it.” It may be scary at first but it’s an amazing experience from what I have lived. I hope I’ve inspired some parents out there to do like my parents did for my sister and me.
p.s. I want to thank my parents for all they did for us!