Federal Relations

Bright Spots in Home Schooling


Bright Spots In Homeschooling is a periodic feature in which we will highlight one of the many, many success stories in the world of home education. If you know of a Bright Spot, please contact us at brightspots@hslda.org

   December 4, 2009 
Amy AndersonGolfing with Grace
Faith, family, and golfing are fundamental in the life of 17-year-old Amy Anderson, winner of this year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior Golf Championship.

   June 11, 2009 
Andrew DykstalThird Time’s the Charm for Homeschooled Orator
On April 19, 2009, on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, homeschooler Andrew Dykstal took first place in the American Legion Oratorical Contest.

   June 11, 2009 
Hosanna Kabakoro Young Volunteer Earns Four Awards
Homeschooler Hosanna Kabakoro of Twin Falls, Idaho, is being honored with not one, not two or three, but four awards for volunteer service in her community.

   March 30, 2009 
Writing from the Home
At 18, Cati Gerwitz from Rochester, New York, just published her first novel. Home with You is a story about the friendship of two girls, their experiences, and the lessons they learn together.

   January 30, 2009 
Families Make Historical Epic Movie
Unaware that it’s impossible to film an epic movie on a micro-budget, the Burns family did it anyway. Although everyone contributed, the vision and work was driven by the cousins of both families.

   October 29, 2008 
High Energy
Sixteen-year-old Lyric Gillett’s fascination with the science of sound has earned her numerous awards and scholarships. She hopes to use her science studies to promote a Godly worldview.

   July 10, 2008 
Taking It to the Top
Homeschooling gives 15-year-old violinist Mia Laity the flexibility to pursue her dream of becoming a professional soloist. Her ambitions got a big boost recently when she was featured on the national radio program From the Top.

   May 30, 2008 
Homeschool Robotics Team Wins World Championship
A team of seven homeschooled high schoolers swept the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, taking home a Winning Alliance Team trophy and the Amaze Award (awarded by the judges to a team whose uniqueness sets it apart from all other award categories).

   April 10, 2008 
Soaring to New Heights
Will Flathers is the first Virginia Military Institute cadet to earn a prestigious Marshall Scholarship awarded by the British Parliament. He plans to study avionics in England before pursuing a career in the U.S. Air Force.

   March 6, 2008 
Baking Her Way Into Business
When homeschooled high schooler Emily Savine decided to try baking cookies for profit, she didn’t realize that the “learning experience” would quickly turn into a lucrative business. Four months after launching an Internet-based homemade-cookie company, she has already received hundreds of orders from cookie lovers as far away as Hawaii and Korea.

   January 17, 2008 
Proving His Olympic Spirit
Born with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (mild autism), Daniel Glick wasn’t talking or even throwing a ball four years ago. But after a year of competitive bowling with Special Olympics, now Daniel is winning ribbons and making friends.

   October 29, 2007 
Dancing her Dream
Seventeen-year-old Aubry Myers held “Angelina Ballerina Parties” as a community outreach to young dancers in Baltimore County, Maryland. The program also earned her a grant from the Start Something program, which allowed Aubry to further study dance at the Atlanta Ballet.

   July 11, 2007 
Word Wiz
Twelve-year-old Matthew Evans turned an alphabet-rimmed cereal bowl into a $25,000 college scholarship. What began as a young child’s fascination with letters, culminated this year in Matthew placing first in the Reader’s Digest National Word Power Challenge, winning the $25,000 prize.

   July 11, 2007 
Homeschoolers Win National Mock Trial Invitational
After winning second place in the Tennessee state tournament in March 2007, a team of seven homeschooled high schoolers took first place at the second annual American Mock Trial Invitational (AMTI) cosponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, on May 4, 2007.

   April 24, 2007 
Learning by Legos
The homeschool team Legos in Paradise took first place at the 2006 First Lego League Robot Challenge.

   March 21, 2007 
Teen golfer takes his game to the top
In 2002, 13-year-old Michael Whitehead had a choice: play football or golf. He chose golf.

   January 11, 2007 
Skating by the books
At the age of 8, Zachariah Szabo (now 17) decided to teach himself ice skating.

   December 15, 2006 
A Passion for Beauty
Homeschooled teen Jessica Lhota’s interest in the business side of fashion led to opening her own store, The Beauty Loft, in Gainesville, Florida.

   November 2, 2006 
Fisheries Program Selects Homeschooled Participant
Nikolett Anneler has loved watching NOVA (PBS's nature and science program) and other nature shows since she was 3 years old. In summer 2006, she went beyond just watching when she was chosen to participate in the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program.

   October 11, 2006 
Homeschooler Captures Civil Air Patrol's Top Cadet Award
On May 11, 2006, homeschooled 9th-grader Katrina Litchford received the Civil Air Patrol’s General Carl A. Spaatz Award in a private ceremony at the Pentagon.

   September 15, 2006 
Homeschoolers Named to Prestigious High School Society
In spring 2006, homeschooled students Ronnie Grider and Penelope Anderson were selected for membership in the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).

   July 24, 2006 
Brother and Sister Receive Congressional Awards
Homeschool graduates Jaymes and Jansina Grossman received the Congressional Gold Award on June 21, 2006, for educating others about Lou Gehrig’s disease.

   June 5, 2006 
Painting Her Way to the Top
On April 20, 2006, 15-year-old Rebekah Nastav of Amoret, Missouri, took first place in the 2006-2007 Junior Duck Stamp Contest with her acrylic painting of a redhead duck.

   May 17, 2006 
Homeschooler Receives Prestigious Science Scholarship
West Virginia University student Eli Owens was awarded The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for research he conducted on silicon nitride.

   March 6, 2006 
Sewing up a storm
Homeschooler Meredith Olds placed second in the national Make It Yourself With Wool Contest.

   January 26, 2006 
Crazy about creepy-crawlies
An 11-year-old homeschooler's unusual hobby has earned her a place in the Kids Hall of Fame.

   January 6, 2006 
Homeschooled essayist honored
Read about the second of two homeschoolers who were finalists in the National Endowment for the Humanities' Idea of America Essay Contest.

   December 21, 2005 
Homeschooler's love of learning pays off
Joseph Henares, a 12-year-old from Connecticut, won Jeopardy!'s latest Back to School edition.

   December 1, 2005 
Homeschooler's essay garners national award
Ian Gilbert was one of six high school juniors to win the third annual Idea of America Essay Contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

   October 13, 2005 
Homeschool graduate works to clean the silver screen
Nineteen-year-old Carrie Stoelting enjoys a good movie, and she wants Hollywood to make more.

   September 7, 2005 
Saving the sharks
Nine-year-old Paige Epler has briefed the staff of the Baltimore Aquarium, a congressional committee, and numerous small groups on saving sharks from extinction.

   August 24, 2005 
Science whizzes win competition, impact community
A homeschooled teamís winning project did more than advance to a national competitionóitís being used to solve a local pollution problem.

   August 5, 2005 
Playing in the big leagues
From the time he was 11, Matthew Betsill knew he wanted to play professional baseball. This June, he fulfilled that dream by signing with the Minnesota Twins.

   June 22, 2005 
Iowa homeschooler named to national youth soccer team
Fourteen-year-old Ian Christianson's dedication and skill is propelling him through national and international matches.

   June 22, 2005 
Homeschool swim team making waves in Texas
A high school swim team composed of 14 homeschoolers swept a February state championship.

   June 8, 2005 
Minnesota homeschooler wins 2005 National Geographic Bee
Homeschooler Nathan Cornelius is more than a geography whiz-he's the top one in the nation. On May 25, 2005, the 13-year-old beat nine other National Geographic Bee finalists by correctly answering the question, "Lake Gatun, an artificial lake that constitutes part of the Panama Canal system, was created by damming which river?"

   May 25, 2005 
5th-grader's poster wins Arbor Day award
Christy Reid, a homeschooler from Hayden Lake, Idaho, was feted by the National Arbor Day Foundation for her colorful poster celebrating trees.

   April 28, 2005 
First and third in the world: Homeschool robotics team wins big
Nine Maryland teenagers took the 12th Annual Trinity College Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest by storm with robots programmed to navigate mazes, avoid traps, and extinguish a candle.

   March 30, 2005 
South Carolina's Junior Miss 2005 learns at home
On July 17, 2004, homeschooler Lizzy Tyler became South Carolina's Junior Miss 2005, winning $8000 in college scholarships.

   March 8, 2005 
Homeschooled Pianist Headed for Graduate School in England
This year, Scott MacIntyre was named a Marshall Scholar, enabling him to spend two fully funded years studying music in England. He was also awarded a place on USA Today's All-USA College Academic First Team 2005.

   February 18, 2005 
Homeschool Team Wins B.E.S.T. Robotics Competition
Last fall, forty-five homeschool students, from the Wichita Kansas area, came together to form the Wichita Warriors Homeschool Robotics Team.

   February 17, 2005 
Homeschooled artist wins two awards
Adam Nisbett credits homeschooling with allowing him to pursue his twin interests of bird watching and painting.

   January 14, 2005 
Homeschool graduate chosen as battalion commander
James Brown was recently selected to a three-month term as battalion commander at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Rhode Island.

   October 19, 2004 
Colorado homeschooler writes prizewinning essay
Rachel Shafer, a 16 year-old homeschool student from Longmont, Colorado, was named Grand Prize winner of the second annual National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) "Idea of America" essay contest.

   May 13, 2004 
Homeschooler Awarded Rhodes Scholarship
Lara Anderson has accomplished what only thirty-one other Americans have done this year.

   February 11, 2004 
Arizona's Yodeling Sweetheart
In the past yodeling has often been associated with the Swiss Alps, but not anymore. At the November 2003 International Yodeling Competition in Wichita, Kansas, Tiffany Jo Allen an eleven-year-old from Tucson, Arizona yodeled her way to first place.

   January 13, 2004 
Homeschool Team Succeeds with Robots and Lego
Out of the 40 participating teams, the Superior Homeschoolers achieved the highest overall points and received the prestigious Directors Award. The Directors Award is considered the highest honor in the FIRST LEGO League and the winning team members become valued role models.

   December 12, 2003 
Joshua Carden, Esq., Attorney for Alliance Defense Fund
Joshua Carden first dreamed of becoming a lawyer at age nine. "My parents were friends with lawyers like Shelby Sharpe, Michael Farris, and Jordan Lorence. Those men became legal heroes to me." Josh told HSLDA's Bright Spots. He realized this dream in 2002 when he graduated from Regent University School of Law with his Juris Doctorate before sitting for the Arizona bar exam.

   December 4, 2003 
Chris Lam
Chris Lam is a 20-year-old homeschool graduate turned tennis star, who in recent months has made headlines in the world of tennis. He is considered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) a "wunderkind" having placed at number 29 on a list of singles players at UCLA and is the first Hawaiian player to be ranked in the top 50 in singles since 1996

   November 12, 2003 
Captain Maximilian Bremer, US Air Force
As a homeschool graduate in 1993, Max applied to the US Air Force Academy and was accepted; but like many homeschool graduates of the 90s, Max had to battle some misconceptions the military possessed about homeschoolers.

   August 11, 2003 
Homeschooler Awarded Bronze Star With Valor
Homeschoolers are truly proving themselves in all walks of life and Sergeant Simon Kiser is the latest example of homeschoolers excelling in society. This award demonstrates the exceptional character of homeschool graduates.

   July 23, 2003 
Homeschoolers Succeed as Future Problem Solvers
One of the many facets which contributes to the success of homeschooling is "thinking outside the box." Homeschooling parents are impacting the way America views education by providing high quality teaching at home rather than in a 'formal' school.

   July 16, 2003 
Homeschooler Named Young Entrepreneur Of The Year
NFTE holds an annual competition to reward students who have demonstrated entrepreneurial ability an to encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs. The organization partners with schools and colleges in order to reach out to students who wish to pursue new ideas in the business field.

   June 24, 2003 
Homeschoolers Compete in the American Legion's National High School Oratorical Contest
HSLDA is pleased to report that seven out of the 54 finalists were homeschoolers in the American Legion's annual competition to test high school students' knowledge of the Constitution.

   June 4, 2003 
Homeschoolers Make USA Today Academic Team
Three ambitious home-educated students are part of USA Today's 2003 All-USA Community and Junior College Academic Teams, which consists of only 20 people.

   January 13, 2003 
Homeschooled Raiders
The Robo Raiders, seven homeschooled boys from Virginia and West Virginia, placed 8th out of 60 in the First Lego League state competition.

   December 17, 2002 
Soccer Kids
As the sport of soccer sweeps over the nation, it should be no surprise to learn that homeschoolers are excelling at the highest levels.

   November 21, 2002 
Homeschooler Starts Hamster Rescue
Eight-year-old homeschooler Maggie Chekal is making a difference in her community. The American Humane Association recently named her their Kid of the Year, a title that carried with it a $5,000 scholarship.

   October 30, 2002 
Homeschooler Wins Reading Rainbow Competition
One of the most precocious writing talents you'll come across struggled with phonics when she was in preschool.

   October 7, 2002 
Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Excel in Junior Chess
Chess has long been one of the most enjoyable competitive outlets available for those gifted in organization, planning, and logic. It's not surprising to learn then, that homeschoolers are prominent among the top ranks of junior chess in the U.S.

   August 9, 2002 
Home Schooled High Schooler Finishes Select College Program
Science is often considered a challenging area for home schooled students, but a 14-year-old girl from Columbus, Ohio is proving just how adept home schoolers can be.

   August 5, 2002 
Kansas Jr. Miss Winner Home Schooled
Rachel Olds had a unique venue from which to promote home education recently, as a contestant in the National Junior Miss Scholarship Pageant in Mobile, Alabama.

   June 11, 2002 
Home Schooler Wins International Diplomacy Essay Contest
Amber Busha of Winfield, Alabama, won her state's segment of the competition for her work concerning the proper role of the U.S. military in international peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations.

   May 22, 2002 
Home Schooler Wins National Geography Bee
Calvin McCarter, at 10 one of the youngest competitors in the competition's history, walked away from the event as the contest champion, earning a $25,000 college scholarship.

   May 21, 2002 
Home Schooling Works With Math Too!
Home Schoolers are beginning to make their presence felt in the arena of mathematics, much as they have previously in many other fields of study.

   May 13, 2002 
Home Schooler to Compete in National Junior Miss Pageant
Rachel Higgins of Colorado recently won her state's edition of the Junior Miss Pageant, and with it a $2,000 college scholarship.

   April 22, 2002 
Home Schooled Mock Trial Team Makes It To National Competition
The Family Christian Academy Home Schoolers of Chattanooga, TN, have qualified for the National High School Mock Trial Championships.

   March 15, 2002 
Golf and Home Schooling Go Together For California Family
As Rachel Schwartz begins to compete at the top levels of junior golf, her family finds it to be a great opportunity to spread the word about the virtues of home education.

   February 28, 2002 
The Carl and Sherry Richardson Family
The Karl and Sherry Richardson family of Minnesota has used music to introduce scores of people to the advantages of home schooling