Grace “Weirder than a string bean” Ryken

Grace

Jenny Zhou, Visual Editor

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Tell me a bit about behind homeschooled

I like being homeschooled, and I’ve always been homeschooled. I really like the opportunity to come to school for part of the day. I don’t think I could ever be fully homeschooled because I like the social interaction. There are a lot of opportunities that you get from being homeschooled that you don’t get at public school. Right now I’m taking 10 classes and I have the freedom to work ahead or fall behind and catch up later.

How does swimming play into your education & social life?

I definitely think that if I wasn’t swimming that I would have a very different perspective or high school experience. I have a lot of friends on the team that I see around the school. I feel like I’m a part of the school because I’m part of the school.

Tell me about the differences in being homeschooled, such as your home school study group

There’s actually a quite large community of homeschoolers in Ames. A lot of them take classes at AHS, & we know each other because there’s a group called HSAP, and basically we can take enrichment classes that gives us the opportunity to take classes that are once or twice a week such as Art and Computer studies. We call it the home school-school. Some people say all home schoolers know each other and it’s not essentially true, but we’re connected through different things. For a while, I had homeschool friends and we would meet up at Cafe Diem to study. We called it Home School Study Buddies, but we didn’t really get much studying done.

How’s your diet with being involved in swim?

I try not to have caffeine and not eat a lot of sweets. Sometimes Dan will ask us to just eat protein for a while and then just eat carbs. We try to have pasta dinners and eat lots of bread before meets. Swimmers love pasta and breadsticks, as well as Goldfish and Swedish Fish. Aside from that, I eat lunch at home. Last year I made hot lunches and sold them to people, such as paninis, a sandwich, main dishes, etc. They became really popular at some point. It doesn’t work in my schedule this year, but the proceeds all went to Haiti. I call it Lunches for Leger because there’s a school in Leger that my family and I support. By the time the year was over, we raised enough money to feed the entire school for a week and half.

Tell me how your homeschool experiences have affected you or your thoughts on it.

Not every homeschooler is the same. Like, honestly they have very different experiences. People act like we all go to the same school but people should treat us like we each go to different schools because our parents are all different. People think homeschoolers are really sheltered, but I don’t think I am and my parents never intentionally sheltered me. Some problems we have are that we occasionally don’t know how to pronounce things. I had thought chaos was pronounced chah-hose up until last year! Most homeschoolers that I know love to make fun of themselves and some people think that we don’t realize that we’re making fun of ourselves. My favorite joke is when I look in the mirror I have a class reunion. I’m proud to be homeschooled! One of the best compliments you can give a homeschooler is not knowing they’re home schooled. It makes us realize that we’re normal and that we fit in!
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