Justin Jackson's Journal

Future Tar Heel Justin Jackson updates his path to Chapel Hill with regular journal entries at InsideCarolina.com leading up to his enrollment. In his newest entry, Jackson details his homeschool experience.

Posted by Justin on October 15, 2013

I don't attend a public school. I don't go to a private academy. Since fourth grade, I've been home-schooled.

Usually people give me a couple of responses when I tell them: "Do you feel normal, socially?" and "Are you weird?"

For the record, the answers to those questions are I feel very normal and no, I'm not weird. Well, math is my favorite subject so maybe I'm a little different.

I have a tight circle of friends, I'm close with my family and I've been fortunate enough to travel around the country with my high school and AAU teams. Being social isn't a problem for me at all.

Homeschooling is something that's ultimately my choice. My parents have asked if I'd like to try something else – I was actually at a private school a few years ago for a few months. Homeschooling isn't for everybody, but it's definitely for me.

Leaning toward homeschooling started before we moved to Houston and were still living in Ohio. I was in third grade and I'd finish my work for the day in probably 20 or 30 minutes. The rest of the time they'd give me coloring worksheets and stuff like that to do.

I would bring them home to my mom and she would ask, "So what are you doing the rest of time?" And I'd tell her just coloring and stuff.

She started to see that each day there was a tremendous amount of time being wasted when I could be studying something else. Once she found out that my teachers wouldn't let me move ahead with the lessons, I think she and my dad wanted to give it a try.

The other part of it is that we're a Christian family. Our faith in God guides every decision we make, no matter how small. With homeschooling we were able to select a curriculum, up until my sophomore year, that was Christian-based.

That was really good thing for us. Obviously it didn't take away from learning what we needed to, but it definitely put a twist on it that I believe in. My little brother Jonathan and my sister Jordan are also homeschooled.

My parents always tell people that homeschooling isn't for everyone, but it's for us. When we first started, we thought it was a little bit weird as well. My parents always said that we'd do it year to year and not commit for too long. That was almost nine years ago and it's still the best solution for us.

During the week, we go to a co-op that's made up of former teachers and parents who are homeschooling. We're there on Tuesdays and Thursdays from about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The other days of the week, I practice in the morning and then we all gather at the table around 9 a.m.

My mother gives the lesson, asks me if I have any questions and then she gives assignments that are due and allows me to do them at my own pace. It's good because there's not a lot of busy work. I can just focus on the work and the lesson.

I'm currently taking a few classes at a local college that will likely transfer to North Carolina. We decided to do that so I could learn how college courses work and so I wouldn't have such a heavy load as a freshman.

On my last visit to UNC's campus we basically spent with the whole time with professors and academic support people. I'm looking to major in business, so we went to the business school and visited with a few people.

The business school and academics at UNC are top notch. It's another reason the school was so attractive to me. If basketball doesn't work out, I'll have a great education to fall back on.

USA Camp and Moving On

Last week, we were in Colorado for the USA Basketball Mini-Camp. Hopefully you saw the interview Theo and I did with Dijana. That was fun.

It was great to be around all those great players, but I think I learned a valuable lesson. The first day I didn't come out as aggressive as I could've been. The second day I was a little better, played harder and got myself more involved. Anytime you go somewhere you have to be aggressive.

I'm still in the gym training and look forward to games starting back up in November.

See you at Late Night,

Previous Entries
Sept. 3, 2013 - Summer 'Vacation'
June 6, 2013 - Gaining A Future Teammate
April 17, 2013 - AAU Ball
April 1, 2013 - UNC Basketball Camp
March 13, 2013 - My First Week As A Tar Heel

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