WRITE: Firm Foundations, Fulfilled Dreams: An Interview with Author C.J. Darlington (Part II)
Today, I continue my conversation with C.J. Darlington, homeschooled author and winner of the 2008 Operation First Novel award from the Christian Writers Guild for her novel, Thicker Than Blood. Watch for parts III and IV next week!
M.P.: Let’s discuss your school experience. Do you have a favorite homeschool memory?
C.J.: It’s hard to pick just one! Here’s a favorite: at age twelve, Tracy and I became licensed amateur radio operators. This was back when Morse code was required, so we had to study hard. When we finally passed our exams, our parents (who got licensed too) bought us a ham radio. I remember hurrying through my schoolwork so I could run downstairs, fire up the radio, and make contacts with people across the world. This was before we had a computer and before the Internet, which made it even more exhilarating.
M.P.: What was the most difficult challenge you faced as a homeschool student?
C.J.: I can’t think of any. Like any student, I had subjects that challenged me. But overall, homeschooling was a great experience. Even as a kid, I was aware of the privilege I was being given. Mom made sure we understood that if there was ever anything we wanted to learn, she’d go out of her way to give us the materials to learn it.
We were literally on the frontlines of the homeschooling movement and knew people who’d had their kids taken away. People would say to my parents, “Homeschooling? What’s that?”
M.P.: What further education (formal or otherwise) do you have beyond your home high school experience?
C.J.: Because my interests were creative writing and entrepreneurial business, I never saw the need for college. I knew I could teach myself anything I didn’t know. With the support of my family, I taught myself to write fiction through how-to books, magazines, and great novels. When Tracy and I decided to build www.TitleTrakk.com, we learned the code and design skills necessary to create it from scratch. If we didn’t know something, we asked questions and searched the web for insights. Homeschooling taught us that the world lay at our fingertips.
M.P.: What foundation(s) did your parents have in place for your family and homeschool that helped you become the person you are today?
C.J.: Our family’s firm foundation is without a doubt our Christian faith. Our courses always focused on the biblical aspects of a subject. We studied constitutional law from a Christian perspective and American history from textbooks that didn’t have all the God stories removed. Science focused on creationism and journalism on free speech. One course required us to read the Bible through in a year.
My parents also emphasized treating each other with love. Tracy and I have always gotten along well, and I think that came from the biblical foundation our parents laid.
In another vein, our school motto was, “The world is my classroom.” Mom always told us we could learn from everything. We learned to open our eyes and see those opportunities.
Originally published in Homeschooling Today® magazine, Jan/Feb 2010, used by permission. All rights reserved, www.homeschooltoday.com.