Dueling Keyboards: Homeschool

posted by / Blogs / September 26, 2013

Griffin Colapinto and Kanoa Igarashi, class in session. Photo: Jimmicane

Griffin Colapinto and Kanoa Igarashi, class in session. Photo: Jimmicane


Dueling KeyboardsAs hundreds of thousands of adolescent students are settling into the first few weeks of the 2013-2014 school year, others kids run rampant in the streets. They eat lunch when they want to eat lunch, study when they want to study and most importantly — at least for this article — surf when they want to surf. They are homeschooled. To a kid, this might mean a rigorous routine of math, science and English or it might mean they never even get a GED. Should exceptional surf talent bother with the tired old school system? Why wait on Superman? Or does homsechooling rob the youth of an essential stepping stone towards becoming a functioning member of society. Chas Smith and Brendan Buckley iron it out.

Chas Smith: You know what I hate these days?

Brendan Buckley: Jordy Smith’s haircut?

CS: And young rising surf stars who choose to go to school.

BB: I’m sorry — those who choose to go to school? School is what molds an undomesticated life form into a legitimate human! It’s homeschooling that irks me.

CS: Look, let’s be honest here. A twelve-year-old with a fine repertoire of air moves and some developing power stands to make millions of dollars in the water as long as he develops completely. Six hours of algebra and homeroom and whatnot is flat-out stealing his future. He should “homeschool.” And by “homeschool” I mean paddle out to Trestles every single day.

BB: The ocean doesn’t just shut off once the last bell tolls. The hopeful star can just surf after school, like normal kids. They’d probably be way more disciplined, and that virtue would carry over to surfing. Homeschooling, however, can turn your everyday child into a psychological monster. Sure, they might be able to putter along with a discussion about an upcoming swell or awkwardly compliment a friend’s air, but outside of that they are incapable of interaction. They are truly weird. I once knew a young man who was homeschooled and his mother breast-fed him until he was like 17. That is quintessentially the homeschooling experience.

CS: That is the quintessential homeschooling experience if the kid is being homeschooled for religious, political or social reasons, true. But if he is being homeschooled because he is a rising surf star? Now we are talking about a different sort of creature. We are talking about a breast-feeder who is going to be making millions of dollars throwing the stalefish. We are talking about a socially awkward turkey driving his own Bentley to Rincon. Not to mention that he’s traveling the world. What better classroom is there than the world?

BB: I’d hate to recklessly state a ratio as a means to skew this discussion, so I’ll leave numbers out of it, but about when the surfing dream had dried up? And how about those that never make it to begin with — you know, like, the vast majority. The kids who team mangers looks at and say, “Ehh, here’s 2K a year in travel budget.” What should become of them?

CS: That’s loser talk. If a kid doesn’t think he’s going to make it then he should go to school with the rest of the also-rans. He has to believe! And belief is evidenced by mortgaging the future for today. This means “homeschool.” And by “homeschool” I mean live half the year on the North Shore and the other half in Bali.

BB: So, in a perfect world, the heroes will homeschool and leave the rest of us to keep the world in order. Perfect in theory, terrible in reality. Kids believe in ghosts and Santa Claus and the ASP — any kid might truly believe that he or she could make it as a pro surfer. I once whole-heartedly thought I’d someday play hockey for the New York Rangers. I was to be their captain, and I would surf only when I finished laying Sydney Crosby out for the evening. Still waiting on that phone call. So where must we draw the line? Because it’s awfully thin and we run the risk of socially lobotomizing a portion of our population.

CS: There should be certain limits. Like, if the kid has never been touted as “the next thing” or never had people clamor that he has “really sick style” then maybe he should re-evaluate his dream… like they say, shoot for the stars and hit the moon. Or shoot for pro surfer and hit team manager. The team manager life ain’t a bad one…

BB: I suppose it’s not. The only downfall is that you have to deal with a bunch of homeschooled kids.

CS: Right. And for those who cannot be team managers, there are plenty of other careers. In my experience, homeschool kids make great Subway sandwiches.

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  • Mike Anderson

    How do you learn about how life really works, group dynamics, team work, on and on from home schooling?

    Can some one explain that to me please?

    Are there really parents out there that think their children will be more prepared for the world and life by home schooling than not getting out in the mix?


    Delusional? Stoned? Not the kids the parents….

  • yep

    most kids that are home-schooled are little jerks.

  • L. Orr

    I would challenge both of the above comments and the assumptions made in this article. I was homeschooled throughout all of my formative years–not because my parents are radical, or because I was an aspiring pro surfer, or because I couldn’t keep up with the kids at my local kindergarten. I was homeschooled because my parents believed in giving me the best education possible, and for us that meant working at the family business, learning how to think instead of being told what to think, completing a full year of college before I turned 18, and discovering how learning is oftentimes completely disparate from academia.

    There are, for certain, people who homeschool their kids for “weird” reasons. There are also kids who should be not homeschooled and for whom the self discipline it requires is impossible. But that is increasingly becoming an out-dated norm. I attended an online high school that rivals some of the best private schools in the nation for academic rigor and placement into Ivy League schools–and I learned how to carry on intellectual conversations, put in a 12-hour work day, and give back to my community in the process.

    It is not always easy, but to broaden your mind and explore the possibilities outside your comfort zone can be a beautiful thing. Who knows…you might even meet some “weird” albeit incredibly functional members of society in the process.

  • Richard

    I grew up (and still live) in San Clemente, and was home-schooled from 5th grade through 8th. I was really lucky to have parents that not only could financially pull it off (i.e. 1 income household), but also had the patience to teach me. Being a teacher is not easy.

    We did a hybrid of standard lesson plans, video tapes from actual classrooms (this was the 90’s); and also a homeschooling group for field trips, group projects, and social events. Every quarter I’d have to go take progress tests to make sure I was on par.

    During those 3 years, I was active in our church’s youth ministry, had local friends that I would surf with, etc. The only difference was that during school hours, I was by myself (or with a few others). There were no interruptions- No fire drills, no “Johnny is being disruptive”, etc. I was able to work at my own pace. Subjects I was good at went faster, and I could spend more time on subjects I found difficult. I didn’t have to wait for or be hurried by any other student. It was efficient. Outside of school hours, I had ample social time.

    By the time I finished 8th grade at 14, I was ready to go to High School. My parents felt I needed that experience. When I enrolled at our local HS, I was put in to classes I had already completed in 6th and 7th grade (even though I tested well above them). I needed to be in classes that were filled with juniors and seniors. The school’s answer? Sorry, you’re a freshman and we don’t room. You have to take freshman classes.

    I spent a semester getting A’s and being extremely bored. This worried my parents. Instead of wasting my time and the 3 years of hard work I put in, we looked in to the CHSPE (CA High School Proficiency Exam). It allowed me to earn the equivalent of a HS Diploma (not a GED).

    I passed, and spent 2 years at our local community college (I was only 15). During that time, I was active with friends that were my own age. I went to Prom, football games, etc. After that, I transferred to a year Univ. and received by BA at 19. I started working full time and by 24 I had my Master’s Degree.

    I’m now 30, married, and working high up in a company here in Orange County. Looking back on it, it was a privilege and I’m honored my parents allowed me to home-school. It’s not for everyone, but it gave me a great jump on life. I turned out well rounded and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Maria

    As a mom of a girl who home schools to surf, this article sounds so outdated!

    Online schools, we have found, provide a better education. Especially for the gifted and talented. We can get the best of the best, while others are stuck with whatever the district hires.

    Having a child who is a surfer, a leader, a creative person, she is gifted, funny and smart. Why would I submit her to the typical social training? so she can grow up to be a ticket puncher, working in a cubical?

    I want her to think outside the box and live and work on a higher consciousness.

    Public school doesn’t deliver the social skills. Kids are bullied to death if they are weird… And there are so many that are super weird in public school.

    Parents are a big factor, my kids have amazing social skills, tons of friends, and interact with people all the time! We teach them how to interact. Just like good parents do in public schools.

    Public school is riddled w problems bullying, drugs, over crowding? Why is that healthy?

    Life is precious why waste it? sitting in a classroom for 6 hours when you can finish the same amount of material in 2 makes no sense? Especially when there is an amazing life to live outside!!!

    Even if my daughter doesn’t make it pro, surfing is a lifelong sport. Every single minute she surfs improves the quality of the life she lives.

  • yo

    every home schooler gets a 4.0
    thats strange

  • JaDish…

    Home schooling is not for every kid. It takes a special kid and special parents. A child that is really disciplined, one that wants to really succeed, wants to complete the work, one that will ignore distraction and keep focused, and one that wants to learn and move on. My kids sailed through high school being home schooled. They averaged a 4.2 GPA. It was easier on them knocking out 3 or 4 weeks of one subject, rather than the traditional 6 or 7 periods, bits and pieces. They received anytime one-on-one tutoring on subjects that were challenging. That would never happen in public school. I can remember my son’s first and last year of traditional high school was disastrous. With a bazillion other kids stuffed in the in the classrooms, distractions, teachers stressed out and police breaking thru the door and grabbing kids out of their seats, drugs and alcohol in abundance. How could one learn in an environment like that? My son was a nervous wreck for the first couple weeks of school until we pulled him out never to return. Being an upcoming pro surfer at the time, with major sponsors, he didn’t want anything to do with any of that! Homeschooling allowed for him to be sharp and stay sharp. It allowed him to train safely, surf, travel and work on his athletic future which has been unbelievable. My daughter with her modelling career taking off when she was in high school, it definitely allowed her the time to succeed to a level that we would have never dreamed of. Parents of home schooled children must prepare themselves to be a big part of their children’s education. Over the four years they went through school, my wife and I would supplement their studies with other types of random classes we would find. Among many courses, we had them study music to learn some of the arts. Both of our kids can read music and play many instruments. This was to stimulate more social growth as some of the kids that are home schooled do not have the inter action with other students as they would if they were at a traditional high school. You can tell immediately some of the home schooled kids on the beach, they are the spoiled little brats that have their snotty little noses wiped by their parents and have the personality of a bag of hair.
    I’m sure there are other success stories in regards to home schooling and I’m sure there are allot of kids that have failed in home schooling. Like I said it takes a special individual and parent to succeed in that curriculum.

  • iceman

    I don’t know what homeschoolers you’ve met, but there are plenty of us who exist in the world that are perfectly normal, well-functioning members of society who can amazingly socialize with the rest of the world! Yes, there are freak homeschoolers out there, but there are also plenty who come out just fine, just like there are some kids in school who are straight up awkward and can’t zip up their own pants, much less be able to function like a normal person. Brendan Buckley sounds like an absolute idiot in this article. You should take it down for his sake. Do some real research about how homeschoolers turn out as opposed to having some half bakes discuss their uneducated opinions and limited experiences.

  • Kooks

    Chas Smith should be dragged out in the backyard and shot. The level of ignorance in his point of view is dumbfounding. How is someone who misses being the next Slater/Dane going to be able to be a team manager if they never have had to work in a group dynamic or the real world? What happens if they blow out their joints more frequently than Dusty? There are going to be more Subway employees created from homeschooling aspiring pros than career long pros.

  • Yoda

    The real delusion is not home-school vs. regular school. It’s all these retarded “soccer mom/dad” parents who think their kid is going to be the next Kelly Slater etc. The chances of their kids being able to make a solid living from professional surfing are so astronomically low. All these parents are doing is creating non-well rounded human individuals with very few tools to make good livings as adults.

  • KenBradshaw

    Aren’t we all gifted and talented?

  • http://robssurfreport.com Rob Ross

    I will homeschool my kids, surfers or no, because the educational establishment doesn’t work well enough for my taste. Anybody who thinks that homeschooled kids across the board are jerks, spoiled, or socially maladjusted may as well get in the bus with all the other bigots.

  • name

    Im home schooled for surfing, and live in santa barbara, not san clemente most of the kids down there are jerks who think they are better then every one else because they sucked up to some one and got a big sponsor(yes i have a main sponsor and am not just saying that because i am jealous of them) , and win nssa contests because they sit in with the people that run it . Yes there are kids down there that are nice and very good at surfing that deserve to win and make it in the sport, but most of the time its all those other suck ups that win or get to go on the trips. Dont even got me started on the girls side of it…have you see their instagram, 13 year old girls with their buts out, do u really think they are in it for the love of surfing…NO they just want to hook up with all the guys that surf. I dont like contests what happened to having good style and surfing on rail, like noa deane and conner coffin, i mean they still do airs but know how to set their boards on rail, now every kid just has the worst stink bug style in the world, pumps down the line with their arms all over the place and does a little air reverse. I mean come on what happened to kids wanting to surf like curren??? please excuse my bad spelling and grammer

  • Bill and Ted

    Surfer and/or non surfer. These parent’s who think they are the front runners of this Home School revolution are crazy if they want to spend 24 hrs a day with their kid. Does one kid get homeschooled and the other kid goes to a school? Or do you home school 1-3 kids? There are good points I’ve heard on behalf of parents home schooling their kids, but It would be so much easier to drop your kid off and pick them up 6 hours later. Nothing worse than a little grom who thinks his sh** doesn’t stink. Just saying..

  • shaun

    I went through twelve years of public school systems and in those twelve years I never learned any of the following:

    -How to balance a checkbook
    -how to apply for a loan
    -how to change a tire
    -How to apply for insurance
    -how to do my taxes
    -how to vote
    -how to do student loans
    ….but i am so glad that I learned the pythagorean theorem

  • Samuelito

    I begged my Mom to homeschool me. She would not. I sat through school knowing that I was not being taught anything that mattered. I got a 3.0 without EVER cracking a book, studying or doing homework. HMMM…Public School is for the Slaves of Society.
    Public school teaches us “What to think” and not “how to think”…
    I now have a son who is 6 mos old. He is smarter than either of the authors of this article.
    One more thing; I was a high school teacher for awhile also. I left the whole system for good. The teachers are just as ignorant as the students they graduate. They have no idea what they are continually perpetuating.

    Please homeschool your kids. Teach them values, teach them honor, teach them how to think.
    I know a lot of homeschooled kids now. They are smart, highly socialized, adaptable humans. They are not the little slaves to popularity that we see in and coming out of the Public School system.

    All I have learned in life to Run a successful company, lead groups in my town, teach classes etc. I learned on my own because I wanted to…

    UNSCHOOL your kids

  • Matt Gregory

    Kanoa got his GED already. He’s starting to take online college classes, the kid is smart he is always a good talker when he comes to the Huntington High School for the team meetings. I believe in him

  • Morgan

    LOL’ing at Name’s comment above, a homeschooler finishing their defense with “please excuse my bad spelling and grammer”

  • Mike

    Can anyone name a surfing world champion that was home schooled? But we(society) have to listen to the surge of homeschoolers because our antiquitis education system is not working. We need to recognize all forms of learning. But like any issue in life there’s two sides to the coin.

  • Michael

    Style is key to whether a surfer “makes it or not”. So in my opinion its either pack your kids up, travel non-stop & home school on the road or let them go to school.

    Creativity is often inspired when your stuck doing something you don’t want to do. It can also be picked up by travelling a lot and being exposed to different things.

    Missing out on a few swells doesnt mean a thing either,
    ; if anything that just makes a kid want it more. That being said, I don’t see how being home schooled and surfing trestles everyday could be the right choice.

  • Kanoa

    I love homeschol. its Taght me everie thing i now!

  • toomuchtoread

    I dabbled in independent studies a few times, but my nieces and nephew are all home schooled as well. For me, I just wanted to surf/snowboard as much as possible. During my sophomore year I talked my parents into it as a means to keep me out of the trouble at high school. I left public HS with a <2.0 GPA. 2nd semester my ind. studies started. I went to class for a half-day once a week where I took tests and was loaded back up for the following week. I would come home that day, put my head down, and do the entire next weeks load right away. This way I had 6 days to play with no distraction. I ended up doing 2x-3x the load each week and finished every subject, cover to cover, with a month or two to spare each semester. I became a 4.0 student during this time. I decided to go back to regular HS the beginning of my junior year, primarily because I missed the social aspect of HS. Once back, I slapped myself in the face and thought, "What the hell was I thinking?!" So, 2nd semester junior year I left once again. I ended up coming back to my HS 2nd semester senior year so I could walk with my class. I was already done with every subject needed to graduate upon arrival. I ended up taking all elective classes to fill my schedule and even took business math as an elective "just for fun". I think this is a great path for those who are willing to do the work. The cons would be self tutelage, lack of teacher instruction (go by the book, the actual book), and missing out on daily school shenanigans. Anyhow, I came out successful without "thy" teacher.

    My nieces and nephew… First off, home schooling for most is completely different than what it once meant. Nowadays, home schoolers are usually in a group equivalent to a classroom size. They have social interaction, etc. Niece #1 skipped a grade, left for NAU at 17, is currently the NAU honors ambassador, and will be ready to go for her masters at age 20. She has many friends, socially normal, etc. Niece #2 is 13, is already a paid photographer and runs a crafting blog. This blog has been featured in magazines …her patrons think she is an adult. She also has normal friends, yada, yada. Both girls are on serious paths for success. Now, my 16yr old nephew is the stereotype of a home schooler. However, I believe he would be just as awkward in a typical school setting. He is into gaming, theatre, doesn't care to get his driver license, and just recently downplayed his pokémon "problem". All of this is alien to me and just weird. He has many nerd friends, but friends nonetheless. He'll probably be in Hollywood running the show someday so I keep him close.

    Anyhow, I think home school is great for those who have educated parents who have the time to devote themselves to it. I do know there is a huge lack of education coming from public schools, but that is also where you learn to take your lickings.

    Wait, I take it all back. Go to school, stay out of my lineup 8am-3pm, M-F!

  • smart person

    you’re all stupid

  • alohalaia

    From next year on I’m going to be home schooled because of surfing. I think it’s clever. Those home schooled kids are not stupid. It’s an alternative for some. It depends a lot on the teacher though, it’s not easy to be a teacher. But respect for the home-school teachers, that’s what I call profits !

  • Rick Dickert

    I know a “pro” lifestyle pro who surfs for Hurley among other companies. Dude was home schooled along with the rest of his family and while I’m not certain if it was for surfing or religious reasons, the outcome is that of the stereotype. Capable of discussing surfing but nothing beyond that. Very naive to real life issues. If he isn’t talking about himself he’s usually talking down on someone else and sounding ignorant as all hell while doing so. In the Surfing community, more often than not (in my experience) the kids turn out odd. My two cents..

  • Jim Evans

    I owe nothing to my main school, which turned out to be Riverside Public School in Riverside, Iowa. In spite of myself, I learned. But the most important thing is, I learned on my own from just observing life around me and asking questions. Especially the latter. I became a licensed pilot at age 18 (have since flown sixty-some types and categories of aircraft, including high-performance jet fighters, and getting my helicopter license), sired five children, and ended up making a quarter-of-a-million a year. I became a broadcaster (quite prominent, I believe), and have met the cream of society and highly-placed government officials, socializing with many of them. It is not only what one knows in this life, but that which he rejects, like drugs and bad manners. In the end, we are all responsible to ourselves for what we will learn and pass on to our progeny. Anyone can connect with me at justhink@verizon.net. I am 83 years old, an author and grateful for the life I have led. I enjoyed reading some of the foregoing messages, both negative and positive. You see, I am still rejecting.