Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, Inc.

Meet Massachusetts Homeschoolers: Elizabeth Wachta

One of Elizabeth's creations

By Elizabeth Wachta

When I toured the high school that I would be attending from ninth to twelfth grade, I admit that I was feeling a little nervous. It was an anxious feeling that was a lot bigger than when I was moving from elementary to middle school. However, something else didn’t feel right. When the school tour was over, I began getting a tickly feeling in my throat. When I was born, I had to have a trach put in to help me breathe better. I’ve had it forever, so we have to take extra good care of it by cleaning and suctioning it to keep me healthy. As it turns out, the high school was an old building. The air quality would not be good for my trach, so Mom, Dad, and I got together to think about what we should do. Mom, who’s always concerned about what happens to my trach was terrified of sending me to a school that was unhealthy for me, and I was nervous about getting suctioned every single day throughout the school year. It’s safe to say we were both on the same page, so what could we do instead? Eventually, with a little bit of research, Mom suggested that we try homeschooling. It was a big risk, but it was the only alternative we could think of. I never knew how much fun I’d have throughout those four years. This is the story of my experience as a homeschooler.

Many may wonder what a homeschool experience entails. I’m here to give you an idea. Most people are quick to believe that homeschooling lacks a structured routine. Believe me, when I first heard about homeschooling, I thought the very same thing. But, in reality, most homeschool students maintain a high degree of organization and planning. An example of some of my activities in which I took part included: tutoring with Amy, art classes taught by my Aunt Carolyn, attending plays at the Providence Performing Arts Center, going on lots of exciting and educational field trips to learn about historical places in our city, a girl’s social group, and writing classes at a local collaborative with my writing Coach Nicole Cannella.

Some examples of activities in my writing sessions included learning more about myself through personal essay, arriving to and from class on time, bonding with my fellow classmates while creating literature, and knowing the joy of a completed project. In my art lessons, my Aunt Carolyn and friend Alyssa would come to my home, and we would make artworks with various types of mediums including paint, crayons, markers, foam, wood, stickers, paper, and canvas. Each time I have this class I feel like I bring out my inner artist. So much so that most of my artwork is hanging on a wall in my dining room. (For more information about my art pieces that I’ve completed over the course of my homeschooling art classes, take a look at my A Wall Full of Color.) On Wednesdays I would have an afterschool-like club at my friend Emma’s. A group of us girls, around 5 or 6, would get together and play games, make crafts, and just hang out. Suffice it to say, we made the right choice for our family.

Elizabeth Susan Wachta is a 22-year-old collector, artist, and former student from Attleboro, Massachusetts. She has some medical challenges that she has faced bravely every day since birth. Some of her interests include going for long rides with her parents with the music blaring, art classes with her aunt, watching her favorite Disney Channel and Muppet Shows, reading, and horseback riding. She looks forward to growing her creative writing skills with the guidance of her writing coach, Nicole Canella.