2013 AFHE Poetry Contest - Poems

NOTE: The following poems are the original work of the students listed. The students retain the copyright on their work. These poems may not be reprinted or published without permission from the author(s). Please contact AFHE, contests@afhe.org.

FIRST-PLACE WINNERS

- Sarah Davis (5-7 year olds)
- Michael Davis (8-11 year olds)
- Ashton Jensen (12-15 year olds)
- Nathan Tappendorf (16-18 year olds)

SECOND-PLACE WINNERS

- Lucy Despain (5-7 year olds)
- Jack Hayes (8-11 year olds)
- Rachel Garrow (12-15 year olds)
- Sarah Powell (16-18 year olds)

OTHER CONTEST SUBMISSIONS

The following poetry contest submissions are listed from youngest to oldest, and then alphabetically by last name.
- Hannah DeJolie
- Elijah DeJolie
- Grace Schaeffer
- Thayer Dozer
- Brianna Hudelson
- Victorie Jensen
- Halleli DeJolie
- Christian Gannon
- Grace Klein
- Kayla Madore
- Savannah Skarecky
- Alyssa Tappendorf
- Noelle Vangilder
- Grayson Jensen
- Bailey Rozendaal
- Moriah Hudelson
- Rachel Powell
- Miranda Azar
- Brieanna Garrow
- Kyle Tappendorf
- Daniel Forquer
- Nechet Hudelson
- Brianna Jensen

First-Place Winning Poems

SARAH DAVIS, AGE 7
Better with Homeschool

Poetic Form: Diamond Poetry

Homeschool
loving,           kind
educates,  nourishes,  strengthens
mom,      friends,      playtime,      Bible
participates,  pledges,  protects
orderly,         busy
 family

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MICHAEL DAVIS, AGE 11
The Upside

Poetic Form: Rhyming Poem

Homeschooling is really great;
A topic that I can debate.

So I’d like to show all you;
What makes it such a big to do.

There is no rushing out of bed;
Daily prayers are always said.

When Bible, science are all done;
Music, math, then recess fun.

Healthy lunch, I get to eat;
Classroom, always clean and neat.

Friendly people to be seen;
Not the bullies, that are mean.

Teacher that will never slack;
One on one, I do not lack.

Every day is fun and new.
I wish that you could homeschool, too.

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ASHTON JENSEN, AGE 13
I Love Homeschooling!

Poetic Form: Rhyming

I love being able to sleep until nine,
I love going at my own pace and time.
I love wearing my pajamas all day,
I love doing devotions and I love to pray.
I love that I’m able to read so much,
I love being able to make my own lunch.
I love that I can have creativity in my school,
I love that I can go for a dip in the pool.
 These are all things that I do happily,
But the thing I love most is learning with my family.

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NATHAN TAPPENDORF, AGE 17
A Tale of Two Rosebushes

Poetic Form: Couplet

Two rosebushes were planted one fine summer day,
The gardeners prayed they’d grow beautiful someday.

One bush was planted in a garden nearby,
With so much space, it could reach for the sky.

The other was planted inside a large pot,
To be confined to the house was its assigned lot.

Both plants were cared for and loved tenderly,
But in winter a problem appeared gradually.

The plant in the house had flowers pristine,
But the leaves of the other were hardly even green.

You see, the first plant was outside in the cold,
With no shelter, unprotected, its life did unfold.

Yes, the gardeners did water and fertilize,
But the frost, snow, and ice did paralyze.

The other plant was inside the house nicely warmed,
With the gardener’s protection, its life was transformed.

It flourished and blossomed and did persevere,
Its flowers were beautiful since it had no fear.

In the same way, a child is a delicate thing,
And what is more precious than one’s own offspring?

If a child sent to school alone must trod,
He may be injured or lose his faith in God.

The culture, like winter, is godless and tough,
It treats a Christian in ways that are rough.

But if a child is homeschooled and protected,
He will flourish as his parents prayed and expected.

With his parents active and influential,
He will grow and develop to his full potential.

That is why many choose homeschooling,
To raise one’s children like that is a blessing.

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Second-Place Winning Poems

LUCY DESPAIN, AGE 5
Homeschool Is Fun

Poetic Form: Common Measure

Writing, math, and reading
Makes me the best.
And I love to hear
My instructions for the test.
For every day is learning
When I just wake up.
Then I get ready and say,
“Homeschool is starting up!”

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JACK HAYES, AGE 11
Campfire

Poetic Form: Free Verse

The fire burned brightly,
Crackling at every spark,
Throwing little lights,
Out into the dark.

The logs in the fire
Are fuel for the light,
Making the blaze burn strong,
Redeeming darkness bright.

The fire was alone,
A flare in the night,
A little glow that beamed,
To shine a cheerful light.

Our Homeschooling is like the fire,
A flame in my heart,
Teaching me God's Word,
Growing me, providing a head-start.

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RACHEL GARROW, AGE 14
Take Me Too!

Poetic Form: Quatrain 3

What does homeschooling mean to me?
Being at home and learning you see
Spelling, math, and geography too
I get done early, yes it’s quite true

Long lasting trips to other places
It’s so much fun to meet new faces
Economics, science and Spanish too
I even get trips to the Phoenix Zoo!

Bacteria, blood and barbaric finds
Are frequent under the microscope slides
It’s all so much fun as you can see
This is what homeschooling means to me!
Just think; all of your schooling right at home
Instead of a Highschool’s halls to roam
All your subjects combined in one room
No switching classes when the clock hits noon

Break time or snack time whenever you want
Please don’t think I am trying to vaunt
I think I’m finally done explaining
“Take me too!” I can hear you exclaiming!

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SARAH POWELL, AGE 16
The Benefits of Homeschool

Poetic Form: Couplet

Whenever I meet somebody new
And tell them that I am among the few

Who don't go to school like some other kids
They always want to know just why that is

And wouldn't I much more want to stay
In a place where I get  "socialized" every day?

When asked I say, "Would you rather be
In a school than with your family?

Say if on your work you'd rather spend
Four hours than the usual ten.

Would you spend your precious time
Really learning or standing in line?

Care you to be taught what to think or say
Or learn to think in your own way?

Would you rather have busywork
Or time left to put your passions first?

Do you like conformity
Or prefer individuality?

The answer to all these is clear:
Stay at home, don't waste these years!

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington,
 Mozart, Twain, James Madison,

John Adams and both Roosevelts,
Alexander Graham Bell,

Einstein, da Vinci, and Lincoln too,
Were all homeschooled--and others, too.

Homeschool hardly ruined those;
they were strengthened by what they chose.  

So you can say it's bad for me
If that's ruin, I'm in good company."

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Other Contest Submissions

HANNAH DEJOLIE, AGE 7
Learning Is Really Fun

Poetic Form: Free Verse

Learning is really fun
because you can chew
gum when you are doing
math. You don’t get in
trouble because your
mother is not a
principal.

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ELIJAH DEJOLIE, AGE 9
Homeschooling

Poetic Form: Free Verse

I like homeschooling
because I don’t wake
up at 6:00 in the morning
and drive to school
and I don’t wear uniforms.

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GRACE SCHAEFFER, AGE 9
Homeschooling for Everyone

Poetic Form: Visual Poetry

Homeschooling is fun and fascinating, which gives
A grand education for all to hear.
No waking up early and no rushing through breakfast.
It is a blessing to be homeschooled.
I enjoy homeschooling for many reasons, but the main
Reason is to be with my family every day.
Homeschooling is the best for everyone.

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THAYER DOZER, AGE 10
The Homeschool War

Poetic Form: Ballad

The day is almost over
The clock is ticking away
Why not have some fun, fun, fun?!
Gather books, pencils, papers, and pens.
Don’t forget to mention the homeschoolers too!
As the papers flew, the pencils soared, the books slammed, and the pens drew
The homeschoolers have fun till the day was done
They did not want to go, go, go. . .
They pack their bags with books, pencils, papers and pens and sadly go away.
Then someone says “no, no, no!”
Then that is when the homeschool war begins.
The moms shout, the children yell and everything was noisy and rapid.
Then that’s when a mom says, “THAT’S ENOUGH!”
Then she starts to pull out her hair
Then that’s when a she looks like a bear!

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BRIANNA HUDELSON, AGE 10
How I Am Blessed with Homeschooling

Poetic Form: Free Writing

With a father so dear, mother so sweet,
Sisters so loving, and brothers, SO NEAT!
How could I NOT learn? With all the sweet care,
I have learned so much, I can not compare.
The environment is good, right, and true.
We learn the real sounds of cows, MOO!!
We learn things of all shape and sort.
We also learn who is LORD!
With a father so dear, mother so sweet, 
Sisters so loving, and brothers. SO NEAT! 
 How could I not learn? With all the sweet care,
I have learned so much I can not compare.

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VICTORIE JENSEN, AGE 10
What I Love about Homeschooling!

Poetic Form: Cinquain

Imagination
Wearing pajamas
Done by noon
Learning with my siblings
Homeschool.

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HALLELI DEJOLIE, AGE 11
Family

Poetic Form: Cinquain

What
makes homeschooling
so fun is
seeing my family’s faces.
That, I never tire of.

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CHRISTIAN GANNON, AGE 11
Christmas

Poetic Form: Rhyme

Christmas is a time for celebration,
A time for vacation!
Mistletoe is hung,
Bells are being rung!

Christmas is winking at me on the calendar,
Oh the greatness when the wise men brought incense and myrrh!
The baby in the manger lying down on dry yellow straw,
Oh how Mary and Joseph look at little baby Jesus with awe!

While we celebrate the birth
We look upon the Earth,
And we see the fanfare around the "Holiday tree,"
While some people do not open their eyes and truly see.

The look on the children’s faces when they open their presents,
Oh how they do not look at all unpleasant!
They look happy, energized, and ready for the sun,
What they want to do is go outside and run for fun!

Some people do not know the best gift of all,
The birth of a savior delivered so small.
When you are celebrating the season take a moment to remember,
The true meaning of Christmas is a baby born in December!

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GRACE KLEIN, AGE 11
Comforts of Homeschooling

Poetic Form: Free Verse

Public school, not for me.
But homeschooling, Whoopee!
I get to stay in my pajamas,
And turn on rockin' music,
And snuggle with my dog.
My mom's the best teacher that I could ever
have, What's better than that?
I learn about Jesus and I munch snacks,
Being homeschooled, who can beat that?

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KAYLA MADORE, AGE 11
A Journey with my Mom

Poetic Form: Free Verse

I love the fact that my Mom teaches me
It’s great to have a close-knit bond with my teacher
Many times I’ll ask her several questions in the night
That is what’s great about my family
I have built numerous fond memories of schooling at home
I trust in her to teach me all I need to know
I like being different, to see different things
I like researching the subject more
And there are so many things you’ve never even thought about to learn
You are not limited to only learn from a teacher
I have the blessing to draw closer to my Savior
Homeschooling has made me excited for learning, that’s my behavior….
I have been able to try dancing and acting, glorifying God through it all
Homeschooling is a blessing; I believe it’s my call

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SAVANNAH SKARECKY, AGE 11
The Joy That Homeschooling Brings

Poetic Form: Rhyming

I’m joyful because I get to see my family all day long
The last subject in school is singing a song

I can study subjects that I like
For recess I can ride my bike

I can read my Bible
And do my schoolwork at the kitchen table

I learn true History not about cave men
For art I made a clay pen

I don’t have to worry about my allergy to peanuts
Because I know my Mom uses a clean knife when she cuts

I help my little sister learn and explore
I have more time to feed the poor

One of the most joyous things about homeschooling
Is I’m not rushed in the morning

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ALYSSA TAPPENDORF, AGE 11
Homeschooling Has Been a Blessing to Me

Poetic Form: Couplet

It really began with my parents’ dedication,
They truly cared about my education.

They couldn’t let another year go by,
Without me there with them to abide.

They love and care for me,
I will theirs forever be.

They also sacrifice their time and lives,
To give me their good advice.

Me they do cherish,
They can’t let me perish.

I can work at my own pace,
I thank God for His abundant grace.

No one can hold me back,
For many blessings I have; none do I lack.

I can use Christian published books,
Do my jobs well and finish all my work.

I am blessed with the opportunity,
To learn about the Lord God Almighty.

I am grateful that while I am being homeschooled,
I am able to learn about Jesus in school.

I can pray and recite God’s Word,
I can meditate on the Word of my Lord.

Homeschooling is a blessing to me,
For I can learn many things from my family.

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NOELLE VANGILDER, AGE 11
Day and Night

Poetic Form: Free Verse

Day,
Day is a time of work, family, and fun.

Fun is play and free time with the people you love.

Family is a wonderful relationship of
Mom & Dad,
Sister & Brother,
Grandma & Grandpa,
Aunt & Uncle,
Niece & Nephew,
Cousins,
And everything else in between.

Work is a wonderful thing,
But not always fun or easy.

Night,
Night is a time of rest, peace, dreams, and thinking.

You think about your day,
Regret your list of mistakes you made,
And think of tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a new day,
And you do some of the opposite of what happened yesterday.

Dream,
A wish that will come true someday.

Peace,
A relationship of calm and smooth.

Rest,
A time of relaxation and sleep,
To strengthen and fill your mind with energy once again.

Now, I shall finish with one goodbye,
And fare thee well until next time.

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GRAYSON JENSEN, AGE 12
What I Think about Homeschooling

Poetic Form: Cinquain

 Homeschool
Amazing,flexible
Learning,reading,writing
Time with my siblings
schooling

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BAILEY ROZENDAAL, AGE 12
Going Home

Poetic Form: Diamante

Public School
Unfair, Stressful
Overwhelming, Cheating, Embarrassing
Nonproductive, Ungodly...Stable, Righteous
Encouraging, Comforting, Gratifying
Creative, Efficient
Homeschool

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MORIAH HUDELSON, AGE 13
The Time Spent Together

Poetic Form: Free Writing

They sat there looking at the glue…
As they watched you tie their shoe
They noticed the cow would say moo
And observed the cat call mew.
You stood up to tell them all you knew 
And taught them about how bluebirds flew.

They discovered everything about saltwater
And saw pictures of the sea otter
They learned about the ear 
And they would set up a cheer 
For all of the deer
They were taught about all that did matter

But then one day, your friend 
On the phone did send 
And begin to transcend 
The events from the west end
She spoke of all the loose ends 
And the ways her public school did offend. 

And as she spoke you smiled
And spied your children sitting at the music stool
And counting down at the numbers pool
Your little boys were indeed working the power tool
You smiled and thanked the LORD 
For all the privileges he did afford 

Through Homeschool. 

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RACHEL POWELL, AGE 13
Beauties of Homeschooling

Poetic Form: Rhyming Couplets

Upon one summer’s morning
Tho’ most children were in school snoring
Two were out having fun.
They would jump and run
And imagine a world that they ruled
For they were homeschooled.
They could finish homework in their own time,
Then write poems and essays and things that rhyme,
Sing songs, read books and write fun plays.
For we will be known as homeschooled all of our days.

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MIRANDA AZAR, AGE 14
The Blessing of Homeschool

Poetic Form: Couplet

The blessings of Homeschool is like heavens joy
Where all the days are filled glorious noise

The joy we have when we’re happy or giving
To help me learn and keep me singing

Homeschool is the chance to learn something special
It’s like Christmas when I receive something exceptional

In a world that cannot cope
Like Jesus, Homeschool gives me hope

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BRIEANNA GARROW, AGE 14
Just Whoa!

Poetic Form: Quatrain 3

What homeschooling means to me?
Many things there are you see
I shall explain them all to you
And hope you see my point of view

Most every morn I sleep ‘till eight
Compared to some that is quite late
While you are stuck in school ‘till three
I am outside climbing a tree

I do school on my soft cushy couch
While you’re at your desk being a grouch
I know I shouldn’t be bragging like this
‘Cuz by now you’re probably quite jealous

Though I must say it doesn’t stop here
A few more things there are to hear
Like baking cookies at one o’clock
Or riding my bike around the block

Stop I will since now I can see
How filled you are with jealousy
Goodbye for now and I hope you know
The homeschooling life is just like WHOA!

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KYLE TAPPENDORF, AGE 14
The Wonder of Homeschooling

Poetic Form: Ode

Homeschooling – it all started awhile ago
With my dedicated parents who did not know,
What an impact it would have on my soul,
Some of the many benefits, I will extol.

Homeschooling has allowed me to pursue,
The activities that I love to do.
Whether it be photography,
Or studying for the Bible Bee.

My precious faith in the Creator
Has been strengthened like never before.
Homeschooling has allowed me to spend,
Time with my Lord, my King and my friend.

Since homeschooling occurs at home all the time,
I’m around my family always, even at mealtimes.
I’ve really learned what Christ-like love means –
Put others first, and eliminate self-esteem.

Through homeschooling I have been able to soar,
To heights of knowledge, never realized before.
In the subjects I like, and in those that I don’t,
I have excelled even when I thought I couldn’t.

Homeschooling has let me trust Jesus my Lord,
He has taught me to benefit from His sharp Sword,
I have been able to study the Bible,
Homeschooling has shown me that it’s reliable.

Homeschooling, to me, is a freedom so true,
Freedom to do what God calls me to do.

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DANIEL FORQUER, AGE 15
What Homeschooling Is to ME

Poetic Form: Rhyming

What Homeschooling is to me
Is being able to see Dad on his way out
And helping Mom figure something out
Homeschooling is receiving the right worldview
And learning and reading God’s word to!
Homeschooling is not having a bully to kick you around
Because you’re always mixing with the right crowd!
Homeschooling is before starting school
Stopping and saying a prayer to help us the day through
Homeschooling is not having nasty food to eat
Because lunch is always so neat!
I suppose I have said quite enough
I am so thankful we live in a country where homeschooling is not that tough

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NECHET HUDELSON, AGE 15
Rise of the Homeschoolers

Poetic Form: Free Writing

Dark and organized completely 
Covered in a mass of lies.
But still they manage to look neatly
Though the deception glazes their eyes.
Prepared to fight an unseen battle,
Marching out in Hitler style,
Their tools of trade loudly rattle,
Prepared to herd the preoccupied cattle,
as they march the extra mile.

Going to teach the proletariat
What the ones on high want said.
For this was the army Invariant
With the devil leading at their head.
When they have the child's heart won
Then the parents would they beguile
And then would begin the fun
And they would be stopped by none
As they march the extra mile.

This army was of people just doing their job
Believing that billions of years was the truth,
That complex DNA started out as a blob,
That we were monkeys in our youth.
The bible was fairy tale, contradicting itself,
Christianity was empty, religion; vile.
That if anyone wanted to better himself,
He had better submit to the devil himself, 
As they march the extra mile 

They would bring up their students
To look to the State.
Not care about truth
Just stack the next crate.
And get on with real life
Just walk in single file
And march with the State fife
And they might grant you a wife
As they march the extra mile.

They would take away reason
For it was overrated.
They could make thought treason,
Though it was already outdated.
For These were the teachers of the generation
Leading the children down to hell
Ushering this young generation 
into a brave new world under spell
Of the tyrant red school bell
As they march the extra mile

But I knew who they were
I knew what they would say
they would make truth a blur
And then society would decay
But I was prepared for the fight
For I knew well the church aisle
And God's word was my delight
And I knew everything would be alright
As I marched the extra mile

I knew their lies well, 
their infamous tools of trade,
And I had been taught to dispel
That dull over-used blade.
Taught by the ones seasoned in war
Who were there next to me in the church aisle
Who I will always adore
who taught me darkness to abhor
As they marched the extra mile

My parents were there ready to fight
Strong and confident
That they had done right
And in good deeds they were opulent
They knew how the world would be
in this new lifestyle
And they to this would not agree
Because they looked out for me
as they marched the extra mile

They understood me completely
My strength and weakness
And they felt for me deeply
And knew what it meant to be weakest
And they cared for my future
So they told me to hate the vile
And try to be a producer
And because they were my tutor
I now walk the extra mile

Their words are my guide
Through this mountainous valley
And as I walk in their stride
I miss those years badly
Though the fight rages on
I miss them in the aisle
and though they are now withdrawn
I have been called upon
To march the extra mile

This war is not new to me,
And I shall march with pride,
As I go to join the free
And we shall ride side-by-side.

Our differences we shall cast aside,
The holy word will be our guide,
With confidence in our every stride.
For Light and darkness will collide
Across the whole worldwide
And darkness will be split wide
As we gloriously, victoriously ride
the extra mile

Dark and organized completely 
Covered in a mass of lies.
But still they manage to look neatly
Though the deception glazes their eyes.
Prepared to fight an unseen battle,
Marching out in Hitler style,
Their tools of trade loudly rattle,
Prepared to herd the preoccupied cattle,
as they march the extra mile.

Going to teach the proletariat
What the ones on high want said.
For this was the army Invariant
With the devil leading at their head.
When they have the child's heart won
Then the parents would they beguile
And then would begin the fun
And they would be stopped by none
As they march the extra mile.

This army was of people just doing their job
Believing that billions of years was the truth,
That complex DNA started out as a blob,
That we were monkeys in our youth.
The bible was fairy tale, contradicting itself,
Christianity was empty, religion; vile.
That if anyone wanted to better himself,
He had better submit to the devil himself, 
As they march the extra mile 

They would bring up their students
To look to the State.
Not care about truth
Just stack the next crate.
And get on with real life
Just walk in single file
And march with the State fife
And they might grant you a wife
As they march the extra mile.

They would take away reason
For it was overrated.
They could make thought treason,
Though it was already outdated.
For These were the teachers of the generation
Leading the children down to hell
Ushering this young generation 
into a brave new world under spell
Of the tyrant red school bell
As they march the extra mile

But I knew who they were
I knew what they would say
they would make truth a blur
And then society would decay
But I was prepared for the fight
For I knew well the church aisle
And God's word was my delight
And I knew everything would be alright
As I marched the extra mile

I knew their lies well, 
their infamous tools of trade,
And I had been taught to dispel
That dull over-used blade.
Taught by the ones seasoned in war
Who were there next to me in the church aisle
Who I will always adore
who taught me darkness to abhor
As they marched the extra mile

My parents were there ready to fight
Strong and confident
That they had done right
And in good deeds they were opulent
They knew how the world would be
in this new lifestyle
And they to this would not agree
Because they looked out for me
as they marched the extra mile

They understood me completely
My strength and weakness
And they felt for me deeply
And knew what it meant to be weakest
And they cared for my future
So they told me to hate the vile
And try to be a producer
And because they were my tutor
I now walk the extra mile

Their words are my guide
Through this mountainous valley
And as I walk in their stride
I miss those years badly
Though the fight rages on
I miss them in the aisle
and though they are now withdrawn
I have been called upon
To march the extra mile

This war is not new to me,
And I shall march with pride,
As I go to join the free
And we shall ride side-by-side.

Our differences we shall cast aside,
The holy word will be our guide,
With confidence in our every stride.
For Light and darkness will collide
Across the whole worldwide
And darkness will be split wide
As we gloriously, victoriously ride
the extra mile

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BRIANNA JENSEN, AGE 16
My Favorite Things About Homeschooling

Poetic Form: Rhyming

Homeschooling means to me
That I can have flexiblity,
I can do what I need
At my own pace and time,
Without leaving other students behind,

My favorite things about homeschooling include
Eating lots of food,
Wearing pjs all day,
Learning about things that interest me,
And having a drama-free philosophy!

But the best thing of all,
Is spending time with my family,
With whom I can grow
And learn about God,
Whose love we will show.

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