Homeschooled student about to enter law school at age 16

Reggie sent me this story from WSU Today.


A 16-year-old student from Union, Wash., will soon become the youngest person on record to graduate from Washington State University.

Kayla Heard could talk at age one and read at 18 months. She started first grade at three, graduated from high school at ten and began community college at 11.

Kayla was home-schooled and is earning her social sciences degree though WSU Online.

“My parents felt it wouldn’t be good to send me to a campus at such a young age,” she said. “I appreciate their decision, mainly because online studying has given me quite a bit of flexibility in my schedule.” Kayla and her family will attend the May 7 commencement in Pullman.

Kayla’s mother said she knew her daughter was different early on.

“When she was a baby, she respected paper,” Marlyn Heard said.  “She didn’t tear it or put it in her mouth. She would look at a picture or writing like she wanted to know what it said.”

When Kayla was seven months old, her mom laid out flash cards with numbers and letters.

“In two months she knew them,” Marlyn said. “She would pick the right ones – before she could speak.” Kayla could print letters at three and write in cursive at four.

At the age of two, Marlyn said, Kayla realized that all the presidents of the United States have been male. She looked at her mom and said, “I’ll be the first female president. And I’ll defend the rights of children.”

Kayla graduates with a 3.71 grade point average. She’s already passed a law school admissions test, and will spend the summer filling out law school applications.

“I’m interested in pursuing a degree online in international law,” Kayla said. “I have a passion for traveling and learning about foreign cultures.” She wants to work abroad, possibly in Hong Kong, and she plans to “visit a plethora of foreign countries” before settling down.

Kayla spends her spare time singing in church, playing piano and guitar, and reading and writing. She also stays in her room a lot, Marlyn said. “We call her cave girl.”
Are there other brilliant members of the Heard family?

“I have relatives who are scholars, but not like Kayla,” Marlyn said. “And my son is more like a normal kid. He’s 12. When he was a baby, he put the flash cards in his mouth.”

This is what I expect from homeschooling families.

Homeschooling is not something that the secular left is OK with. The secular left doesn’t want parents to have a big influence on their children. The secular left is not OK with the generally traditional moral beliefs of the parents. They don’t want some families to be different from other families. They want everyone to be the same, even if that means that the public schools make everyone equally crappy. If homeschooled children today expect to homeschool their own children tomorrow, then they better set goals to get into the university and have an influence on public policy. Because there are forces at work who want to take homeschooling away, no matter how well it works.

Somehow, we have gotten the idea that our children are not our responsibility, and that God will not hold us accountable for the children we raise. I think that’s wrong. Why are we all so anxious to lower the bar for ourselves and lower expectations? Why don’t we look at children as serious projects worthy of our attention and RAISE the bar for what we expect from them – and help them all the time so that they can achieve it? You can’t make a succesful child like this without giving them care, attention and guidance – letting them see downfield where the challenges are so they can make the right moves NOW.

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3 thoughts on “Homeschooled student about to enter law school at age 16”

  1. That’s pretty impressive!

    I don’t know about homeschooling as a blanket ideal; though, Wintery, I’m not sure you were advocating that. What I stand for is the right of parents to make their own choices about how best to educate their children.

    I don’t mean to skite, or to deflect attention from Kayla, who seems a brighter spark than I. But I’ll speak from my own experience. I graduated from high school when 13, and from undergraduate when 16. I’m now a computational chemist – not as glamorous as being a public official or a high-flying lawyer, but there we are. I hope I can make good use of it.

    I recall that at least one school principal was most reluctant to treat me differently to the rest of my age group. I’m thankful that others were more supportive, and I’m especially thankful for my parents, who taught me a fair amount informally at home, and were prepared to try unconventional things like sending me to high school full-time early.

    And I think that’s the difference – it’s not homeschooling vs. private schooling vs. state schooling, but rather parents who recognise their children’s uniqueness, invest in them, and encourage them to use their gifts to the full and not just to blend in.


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