Homeschooled Hero: Jérémie Papillon
Jérémie Papillon was born in Sept-Îles, Québec as the second child to a family of seven. When he was ready to start school, his father had read a few books on homeschooling and realized this was what he wanted for his family. His wife, Lucie, did not consider herself to be able to teach so Murray was the one who got their homeschool going. As Murray’s employment required more time, Lucie gradually took over, with Murray maintaining supervision.
During the elementary school years, Jérémie’s parents put a lot of effort in making sure that their children’s education was well balanced, including field trips and research. The children could negotiate their schedule such as: work mornings only, go on to other activities when their school work was accomplished, no school on Friday, etc.
During the first two years of high school, Jérémie admits taking it easy because his father wasn’t always there anymore. He made a great deal of progress in math… but only in math! Lucie was quite busy with Jérémie’s younger siblings so Murray found a correspondence program for the older children, therefore providing for more accountability.
For Jérémie, there are many advantages to homeschooling, such as skipping a year and having a flexible schedule. He greatly appreciated his parents’ involvement in providing many field trips and realizes that he would not have benefitted from such opportunities in regular school. It was sometimes a challenge not to see friends, but Jérémie persevered knowing that, once at university, he would reap the benefits. His parents were careful to meet his social needs through activities such as hockey, soccer, piano, and church events. His father’s greatest concern was to protect his children, but neither did he want to overprotect them.
After high school at home, Jérémie applied to Université Laval in Québec City, where he was accepted on the condition that he complete a course in both physics and chemistry. Jérémie clamped down and managed to do both in time for admission. It took about two weeks for him to get used to a classroom setting at university. After this initial adaptation, Jérémie never felt awkward or out of place.
Jérémie completed a degree in Software Engineering at Université Laval and worked for some time in Québec City for a pharmaceutical packaging line inspection company. After two years, he decided to leave Canada to explore new avenues and to get to know himself better. He seized an opportunity to work in Berlin, Germany, from June 2010 to May 2011. In this online marketing company, he creates Web applications/tools to facilitate employees’ work. Jérémie claims that the benefits of going to Berlin are experiencing a new culture, learning a third language (Jérémie was already bilingual), gaining new skills, and learning more about himself as an individual. When asked about his medium or long term goals, Jérémie does have personal objectives in view but he is giving himself time and remains open to anything that could interest him.
Jérémie feels that the most important part of homeschooling is to spark children’s curiosity so that they become motivated to learn more. He feels that homeschooling contributed to making him a perseverant individual capable of attaining his objectives. One piece of advice he would like to leave with homeschooling parents: Do like mine did and take your kids out!
Printed in Court Report & Communiqué Spring 2011
Written by Carole Cardinal