Lots of home-schooled kids not only compete in sports, they excel. The Las Vegas Review-Journal just featured one such athlete, 17-year-old Dakota Root:
"Every time you fence, you have to keep changing your game," Dakota said. "You can't just rely on your skills. You have to rely on growing within the bout. You don't do that in most other sports."
Dakota has been in the sport only four years, but she is considering attending college at Ivy League fencing powerhouses such as Harvard and Columbia as well as Duke, Northwestern and Notre Dame. There appears to be reciprocal interest. . . .
She has achieved scores of 2,240 on the Scholastic Achievement Test (Dakota still hopes to break 2,300) and 31 on the American College Test. . . .
Last November she traveled to Germany and Austria for 16-and-under World Cup tournaments. Dakota fenced especially well in Germany, making the fourth round of pool play.
Showing that performance was no fluke, Dakota in April won under-19 epee at the Pacific Coast Championships in Long Beach, Calif. She was second in the senior epee, which was open to all ages.
That's a head-turning rise through the ranks for a relative newcomer. It's also a rise that could continue, perhaps even to the Olympic Games, with 2016 as the likely target. . . .
When I saw Wayne at the Georgia LP state convention last month, he spent most of his time bragging on his daughter who -- and I hope I'm not spoiling any scholarship negotiations here -- is leaning heavily toward Columbia. (She likes the big city.) Wayne also brags on Dakota in his new book, The Conscience of a Libertarian:
To illustrate the remarkable talent, creativity and intelligence of home-schooled children, I offer Exhibit A: My 17-year-old daughter Dakota Root. She is beautiful; well mannered; disciplined; articulate; poised beyond her years; treats adults with respect; maintains a straight A+ average in her studies; scores in the 99th percentile of every national test she takes; devours as man as a dozen books a month (because she wants to, not because she has to); has achieved a black belt in martial arts; and is a world class fencer who has participated in Junior Olympics, Fencing Nationals and World Cup events internationally. . . .It's true. Hearing one's children praised for being poised, well-mannered and respectful is one of the joys of being a home-schooling parent. Wayne writes:
Many adults that have had the pleasure of meeting Dakota have made the comment, "Is your daughter home-schooled?" I always answer, "Yes, but how did you know?" The reply is always the same, "In my experience, only home-schooled kids are this focused, disciplined, well-mannered and respectful of adults."
Dakota has had the advantage of being taught one on one literally since birth, by people that love her . . . praise her . . . motivate her . . . and expect the very best of her.The official publication date for Wayne's book The Conscience of a Libertarian is the Fourth of July (when else?) but you can order it now at Amazon.com.