This article mentioning me in relation to homeschooling appeared in my hometown paper this week. Many thanks to its author, Teresa Nuckols.
After homeschoolers graduate, what then?
Rudy Takala’s parents started to homeschool him in 1st grade. He continued through 9th grade. Rudy attended Pine Technical College starting in 10th grade and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamline University two years earlier than scheduled, in 2009.
“I would recommend this path to others… if they don’t want to become heavily indebted, they might save thousands of dollars by graduating early,” said Rudy.
Matt and Connie Takala chose to homeschool Rudy mainly for academic reasons. Rudy was happy with the decision as he feels that, “In a group setting, every student needs to move at the same speed. Outside of that group setting, you can slow down or speed up at your own discretion. Most people are going to find that they [advance] more quickly given that opportunity.”
Rudy’s favorite subjects in school were history and public policy. When he was 11 years old, he asked his mom to take him to the Pine County Republican meetings. When Rudy was 16 he became the campaign manager for Bill Saumer who was running for Senate, and then was appointed secretary of the Pine County Republicans when he was 17. He was elected as the chairman at 18, and was re-elected for his third term this year.
Rudy was also involved in 4-H shooting sports. He competed in state competitions for several years, placing first in tomahawk throwing two years in a row. He also participated in speech during 10th grade at Pine City High School. He placed second in the regional competition in extemporaneous speech.
In addition, Rudy also took a few classes in public policy and economics from YEAH Academy (a group tutorial service for homeschooled youth).
Since graduating Rudy has interned with two different organizations in Washington D.C. – the Cato Institute and Americans for Tax Reform. He also has worked for Kurt Bills’ campaign as the campaign scheduler for a time. Rudy will be taking some classes at the Humphrey School of Public Policy this year.
Takala looks favorably on the fact that he was homeschooled.
“I liked the fact that I could get more done in less time, both day-to-day and over the years,” he said. “I was able to use the extra free time to read and learn about the topics that I was most interested in, and to engage more in my extracurricular activities. It also helped me to graduate from college with virtually no debt. It helped me to look at things more creatively. I think it gave me the confidence to realize that creating my own approach to life could allow me to be more successful than accepting someone else’s factory settings.”