Former homeschool student comes to SHS

September 4, 2009 — by Karthik Sreedhara

When new student sophomore Patrick Sobrak-Seaton was asked like other new students where he transferred from, he, unlike most others replied, “my kitchen table.”

Sobrak-Seaton, the first of his four siblings to go to high school, was drawn to SHS when he moved to Saratoga this year and learned about the Media Arts program. He originally lived in Felton near Santa Cruz where he was home schooled since by his mom, who received her teaching credentials in Santa Clara.

“I heard from friends about what a great school Saratoga High School is,” Sobrak-Seaton said. “And I really wanted to experience what it’s like to go to high school and I’m really enjoying it so far. The switch involved a lot curiosity.”

Sobrak-Seaton said that several of his classmates here were surprised by his talkative and outgoing demeanor.

“Lots of people have this home schooling stereotype,” said Sobrak-Seaton. “They think that home schooled students are a bunch of anti-social kids sitting at home who might not even be doing any work and just sit around. They were surprised that I could speak to them.”

He believed being home schooled was a “liberating experience,” because he was free to decide his daily schedule; he could do school work at any time of the day, and work sports and hanging out with friends around his academics.

“My parents decided to home school me because they wanted to have more control over my curriculum for a more personalized education,” he said.

Sobrak-Seaton feels one of the main differences is the extremely competitive nature of SHS.

“When you’re home schooled you have a lot more opportunities to fight the flood and try not to do your work,” said Sobrak-Seaton. “But I know I can keep up with the competitive side of Saratoga High. I’m just a little nervous about math.”

One of his main goals for his education here is to get a head start when applying to colleges. He plans to use the numerous resources that the College and Career Center offers. He said one of the main disadvantages of being home schooled is that if a student does not receive a high school diploma from the school, it is tougher to get into college.

Sobrak-Seaton is still trying to adjust to the new environment and does not want to take an overwhelming number of rigorous courses this year.

“This being my first year here, I’m just testing the waters a bit,” he said. “I’m not doing any sports this year because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m trying to get the big picture to get the most out of my education at Saratoga.”

So far, however, Sobrak-Seaton is enjoying his first few weeks at SHS. He appreciates the kind and welcoming nature of teachers and students. He is extremely impressed with the school and likes the fact that there are so many subjects to pick from.

“There are so many options here so I can choose the direction to go for the future,” said Sobrak-Seaton.

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