We have home schooled in Kingwood, Texas, since 1993. Our second born, Daniel, never showed much interest in ball-related sports but did participate in YMCA baseball and basketball in the early elementary years. He loved swimming and participated in both summer and year-round swimming for quite a few years. However, the sport which has captured and held his interest has been fencing. When Daniel was seven or so, he and his older sister were digging in their dad’s closet and found his fencing equipment from his college days. My husband Bill fenced in high school, was the assistant fencing coach at West Point while in the army, then fenced throughout his four years in college. However, when the kids discovered the swords and mask, a whole new world opened up to us. Pressed to teach them, my husband began giving them lessons in the driveway. Our then home school co-op asked him to give classes, and his classes were always full. From there, Bill began Knights of Trapani Fencing Academy. The past 9 years have been quite rewarding for our family, particularly in the incredibly close bond between Daniel and his dad. They have had many opportunities to travel together, mostly in long car trips where there have been many hours for conversation and deep discussions. As a family we have traveled to tournaments in South Carolina, New York, and Georgia, not to mention trips all over Texas. Bill and Daniel also give demonstrations and history lessons (Bill was a history major and loves to tell the history of the sport.) to scout groups, summer library programs, and school groups.
One of the things that has been most interesting is how many home schoolers we have met along the way! Most of the clubs in the Houston area have recruited home schoolers. Since Bill can only coach one day a week, Daniel is also a member of Alliance Fencing Academy. Last summer at nationals in Atlanta, Daniel and his Alliance team missed winning the gold medal in the junior team event by one point in overtime. The four member team was made up of 2 home schoolers, one former home schooler, and one public schooler. Recently his coach told another parent that he likes having home school students in his club because they are generally the ones who work the hardest and are most disciplined.
Now that Daniel is a senior, he is contemplating his future. Unfortunately there are not any Texas or Christian colleges that offer fencing on the varsity level. Coaches from Princeton, Penn State, Ohio State, and the Air Force Academy have all expressed interest in Daniel. He is most interested in the AFA and, if accepted, will go there. Interestingly enough, there are currently 3 fencers on the AFA fencing team who were home schooled. When you consider the thousands who apply to the Air Force Academy and the few who are accepted, I would say that home schoolers are doing very well! I thought you might like to read my son’s Princeton essay about his relationship with his father. I believe it speaks volumes as to why the sport of fencing has blessed out family. I have also attached a picture of Daniel and his dad – one of my very favorites.
Thank you for all you do for home schoolers in Texas.
Sincerely in Christ,