Home Schooled to Boarding School

Thursday, November 01, 2018 - By: Noah H, Privett ‘19; Photo by Jim Ganley

Growing up in community on a small island is not your typical childhood. However, it has been something I will never forget. I was born and raised on an organic produce farm on Salt Spring Island, farming and stewarding the land with the community I was brought up in. I was homeschooled until Grade 8, so I spent almost 100% of my time before that working on the farm. I worked with my dad, who, at the time, was in charge of all the machine, plumbing, and electrical work that needed to be done.

By the time I was eleven I could operate all the machines on the farm. I spent my time doing tractor work or finding a cow that had broken through a fence. After being homeschooled for so long, public school in Grade 9 was quite the shock. I spent three years at Gulf Islands Secondary School on the Island, but it is not comparable to this. 

Coming to Brentwood was the biggest change I had ever experienced. I never pictured myself going to boarding school, let alone school in general for more than four days a week. When my mom first proposed it, my answer was there was no way I was going. However, after a couple months, I accepted it, and now I realise it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was extremely nervous before I got here; I had never been one to leave the Island much. The thought of living away from home was nerve wracking, but that all change when I drove through the gates on the first day. 

I asked two other new students, both Salt Spring Islanders, Jacob H and Atisha RL, how the transition from public school to Brentwood has been. “It has drastic differences but at the same time so many similarities, even though I didn’t know a single person at the school it was easy to transition because the community aspect is so strong” reflected Jacob. I think this shows just how welcoming the community of Brentwood really is. 

“I think the transition to Brentwood was hard but good. It was hard to change environments and make new friends at first but it didn’t take much time at all to transition into my normal routine here and make lots of friends” said Atisha. 

The first day of school we were met by by warm welcomes and happy faces. I quickly realized that Brentwood is no ordinary school: it’s a thriving community. 

School was never something I thought I would enjoy, but that was changed. It was only two months ago when I stepped onto this campus as a new Brentwood student, yet the school has welcomed me in and given me a chance to shine, and for that I will always be grateful.

Noah H, Privett ‘19

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