My Homeschool Education: My First Websites

High school was busy for me.  Between teaching piano and working a waitressing job, I still helped out with my parents’ business, and was also very active in our church’s youth group.

There were organized homeschool sports in our city, but I never had a huge desire to spend four mornings a week at practice and three nights at week at games.  Our homeschool group had a volleyball class on Fridays, which was one of my favorite extracurricular activities.

During my senior year in high school, I took two classes at a community college: Introduction to Macromedia Flash and College Algebra With Review.  I didn’t learn much in either class, but I now have eight hours of college credit so I can now answer “some college” on surveys.  It was my first time being graded on a curve!

On a whim, I figured out how to create a website.  This was back in the early days of the internet, when most of us were on AOL. I used AOL’s website builder to build a site of my own with links to some of my favorite websites, and then I decided it would be fun to create a site for my church’s youth group.  Hello, black backgrounds and white text!

Around this time, I started chatting online (remember AIM?) with a friend from youth group – who later became my husband.  He was thinking of starting a web design business and wanted to know if I wanted to be his graphic designer.  It sounded like fun, and I happened to think he was a great guy, so we collaborated on a couple of sites.  I purchased Macromedia Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Flash, and taught myself how to use those programs.

September 11th happened, and somehow a friend (now my husband Jeremy) managed to purchase September11.net in the hour or two following the attack.  We created a site and updated it frequently for the next couple of months as new information was released about what had happened.

Social studies may not have been the strongest part of my homeschool education, this event and the work we put into researching what had happened was a crash course in current events.  It was not official part of my homeschool assignment in any way – it was just our response to what had happened.

I was thrilled when I discovered the site, which had long since been let go, has been archived in the Library of Congress’s September 11 Web Archive Collection.  It’s kind of cool to see something you did on a whim in high school be considered significant enough to be archived by the Library of Congress!