The first first day

Junior starts first year of secondary education


Skyler Miller

Junior Devin McCormick works on his iPad in chemistry class.

Skyler Miller, Staff Writer

Devin McCormick had never been to school. Well, he had. Sort of. In kindergarten, he went to a private Lutheran school. But from first grade until 2022, McCormick was homeschooled. Now he is a junior at CGHS.

“Going into Center Grove, obviously I was worried. This is a big school. This is a massive change,” McCormick said. “So I was worried. Worried that I would go in and I’d do something stupid and people would automatically think I was the weird transfer kid, or I would just kind of float through it all and I wouldn’t know what was going on.”

McCormick took classes online and occasionally met with other students in his homeschool community.

“The classes were harder in homeschool, which I know is a weird thing to like more, but I liked having the challenge versus just floating through classes,” McCormick said. “In a way, it kind of pushed you to want to learn versus kind of just studying for the test.”

McCormick said that while the teachers in his online classes were rigid about due dates, it was possible to put things off until the last second.

“If you didn’t have stuff in, it was a zero, versus in public school, a lot of teachers give you more time,” McCormick said.  While homeschooling, “everybody had the tendency to procrastinate because you could.” 

While the pace was more leisurely, McCormick said it could be rough if students procrastinated. Though the online classes allowed more flexibility, McCormick said the homeschool group could also have some of the problems of a very small community.

“A lot of people looked up to me because I got good grades, I played soccer, I worked, but it also meant that I got judged a ton. I started painting my nails and wearing nail polish, and people brought it up to my mom,” McCormick said. “Parents were talking bad about me. People were talking bad about me. You couldn’t do anything without everybody knowing about it.”

Socially CG was different, but the academics also posed different challenges.

“Adjusting to using iPads was probably the hardest. For the first two weeks, I did not know how to log onto my iPad. I didn’t know how any of that worked,” McCormick said. “One of the other hard things was being motivated to keep doing work because when I transferred, I lost all my credits.” 

On top of juggling his make-up work, sports, and adjustments, McCormick had to quickly learn the do’s and don’ts of Center Grove.

“Not only did I have to learn about the school and how it worked, but I also had to learn about how the school, as in, how a student body worked,” McCormick said. “People who’ve been going to the school for a while don’t tell you the small things that you need to know and figuring those out on your own is kind of rough.”

McCormick said figuring out the routes to classes through a big building, understanding how to handle the lunch lines and navigating social groups made the transfer difficult.

While the transfer had ups and downs, McCormick said he sees benefits to both education systems.

“I don’t think public school is better than homeschool and I don’t think homeschool is better than public school.” McCormick said. “I’m grateful for being homeschooled. I think it made me a much better person, and I’m glad I’m in public school now.”