This letter was written by Sharnessa to "Dear Abby" in response to the request she made to her readers to hear from homeschooled kids!  I never saw it in her column, although maybe that's because I never read it!  We only get "Ann Landers" in our local paper, but I figured that, had it been printed in "Dear Abby," someone would have seen it and told us about it!  I felt this letter was just too good to not share somewhere!  So if you or maybe a child are in need of some encouragement, this ought to do the trick!


September, 1998


Dear Abby,


Hi!  This letter is in response to a request for homeschooled kids to come forward with their feelings about being taught at home. Since I was homeschooled from kindergarten all the way through to graduation, (I graduated in '96) I figured I fall into this category!


I honestly have nothing but awesome things to say about my experience in homeschooling, I loved it! And this is not my mom talking. This is sincerely coming from the center of my being, I am so passionate about this. See, for most people, when they think of "school," they think of the prom, or their boyfriends or girlfriends, their crushes, or how much they hated Mr. Smith's science class. For them, school is about getting by and getting out, they live from outfit to outfit, from weekend to weekend. That's not what school's all about! That's just superficial stuff!


Now I imagine some of you are getting defensive, but just cool it. I know that there are some exceptions, and I know that there are teachers out there who are really trying, and I know that many teachers and those in "the system" are doing as good a job as they possibly can.  But I'm just presenting this from my point of view. 


I wouldn't have traded homeschooling for going to public or private school for anything! Much of what we did for school was done in a hands-on, creative way, so learning was never a burden. I was actually excited to learn! All the way up through graduation! (And I still love learning to this day! I mean, that's what life's all about, right?!) We took advantage of what the community, some organizations and the state had to offer.


For example, here are a few things we did: we went to all sorts of plays and concerts; went to museums; to the state capitol; to some court hearings; to labs; to seminars and workshops on anything from true American history to Creation Science vs. Evolution; we went to 5-day camps on astronomy, journalism, criminology and geology; we were able to study topics that stimulated us; and much, much, more!


I've always had a hunger to learn burning in my heart, (As I believe we are all born with this God-given gift) and it's never been put out by dry, boring methods of learning. I mean, sure, we had a small amount of textbook learning, but we had a balance.


Now as for the number 1 question that people are most concerned about when I tell them I homeschooled, "What about socialization?" I had plenty of it. Actually, I probably had more than my share. I've always had tons of friends (of public, private and home schools), I took choir and ensemble at a private school for my last two years of high school, I took dance lessons, I was a lead vocalist in my church's worship band, I was involved in other church activities, youth group, spending lots of time with my family and friends. 


So, no, I am not socially inept. People have actually had the audacity to ASK me me if I was "socially retarded"! I've said, "Well, you tell me! I think I'm having a pretty decent conversation with you! And do I look 'socially retarded'?!" ... HELLO!  Just ask any one of my fifty friends, they'll set you straight!    ;-)   I'm actually known as being a leader, a role model, even a "trendsetter." 


You might be wondering what I'm doing with my life now that I've graduated. Well, next week I'm leaving for New York to be a nanny for a year, then next fall I'm off to school in London! (I'm doing the nanny thing to earn the rest of the money for school)



Sharnessa Shelton

(almost 20 years old)




Sharnessa wrote this in mid-September,

1998. Since then she did work as a nanny for a

year, did earn the money to attend the School of Creative

Ministries in London (at I.B.I.O.L.), did attend the school (a one-year program), and did graduate - and "with distinction"!

During the year she was there, she auditioned and was

accepted as one of two lead singers in the new Christian

pop band for which Mark Pennells was looking for one

more female lead singer. The group is called V*Enna,

and their first single was released in January

of 2000. You can find out more about the

group at a number of places...


These are right here at my website:


Sharnessa's Prayer 'n' News Letter


The newspaper article on Sharnessa


Mom's V*Enna web page


Or you can go to either of these:


The official V*Enna website!


The Essential Record website!

(At this page there are TWO links to look for!

They take you to totally different pages!)




I got this beautiful background at: