"home-schooled" out of necessity, not choice. She lived just out of the city and the local two teacher school could not cope with the extra demands her disability would have placed on a young teacher who was in her first year out and had to cope with three different levels in the same classroom.
My friend, who is highly intelligent, was fortunate in that the local priest, the local doctor and another teacher all pitched in and gave her individual tuition whenever they could. She did exceptionally well academically, eventually went on to university and still works for the university where she did her doctorate.
It might all have been very different. She knows she was exceptionally fortunate to have had people who were prepared to give her time at the critical stages of her education.
Yesterday I was talking to the priest who helped her. He is now an old man. He mentioned the two of them had recently met for lunch on his visit to the UK.
"She really taught herself you know," he told me, "Once she could read it was just a matter of guiding her and suggesting paths to follow."
I suspect he is right. She is one of the most motivated people I have ever met. She gets things done.
We have discussed the "home-school" issue at length. It worked for her because she was motivated and she knew there was no alternative. She wanted to learn - and wanted to learn as much as possible. But we both agree that she did miss out on other things. It took her a long time to make friends at university. There were all sorts of things she knew nothing about. Now she is friendly with a great many people but her real friendships are limited to a small circle of people she knows and trusts. I count myself fortunate to be one of them.
We also agree that the "home-school" idea is not suitable for all children. It works for some children but not others. Unless you are motivated to learn and have more than one adult willing to give you time then you may not achieve as much as you might otherwise achieve. There is no stimulus from the other students in the classroom, no way of measuring yourself against them.
And that makes me wonder about people who "work from home". I work from home and I admit there are times when it is hard to sit down and get on with what is often tedious. How do people motivate themselves?
I'd like to know...if you have any ideas please tell me!