From homeschooling to boarding school – Missouri teen adapts to life in Israel

Elinoam Horesh, a high school senior studying at Naale Elite’s Mosenson educational program, adapted wonderfully to his new learning and living environment in Israel after being homeschooled for elementary school.

Homeschooling, while more widely accepted today with its proven academic benefits, still raises questions about how students will integrate into their peer group. Meet Elinoam Horesh, a high school senior studying at Naale Elite’s Mosenson educational program. He’s about to blow the lid on any questions you may have about the social implications of homeschooled children.

Elinoam, who was homeschooled for elementary school along with his four siblings in Kansas City, Missouri, adjusted nearly seamlessly at Mosenson, one of Naale’s free high school program in Israel. In fact, he’s one of the most socially adapted and well-rounded teens you’ll meet.

“I was homeschooled for most of life before coming on Naale. It was awesome growing up with that kind of education,” he said. Now on the other extreme, he’s surrounded by hundreds of kids all day and thousands of miles from home. But when asked what the most challenging part of the transition was, socialization wasn’t even on his radar.

“The language was probably the hardest for me, but I was expecting it to be and I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. Now not only is my Hebrew up to par but I’m learning Russian, Spanish and even a little Arabic.” Elinoam explained how being around people from different places has been one of the best parts of his high school experience. “It was a lot of fun for me to come here and meet all these people, students and staff from all over the world. It’s been awesome getting to know so many people that I would never have been exposed to back home, even if I was in a regular high school.”

That being said, clashes are somewhat inevitable when learning and living together. Elinoam’s approach to dealing with conflict is one that represents a level of emotional maturity we can all learn from, “I try not to hold grudges. When an issue comes up, I try to deal with it. Once it’s solved, move on and let it go.”

When not on campus, he likes to take advantage of all the country has to offer. “It was a bit of a struggle learning the transportation system in the beginning, but now managing and navigating the country has become a relaxing affair. I have a large network of friends and family around the country and I love traveling and experiencing new adventures.”

Elinoam shares one of the most memorable and meaningful excursions he experienced in the past three years. “I’ve done a lot of fun trips throughout the country but there’s one in particular that’s cemented in my mind. It was a school trip up north to the memorial on Tel Saki, which has a very tragic history from the Six Day War. It was night time when we drove up to the entrance where we were each handed a lantern with a tea light. Those and the stars were the only lights leading us up the hill, it was so clear I could actually see the arm of the Milky Way as we walked up the Tel.

When we reached the bunker, our guard shared his personal story from the Yom Kippur War, which included being stranded for three days – all shared under the awning of our flag that seemed to be ten stories high. All the emotions of his story were compounded by the effects of the night, the lights and that flag. It was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve ever had.”

Considering how much this young man has seen and experienced, from childhood to his past three years in boarding school, that says quite a lot!

Becca Noy

Published by
Becca Noy

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