For Jason, Excellence Starts at Home

Scholar-Athlete-Jason-NewellJason Newell

• School: Homeschooled
• Grade: 12
• Sports: Soccer, Track
• Academics: Homeschooled his whole life, Jason has a 4.0 GPA, scored 30 on his ACT and volunteers as a youth coach.
• Parents: Jenna & Kevin

Talk about a homegrown talent… Jason Newell, 18 of Richmond, is the product of a homeschooling family who has spent not a single day in a traditional classroom.

Instead, his mother Jenna supervised his studies, augmenting that with membership in area homeschooling associations.

Jason and his five siblings have been educated in the classics, focusing on logic, reason and rhetoric.

“These are the backbones of how to think,” said his mother Jenna, “and we gave the children the freedom to apply that to their interests.”

For Jason, that meant a heavy dose of literature and the sciences, including advanced anatomy and physiology. He scored 30 on his ACT and plans to major in kinesiology in college.

An avid reader, Jason is well versed in the American classics – “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Grapes of Wrath” and “The Old Man and the Sea.”

He also tackled Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” the poetry of Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams, and he immersed himself in Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology.

Being allowed to pursue his interests is only one of the advantages of being homeschooled, Jason said.

“If I was good at something like reading the myths, then I went ahead and kept reading. I didn’t have to wait on the rest of the class. I could learn at my own pace.”

A downside to homeschooling? “No snow days.”

Thanks to his love for soccer, Jason never lacked for friends. He started playing as a toddler and has been a club player since he was 9.

He starred for the Bluegrass Soccer Club for the past four years, leading the team to the state semifinals last season.

He also was a two-time MVP and three-time captain for the Bluegrass United high school team, which played opponents in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

During his time at Bluegrass United, the team placed second and third in a national tournament in Tennessee.

As a sprinter, he helped the school’s track team win the Kentucky Christian School Athletic Assn. championship last year.

He received an academic scholarship from Lincoln Memorial University and will play soccer at the NCAA Division II school in Tennessee.

“He’s fast, has good touch and is strong for his size (5-10, 145 pounds),” his father Kevin said.

“His strength is leadership. He is a smart player who communicates well with his teammates.”

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