Homeschooling Resources at Your Fingertips

Analiese Godin: Homeschool Student Destined for Greatness

by David Engle | Jul 28, 2023 | 8 min read

What do teenagers enjoy doing over the summer? Hanging out with friends, going to the beach, traveling with family, swimming, taking classes at Harvard. Yes, taking classes at Harvard. And Johns Hopkins University. And Georgetown University. That’s exactly what Bridgeway Academy senior Analiese Godin, the subject of our homeschool student spotlight, has done during the past few summers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

About Analiese

Analiese started her homeschool studies with Bridgeway in 2012 when she was in first grade. Why did the Godin family decide to homeschool Analiese at that time? “From an early age, we recognized Analiese’s unique abilities, so we built an academically enriching environment to cultivate her love for learning,” explained her mom Yvonne. “If we didn’t take that first step with Bridgeway, she might not have been able to undertake some very big opportunities.”

Between then and 2022, when she returned to Bridgeway, Analiese participated in many different educational experiences. Public school, private school, and virtual school, to name a few. But it seems that Analiese and Yvonne always kept Bridgeway in the back of their minds. “From the start, Bridgeway was somewhat of an innovation for us,” said Yvonne. “Bridgeway’s accreditation, academic support, and integrity closely aligned with our needs.

“Returning to Bridgeway has been one of the best choices my family and I have made,” added Analiese. “It has given me valuable learning opportunities and confidence to pursue my academic goals.”

And she has certainly pursued them. As she enters her senior year at Bridgeway, Analiese is on the Honors Diploma Track, meaning she is an honors homeschool student who takes honors classes and AP coursework. She certainly is on the fast track toward college, and her recent summer experiences will undoubtedly serve her well as she makes her way toward graduation.

Living the College Life…for a Little While

While many of us spend summers recharging our batteries and unwinding, Analiese takes advantage of her time away from school by…going to college! Some of the incredible opportunities Analiese participated in over the past couple of years include:

  • Harvard University: During the summer of 2022, Analiese participated in HarvardMEDScience, a one-week program at Harvard Medical School. During this time, she learned in a hands-on interactive environment by using simulations to create realistic medical emergencies. This allowed her to learn various clinical skills and better understand what is involved in patient care. During her week at Harvard Medical School, Analiese also received her CPR certification and a Stop the Bleed certificate. Analiese returned to Cambridge this summer to attend the Harvard Summer School Pre-College Program, essentially a first-year, first-semester class at Harvard that accepts only 16% of its applicants. Her class was Introduction to College Writing, and during the two weeks in the course, she learned various skills and techniques on how to write a literary analysis at the college level. “Out of all of the summer programs I attended, this one was my favorite,” said Analiese.
  • Johns Hopkins University: Located in Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University is one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world. And Analiese had the opportunity to attend a pre-college program that included a college course on Anatomy, Physiology, and Disease. Not only did she get to participate in labs and dissections, but Analiese also earned an A in the course and, even more importantly, a college credit! “This really helped me feel confident about pursuing science studies and hopefully a career in the medical field,” she explained.
  • Georgetown University: Finally, Analiese attended the Medical Academy at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she was able to learn about the many career paths the field of medicine has to offer. One of her most memorable experiences at the Medical Academy was learning about gross anatomy using cadavers alongside medical students.

Looking back on these opportunities, Analiese said she “had amazing experiences at each program. Although each program was unique and different in its own way, all of them gave me the opportunity to explore my academic interests, meet classmates from around the world, and have fun social experiences. These programs also gave me a sense of what college life is like by preparing me to be independent and experience the excitement and rigor of college life.”

These are experiences that virtually every parent of a college-bound student would want for their child. The thing is, Yvonne did not seek out these opportunities for Analiese. “She discovered them on her own and presented us with the programs and her interest in attending,” explained Yvonne. “Naturally, we were thrilled she was accepted into all the programs she applied to. It was hard for us to say no to any of them, so she attended them all.”

Analiese’s summer college experiences have only fueled her passion for the medical field, though she’s not entirely sure which direction she wants to take with her medical studies. “Helping is my calling. While being a helper comes naturally, becoming a healer is what I would like to learn, experience, and become,” she eloquently stated. “My ultimate goal is unclear to me right now. I am sure that through my studies I will find my fit.”

Always Keeping Busy

Summer isn’t the only time for activities as far as Analiese is concerned. In fact, she rarely has any downtime at all throughout the year. How could she when she is contributing to two student-run publications, volunteering at a local hospital, working part-time, participating in multiple homeschool co-ops, and attending extracurricular activities and clubs?

Analiese is currently an editor, writer, and ambassador for Broncology and Scoped, two student-run international STEM publications. On top of those responsibilities, Analiese became the first-ever volunteer in the radiology department at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Lititz, PA, near her home in Lancaster, where she volunteers twice a week. “Bridgeway inspired me to pursue this through their community service requirement for my honors diploma, and I was able to find this amazing opportunity at UPMC,” Analiese said. “I absolutely love helping out and interacting with the patients.” 

Wait, there’s more! 

Analiese also works part-time as a lifeguard at her local YMCA and attends two area homeschool co-ops. On top of that, her academic advisor nominated her to be part of the National Beta Honors Club, a society that promotes the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership, and service among elementary and secondary school students. “I was full of excitement and honored when my Bridgeway advisor shared with me that she was going to nominate me to be a part of this society,” said Analiese. “I look forward to attending the events and activities as well as the engagement involved with being in this society.”

Despite this impressive list of school, volunteering, work, and extracurricular activities, Analiese reserves some time to spend with family (which includes a brother, three dogs, and three cats) and her friends who still live in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. “Since I’m still close to New Jersey, I spend a lot of time visiting friends and family,” Analiese explained. “We have one foot back at home, which is a comfort for me. I love Lancaster, but there is no place like home.”

On the Road Again

Speaking of home, Analiese and her family had a new one several times in four years. “We moved three times from 2016 to 2020,” said Yvonne. “First, in 2016 from Haddon Heights, NJ to Virginia. Then in 2018 back from Virginia to our hometown of Haddonfield, NJ. The third move, in 2020, was the worst and added extreme hardship to our family, especially during the pandemic.

“We had no intention of moving again, but then my husband was offered a new position in Lancaster. It was tough since we had just recently returned to our hometown after a stint in Virginia and once again were moving, this time to Amish Country in Lancaster, PA,” continued Yvonne. “Truth be told, this was a culture shock for all.”

Analiese certainly agrees with her mom’s assessment. “Personally, that time was not my favorite,” she said. “There were a lot of rapid changes and things that were beyond my control. As a family, we pulled together to support each other, since we were all going through a difficult transition. Looking back, I am happy that we had each other and am blessed to have the family that I have.”

Adding to this difficult time is the fact that Analiese’s ballet career–yes, she’s also a highly trained and skilled dancer, too–was more or less put on hold during the lockdowns of 2020.

Dancing on Her Own

According to Analiese, ballet has always been a part of her life. Her hard work and dedication to the craft came to fruition in 2019 when she was accepted to the renowned Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, where she spent two weeks and performed in the 5th-Year Anniversary Gala. In 2020, Analiese was again accepted to the Boston Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School. However, COVID prevented the dancers from attending, which was understandably a big disappointment for Analiese.

With her ballet training upended by the pandemic, Analiese shifted from in-person classes to virtual training until the studio reopened. Unfortunately, Analiese suffered an injury this past winter and paused her training until she fully recovers. Given the rigorous schedule as a pre-professional division ballet dancer, Yvonne thinks both the shift to virtual training and Analiese’s injury may have been a blessing in disguise. 

“This life experience shifted her personal vision and inspired her to strengthen her academic pursuit of an honors diploma as well as her strong interest in the medical field,” explained Yvonne.

How Homeschooling Has Helped Analiese Pursue Her Dreams

When you’re an elite performer or athlete like Analiese, flexibility in education is the name of the game. To maintain that elite status–and improve upon it–requires hours and hours of dedication every week. Grueling practices and training, rehearsals, and performances leave precious little time for school. This is why so many top-level athletes and entertainers were–or are–homeschooled. Analiese is no different. When asked what she likes most about being a homeschool student, she said, “Flexibility! Bridgeway provides the academic flexibility to support my unique needs and rigorous schedule as a pre-professional division ballet dancer.”

And it definitely doesn’t hurt when you have as many activities and opportunities going on as Analiese does. But besides the convenience of schedule, Yvonne and Analiese appreciate everything else homeschooling–with Bridgeway Academy, in particular–provides. Yvonne, for example, pointed to the many academic benefits that Bridgeway offers. “Bridgeway offers participation in clubs such as The National Beta Honor Society and Model UN, and they challenge her with AP and Honors course selections,” she said. “Plus, the endless guidance and insight give her clarity while pursuing a pathway to college. This has helped her view her progress and celebrate her achievements while she determines the next steps in her goals.

“Bridgeway gave us encouragement and brought great hope for her future that inspired and lifted up our daughter,” Yvonne continued. “It helped validate that her goals were within reach, and it gave her a solid foundation.”

Even more importantly, despite all of the challenges the Godin family endured, homeschooling delivered invaluable peace of mind. “Personal responsibility and vision of academic goals were strengthened knowing that, despite all the changes we went through, education and uninterrupted lifelong learning remained the one constant in her life,” Yvonne said. “We can’t believe this is her last year, but we are so happy to complete it with Bridgeway.”

For her part, Analiese has thoroughly enjoyed homeschooling with Bridgeway and believes it will open up countless doors for her in the future. “My experience with Bridgeway has been great,” said Analiese. “My advisor, Betsy Joy, has encouraged and guided me throughout my time with Bridgeway. I could not do it without Bridgeway’s support.

“Knowing that I am a Bridgeway student makes a world of difference for me. I am proud to be a part of Bridgeway as an honors student on the Honors Diploma track.”

And Bridgeway is even more proud to have Analiese as a part of our family.

Do you have a Bridgeway Academy student whose story you’d like to share with us? Email [email protected] to be a future family spotlight!

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
Personalized Education Like No Other!
Check Out Our Most Recent Posts