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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Student appreciates Christian upbringing

Friday, January 18, 2008  
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By Alana Duffle

Many parents choose to place their children in public schools, but Brian and Kathy Middleton chose a different form of education. 

They thought the best place for their children to learn was inside their home in Wichita, Kan.

Brian, an employee for D&O Engineering, and Kathy, a former library employee, decided they would home school their children. 

Kathy quit her job at the library and committed her time to educating their eight children. 

She ordered the curriculum and went to work preparing her children for the real world while exposing them to a strong Christian environment.

Senior Alan Middleton is one of Brian and Kathy’s eight children, and he believes home schooling today is different than in previous years.

“My parents were very active in the home school community.  They put on a huge convention to teach other parents how to home school their children,” Alan said. “Parents are being smarter about home schooling; it’s not the same as it used to be.”

Alan believes home schooled kids can turn out fine as long as their parents do a good job.

Kathy enjoyed home schooling her children, and the Middleton children enjoyed it as well.

“Being home schooled was cool. We could go to school in our pajamas, and if I had grown up in a public school, I don’t think I’d like that version of me as much,” Alan said. “I think this version of me is better because I grew up in such a strong Christian environment. We had friends in the youth group, so it’s not like we didn’t socialize with other kids.”

Alan is an interdisciplinary studies major who graduated high school at the age of 16 with a class consisting of two students: his brother, Daniel, and himself. 

Alan continued his education at Butler Community College, a local university just a few minutes from their house. 

When Alan reached the age of 18, he transferred to Oklahoma Christian with enough credit hours to be classified as a junior.

“The three focuses of my interdisciplinary studies major are youth ministry, business and communications,” Alan said.  “After graduation, I hope to be a youth minister in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas or Colorado. I want to stay close to home.”

Growing up in a household of ten people isn’t the ideal lifestyle for most people; however, the Middleton’s wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It was fun growing up with seven siblings. You always had someone to play with,” David Middleton said.

Alan wasn’t the only child who decided to continue his education in another Christian environment; their children Patricia and David also attended Oklahoma Christian.

“My parents wanted me to get a Christian education, and Oklahoma Christian was in close proximity to our house,” David said. “I also had many friends who already attended school at Oklahoma Christian.”

David and Patricia both shared similar reasons for choosing to attend Oklahoma Christian. Alan, however, had a few additional reasons.

He originally wanted to attend a state school, but he knows he made the right decision in coming to Oklahoma Christian.

He said it has been a good foundation for him and has prepared him for the real world.

“I wanted to go to Oklahoma Christian because there are a lot of girls here,” Alan said. “The campus is hypothetically appealing. It’s not bad looking, and they were good about transferring my credit hours.  Other than the girls, I like being at Oklahoma Christian because of the Christian atmosphere.”

Alan maintains a busy schedule at the university.

“I am the rush director for Alpha Gamma Omega, and I try to stay active in View 63 and other Bible studies,” Alan said. “I attend chapel and classes, and I work at the Fitness Center front desk.”

Alan volunteers as the youth minister for Luther Church of Christ, and he is starting work at Best Buy.

Alan was on the Spiritual Life Committee last year and led a devotional for the freshman class, which he enjoyed.  He has also led singing in chapel.

Alan has mastered his time management skills and he balances all of his activities while maintaining good grades.

“My advice to others is to have good priorities, always put God first and try not to procrastinate,” Alan said.

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