Where are They Now? Michael Megelsh: Author, Instructor, Historian

Apr 07, 2017 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


For those of us who are still in the midst of homeschooling, it is encouraging to hear stories of those who have graduated and are pursuing their life's goals. We recently caught up with Michael Megelsh, a former homeschooling student who was first introduced to IEW when he was twelve years old. Now working through his doctoral program in history at Auburn University, Michael looks back at his homeschool years and shares his insights with us.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia with three siblings. I was homeschooled from the age of six all the way through high school. Ultimately, I thrived from having diverse curriculum, and I still was able to play sports and do whatever activities I wanted because of the great freedom that came through homeschooling.

What was your favorite part of IEW?

I liked how the information was easy to digest, applicable, and helpful. My favorite part was the ability to still write about whatever I wanted even though I had to stick to the guidelines of the assignment. In the end, I easily noticed the benefits of IEW because the writing I produced was heralded as stellar. Since using IEW, I have published articles for Civil War periodicals and self-published a book about the real-life experiences of a World War II veteran called 100 Summers. I have no doubt my writing benefited greatly from IEW even though I wrote those works long after I used the curriculum.

Did you notice that IEW helped you in college? If so, how?

Absolutely! IEW prepared me to write with clarity but also diversity in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure. My writing, as a whole, is lauded. In fact, during my master's dissertation my readers said that my writing was almost too good because it was not bland, straightforward academic writing that many researchers produce. I give great credit to IEW.

What type of writing do you most enjoy?

I personally enjoy all different forms of writing. Considering I am enrolled in graduate school, most of my writing pertains to original research papers, and I enjoy that. I like fiction as well. Although it is a different way to write compared to a paper, I recently submitted a script for a television pilot to Amazon. If I had more time to write fiction, I would.

Do you see any connection from your IEW training to your ability to communicate beyond writing? If so, how?

My goal is to earn my Ph.D. and teach history at a university or college, so I will rely on writing and communication quite often. Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but when I turn twenty-five and am eligible to run for Congress, I can use my writing and rhetorical skills, which IEW helped me acquire, in that environment!

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

There are many things I wish I could share with my younger self. I would say be patient. That advice goes beyond writing, but I contend that patience is something one can cultivate by being a methodical and organized writer who is willing to revise while also understanding that the ideal word or sentence does not manifest immediately. Truthfully, I think that my current self still needs to practice patience a bit.

Michael found that his experience with IEW made for a smooth transition from the homeschool environment into the collegiate environment. He has even successfully written his first book! We suspect it is the first of many to come. IEW worked for Michael, empowering him to communicate clearly and creatively. We are excited for him to realize his dream of running for Congress and wish him all the best!

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