Monday, July 8, 2013

Interview with Melanie Ellison

Melanie, welcome to Homeschool Authors. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 22-year-old daughter at home. I have a heart for encouraging young ladies to blossom through unique productivity out of their homes. We can be 21st-century Proverbs 31 women!

What was your favorite part of being homeschooled?
I loved being able to study at my own pace and not either have to wait for slower learners or be pushed ahead too soon by faster learners. This is a benefit that I have been blessed to carry over into designing my own higher education, instead of being limited by the pace of college classrooms.

What is your most memorable homeschool project?
When I was very young I had to read 75 books before I could get my first ice cream cone! Then I moved on to 100 books for a pie. For a girl who's first word was "bookie" (before "Mom" or "Dad") this wasn't too much of a travesty.

What caused you to write Chucking College?
After a year of college (complete with a nearly full-ride tuition scholarship and making the Dean's List by the end of the year), I realized that my faith was being eroded, even though I attended a "Christian" private college. Required Bible classes tore down the authority of Scripture, and the college culture assumed that one could not be educated in the true sense of the word and believe in absolute truth at the same time.

Further, I realized that I did not need a degree to be successful in life—I needed skill. I knew I could develop skill much quicker and more effectively without the interference of arbitrarily required courses which did not directly advance my life. So, I took a deep gulp, grabbed hold of my educational reins, and chucked college.

But then I looked for a book that would give me the guidance I needed for how to navigate through the crucial preparation years of young adult life without having to endure the corruption of college. I couldn't find a book like it in existence. I knew there needed to be a book that pointed the way to twenty-first century educational potential from a Judeo-Christian perspective. Chucking College has become that book, as it breaks implied boundaries, cultural stereotypes, and ivory-tower strongholds of thought that have until now been untouchable.

What is the book about?
The first half of the book delves into why 50-80% of youth lose their faith at college. It also uncovers the historical downfall that has led to colleges becoming places of spiritual tsunami, moral maelstrom, academic assault, and financial freefall.

The second half of the book reveals strategies for:

  • Launching entrepreneurial ventures 
  • Tailoring your own advanced education 

  • Developing skills through specialized apprenticeships

  • Discovering your ideal vocation and finding creative ways to pursue it without a degree
  • Testimonials throughout the book confirm that it is not only possible to flourish outside college without regrets, but also to do so with remarkable success. Read endorsements of the book here. Peek inside and read an excerpt of Chucking College here.

Who will benefit from reading Chucking College?
Chucking College is an engaging resource for Christian young adults, parents, and grandparents. Written specifically for young ladies, it delves into vocations that are ideal for daughters of the King, what to do about getting an MRS degree without college, and more. However, many parents have found this book to be a helpful guide for them as well. It is also a great book to give to grandparents to help them understand that one's choice not to go to college is a positive thing. And finally, some young men may wish to read the book in order to glean from parts that pertain to either gender (several of the testimonies throughout the book are written by men).

Where can people get it? and Amazon

Are there any other books out there on the subject of whether or not to go to college that you would recommend?
Yes. Freefall of the American University, by Jim Nelson Black, is a excellent look into what has happened to our colleges (however it does not discuss viable alternatives). Better Than College, by Blake Boles, is another good one (available for free download), but it is a secular book and doesn't analyze the spiritual problems of college or discuss how a Christian can design their own God-honoring higher education.

Hearing the testimonies from people whose life direction has been changed for the better by reading the book makes all the work, prayer, and spiritual battles involved in writing Chucking College worthwhile.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about whether or not to go to college, what would you say?
Imagine you had $160,000 that you could use to create your own higher educational experience. How would you use it? Would you really consent to turn that money and your educational reins over to a college registrar's office when they do not know your unique talent and drive and calling? I doubt it. You would use the money to gain a far better education than college could ever offer, through travel, one-on-one lessons, specific online classes, conferences, etc! This is the choice you have to make. Few have that much discretionary money, but we should be even more careful in the investment of fewer resources.

Do plan to write more books?
Not at this point. I'm focusing my energy on spreading the message about this book. You can join me in this. Without your help, I can't reach all of the people who need this encouragement to seek biblical higher education. Many young people long to hear that there is another way to success than one that involves loosing their purity, finances, and faith. So, jump on board and spread the word about Chucking College: Achieving Success Without Corruption!


  1. Nice to hear your thoughts on this, Melanie! I know I'm super grateful for my parents stand on college=waste of time & money! My siblings have taken the family talent with animals, and the Lord's open doors and built a horse training business that has performed astonishingly well over the last two decades. This is not a "everyone" answer, but it is something that has worked for them: they work incredibly hard at it, but have their own successful business and gained significant respect among the horse industry.
    There are lots of ways of going about your own vocation, but of course the hardest thing would be to find it, I think! That is a trick, and I am glad to hear that your book includes pointers on that. I'd love to see what you have to offer on that!
    Again, thanks for sharing, and keep spreading the word around!