Texas Tech University

Twins Weave in Education Among Everyday Tasks

February 13, 2024

Twins Weave in Education Among Everyday Tasks

For TTU K-12 ninth-graders Katy and Jett, online school gives them the advantage of managing their own schedules.

The midday sun shines down on a cattle ranch in West Texas. The many herds are on a pasture rotation schedule, but not the same schedule. That means moving one herd or another every few days. Move cattle. Push them to the next pasture to graze. Check drinking water and move the mineral and salt trailer with them. Check for pregnant cows, sort dry cows (not pregnant). Brand. Vaccinate. Ship. Calf, flank, rope, sweep the pastures. 

These are just a handful of the tasks and skills essential to running an efficient ranch.

For ninth-grade twins Katy and Jett, there is too much to be done on the ranch where they live to spend essential daylight hours in school. Maybe it's just that they enjoy being home on the ranch and love the ranching life. Either way, TTU K-12 has given the brother and sister the freedom to assist with ranch business, complete their lessons at their own pace and take days off when they want or need to. 

Ranch panorama
Jett and Katy check on one of the several herds of cattle.

In fact, the twins' mom Brittany, who had homeschooled them up to this point, said they've found  Texas Tech University's fully online school fits seamlessly into their lifestyle. She and her husband Jay, who is the ranch manager, are thrilled to be able to provide Jett and Katy with a top-notch education through the program. 

“The instructors are incredibly supportive and always go above and beyond to ensure that our twins are learning and growing,” she said. “We are especially grateful for our counselor, Brenda Shupe, who has been an invaluable resource for us. Whether we have questions about the curriculum or need guidance on how to support our children's learning, she is always there to help.” 

As twins are likely to do, Jett and Katy agree on many things, especially on the advantages to schooling through TTU K-12. 

Twins back to back with their guns up.
Ninth-grade twins Jett and Katy have the flexibility to do schooling on their own time through TTU K-12.

“Freedom” was the word they both used to describe what they like most about their Texas Tech High School curriculum.

About school specifically, Katy appreciates the way classes are set up and that everything is at her fingertips. She doesn't have to wait for the teachers to give her assignments; she can move onto the next one as soon as she finishes with the last.

“I love that it gives me the flexibility to help on the ranch with moving cattle or branding. I can be outside on a beautiful day and do my school when it gets dark,” Katy said. 

Katy sitting in the dirt, flanking.
With her skill and experience, Katy is well-equipped to earn a degree in ranch management.

Jett, who is two minutes older than Katy, says his experience as a TTU K-12 student has been amazing, and that he, too, welcomes the flexibility the program offers.

“I benefit from the amazing courses, and the teachers are always willing to help me,” Jett said. “I really like that I don't have a set schedule. If I want to do 10 assignments in a day and take a day off, I can. I like that it makes me responsible for getting my work done.”

But even twins don't agree on everything; they each have their own interests. While Katy enjoys riding and training horses, breakaway roping and working cattle, Jett loves to read anything about history, especially about the use of superweapons. He also likes to hunt and fish but readily admits he enjoys gaming on his Xbox as well.   

Jett just caught a fish. He is holding it while standing next to a pond alongside his dogs.
Jett spends time fishing in the ranch's many ponds.

Brittany chuckles when she describes her twins as “night-and-day different.” 

“Katy is Jay's most valuable ‘hand' when it comes to the ranch,” she explained. “Jay has to hire crews of cowboys to help with a lot of things, but most of the time Katy, Jay and my oldest son Jack can get the job done because Katy is so proficient in her craft and work ability.

Katy on horseback
Katy is most at home on horseback, making her an invaluable ranch hand.

“Jett is always very willing to help but he would prefer not to ride. He prefers to help out by pushing cows into the chute, mowing yards, cleaning shops, honestly anything that doesn't involve being on horseback. Jett also enjoys camping. In fact, we have a pool that was transformed from an old cement water trough, about 6 by 20 feet around, with a big deck. He loves to camp on the pool deck during the summer. He also says he is going to live in a big city where you see more than the same five people every day!”

Jett hiding in a makeshift tent on the deck with two dogs and adjacent to a trough-pool.
Jett enjoys camping on the deck of their trough-turned-pool

But the twins are very much on the same page about Texas Tech being their university of choice after graduating. Katy said her goal is to attend the ranch management program and then own a horse training facility and be a professional horse trainer. 

“I also would love to be the Masked Rider,” she exclaimed, already beaming with school pride. “I love that this school is part of Texas Tech and that I can already call myself a Red Raider!”  

Jett plans to earn a bachelor's degree, maybe in political science or psychology, from Texas Tech and then head to law school to become a family law attorney. Jett is passionate about children's rights.

“I would like the opportunity to be an attorney and guardian ad litem, a person appointed by a court to look after and protect the interests of someone who is unable to take care of themselves,” Jett explained, his expression turning more serious.

The family sitting on and leaning against a fence/gate.
Parents Brittany and Jay, left, with Katy, older brother Jack, and Jett, after finishing Katy's calf chute and roping box.

As is evident from their current situation and future plans, Katy and Jett both highly recommend TTU K-12 to any families considering an online program and offered short, to-the-point advice.

“Do it today! You won't regret it,” and “Just do it!” they chimed in almost simultaneously, stepping on each other's words.

From a parent's perspective, Brittany also fully endorsed the online school.

“We cannot recommend TTU K-12 enough and we are excited to see what the future holds for our young Red Raiders.”

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