Academics have never been my strong suit. When I was 11 years old we found out that I was severely far sighted and could not see anything up close. The day I got my glasses is a day I will never forget. It was the first day I knew there were letters on a keyboard and wicks on a candle. Not being able to see held me back with learning how to read, write, and almost every other subject. As you might guess it was a little embarrassing, and at sometimes made me feel like the stupidest kid in the room.
Once I got glasses and could see, I had to relearn everything to catch up. Basic school work was still taking me ten times longer to complete than the average student, but we still could not tell why. We tried everything, and thankfully, after much prayer, God lead us to an Optometrist who told me that my eyes never developed the basic skills they needed to work together. After 28 weeks of vision therapy, I noticed a significant difference in basic school work, but I was still behind.
About a year and a half ago, we went to Sacramento State University and took a test for dyslexia, and the results came back positive. Finally, something made since as to why, even in my Junior year of High School, I was still struggling so much with my reading.
Homeschooling was such a blessing because my mom was able to be a part of my schooling. She hand-picked the curriculum that would be the easiest for me, and always found ways to accommodate my struggles – letting me take my time with reading, and doing lots of hands on learning. I was able to study in a way that helped me the most, and I started to feel smart for the first time in my life. I started to tackle math, and reading. Although it will never be easy, it became do able and understandable.
Not only was homeschooling a blessing academically, it was a blessing spiritually too. Most school days were good, and productive days. But there were the difficult days too. We either cried, had a meltdown, argued with a sibling, or raised our voices at our mom. Yet, those were the days we learned the most important lessons. My mom called them character building days. Where instead of traditional academics, we learned how to share, how to forgive, and to keep doing our best to conquer our struggles. We had to learn how to get along as a family, and how to appreciate both the strengths and weaknesses of each other. Homeschooling for me, wasn’t just about learning a subject in school, it was about building my character and learning self-control. Without having those hard days, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
At the beginning of Junior year, it was time to finally start thinking about college. The thought of college was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Excited to move into the next adventure of life, but terrified of the struggle that would come from not being able to do things at my own pace and not having my mom there to help me with the struggle. Then came another fear. A fear and worry a lot of kids have when they think about graduating and starting on the next path God has for them. What am I going get my degree in? What am I going to do with my life? Where does God want me to go? As this question hit me at the start of Junior year, I started to wonder, what was I going to do?
Growing up we did a wide variety of activities. My parent’s goal was to help us find our God given gifts and talents. I loved it most when we did the art projects – drawing, painting, building a Roman Coliseum, and even Art Class. No matter what kind of day it was, art was always my outlet. It relaxed me on stressful days and kept me entertained on boring ones. Freshman year I asked to study art history, and found that I had an eye for art. When we moved the summer before my sophomore year, I helped my mom decorate and place the furniture. I fell in love with art in the form of placement and beauty. The way someone can take the simplest of rooms and use their creativity to create a beautiful space. It was then God really placed on my heart that I needed to do something with art. I dug into the many different art degrees, and I stumbled across Interior Design – a career that integrates everything I love about art, and creativity.
Home schooling allowed me to find my passion. With all of my learning challenges I would have been so discouraged in the public school system, I don’t think I would’ve even wanted to apply for college. I am thankful that God used homeschooling to help me understand how I work best, and gave me the time to really focus on my relationship with Christ and my family. That was the biggest blessing of all.