You have probably had the pleasure of being taught by an outstanding teacher at least a few times over the past years of your education. They’ve gone above and beyond to make learning not a chore, but an adventure and experience not soon forgotten. They taught content in an effective way that related to you. You looked forward to their class (at least most of the time) and were sad when the school year was over and you wouldn’t have them anymore. If you haven’t experienced this yet, first, I’m sorry; and second, I can almost guarantee you that you will at Fontbonne.
As a homeschooled student, I had a very different 12 years of education — I had the same teacher the entire time, my mom! This not only created an amazing, close relationship with her and my only other “classmate”, my brother; it also paced and customized my learning to best benefit me. We followed a school schedule that went from July 1 to June 30…but that allowed us to take time off whenever we needed to, and spend more time on a topic to fully grasp and understand it. My mom was of the belief that learning isn’t just in a classroom or textbook; you can learn on vacation, too! So multiple times throughout our school years, we incorporated historical sites and other famous places into our “pleasure trips”. A big project for my brother’s senior year and my freshman year was planning and executing a seven-and-a-half week trip to and from Alaska with our grandma, which included financial budgeting, hotel booking, time management, being selective when choosing what “don’t-miss” attractions we wanted to visit, serving for three weeks at a Vacation Bible School camp for Native Alaskans, and documenting the trip through daily blogposts and pictures. Two years later, I applied the same principles for a much shorter, but still incredible, tour of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s historic home sites in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Missouri.
My mom’s influence on my life as my teacher and parent has been profound, from instilling core values and beliefs to encouraging me to pursue my passions and be an independent thinker. I must attribute my overall-successful transition to college and who I am in life to her. But I also can’t leave out my dad. While my mom focused on and taught the classical subjects, like math, history, and reading, my dad taught me useful life skills that will be applied for the rest of my life. I know how to operate a backhoe, drive up to a 12-speed manual transmission (and drive a 6-speed every day to Fontbonne!), persevere and not give up, and work hard.
My parents are not just that — they are my teachers, friends, mentors, and examples. I am so blessed to have such an amazing dad and mom who continually support me, even now as I am away at college during the day and being taught by other people. What I have gained from them is now being further refined, polished, and built upon by my professors at Fontbonne…and I am so grateful for that.