When Cassie (16) discussed ending her public high school experience after 1.5 years, her one question was, "Can I learn sign language if I come back home?" ASL (American Sign Language) has always facinated this daughter of mine, so I readily agreed. After much searching, Cassie actually found her own materials, an online course she discovered. After checking it out I agreed to give it a try. Three weeks into it and she loves it! (You can check it out for yourself by clicking here.) Truly, one of the great advantages to home education is that children can persue their interests.
Not only is Cassie interested in learning ASL, but she dreams of working with the deaf one day, perhaps as an interpreter. With that in mind we (Cassie, Candace dd12, a friend, and I) took a tour of the Mississippi School for the Deaf and Blind today. What a treat! Not only is the MSDB a beautiful facility and campus, but our tour guide was more than eager to show us around, answer any questions, and introduce us to people. We popped into the end of a basketball practice, a science class, a preschool class, and a second grade class. We talked with teachers who were hearing and some who were also deaf. One teacher who works with blind students showed us how a braille typewriter works! (How cool!) One teacher mentioned having Cassie come help her with her class sometime, and a director gave the kids forms to fill out in order to be able to volunteer. Cassie was even able to use some of the signs she's recently learned!
This homeschool mom's heart was breathless with joy to hear Cassie, Candace, and M. talk about how interesting the tour was and how excited they'd be to volunteer. Their lives may be forever changed by this encounter in a real and positive way. What a joy to watch your child really persue something that truly interests her (him)! Cassie may never learn the periodic table; and if she does she'll probably forget it the next year. But she will never forget this day and our trip to the Mississippi School for the Deaf and blind.
That's what homeschooling is all about!