Homeschooling – A Boost in Life
This is a guest blog post from Beth Fine, Tennessee author of middle school mystery series Picaresque of Ímagine Purple.
Recently, on my way to Detroit to teach a library workshop for young writers on “Turning Adventures into Stories,” I met my god-family to have our own biblical adventure in Kentucky.
We went to Ken Ham’s newly-opened Ark Encounter to see a full replica of Noah’s Ark skillfully built by craftsmen and artists. Stalls and cages for animals filled the lower levels. Researched, archaic, yet ingenious techniques demonstrated how the Ark trapped/dispensed fresh water; collected/removed waste products; and stored/distributed food for animals and people alike.
We also went to the Creation Museum and viewed exhibits of creation vs. evolution models with full apologetics for each perspective. However, in an interview, renown atheist Richard Dawkins explained evolution as happening because, “Nature found a way, “a strange admission from an earth scientist!
Since my god-children grew up under home school instruction, took field trips to watch whales, served as pages in the state assembly, and participated in HS musical productions, they matured in wholesome, expansive atmospheres. As young adults, one served in the Marines and now studies journalism at Cedarville University. The other matriculates an online college so he can practice daily for the 2020 Olympic swimming trials.
The breadth of experience these two young men had, came not from great wealth but their parents’ approach to home school enrichment. Suddenly, I realized how their life preparation differed from the inner-city kids set to attend my workshop. Could I somehow enrich them with this library experience?
Once in Detroit, I saw faces hungry for attention and knowledge! I can say that because the library’s air conditioning broke down that week, but only one kid left. Those persevering to the end received a sleuth’s magnifying glass, an E-book, and a motto label: Have Fun. Get Smarter.™
After hearing my brief autobiography and a summary of my novel written in the fourth grade, the kids recognized story details from my real life as a Texas tomboy who lived near a bayou in the woods. They surmised a writer’s first rule: “Write what you know!”
Next, they learned the wagon-wheel method of displaying story details, explored possibilities why the main character disappeared, and discovered I had obviously posed a mystery to make readers wonder if the tomboy drowned, ran away, hid in a secret place, got lost, or was kidnapped.
Then, the children shared adventures, wagon-wheeled details, and borrowed outside hints to expand their concepts. I encouraged them to let imaginations fly freely to release the story within. Like flowers growing in sidewalk cracks, the results surprised me and clouded my working premise!
Beth Fine, Tennessee author of middle school mystery series Picaresque of Ímagine Purple.