Hello everyone! Today’s post will be a little bit different from my normal writings, as I’ll be using this as my submission to Activia Training’s Blog Scholarship. More information about the scholarship specifically can be found here. Through the following short essay, I will be exploring why learning is important to me and how it has impacted my life.
The joy of learning new things has shaped my life since a young age. I can remember in the third grade being one of the few students who actually looked forward to school. The search for new ideas and exploring different concepts remains my favorite type of adventure. I appreciated the value of education from a young age, partially because my parents were both involved in education at high school and collegiate levels. My parents continued to nurture my love of learning and natural academic curiosity through homeschooling from seventh grade to the present.
My love of learning has pushed me to new challenges outside of my preferred subject area. While I am a writer and plan to pursue an English degree, I took classes in visual art, mathematics, and even organic chemistry as a dual-enrolled student at the local college. All of these classes widened my perspective and reaffirmed how I can include other areas of learning in my writing and my daily life. Taking classes outside of my intended major presented me with other opportunities as well. For most of my senior year in high school, I volunteered as a peer tutor in Finite Math, College Algebra, History 101, and Sociology 101. Helping others learn not only reinforced my understanding of the material, it provided me with a chance to use my education to better others.
Being able to structure homeschool activities to my personal learning styles has only enhanced many of these interdisciplinary connections. My mother used her Masters degree and talent for curriculum design to create a course of study which would be both informative and interesting. Starting in the eighth grade, I was allowed to supplement my homeschool classes with courses from Coursera.org. These took the form of classes on Nubian art and archaeology, writing, and even linguistics. Especially in the early years, my mother would weave the material together so that my brother and I could see the connections between seemingly disparate subjects. Science, English, and History weren’t separate areas of knowledge as much as they were facets of our learning experience. If I showed interest in weaponry, historic food, or any other part of the lesson, my parents made an effort to show me how to explore those topics. I have carried this with me, and the drive to find out more about things I find interesting has not only contributed to a wider knowledge of many subjects, but it has also taught me a greater work ethic.
Homeschooling is different for every child. My brother learns a different way than I do, and one of the strengths of homeschooling is the adaptability to these styles of education. My homeschool experience, particularly once I entered high school, was extremely self-driven. Taking online classes in physical science and French helped me learn how to schedule work around hard deadlines, and organizing my readings for history and English reinforced this skill. While homeschooling has taught me to pursue my passions, it has also taught me never to be afraid of the extra work that a pursuit may require. Beyond the academic advantages, homeschooling has improved many of my life skills. An example of putting in extra work to explore personal goals is my creative writing. Even in the first year of homeschooling, my parents would allow me to structure my school work around time for writing. As long as I completed the rest of my school work, I could take an hour or two in the morning to work on my creative projects. This dedication helped improve my chosen craft and enhanced my work ethic.
All areas of learning come into play with creative writing. While a writer has to have plenty of knowledge about the craft itself, other facts are often necessary. Knowledge of different cultures, literature, sociology, and even science contribute to a well-rounded story. I have had the fortune to learn about a variety of disciplines, and in turn, I feel better prepared when writing. This creative outlet constantly surprises me with opportunities to synthesize what I have learned into a new, unique whole. Through creative writing, I learn more about the world and people around me, while also learning about myself.
Learning has always been a large part of my identity, and I do not expect that to change. I look for the joy of new opportunities every day, and learning is often an integral part of that process. Without a love of learning and an open mind I would not be as willing to grow, change, and improve. I hope to continue to learn, in college, in the workplace, and through my creative endeavors, for many years to come.