Friday, October 20, 2017

Delightful Testimonial

June 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Dr. Cates' Blog, Testimonials

I recently received this email testimonial from a parent who wishes to remain anonymous on the web but gave permission to share this.  Upon reading this, I am reminded why we must continue to share our perspective on education.  Don’t give up hope, frustrated parent, in the face of challenges educating your child.  Given the right tools and understanding, obstacles can be overcome.  I hope this encourages you as it did me.

We are so thankful that fourteen years ago Dr. Cates and Faith Christian Ministries challenged us to allow our children to reach their academic potential on their own timetable.  Through regular testing and academic oversight, we have had the freedom and motivation to customize our schooling to maximize the progress of our students.  By raising the academic bar to keep each child challenged and not frustrated, our high school and college students now desire to learn because of intellectual interest instead of only for course credit.  With this approach they have moved well outside of the traditional learning “box.”

Our older students have moved seamlessly from homeschool classes taught at home, to AP courses online and dual enrollment courses at the local college, to challenging 4-year colleges.  I credit their success partially to Dr. Cates’ philosophy of teaching to mastery and moving forward on their personal timetable.

Through regular testing and counseling, we were able to identify strong and weak aspects of our homeschool curriculum and evaluate areas of individual academic struggles and mastery.  Early on we were pleased to see our children’s learning needs met in such an effective way; however, at the time we did not appreciate how successful this homeschool approach would be.

We were surprised to see a child who struggled to learn from a textbook in elementary school later thrive in dual enrollment college classes early in high school.

When one of our children greatly struggled with math in 7th grade, we did not expect him to graduate high school with more than 40 hours of college credit (mainly in math and science) and attend a top ranked engineering school on full scholarship.

We never considered that a child who did not learn to read until he was in 3rd grade would fall in love with Greek, Latin, and Ancient Literature three years later and delve into online high school courses early to pursue those interests.

When we sent a 16-year-old son to a very intense summer program at an Ivy League college, we were a bit apprehensive about how his academic foundation would measure up.  We never expected him to win two major academic and speaking awards competing against students from top boarding and prep schools.  He is now thriving at a different Top 10 university with very well paid summer internships.

We never expected that allowing our students to choose college lectures from The Great Courses for fun would lead to some of them as young as 7th grade successfully taking free online classes through Stanford University just because they found the material interesting.

Without Dr. Cates’ testing and encouragement to adequately challenge our students, we would have turned out “cookie cutter” graduates waiting for someone to lead them instead of intellectually curious students who actively pursue knowledge and opportunities.  How wonderful to be able to take full advantage of the freedom we have as home educators to customize our children’s education and maximize the gifts and abilities the Lord has given each child.

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