At Bridgeway Academy, we believe that children can truly learn about themselves through homeschooling. Oftentimes, the flexibility and the ability to take classes that interest them allow students to blossom into who they truly are, which may not have been possible in a more traditional school environment. In some cases, students discover hidden talents and passions–like, say, art. And sometimes students prove to be exceptionally proficient in those talents–like, for example, art. And every now and then, a student unexpectedly reveals him/herself to be something of a prodigy–like Proud Hemsathapat, a 2nd-grade Bridgeway student from Thailand who never even realized she had the talent or passion for art until she took a class with us, but wound up being rather incredible at it!
Proud’s Journey to Bridgeway
Prior to enrolling with Bridgeway, Proud was a student at an international school in Bangkok that used U.S. curriculum. Like so many other homeschoolers across the globe, Proud’s family opted to remove her from school due to COVID-19 concerns. Proud’s school had transitioned from an in-person school day to eight hours of online learning, something Proud’s mother, Sunisa, did not feel was suitable for a young child.
So, after consulting as a family, Proud decided she wanted to homeschool. Only, she and her family weren’t quite sure what that looked like. “Because we were new to homeschooling, we had no idea what we should teach or what kind of curriculum we should use,” said Sunisa. “There are so many options with homeschooling. You just have to study and find information–and if you and your child would like to try one, just do it.” And that’s just what they did. But there was one condition–Proud’s parents wanted her to study U.S. curriculum because they plan to move back to America (her parents both received engineering degrees from the University of Missouri-Rolla) and want Proud to adapt more readily to her new environment.
Making the Transition
While some families need a considerable amount of time transitioning to the new way of life homeschooling introduces, Proud and her family experienced a pretty smooth switch. One reason is that Sunisa, her husband (Proud’s father) Korokat, and Proud all agreed that homeschooling was the right choice. Another is that the family enjoys working and taking part in activities together. Finally, well, Proud just likes staying home!
Through our Total Care Blended program, the Hemsathapat family also worked out a manageable schedule that doesn’t require an inordinate amount of school time–approximately two hours per day for three days a week–but still allows Proud to learn what she needs to learn while spending some of her time on extracurricular activities.
Proud’s Hidden Talent
Sunisa describes Proud as a shy child, especially around new people. But she does have a lengthy list of activities that she enjoys: swimming, badminton, playing the piano, reading books, watching YouTube, performing science experiments she finds online, and practicing computer coding. Oh, and there’s art.
It turns out that Proud is an amazing artist–only no one knew this before she enrolled with Bridgeway! “Before homeschooling, we had no idea that Proud was interested in art,” explained Sunisa. “When we enrolled with Bridgeway, we chose the Creativity Art class for her. She had so much fun, and in the first week she had already finished four out of 16 lessons.” In this course, Proud learned about art theory and how to create something new and different with her artwork. And with no formal training, she won an art contest, using the knowledge from her class as well as her innate talent. At that point, the family decided to enroll Proud in more art classes, which grew her passion for art even more.
This all led to Proud putting together an art exhibit in her home, showcasing all of her work from throughout the school year. And she also won second place in a Staedtler painting contest in Thailand. Pretty amazing from a young girl who, just a few months earlier, didn’t even know she enjoyed art!
How Homeschooling Helps Her Art
It’s pretty evident that Proud may not have discovered her true passion until she began homeschooling. It’s also fair to say that she wouldn’t have nearly as much time to pursue her passion if she wasn’t homeschooling. Sunisa appreciates that homeschooling–and Bridgeway in particular–allows Proud the time to pursue her passion and work on perfecting her craft.
“Homeschooling does allow her to have a flexible schedule and more time to focus on her artwork,” Sunisa said. “She spends at least one day per week doing art. For practice, each artwork takes about five to six hours. For art competitions, each artwork takes about 15 to 20 hours to finish.” Suffice it to say, spending that amount of time on art would be quite difficult with a traditional school schedule.
Staying Social When Possible
COVID-19 has been impacting socialization around the world for nearly two years now. And while Proud is a quiet girl, she was involved in quite a few social activities outside of school. The pandemic obviously affected everyone’s ability to physically socialize, and in some countries that lack of face-to-face interaction lasted longer than others. “In our country (Thailand), the government announced a lockdown policy for many months,” Sunisa explained. “Therefore we had to use technology to allow her to connect to her old friends while finding new friends through online gaming.”
Once society began to reopen, however, Sunisa resumed Proud’s sports and music and also found several local homeschooling groups that offered activities. So, between school, her art, and extracurriculars, it seems as if Proud is keeping quite busy.
Is Bridgeway in Proud’s Future?
Well, that’s all up to Proud, as Sunisa and Korakot allow her to decide how she’d like to proceed with her education. Considering she loves being home, enjoys her Bridgeway classes, and has plenty of time to pursue her passion in art and other activities, we think Proud will be with us for a while…but only time (and Proud) will tell! Either way, Sunisa has been impressed with Bridgeway and how everyone helped ease any anxiety the family may have had about homeschooling.
“Bridgeway absolutely helped us with homeschooling,” she said. “They made it possible for us to homeschool with confidence. We’re thankful for the super-fast and descriptive suggestions and responses we get from our advisor, Angela, who is great, and it makes us feel comfortable knowing that if we have any problems, Bridgeway will help us solve them.”
To learn more about how Bridgeway Academy can offer the homeschooling flexibility you’re seeking, call us at 1-800-863-1474 to speak with a homeschool expert.