The following is Odelia’s testimony. You can read Tiffany’s testimony here.
My name is Odelia. I am eighteen years old, almost nineteen. I have been homeschooled from K-12, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2020. Here is my story.
My father and mother taught me how to think, read, and write, beginning from when I was just a young child. From there, I could teach myself anything. And once I knew how to do that, I could learn anything I wanted to. And to some extent, that’s exactly what I did!
From age seven to age seventeen, I worked through mathematics, science, history, and English, as well as several other courses that were more or less “electives,” such as horse-riding, Chinese, and art. The Bible and my study of it, either together as a family or by myself, was (and still is) a huge part of my education. I learned how to read by reading the Bible; how to write by copying the Bible; how to memorize things by putting Bible verses to memory; how to apply what I learned by doing what the Bible says, as much as I could; and how to speak in front of others, by being part of our family’s daily Bible devotions.
When I was fifteen, my family came across Lumerit, formerly CollegePlus!. Lumerit provided me with the opportunity to earn a degree from home at a cheaper price, and in less time. (At the end, the costs of all the fees and courses together wasn’t really any less than the total tuition costs of universities in Ontario, but we didn’t have to pay for anything other than the textbooks, admission/graduation fees, and the course tuition fees.) I first enrolled into a degree track that would culminate in a B.A. in English, then switched half-way to Communications.
When I was working with Lumerit and taking courses through their platform, I took twenty-three courses in one year. This was possible only because a) my parents paid for the Unlimited Plan, which allowed the student to study as many courses (from those that Lumerit offered through their platform) as he/she could or wants to in one year; b) my parents were patient with me, and allowed me to “go all out” and do as many courses as I could, and finally; c) I stressed myself out and pushed really hard. I would recommend unlimited plans for confident, fast, and experienced (at least with online courses) students who want to finish college in the least amount of time. Looking back, though, it might have been better to have started with a five-course or eight-course bundle.
Those twenty-three courses I did in one year (I ended up using twenty-two of them on my final transcript) earned me enough credits for two years, which meant that I had cut off one year of studying for my degree. (Usually, a Bachelor’s would take four years: I finished mine in three.)
After this, I took the AP Language and Composition exam, which went for university credits for English. Then, I transferred to a “real” university, and took a bunch of courses from that university until I earned the required number of credits to get a degree. Then I applied for graduation, and I was done!
I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to learn at home and get a degree online. Though there were things I did not like and would want to have changed about my schooling journey—I didn’t like having to use the computer for long hours each day, I didn’t enjoy having to work with secular textbooks and ideas in university and to have to use them as if they were right or acceptable, and I did push myself too hard and ended up hurting my physical health during that time—overall, it was a wonderful and enlightening journey.
Now, I am a writer and teacher.
I’m not sure how I should end this narrative, so I would close with a few thoughts on education versus schooling, and what has been most useful to me as I was “schooled.”
First, pursue an education, not just schooling. Learn (and teach yourself/others) to think, read and write. Learn to teach yourself, and learn things. Learn to be hardworking, diligent, and teachable (humble). Most of the time, time spent doing “bookwork” isn’t as productive or useful as time spent actually exploring the world with our feet, hands and eyes, learning about history and science by reading real books and primary documents from people who really lived during those times, and actually doing something about what is being learned about.
Also, one never graduates. Learning never stops. I don’t plan on getting another degree (though I did earn a Diploma in Applied Nutrition, in late 2020, to become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist) but that doesn’t mean I stop educating myself or learning and doing something new every day. Learning is a life-long endeavor—learning is living. Life is not something you put on hold for “schooling,” or something that comes after schooling. Learning should be about life and how God wants us to live it, knowing what to do with what we know and have, and doing what God has called us to do.
One last thing I would like to point out is, that it is crucial to get a firm foundation in the Bible, especially if you plan on going to university or college. Become Biblically literate. Understand what worldviews are, how they work, what different worldviews are based on, and why it all matters. Much of what is taught in school and universities are not Biblical or God-honoring. The school I went promoted itself as a faith-based university, but they used textbooks and course materials that were not based on the Bible, but were based on man’s twisted ideas of right and wrong, and things like that. I am glad that my mother and father taught me to study the Bible, to trust it, and to obey it. I’m glad that I did so. I also learned about worldviews, how to counter bad arguments, and how to identify bad ideas. You need that solid foundation if you want to stay strong and steadfast in the faith during and after getting a degree from a university. The battle of ideas is real, and the devil has a lot of tricks and wiles, some that are really subtle, and hard to catch and defend one’s self from.
I think that’s all I have to share: if you have any questions or comments, feel free ask me!
God bless, Odelia