Perspective from a Homeschooling Graduate
by Lauren Dymmel
Spiritual and emotional growth are the cornerstones to growing up. My parents are by no means perfect, but through humbly striving after the Lord, I have had the privilege to observe their faith in action. My parents having been in ministry for the majority of my life, so I have experienced it first hand. It is hard. It is messy. It is worth it. Creating an environment of trust sparked growth in me. Examining my younger years, this has affected my everything.
Until packing my bags as a college-bound eighteen-year-old, I did not realize the profound impact that home life has on one’s existence. College has allowed me to meet hundreds of people from extremely diverse backgrounds and parts of the world. My perspective has been significantly altered.
Before starting this educational adventure and the change in perspective, I had seen how patterns of language, habits, and beliefs trickle down from parent to offspring. The things I did not see were how one’s upbringing instills thought-patterns and emotional heart twists that are tightly rooted, and are often unseen by the one who harbors them. In what I have observed, much of it is subconscious. People do not realize that they set limitations on themselves and see others with a jaded view, all because of what surrounded them in the early parts of their life. Upbringing sets a trajectory forward that is very hard to break. But there’s more. There is hope. The grace and love of Jesus is greater than any abuse, addiction, default action, or toxic thought-pattern.
Everyone is damaged in some way because of the Fall of man – the original sin whereby man took his eyes off of his Creator and put them onto himself. A perfect home life, childhood, or early years, cannot exists. In home life, the question is not, “how bad is it?” But rather, “what can be done to move forward, to grow, and to not follow the existing pattern?” Answering that question can bring about redemption, where God uses it to teach more about Him and who we are in light of Him. These realizations probed understanding and compassion, to bud and sprout in my heart.
I’ve been told for a long time, whether you realize it or not, people are watching you. Eye-opening. If family is not watching, it is certain that strangers and close friends are. A self-centered mindset thinks that one’s actions have a reflecting pattern, only affecting the doer of the action, but this is not the case. Reality is that one’s actions affect everyone else as well as oneself. I find encouragement and motivation in this to make every action and every word I produce to be conscious and grace-filled.
The homeschooled environment I was blessed to grow up in lent itself to cultivating freedom and self-exploration. My parents guided me with a strong hand, raising me up in Truth and demonstrating a healthy real-life walk with Jesus. Simultaneously, they did not shove words in my mouth and head, they wanted to know what I thought, why I thought it. This created an open-communication space, leaving my walls down. That environment laid upon the trust that had already been established, gave me strength and confidence.
Being homeschooled, I was not forced to be put into a box of other people’s ideas, a box that would have not fit me academically, or in any other way. Peer-pressure is something that I did not experience extensively growing up, and when I did my mindset kept me from succumbing to it entirely. Entering college, I experienced more peer-pressure than previously, but somehow it did not matter. I felt more free than ever before. I had room to grow, to mess up, to fail. Through adopting my parent’s perspectives, I am not longer afraid to fail. My soul longs to learn and to grow. Sometimes that comes with the expense of failing at something – and its worth it. My parents nearly celebrate when failure pokes its finger at me. Not in a rude, laughing way, but because they are proud – proud that I am learning how to pick myself back up and start again.
At home before I left for college, times arose when I really could not see my parent’s actions or hear their words. My parents provided rich input both though actions and conversation, but I was a stubborn one. From an early age, I had people older than me, investing in me. I’m not quite sure why, but I write this today with a very grateful heart. I received wise council from outside-of-my-home individuals who were close with my family, and had spiritual authority in my life. This gave me more space to grow, think, and converse.
Many layers are involved in growing up. Trust and guidance developing through open communication and the freedom to fail are anchors of my experience. Through these elements, confidence, growth and strength were given platforms to blossom. Despite the growth, found only in Christ, there is much to be learned. One’s spirit and mind should never cease to mature, grow and learn. One is never fully grown up.
Meet the Author
Lauren Dymmel is a college student seeking to further her relationship with the Lord in everything she does, as well as finding excitement and motivation in everyday life. Writing, investing in people, spending time outside, performing music, and most of all teaching are what fuel her passion and make her soul smile. She is currently a student at a private university where she is studying TESL (teaching English as a second language) and minoring in Cello Performance and Linguistics. Lauren was homeschooled throughout her entire grade-school career, encompassing an array of homeschooling experiences, including taking part in Classical Conversations and finishing high school while being dual enrolled in a local community college. Lauren’s discoveries and experiences are exactly that: Thoughts and ideas based upon what the Lord has allowed her to walk through. I hope you enjoy Lauren’s perspective on homeschooling!