by Bob Doman
Meet Leia Pope, daughter of Senghor and Claribel Pope and sister to Elaina and Camila.
This past Saturday eleven-year-old Leia, one of our NACD homeschool kids from Georgia, probably did something none of your kids did—she flew. While most of her peers around the country had their noses stuck in their phones and iPads, playing video games, Leia did something much better. She flew. Flew, not as in took a trip on Delta; not as in went on a ride at an amusement part; but flew, as in piloted a plane. Leia took off by herself, flew around Atlanta for an hour, and then landed all by herself! How very cool is that? We are all super proud of her and inspired as well.
I asked her father why he decided to let Leia take flying lessons and he said, “We wanted our daughter to have opportunities to spread her wings and fulfill her high potential. Because of her high processing ability, we knew that she could reach any goal she set for herself. It just so happened that the goal was flying at 11 years old. I guess you could say that she took us literally. We couldn’t be more proud of her.”
So why would an eleven year old want to learn how to fly? Leia’s answer: “I like flying because it makes me feel free. I’ve always been interested in flying and how planes glide through the sky so gracefully. I was also inspired by the bravery of Amelia Earhart. She stayed strong despite all the challenges she faced.”
Lest one were to think that Leia is a one trick pony, this lovely brilliant young lady is academically about two grade levels above her peers, plays the violin beautifully, is a competitive swimmer, horseback rides, and is her mom’s right-hand-man. Leia assumes responsibility for hours of chores per day, and if she keeps it up, her mom is going to need a new hobby.
Leia has been on program and NACD homeschool since she was four. Leia can provide a bit of a vision as to what could be, what can be, and what should be for more and more children. Leia is a reflection of her great will and personality and the vision and dedication of her parents. She is also a reflection of what I mean by the need to work with the “whole” child and the need to rethink and redefine the definition of education. We need to assist in the development of the whole person, not just teach “stuff.”
Leia is the middle sister. Her big sister, Elaina, was the first on an NACD program, and we are all super proud of how hard she has worked and how well she has done. Elaina is a lovely, happy teenager who, in spite of having had a rough start in school, is now doing great with program and homeschool and has a bright future.
Third but not least is five-year-old Camila. The world had better watch out for this charming cutie. At five she is solidifying her digit spans of 8 and doing well with multiplication and division, a real rising star.
All three girls own and assume the responsibility for their chores, and because they cooperate and are responsible, and because their education is targeted, they all have time in their day to explore and develop their interests and passions.
Helping our children develop and grow into happy, successful, and fulfilled adults is a wonderful and exciting challenge for every parent. It can be done.
I suspect Leia is going to have her pilot’s license before her peers are getting their driver’s licenses. You’ve got to love it!