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Bethany Smith

SCCA parent Bethany and her two children

Bethany is the mother of Amberlee and Sawyer, who are students at South Carolina Connections Academy (SCCA). At SCCA, her children are thriving and becoming independent learners. Bethany shares their story below.

“We first heard about SCCA in 2013 when I was considering high schools for my daughter. I learned about SCCA from a mom that was removing her kids from the bricks-and-mortar school and starting SCCA. She gave me more information and the name of another mom I could talk to about it. From what I heard, it just seemed like a good fit for us. I wasn't ready to have Amberlee go into a traditional school setting just yet, nor did I want to take on the responsibility of homeschooling her and making sure that she met all her high school requirements. The best part of this program was the fact that Amberlee could still be at home with family and keep many of the same activities, jobs, responsibilities, while still meeting her high school educational requirements. After adjusting, it was clear that that this learning environment works well for her. Her brother, Sawyer, joined SCCA a year later.

Both Amberlee and Sawyer enjoy their courses, and I see them excelling in each of their subjects. I am happy that Amberlee is learning Japanese, as I spent two years in Japan myself. It's been fun watching her go beyond even my knowledge and speaking in a way that sounds like native Japanese to me. Amberlee and Sawyer still have the homeschool co-op that they are able to attend once a week. It keeps them connected with their friends and gives them an opportunity to be involved in several extracurricular activities outside of SCCA. They are also involved in a local theatre where they are able to show off their musical and acting abilities. Both Sawyer and Amberlee work to earn money by walking neighborhood dogs and taking on babysitting jobs.

Amberlee enjoys many things, so her dreams are varied. She's thought about being a veterinarian, actor, singer, missionary, or some combination of all these interests. Sawyer's desires are still developing, but I think SCCA has encouraged him because he's been asked questions by teachers and counselors that have made him think about the future a bit more. SCCA has benefitted both Amberlee and Sawyer in learning how to manage their time and responsibilities better. Although Amberlee has always been fairly independent, SCCA has helped her hone those skills. On the other hand, Sawyer has improved in the area of working independently and paying more attention to details. This skillset will aid both of them greatly in the years ahead.”

After teaching my children at home for eight years, SCCA has made it possible for my children to stay in a home learning environment, keep the same opportunities and activities, and receive a quality education.
— Bethany