Homeschooling’s Black, White, & Gray Series 1 Episode 8
Homeschooling students encourages their curiosity, creativity, and entrepreneurship. For example, I learned how to make a four-tired wedding cake and started a little cake decorating business when I was twelve years old. It began a few years before…
While the adults discussed the Bible passages everyone brought, I listened while looking at their photo albums, picture books, AND Mrs. Nelson’s Wilton cake decorating books. Our family attended a Bible study at the farm of a wonderful couple every week. (Mrs. Nelson acted more like my grandma than my birth grandmas!) When Mrs. Nelson accepted my invitation to my tenth birthday party, she offered, “If you would like, I could have you come over and we could bake and decorate your birthday cake!” I had flashbacks of the year before where a family friend had come over to help us bake my birthday cake and the cake mix had been full of bugs, so my Dad picked up a heart shaped cake from the store instead. This sounded like a wonderful option!
A few days before the party, my sister and I joined Mrs. Nelson in her kitchen to bake two chocolate layer cakes, eat fried chicken for lunch, and then whip up buttercream frosting, and then have Mrs. Nelson show us how to decorate cakes. First we placed the two layers with icing in between, smoothly frosted the whole heart shaped cakes, then it got fun. Mrs. Nelson showed us the different decorating tips to finish the edges of cakes, to create icing roses, and to write “Happy Birthday Mary” on top. To this day, that was my favorite cake because I felt so loved and had a blast learning cake decorating! For years after that, we would go to Mrs. Nelson’s to make cakes. I became so confident, that I created a four tiered with pillars wedding cake when I was twelve for a wedding at our church. I used sewing pins to hold on the peach frosting roses until the icing hardened enough to hold them on. The couple seemed very happy.
I earned a bit of money by creating a graduation cake for some family friends. My Dad helped out by creating a big cake box to put the white and red sheet cake in. After making a couple of huge cakes, I moved on to other interests, but I brought out the cake skills last summer to create a little cake for my one-year-old nephew to cream.
Adults who see curiosity tend to want to encourage it. I curiously scanned the pages of those Wilton cake decorating books. Mrs. Nelson saw my interest and she was willing to teach me. When I was eleven, a retired musician, who saw me playing an offertory at church (with only one finger because that was all I knew!) offered to give me free piano lessons, and I took her up on it! Diving into what you love to do creates energy and interest about the topic. I can read music and play the piano because this organist saw my desire and nurtured it.
Whenever you see a young person deeply interested in your subject, consider mentoring and teaching them in that area…you never know what might happen.
By M. H. Campbell