The Evolution of Punky
Punky has spent the last 7 weeks in a small town in Alabama called Maycomb County. She has a father named Atticus and a brother Jem. She's a tomboy with a keen mind and a bravado that only a 10 year old can have. She's dealt with folks calling her all sorts of names and screaming at her about how her daddy defends niggers. She's been attacked and watched her brother's arm get broken by the most bigoted, lying scum in all of Maycomb. She's dealt with the death of one innocent black man and witnessed the death of another. She's learned valuable life lessons about courage, empathy, and honesty as well as having the innocence torn away from her childhood by witnessing the horrors man commits against his fellow men.
Punky has brought the role of Scout, in 'To Kill a Mockingbird', to life in a way that has astonished me. More importantly, the leap she's taken in her own growth and maturity matches her ability to breath life into Scout. Punky's dedication to her craft and her commitment to the part, her cast mates, and the director rival - in my opinion - an adult who is a veteran of theatre. Somewhere along this 7 week journey Punky became a young woman. She's only 12 but she has demonstrated the maturity, responsibility, and ability of a much older girl. Her composure and demeanor are remarkable for one so young. She's dealt with a few personal issues along the way and there has been a marked difference in how she would have handled those issues 7 weeks ago to how she did handle them.
It may all just be a coincidence, but I personally believe it is not. I believe that by allowing Punky to reach for her dream - auditioning for the role of Scout, pursue her true passion - acting, and giving her total ownership of the entire experience she grew up these last 7 weeks more than she would have, and in ways she might not have, if she had not had this experience. The educational value of this experience is equal to a semester in a college theatre program. The personal value of this experience is equal to nothing I can think of to make a comparison. Her hard work and determination have paid off BIG for her.
The confidence she's gained by working hard to deliver a deeply moving performance and knowing for certain where her joy lies gives her a focus and understanding for her life that so few of us ever know, let alone learn at so young an age. That is all so much more than any classroom could give her.
Punky has received numerous compliments and extensive praise from family, friends, and even strangers for her performance. That is what they all see....
her talent, her abilities, her dedication, her commitment, her acting. It's all wonderful! It's what I see though that means so much more than all that. I see the woman she is becoming and that woman, in my opinion, is Oscar worthy. How does any of this relate to homeschooling you may wonder? We owe a debt to homeschooling. If it were not for homeschooling there would have been no Scout audition and without that all that has been realized and achieved in these last 7 weeks would not have been possible.
We made the choice to homeschool and Punky made the choice to go for her dream. Life is all about choices, good or bad, right or wrong, our destinies will unfold according to our choices.