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Epistula | 4 Minutes

From the Classroom: Adelaide Nickles Self-Publishes

Molly Nickles Written by Molly Nickles
From the Classroom: Adelaide Nickles Self-Publishes

Adelaide didn’t read a full sentence until she was almost 10 years old. It was a difficult challenge to walk through dyslexia with our second child after our first child had started reading full paragraphs at age four. With only two children in our home, we somehow managed to have children on the complete extremes of reading.

I diligently read aloud to our children 45 minutes to an hour daily throughout their childhood. Once Adelaide read that first sentence, she was off! That year, she jumped ahead multiple grade levels and “caught up” by the time she was 12. I had been told just to keep reading aloud to her, and it would happen, but until I experienced it, I hadn’t really believed it!

Although she still struggles with transposing numbers and having to read very slowly and diligently, we’ve overcome many of her dyslexia challenges.

I was so thankful in those younger years to homeschool both of our kids, but especially Adelaide so she wasn’t “left behind” in class due to her dyslexia.

Another longer story for another day—we decided to enroll our kids in the Diploma Program when Adelaide was in 8th grade. That year was a major transition for our whole family—we moved across the country, and both my husband and I changed jobs. To lighten things up a bit, in the summer leading into her 9th-grade year, we encouraged her to pick any class that simply looked fun. She settled on Creative Writing.

I was really surprised that my dyslexic daughter would choose a writing class as “fun”. This was the first of many revelations for me.

A good portion of the grade for the summer Creative Writing class is based on word count. Adelaide committed to 40,000 words in that six-week class.

“My daughter is going to write 40,000 words in 6 weeks?!” I silently said to myself. “Okaaaaay”.

Mrs. Beavens engaged the class in a fun, helpful way that sparked an interest in Adelaide. Over the next 6 weeks, Adelaide joined a Google Chat group with a bunch of the students from the class they called The Typlings. They’d chat after class about their stories, give helpful feedback, and cheer each other on their writing development.

Six weeks later, Adelaide had written 37,000 words. She hadn’t quite hit her goal, but that didn’t slow her down. She had found a new passion, and this story she had written for the class was now a trilogy in her mind.

I was blown away, and honestly, my pride took a hit. I had been struggling with letting go of being the only teacher for my kids. I immensely enjoyed the homeschool years. Although I knew Veritas had a stellar education, as a staunch homeschooler, I still had lingering feelings of “But I should be their only teacher!” Seeing a total stranger tell my daughter she needed to write tens of thousands of words and my daughter thriving was a big revelation. For as much as I was thankful for her not being in a traditional school with her dyslexia, I myself had projected limitations on her. I never would have asked her to write that much.

She spent the past school year completing her story and going through rounds of editing. She then learned how to hire a professional book editor and a book cover designer. She spearheaded the research on how to self-publish and start her own website, and with my help, started an Instagram page (which I manage). She creates videos, and I post them to Instgram from my phone.

As an avid reader myself, I’m super proud of Adelaide’s storytelling, but more importantly, I’m proud of her drive to accomplish a major goal. She’s already starting on the second book in the trilogy. Watching her grow in writing skills over the years will be fun!

I may not have inspired her passion, and honestly, as a homeschooling mom, it stings a little that I didn’t– that’s my own pride issue (that no doubt many homeschool moms go through when transitioning out of traditional homeschooling). Still, I can come alongside her and support her in fostering this passion for as long as she’s inspired to write!

I’m thankful to Mrs. Beavins and Veritas. Seeing Adelaide blossom this past year has been such a fun journey.

P.S. So what’s the book about?

It’s a clean teen fiction dystopian novel about teen orphans on Pluto. I had zero input on this novel; she actually told our family I couldn’t read it until the first draft was finished. I think that’s what makes it even more fun– this is one hundred percent her.

If you have a child who would enjoy this genre, you’re welcome to purchase it here.

Molly Nickles, VSA Parent