Devin Seymour, 16, graduated from high school last month thanks to the WTHSA-Home Life Academy, which nurtured his learning pace and interests.

Graduating a few years earlier than many of his peers seemed to suit him, his parents said because of the one-to-one education he received through a rigorous home-schooling program.

During his traditional studies, Seymour showed signs of boredom, illness and general malaise from not being challenged, which caught the attention of his parents, Quazi Smith and Tamika. Cobb, they said.

When Seymour started the homeschooling program in fifth grade, his father knew there was something special about him.

“My son said he hated school and was unchallenged,” Smith said. “We were told he would be in special programs but that wasn’t true. In fifth grade he was crying and as parents we refused to go through that with him in anger.”

Devin Seymour is all smiles during his graduation celebration with his parents, Quazi Smith and Tamika Cobb and his nephew.

WTHSA-Home Life Academy is a non-traditional K-12 private school and ministry. It was founded to give homeschoolers and their parents educational access and support from anywhere in the world. Parents are allowed to teach whatever they want on their own schedule, using a style that suits their child.

The benefits of home schooling consist of academic flexibility for both parent and student. According to some parents, students who might be a bit more willful, creative, nurturing, gifted or active might benefit more from a home schooling environment. Students can focus on life skills, their passion, and even prepare for a vocation or entrepreneurship.

Seymour developed his athleticism and learned the sport of archery. He also got to fish and learn how to change a tire and oil.

“Home Life Academy was under the auspices of a church, and the school supported homeschooling and allowed us to teach,” Cobb said. “We created our own curriculum, bought books and taught our son.”

Seymour graduated from high school and was accepted into five colleges. These institutions include the University of Memphis, Grambling State University, Morehouse College, Southern University, and Tennessee State University.

Seymour has yet to make his final decision, but for now he will continue to explore life through his hobbies, traveling around town and spending time with family and friends.

Katrina Smith is an education reporter at the Jackson Sun. Submit these story ideas or contact Katrina by email, [email protected]