Student Profile | Olivia Shingledecker
1. What makes your family unique to other families you know?
My family is unique because we possess a wide variety of talents and interests – not to mention that there are eight children!
Both of my parents are engineers, which comes in handy whenever we have Math or Science questions. Though most of us have inherited an aptitude for Math, we have not quite achieved a passion and love for it. (My parents still have hope for the little ones, though.)
My dad, with a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, is also an excellent writer. I have developed strong writing skills both through the Seton English curriculum and also with his help correcting and editing any Seton assignments.
My mom has passed on her musical and crafting talents to us as well. From beading and card-making to crocheting and especially sewing, we have come to be known as a crafty family.
Furthermore, all of us who can read play the piano. My brother additionally plays guitar and banjo, and all of us love to sing.
Engineering, Math, writing, crafting, and music – we do it all!
2. What is an average homeschooling day with Seton like for you?
I usually wake up around 6:00 or 7:00 a.m., depending on what time I went to bed. I exercise, pray, and eat breakfast before starting school around 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. I work at school almost all day on Monday and Tuesday, taking regular breaks for snacks and meals.
On the other weekdays, I work all morning, do out-of-the-house activities in the afternoon, and homework in the evening.
3. What’s something you have done that you really enjoyed doing?
During the Summer of 2016, I enjoyed being Portia in the Shakespeare play The Merchant of Venice.
In the Diocese of Charlotte, NC, we are blessed to have a large Catholic Homeschool community. For the past four summers, this homeschool group has put on a Shakespeare play. Last summer, I was so happy to receive the main role – something I had been aspiring to for several years.
The plays our “St. John Paul II Theatre Guild” puts on have been part of a summer Fine Arts program for homeschoolers in our diocese. The Fine Arts they have offered include dance, choir, art, and finally the culmination of all the arts in a play.
This summer program is unique because it is thoroughly Catholic! The moms who direct and orchestrate these activities are unselfishly dedicated to bringing truth, beauty, and goodness to the world through the fine arts.
4. What are your hobbies and interests?
I was recently asked this question by a peer of mine. At first, I thought I could notanswer.
As a young girl, I liked to write stories and dreamed of being an author. I read books like no other bookworm, crocheted furiously, and did many small and big sewing projects. Now, as the oldest of eight children and a high school student, I seem to be neglecting what I thought were my hobbies.
However, I soon discovered that I had replaced my old hobbies with new ones! Youth activities at my church, hanging out with friends, organizing “Catholic Girl Talk Nights,” and doing makeup are my interests.
I am an extremely extraverted person, and I would simply wither away if I’m not often around my Catholic friends. The highlights of my week are youth group on Sunday, Fidelis on Wednesday, and my homeschool co-op on Friday.
I still treasure those rare moments when I can sit down and continue reading a Jane Austen novel.
5. What are some things you do as a family and on your own that you particularly enjoy?
My family and I love to sing and play music together. I recently got a ukulele which has added to our collection of instruments.
On Wednesday nights, my brother, sister, and I participate in the national program Fidelis and Fraternus at our Church. We attend Wednesday night Mass together and afterward spend the evening growing in virtue with other Catholic girls and boys.
On Thursday, the four oldest of us attend Scottish Dance. We are all in the same class and enjoy dancing with our friends very much.
On Friday, we attend a homeschool co-op at our parish. I am taking chemistry in the co-op and am the only girl in the class!
After our co-op classes, the boys either play games outside or have Karate lessons while the girls do Praise Dance. Praise Dance has been unique to our parish for many years. Girls ages 4-18 dance to contemporary Christian music with movements choreographed by several of our moms. Praise Dance has been one of my favorite activities over the years.
6. What do you hope to do in the future?
My future is in God’s hands. I am only a sophomore in high school, so I still have time to pray and discern. I have always considered becoming a religious sister.
However, one underlying desire I have had is to minister to women. The many moms, women involved in ministry, and religious sisters I have come to know are a huge source of inspiration to me.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been interested in midwifery. I attribute this interest to the inspiring midwives who have delivered all my siblings, and to the fact that I have attended the births of several of them.
Whether my vocation is to be a wife and mother, religious sister, or healthcare professional, I hope my vocation will inspire women to be the beautiful gift that God has created them to be!