It's quite the story, really. When I saw this one, I just had to share it. This story totally shows what kids, and families, are capable of if given (or taking) the opportunity.
In 2001, Andrew Witchger worked long hours as a church music director. His 4 kids wanted to see him more. They liked playing music, so they told Dad to quit his job, sell the house, and move them all into a SUV so they could be a traveling band. The kids were all under the age of 12.
Mom quickly learned how to play the acoustic bass when the kids wanted to form a band. Up to that point, she simply wasn't interested in instruments or music. Professional pianist Dad did quit his job, learned how to play guitar, and sold their house. They formed ShaeLaurel, an Irish folk music group, and hit the streets.
The people loved them. When they first started out, they found that they'd make about $75 per street-side show, so they just need to do 2 shows a day to make ends met. Eventually however, the family got so good at playing their Irish-type music that they bought a bus and officially moved in. Their fame moved ahead of them and now keeps them on the road doing 250 shows a year in 35 states. They've been featured on regional and international television, on radio shows, in theme parks, at schools and churches, and in all kinds of venues thoroughout the world.
School the normal way--inside a red brick building--wasn't possible, obviously. The kids picked up schooling themselves--really. They assign themselves their own schoolwork, grade themselves, and do anything else to themselves that a teacher would normally do to a student. And, according to the kids, they make for themselves pretty tough teachers.
The kids all sleep right next to each other on the floor of the bus, night after night after night after night. You'd think the family would go crazy living in such close quarters like they have for the past 9 years. However, that's not the case. In fact, it's really not the case! They had a TV crew living with them for 2 years taking all kinds of footage trying to make a reality TV show of their life. However, they had so few arguments and conflicts as a family that the whole show idea was finally shelved. They simply got along too well. Every family discussion ended with everyone smiling and happy. All TV producers know smiles don't make hit shows.
ShaeLaurel Promo Video
When I run across a story like this, I get a big ole' grin on my face. I absolutely love it when people step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. I know a lot of people couldn't stomach the idea of doing what the Witchgers did, but I still think it's cool. These kids had parents who stood behind them--and together they've developed their incredible potentials.
To read more about their story, see this CNN special on the ShaeLaurel music group.
Image from ShaeLaurel.com