Kimberly Goss taught her sons how to crawl their way to success -- literally.
Benjamin Goss, 26, and Christopher Goss, 23, suffer from learning disabilities.
When the two were children, Kimberly and her husband, Bill, took them to be tested at an area learning center and were told that neither boy would ever develop the intellectual capacity to attend college.
Refusing to accept that assessment, Kimberly took her sons out of public school, where they were in special education classes, and taught them at home.
"What I did was pull them out of a situation that was damaging to their self-esteem," Kimberly said. "We did a lot of praying, let them know they were smart and just believed in them."
Ben and Christopher credit their mother for putting them on a path to academic excellence.
"Being in special (education) was something that really shattered my confidence," Christopher said.
"My mom did a lot to restore my confidence and showed me that I can achieve whatever I want to achieve."
Ben suffers from dyslexia and an auditory processing affliction that inhibits his ability to recall instructions. Christopher has dyslexia and dysgraphia, which is a deficiency in his ability to write.
On Saturday, both Goss sons took part in graduation ceremonies at Augusta State University. Christopher is class valedictorian. Ben will take a Spanish class during the summer to complete his graduation requirements.
As the top student in his class, Christopher feels that his success vindicates his mom.
"She took a good deal of grief from a lot of people," he said. "Homeschooling was not as accepted then as it is now. People thought she was crazy."
Bill called his wife "stubbornly determined that her kids were going to learn and be successful."
Kimberly said she knew her children were capable of learning.
"Learning disabilities don't have a thing in the world to do with a child's intelligence," she said. "They just have to learn in a different way."
That "different way" included some unorthodox teaching techniques Kimberly picked up from an Atlanta-based learning institution that involved forcing her sons to use one side of their brain.
The boys wore an eyepatch, an earplug in one ear and did an "army" crawl across the floor. The crawl forced the boys to lift one knee while using their opposite arm to pull themselves forward.
"She encouraged us to work hard to fulfill our dreams despite what other people may say," Ben said. "She's been the constant example in our lives of how far working hard can take you."
Ben and Chris later re-entered school as high school juniors and graduated from Augusta Christian Schools.
Though she never graduated from college, Kimberly came to love teaching her sons and now homeschools her 12-year-old daughter, Abbie.
Abbie said she doesn't feel like she's missing out by shunning a traditional educational process.
"I think she's really good," Abbie said of her mother as a teacher. "I really like it."
Abbie enjoys learning so much she often continues with her studies during the summer months.
To socialize her children, Kimberly involved them in athletics with a homeschool sports association and took them to music lessons and karate classes, and they all regularly attend church.
"God gets the glory here," Kimberly said of her sons' academic success.
Now that her sons are college graduates, Kimberly said she hopes her example will inspire other mothers of children with learning disabilities to ignore pessimistic viewpoints and seek God's guidance.
"When teachers limit what a child is capable of, they're not only limiting that child, but they're limiting God," she said. "He really is the one responsible for my sons' success."
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