"My kid built her own nuclear reactor in the basement!"
"Mine got his doctorate in Chemistry at 17!"
"My kids built the house we live in out of scrap lumber and toothpicks!"
We've all heard the media success stories - and the ones at homeschool group. The perfect families with brilliant, high-achieving children who own their own multimillion dollar corporations at seventeen. Sure, they exist. But what about those of us whose children are more...normal?
Isn't it enough to bring up positive, loving children who are curious about the world we live in, who love learning and continue it for their entire lives?
Isn't it enough to help our kids find their gifts and wells of creativity so that they can spend their lives happy in their work?
Isn't it enough to teach them to care, to help, to make the world around them better?
Isn't it enough that they learn to navigate the world confidently, to deal with all kinds of people, to manage their time wisely because they haven't had someone telling them what to do for nearly every second of their lives?
The point of homeschooling isn't "perfection", whatever definition you choose to give the word. It's really all about learning and character and helping a child find her own path. It's about living as free agents in a manipulative society. It's about following your own goals, your own dreams, your own beliefs, without having to dedicate the best part of your family's day to the modern version of institutional education.
As we start school again this year (as if we ever really stopped!), it's time to stop cleaning out the pencil-and-protractor drawer long enough to remember why we do this. It's all about our kids' lives. It's about their dreams. It's about our own souls, too
Home education won't give us perfect children. It won't protect them from all bad influences or turn them all into geniuses who graduate from college at 12. And that's fine.
Homeschooling just may give us children who know how to live well. And it may improve our lives as parents on the way.