Saturday, May 12, 2012

preparation for life

Every homeschooling family is different, each has their own educational philosophy, but I have always assumed that any mother who takes upon herself the hard task of teaching her children at home has academic excellence as her goal. Yes, not having to rouse children from their beds at 6am to catch the bus is a side benefit, but laziness can not and should not be one's motivator for homeschooling. Ginny Seuffert's latest column in the Seton newsletter reemphasized this to me so much yesterday that I called their counseling department to tell them how much I appreciated her article. It is about tailoring a curriculum and one portion begins,

"Things that are worth doing are often difficult...if a task is difficult and a student rebels against doing the work, the parent can give in because of the complaining. But then the children miss out on some very important lessons. They don't learn to respect and obey their parents, as commanded by God. They don't learn to apply themselves diligently to accomplish a difficult or frustrating task. They develop an incomplete view of the world where they can dictate the terms. Allowing students to direct educational methods can deny them an opportunity to build character."

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the amount of schoolwork my children are expected to accomplish each year. I also have to ride them to practice the piano every day so they can develop their musical skills. Homeschooling is a sacrifice for mothers who could take the easy way out and put their children on the yellow bus, relax with a cup of coffee before tackling the household chores and some free time with their friends. But most of us who choose to hold our children up to a higher standard of excellence realize what Thomas Alva Edison famously said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." One cannot become a concert pianist without thousands of hours of practice. One cannot invent a product that is still used all over the world over 100 years later without a well-trained mind. One cannot become a veterinarian, like Mary hopes to become, without a strong foundation in science and mathematics. We have seen what the low standards in our public schools produce, I want my children to have a world full of opportunity and strong academics is the path to that bright future.  

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Two school years ago, we had a deployment, redeployment and a move all in that school year. My counselor for MODG told me to get to the 3/4 mark and quit. It was the end of June before we made it, and I hated to stop, but we were all fried. This past school year, I thought we'd be moving in the middle. We started early, we took few breaks, we had few playdates or field trips, we worked, worked, worked. We did all the assignments, most of them on time! My counselor suggested that homeschooling should be a bit more fun...that we needed to have balance. I said, yes, but THIS year was balancing the year 2 years before where we didn't finish. And then she agreed. It's my one complaint about "unschooling". If unschooling means never having a deadline or never learning things you don't care to learn or always making your own choices about what to do and when, then we set our children up for failure in a world where they don't make the rules. Fine, if they will be self-employed...not fine if they need to work for someone else. Fine if there is no need to recognize authority...not fine if we want them to serve God.