I worry about education choices. It isn’t a daily or constant worry, but sometimes things will pop up or negative comments will hit me hard.
Last night, on Madame Secretary, the grown daughter went on a job interview and was flatly refused consideration because she had dropped out of college. Prior to that information being divulged, the interviewer had been very interested in her. (in the show, it was proven that the requirement of having a degree was completely arbitrary. When the daughter told the interviewer that the Secretary of State was her mother, she immediately became a viable candidate for the job again. Degree be damned…)
Another recent incident that made me question our education choices came from an unexpected source. I’m not sure why I let it get to me. I know there are opponents to homeschooling but I don’t hear their opinions daily, in the circles where I live. “Homeschooling doesn’t work,” was the blanket statement that got back to me. It came from a homeschooling failure, so how would I expect him to have a realistic view of the situation? He isn’t any kind of expert and not someone whose opinion I value.
I think about how much of the information that was crammed down my throat in school made an impact in my life. NOT MUCH. But what about the discipline of going everyday? What about the expectations and responsibility that it provided for me? What about the fortitude?
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t put my boys back in the public school environment willingly for anything. I think the cons greatly outweigh the pros. But there are good things that we’re missing out on.
I have the almost constant question running through my head: “Am I asking enough of them?” Then, on good days, it becomes: “Your education is getting in the way, Tina. Children learn. You just have to provide them with the materials.”
I read about homeschooled children getting into college, no problem. But what kind of self-motivated, over-achiever kid is this? Our boys are pretty typical in their interests and motivations these days. Discipline and working-towards-a- goal show themselves most frequently when trying to level up on a video game… and last time I checked, that isn’t REAL. That’s why unschooling didn’t work for us. (We’re back to textbooks this year, and still I worry that it isn’t enough.)
Will and Scotty asked me the other day, what grades they’re in. They both needed to confirm the information because they couldn’t remember with certainty.
When we started homeschooling, I thought it was great that homeschool textbooks aren’t written for just one grade level. They span a couple years. That made it possible, in most subjects, to teach both boys from the same book even though they are a year apart. Now I wonder, did I hold Will back or did I push Scotty ahead? (feels like I held Will back.) But if that’s the case, did it need to happen? Am I challenging the boys enough? There were times when the public school approach was too challenging for them… We had a lot of talks with teachers about staying focused and sitting still and not spacing out…
These days, with our homeschooling, there isn’t a lot of repetition because they bore and thoughts stray easily. School doesn’t take very long because of this (and because the student to teacher ratio is really good.)
Next year Will will be a freshman in high school and I’ll need to start keeping/creating transcripts. Right now he doesn’t have much interest in internships or community service or starting his own company. (all the really cool things I hear go-getter homeschooled kids do and supposedly the stand-out things that colleges look for in homeschooled candidates.)
The boys aren’t babies anymore. This shit is starting to matter now.