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Homeschooling Can Work For Everybody

12 Jul

People are going to call me an idealist, and perhaps I am, but I believe that homeschooling can be for everybody.  Let me quickly add that I am not saying that everyone ‘should’ homeschool, just that everyone ‘can’ homeschool.  The choice is in our hands.

Too often I hear about homeschoolers who’ve returned their children to school because ‘homeschooling didn’t work for them’ or ‘homeschooling stopped working for them’.  This statement is misleading and I want to attempt to address it.

Homeschooling is a tool.    To say that homeschooling ‘didn’t work’ is like saying the shovel, the broom, or the hammer didn’t work.  The tool is not responsible for the work that it does, but instead the user is responsible.  To gain the full benefit of a tool you must use it correctly.  The tool must also be the right size and fit for you.  Experience will improve your use of the tool and with continued correct comfortable use of the tool you will achieve your goal.

If your tool did not achieve the desired result or stopped working during the task, it is not the fault of the tool.  It is up to the user of the tool to maintain it properly, to use it efficiently and effectively, and to care adequately for it.  If or when the tool stops working the responsibility lies solely at the user’s feet.   We must be careful not toss it aside, casting all blame on the tool, telling those around us that the tool has faults.

There are tools that do not work well due to their design, like a square wheel or those plastic scissors with no blade (which are designed for safety and frustration and not cutting of any sort!).  Government schools currently fall into this category.  They promise to do a great number of things but are designed in such a way that many of their goals are impossible, restricting their benefits to only a few users.   It does not matter how one uses this tool, or how often, but rather if you fit the size of the tool.  You see, school is a ‘one size must fit all’ tool.  If you are in the average range then school will probably help you gain an average education.   It promises a lot more but is yet to deliver in a consistent hence guaranteed manner.  User beware!

Thankfully homeschooling is a fully adjustable tool that can fit any student, family, style or ideology, if you are prepared to use it well.

You see, the user is the key to successful homeschooling.  You can make it work for you or not.  The tool is only as good as its user.

I suppose homeschooling is a lot like making fresh, homemade bread.   Bread made at home is, without question, much better for your family’s health (and taste buds) than store bought replicas.   But it’s up to you whether you want to do the work to make bread at home.  Bread from the store is more convenient – faster, easier, cheaper, less messy, and you don’t have to do the work.   A no-brainer choice for many.  But a handful of folk, who are willing and able to work for the very best for their family, will learn how to bake bread.  They will ask experienced bread makers for advice.  They will gather the ingredients, lovingly mix them, pound and knead them when necessary and sit back and watch it rise and bake, careful not to let it burn.   They will take the time to make bread for their family consistently each day.  They will experiment with and vary their recipes so their family doesn’t grow tired of the bread.  They will work tirelessly feeding their family the best bread they can provide.  Bread making will become a part of their daily life, continuing on whether they are busy, ill, or troubled.  The act of bread making will become a habit and a loving ritual.

You see, homeschoolers either make the great effort and many sacrifices to homeschool, or choose the supermarket version of education.  Homeschooling doesn’t ‘stop working’ for any family.   It is a tool which we choose to stop using or a goal which we choose to stop valuing.

As I said in the beginning, it is not my belief that everyone should homeschool.  I think it would be wonderful for their families  if they did but I am realistic and understand that most people won’t homeschool.  Many people work and have no time to homeschool.  Some people have external obstacles, such as spousal rejection of homeschooling or government interference.  Some can not muster the physical, mental or emotional strength to embark on the journey or maintain it.  Other people simply have no desire to dedicate themselves to homeschooling in a way that is necessary for its success.  And others yet, dabble in both worlds, never really fully committing to either.  These many obstacles prevent families from homeschooling and I totally understand that this is the way it is, although I won’t deny that it makes me sad.

My concern is with people, who tell themselves, and then others, that homeschooling ‘stopped working’ or ‘didn’t work’. Yes there will be times when homeschooling is really hard, and you have to take serious action to keep it moving in the right direction, but at no times will it ‘not work’, if you are using the tool properly.  Homeschooling will only stop working when you do.

At these points in your homeschooling journey you will have to ask yourself – Do I want to continue homeschooling or do I want to stop?  Do I still value homeschooling enough to continue making the sacrifices?   Am I working hard enough in this endeavour?  The choice is always ours to make.  Prayerfully make the decision.

But please parents, don’t blame homeschooling when you decide to leave its path.   It discourages other homeschoolers who continue on faithfully using the tool of homeschooling.  Everyone has the choice to either homeschooling or try the alternatives.  But the success, or not, of homeschooling is our own responsibility and in our own hands.

 

 

P.S.  I don’t bake bread by the way.  I’d like to but as yet ‘I’ haven’t done anything to make it happen.  It’s not because I don’t know how to.  I can learn.  It’s not because I don’t have time.  I can make time.  It’s not because I don’t have what I need.  I can find it.  If I’m being completely honest about it.  My desire just doesn’t match my motivation.  It has nothing to do with the bread making process at all.  Whether I make bread or not, is in my hands.  How well I make bread is also up to me.  Will I do it or will I not?  The ‘should’ part is easy.  The will?…well that’s the thing we all struggle with…that unruly will of ours.

P.P.S.  I get the feeling that my readers are going to expect me to try my hand at baking bread now.  Talk about peer pressure!  Hehehe   🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Comments

Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Homeschooling Thoughts

 

10 responses to “Homeschooling Can Work For Everybody

  1. Bernadette

    July 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Love it 🙂 we dabble occasionally in bread making, but it works out more expensive than $1 a loaf that I can get at the local super market. I won’t pressure you to make bread… But I would be interested to know if you ever made that 2 nd cape? 🙂

     
    • Tracey

      July 13, 2012 at 9:41 am

      That cape! Hmmm… I thought about it last week. More pressure. Ahhh. Heheheheh.

       
  2. JoAnn

    July 13, 2012 at 1:55 am

    What a great way to explain things. I do make my own bread, occasionally. But I let my mixer do all the work, I just bake it. 🙂

     
    • Tracey

      July 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Just as some people use box curriculum and charter schools (which I think is like our distance education in Australia).

      Bread makers or charter schools…doesn’t matter which if it helps achieve the goal.

      I’d like a bread maker but it’d mean another appliance taking up space. Hmmm…but you’re right. It would do all the work. Hmmm…pondering… 🙂

       
  3. April

    July 13, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Yes, I totally agree! I’ve experienced many struggles during our short homeschooling journey, but I’ve continued to try new ways to achieve the desired result. As for bread making…been there, done that 🙂

     
  4. Tracey

    July 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Ahhh there’s plenty of struggles and surprises on the homeschooling journey. It makes sure you can’t fall asleep during the drive. Heheheh 🙂

     
  5. Shelley

    July 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Many challenges, many joys, great times, good times, almost ugly times! However nothing worthwhile in life comes without work/effort of some sort – just like bread making (even with a bread maker – lol)

     
    • Tracey

      July 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      You’re right. Gain comes through pain. Plus it makes for the complete experience. I’d feel uneasy if everything went too rosy. Hehehe.

       
  6. Sheryll

    July 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I just have to disagree that this homeschooling tool is like a shovel, broom, or hammer. Those have no moving parts. I don’t know about your house, but my house is full of moving parts! 🙂

     
  7. Tracey

    July 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Hehehe…so true. Okay how about an eggbeater, wiper snipper and electric pencil sharpener. As long as it’s not an iron. The iron and I don’t like each other at all so we keep our distance. 🙂

     

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