When I was still relatively new to homeschooling, a retired teacher turned homeschool maven encouraged me in my work: “You could do absolutely nothing with your kids but spend time with them, and you’d be ahead of the public schools.” I’ve never been quite sure of that, but I do see truth. The character and ability to think for oneself, along with the self-confidence I’ve seen in every homeschool graduate I’ve ever met, is far more important in my mind than whatever academics I may have succeeded in shoving into their heads. Although I’ve seen quite a bit of academic excellence, far beyond anything I witnessed in school. I just wish I were a part of it. My kids are pretty average.
Depending how you judge. My older son has made a live save while volunteering time with the local fire department, and assisted with countless other rescues. He and my second son have been available during school hours to fight fires when most every other firefighter is unavailable. They study, run calls, and return to their books. I’ve heard first-hand from homeowners how much they mean to the community. Houses and property could have been lost if they had been locked up on a campus. And what have they learned? That knowledge trumps all? Or that people are the most important investment?
Education is not always easily measured.
But I’m up on my soapbox. Today, I got a reminder that Mary was right. I love learning and all things academia, but I never aspired to teach. That’s a good thing. I am not a great teacher – I do best when I’m excited about something and lead my flock on a wild learning adventure. I’ve pretty well burned myself out trying to teach, so declared this summer to be vacation time. Even if we sit and do absolutely nothing, I am taking summer off.
And this is what I found today, when the children had been quiet too long. Funny, they didn’t want to be photographed.
Maybe they would be better if I did nothing….