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Went to a home school graduation last night and now I want to weep


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and not in a good way.

 

It was one child graduating. He seemed directionless. When asked what his future plans were, he mentioned the desire to be in a rock band. When asked what he might do if that didn't work out, he thought he might be a professional skateboarder.

 

The graduation was a casual affair, which is fine. However, his mother showed up in sloppy clothes and dirty hair. I know it was casual, but since when is showering optional?

 

Are these my kids' peers? Most of their peers are going to community college and plan to transfer to a four year school. I think community college is a common choice because of finances.

 

I graduated from a private high school where 100% of the class went to a four year college. In the last school newspaper of the school year, they printed the list of the graduates and the college they were planning on attending. In high school I was surrounded by people with goals and high aspirations.

 

On these forums, I saw someone quote a book that said parents of kids that were successful in school purposely surrounded themselves by other like-minded families. I completely agree with this philosophy. However, I've found this hard to find within the home schooling community. Last night was especially depressing.

 

While most graduations I've attended were not like this one, the kids still don't seem to be highly motivated. It usually, "I think I'll go to the junior college and figure out what I want to do." This is so foreign to the way I grew up.

 

Last night honestly makes me want to enroll my kid in a competitive private school so she can be surrounded by more motivated kids and a little more class.

 

Am I being a snob? Do I just need to keep holding my kids to a high standard and ignore this? Help, please!

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I'm sorry that this happened! All I can say is I have NEVER seen ANY homeschooler or homeschool parent lacking in the way you described. There are hundreds of homeschoolers in our county and I know NONE that don't have high ideals and expectations! A competitive private school has it's challenges and problems also!

 

I guess it depends on your goals for homeschooling. Are you doing it so they'll be motivated and competitive AND because you want them home with you as their teacher? Or is it just, basically, so they'll be motivated and competitive? If it's the latter, then your options certainly are wider, and you should check into competitive private schools to see what your options would be! Otherwise, I'd say that you've seen poor specimens of homeschoolers that I never have seen, and the YOU will be their best bet to be motivated and competitive and should stick to your guns! :D

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I don't think it is snobby to expect better than a rock band or professional skateboarder, but I don't think it's realistic to expect all kids to know exactly what they want to do next. "I think I'll go to the junior college and figure out what I want to do," doesn't seem unreasonable to me. Some kids need more time to mature (I was one of those) and time to explore the possibilities. I do think the latter issue should be at least in part preventable as we homeschool teenagers, though.

 

Rosie

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There are all different kinds of homeschoolers, just like there are all different kinds of public and private schooled kids. One unmotivated slacker homeschooled kids doesn't represent the whole shebang, just like one unmotivated slacker public school kid doesn't either.

 

Provide your dc with the kind of educational environment that satisfies your expectations. Keep in mind that your child may eventually have their own ideas about educational goals.

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I think you might consider separating three strands:

 

(1) "Uh, maybe a rockband. . ."

(2) junior college

(3) four-year university

 

Let's all agree that (1) is not OK.

 

But if I may, I'd like to suggest that your private school background may have given you an unfortunately harsh outlook re junior colleges. There is nothing at all wrong with a junior college--lots of people (including myself and my husband--and I went on to BA and MA and he did a BA and BS) started at a junior college because it was convenient and cheap. If you aren't sure what you want to study, there is no point in spending 40K/year at a state school to take English 301 when you can take it at a junior college for $300 and then transfer the credit.

 

In fact, my husband would tell you that the math and engineering classes that he took at jr. colleges were much, much better in quality than the ones he took at a prestigious state school (which were usually taught by bored profs or barely-English-speaking TAs).

 

And I do think it is important for all kids to have friends with aspirations. But I think a junior college is a perfectly good aspiration for a high school student.

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I graduated from a private high school where 100% of the class went to a four year college. In the last school newspaper of the school year, they printed the list of the graduates and the college they were planning on attending. In high school I was surrounded by people with goals and high aspirations.

 

Wow, I wish I could have been in your shoes. I don't know how many people from my graduating class went to college. We had very few academic scholars though. That I do remember that. Our graduation list didn't include the colleges people were going to; instead they listed predictions for careers after high school. Because I was a statistician for the wrestling teams, my predicted career was a female wrestler. Nice, huh?

 

I'm one of "those" types of people whose family couldn't afford a highly academic private school. It's rather degrading to be called common though. Mercy me.

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I think you need to keep holding your kids to a higher standard and look for others who are like minded. However, failing to find them within the homeschooling community does not necessarily mean you'll find them in a standard school, public or private.

 

My son is in what is considered one of the better private schools here and there are many kids graduating from that school who are every bit as directionless as the boy you mentioned. They may say they're heading off to xyz college - because their parents are pushing for it - but who knows what will happen when they get there?

 

I think a lot of kids today don't have any idea what they'd like to major in until they've been in college three or four years. Some graduate in one field, go to work in that field for a short time, then decide they hate it and have to start over.

 

To some extent, I think our education system doesn't allow kids to focus on interests enough to start to specialize and prepare for a career. Current graduation requirements keep kids generalists right into college. No wonder many have no idea what they'd like to major in. And colleges now require kids to take mostly general type studies for at least the first year, too, if not the first two years. If kids aren't allowed to focus, how can we expect them to be able to start to specialize?

 

Not everyone is going to have the goal of college as a path to make their way in life - and that's okay. If you feel that your children have the desire/ability to use college as a tool toward a career, then you have to keep them focused on that goal. You can't heal the entire educational system or make jobs available in our economy. You can't inspire all those around you. All you can do is try to help your kids focus on goals that will serve them well no matter what path they take.

 

Good luck to you in that!

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and there are people who are professional skateboarders. So dream your dreams, I guess.

 

But seriously, I think kids get sick of being asked when their plans are. Some of them don't have plans. Others aren't sure they can achieve them and like to play their cards closer to the chest. Some didn't get into the one college they had their hearts set on and had applied no where else and have to start over. It happens. Maybe he was being flippant because he doesn't know you well and didn't feel like givng you a straight answer or doesn't really have one?

 

I was raised like you were. I graduated form a private k - 12 school and every kid I knew went to college except for the headmaster's son (oh the irony). And junior college or community college did not exist as options. I mean, they existed, but no one I knew went to them. Most of my friends turned their noses up at our best State university (but not me, GO HEELS). So I understand what you are saying.

 

But I also have graduated one son from high school (not homeschool) and I think there is a lot more to a person than what they do those years right after high school. Some kids flounder around a little at first and then get it straightened out.

 

Incidentally my BIL had a full scholarship to college. He graduated and did dumb jobs here and there to support his being in a band. The band cut a couple of albums and made more money, so he bought a business. A couple of their songs got picked up by major movies, so they got more money. They just cut their 5th album, it's fabulous, and all is well. His business is okay, the band is okay, and they live off it. I'm not suggesting it as a great ultimate goal, but it works for some people.

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Lisa,

 

I completely get where you're coming from. My boys are only six, but when I meet some of the homeschool families, I start freaking out.

 

The homeschool movement likes to talk about the successful families (and I like to think there lots of us!), but there are plenty that simply aren't doing well.

 

Not showering and discussing being a professional skateboarder are up there, IMO.

 

I'm cool with going to a JC because a) it's easier to transfer to a four year college and b) it's an enormous costs saving and c) I had rockin' teachers at my JC. But I'd be sad too if my boys were totally directionless at that age.

 

One of my boys even now asks, "Mama, what do you think I'll do with my life?" Very serious and thoughtful. And, believe me, I don't push this line of thought.

 

Anyway, I think you're entitled to feeling bummed. But here's a good thought: even if you were in the private school, there will inevitably be kids there who aren't doing well too. And some look good on the outside and aren't doing so well on the inside.

 

Take care,

 

Alicia

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Over the course of the last 2 years the Lord has been reminding me that we homeschool because He told us to. This means that our children are "set apart". We are to be training them up in His ways and that is the way they should go. Ultimately, our children take nothing with them except their relationship with the Lord. That is our homeschooling priority, that they walk uprightly with Jesus. He has already laid out His plan and purpose for their lives, they need to set their course according to His, whatever that would be for them. They may go to college, they may go to the mission field. Maybe it will be marraige right away or some undefined territory or direction. I will praise Him for the course He sets them on or I will help them to get on their knees to seek the direction God has for them.

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I don't think it is snobby to expect better than a rock band or professional skateboarder, but I don't think it's realistic to expect all kids to know exactly what they want to do next.

 

Or what they are good at. I tried a great deal of things...jobs and classes and living situations etc. until I felt confident enough to "do something with my life". I have seen so darned many kids plow straight through to med school, never looking right or left, and arrive there bitter, tight-lipped and/or alcoholic because they HATE it. How do you walk away from 8 years of schooling and >100K debt? You keep going into something you HATE.

 

And the student-machines who appeared to not love or hate anything, but relentlessly mowed over classmates to get recommendations from every prof, and the best summer research plans, and, later, the biggest boat on the North Shore, whose privilege and self-confidence made them unshakable and machine-like. I disliked them even more, and would rather my son grew up to be a cheery and human assistant cabinet assembler than one of those types.

 

A little uncertainty in late adolescence is a desirable normal, IMO.

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Sounds like he had ambitions for himself, just perhaps not ambitions that you see as credible or viable (for whatever reason). Some of us are always clamoring for a place in the rat race; others decide early on that they are content to stay far from the track.

 

OP, I come from a similar educational (and I'd guess, socio-economic) background. Plus my (East Asian) culture is notorious for placing extreme importance on education - especially higher education. College isn't an "if," it's a "when;" it's simply not discussed, it's assumed and expected - even among poorer families. So I get a sense of where you are coming from. But, ...

 

personal goals and motivations differ; I don't think it's really wise to believe that there is a 'right' way to live out life and dreams ... and that anyone who opts out of the norm is somehow unmotivated or unambitious. There will be people who are, of course, both of those things ... but I'd say that it's not exclusive to homeschool or public school students, much less to recent graduates.

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Why do you want to weep? If those graduates and their families are happy with the choices they are making, more power to them. I do think it is a bit snobbish to look down on an educational option that works well for other families. (I don't mean that unkindly. Though it doesn't sound especially kind either, now that I think of it. If a friend or aquaintance asked me "Am I being snobbish?" and I thought they were I'd laugh and shrug and say nicely, "Well, yeah, maybe a bit." Imagine I'm doing that.) Some families choose community college because they think the smaller classes will make an easier transition. Some families choose it because they do not have the same educational aspirations you have for your children. Some choose it because the college offers training in a specific field of interest. Many families choose it because it's an affordable alternative to starting at a four-year college, public or private.

 

Bottom line is, it doesn't matter one whit what other homeschooling families choose. It has no bearing on your choices or expectations. Keep looking for those like-minded families, but remember you set the educational standards and expectations in your home. Just as it doesn't matter that Neighbor Jones sends her children to the public school down the street, it doesn't matter whether other graduating homeschoolers go to community college. Whether you homeschool or send your children to private school is not as important as the value you place on intellectual challenge and rigorous education. The education you offer will prepare them for whatever long-term goals you set together.

 

Cat

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Dang.

 

I went to a homeschool graduation today too.

 

I believe there were about 15 students. At least 3 will be starting college on full academic scholarships (including mine). Several were heading off to pursue degrees that go beyond the four year degree (including mine). Some did not really know what they wanted to do long term and were instead going to work for a bit. A couple were going to start their core curriculum at community college. Some were pursuing trades. Some were basically clueless. At least two had large music scholarships. One already had her CNA license and had been working in that field while completing her high school education, and was already one semester into her nursing degree. At least 4 already had 10 or more hours of college credit (including mine). It was quite the variety of young people and it was refreshing to see them honestly represented. As far as I could tell all the moms washed their hair (including me).

 

I think we see this same variety in almost any graduating class. Homeschoolers are a sampling of society in general, I do believe. So maybe this will give you more hope for the future of this graduating homeschool class.

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If one equates success in life with a degree and social status, well, we should all be making sure our kids get to college no matter what. But that's not success, really, and although everyone pays lip service to deeper values than that, it's very easy to get caught there.

I never did it...although I too went to a private school, had professional parents and grandparents, was groomed for academia...I escaped. I followed my own heart, I have done some amazing things, I have travelled and met a LOT of people, and I dont regret not following the path I was "supposed to". And yes, I would have appeared very lost for several years, and my parents worried about me. And I did eventually go and get a naturopathic diploma, but I am not using it. I do continue to learn and educate myself. But I dont have a bit of paper to prove anything.

I too want my kids to get all the skills they need to live a good life, and education is important because it opens up options we might not otherwise have.And I guess I was blessed with a pretty good private school education and an awareness of the value of education for my kids. But in the end, I am sooooo glad I did what I did, and not what my elders would have preferred me to do- even if I didnt have goals, or a sense of direction, for years at a time. I had an inner sense of direction.

I saw what college and academia and careers can do for people- I grew up around it. My father is an astrophysist- hardly there for me at all, emotionally cold. My grandmother, still alive, a tough, inflexible old woman, who valued herself through her academic success rather than her nurturing or feminine qualities.

That doesn't mean every teen who is directionless and lost and moody and lacks ambition is heading to a healthy place but I think we need to cut them some slack if they dont know what they want to do, or where they are going, and just let them know we believe in them and that they are capable of following their dreams. I know I sound idealistic, but if everyone was "successful" in the normal sense, the world would be a boring place, and it would also make that sort of success meaningless.

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I consider myself somewhat "snobby", but I can also picture myself encouraging my child to be in a rock band or be a professional skateboarder.

 

The way you describe it, this boy just has no passion about his future. My homeschool goal is to produce graduates who are able to chase whatever passion they have, whether that means they become the best lawyer they can be, or the best skateboarder (with the least broken bones, please :D).

 

I would be much more disappointed with a lack of excitement and passion than I would an... unconventional path.

 

My kids are still pretty young, so I haven't been able to gauge that aspect of our homeschooling community yet. I have a vague idea of which families might fall into which categories in the future, but I'm not going to allow that to determine MY choices for MY children.

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I do continue to learn and educate myself.

 

I think that is the main academic goal (any spiritual goals aside) of most homeschooling parents - to instill a life-long love of learning, of delving deeper into areas of interest, for the child to become a self-educator by adulthood. There is no one mould perfect for everyone - but I do believe that this basic principle is most valuable for all, even if there isn't an expensive piece of paper to prove one's knowledge.

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A little rabbit trail here, but I think it could fit in this thread.....

 

I was talking to one of the moms at yesterdays graduation. I was graduating my 3rd of 6 children and she was graduating her baby. So her homeschool journey was over and her emotions were a little more raw than mine. I asked her how she was holding up and she said "Kelli, this morning I woke up and all I could think about was all the things I didn't do as well as I should have." I pointed out that every homeschool parent feels that way, but she was certain that she had more to regret than most.

 

Startling words. This from a mom who has now graduated 3 very successful students, 2 in college and doing well and one more about to start college on scholarship.

 

I left the conversation resolved to try to minimize my regrets. I have slacker days, too many slacker days. I can see myself standing at the end of the homeschool journey and looking back and having regrets over my slacker days. I think I face this upcoming new academic year with renewed vigor after that conversation.

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I have a really intelligent, charming, talented son who loves playing electric guitar and his goal is to be in a rock band! And I'm proud of him and I hope he succeeds!

 

Frankly, I do think you are snobby and there is certainly no need to weep for those who do not need your pity! Save it for those who lead unhappy lives because the only thing they care about is social status and going to the right colleges.

 

We all have different gifts to give. Some can do the academia and some do other things. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, if your job is to be a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be. I appreciate the happy streetsweeper.

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We all have different gifts to give. Some can do the academia and some do other things. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, if your job is to be a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be. I appreciate the happy streetsweeper.

 

I LOVE that! How true is that??

 

To the OP, just a reminder that not everyone homeschools for the same reasons. I don't homeschool to have my kids be academically superior to anyone. I homeschool because:

 

1. I absolutely love being with my children and am happy to be their main influence in life rather than peers which is the case in school where the students outnumber the adults.

 

2. I completely disagree with the schoolish institution that is today's educational expectation.

 

3. I agree with the previous poster who said that too many kids are shuffled through years of generalized education without ever given a chance to discover and pursue their dreams.

 

I'm still reeling from being called common! But I'm a happy commoner I guess! :D

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Well, it seems you are suggesting that community college is somewhat a lower choice. In VA, there is a direct transfer from any VA community college to an VA university as long as the GPA is good. My brother did this, went to UVA, and is now a Vice President in Banc of America Securities. It saved my parents a lot of money. My parents paid for four years of Va Tech for me, and I certainly wish they would have insisted I spend my first two years at our CC instead.

 

Our son is spending his first two years at a CC for two reasons: to live at home and to save money. He is spending his own money for the tuition, and he doesn't want to wipe out his entire CD savings. He has more than enough to pay for two years of CC ($3,000 a semester) and two years of university, but he would like some leftover for a downpayment on a house when he graduates.

 

I don't understand what is wrong with this. He also CLEPed out of two college courses. Do people who are against CC also have a common stance toward CLEP credits? For those early, out of major courses, most people see them as courses to just get out of the way. It just so happens that the college work my son has done in CC is definitely comparable to that which I did.

 

Moving on:

 

Though most of my friends had a specific major in mind when they started college, most changed their minds. I think a lot of this "figuring things out" came from school guidance counselors. While this young man's attitude seemed very immature and flippant to me (and my son would agree), I don't think it is necessary to know your major upon highschool graduation, but I do think it is important to realize that adulthood is upon you and that you need to start working toward a path.

 

Our son's graduation was actually quite amazing -- a sit down lunch, my friend Cecilia made a photo slide show (montage) set to music we chose, my husband, Aaron and I gave speeches, we invited others to speak, and we prayed over him at the end.

 

All of that clarification to say, I do understand where you are coming from.

 

We spend a lot of time with people because of their character in many issues --they have great morals, they are a positive influence on our children in many ways, but education is not one of them. Most of these families do not really do much schooling. Their children read much later than mine. I have no idea how all of their children will make it. Each family has at least 8 children. I do know that college is not a requirement for a successful life -- my husband has no degree, owns a business, and is quite successful in many ways.

 

This young man you refer to just does not sound like the sort that would fit into that way of life either -- as I cannot imagine their parents desiring them to be a rock start or skateboarder.

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I LOVE that! How true is that??

 

To the OP, just a reminder that not everyone homeschools for the same reasons. I don't homeschool to have my kids be academically superior to anyone. I homeschool because:

 

1. I absolutely love being with my children and am happy to be their main influence in life rather than peers which is the case in school where the students outnumber the adults.

 

2. I completely disagree with the schoolish institution that is today's educational expectation.

 

3. I agree with the previous poster who said that too many kids are shuffled through years of generalized education without ever given a chance to discover and pursue their dreams.

 

I'm still reeling from being called common! But I'm a happy commoner I guess! :D

 

:iagree:

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My dd's graduation is today and it will be fun, simple, within budget (reiterate the simple) and honoring of her- not a lot of hoopla, but about who she is. She still doesn't know "what to do with her life" and she'd rather cancel the party than celebrate the hard work and focus we've all poured into her life/education because she knows that that will be everyone's #1 question. Honestly, my dh, and I are o.k. with that and I'm praying that KB sees the wisdom of that. Putting together memontoes and "stuff"' to display for today I am overwhelmed at all that we've done and accomplished in the last couple of years. Besides really hitting some hard academics she's been politically active in several venues, been in 6 1/2 hour performances, done some amazing art work, developed as a photographer, written poetry and short stories that make you want to weep. She rocks. We've followed a different path so far with our kids, and as much as it would be easier to do the conventional thing now, I guess we're too far gone down the road of non-convention. A biz associate of my dh's made a trip to our house yesterday to give her a card and wanted to know her plans. We've done TONS of brainstorming but haven't landed on anything yet. He has 3 kids in their early 20's- 2 lawyers and 1 dentist. He just glowed as he told KB- "your family just follows a different drum. I have the greatest respect for you and, KB, I KNOW you'll go far in whatever you decdie to do." We were all so blessed.

If she wanted to be in a rock band or be a skate boarder right now, i'd say "go for it!" Just wear ear-plugs or a helmet. DREAM big, do the crazy. Now is the time for that. My oldest dd did and will leave on Tues for her 6th trip overseas, to spend a month in a gypsy village, she know 3 languages besides her own, has friends all over 2 continents and is bringing a lot of joy and hope to people who haven't seen much in life. All because she did the crazy, the non-conventional.

All of that being said, it's not easy to just hold fast and trust that it will all "work out." The conventional path is taken more frequently becasue it generally has given outcomes.

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To quote Baz Luhrmann:

 

"Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your

life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they

wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year

olds I know still don’t."

 

My dad is well into his fifties has changed careers many times. He was an American History major in college. He now works with computers. I wish I had taken some time off after high school but I was so so so focused on that you had to go to college that I just went. I loved my college experience but came out of it and realised two years later that I hated what I was doing. I had to go back to the drawing board. I don't regret the experience but I wish I had taken some more time to think and not just do.

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and not in a good way.

 

It was one child graduating. He seemed directionless. When asked what his future plans were, he mentioned the desire to be in a rock band. When asked what he might do if that didn't work out, he thought he might be a professional skateboarder.

 

The graduation was a casual affair, which is fine. However, his mother showed up in sloppy clothes and dirty hair. I know it was casual, but since when is showering optional?

 

Are these my kids' peers? Most of their peers are going to community college and plan to transfer to a four year school. I think community college is a common choice because of finances.

 

I graduated from a private high school where 100% of the class went to a four year college. In the last school newspaper of the school year, they printed the list of the graduates and the college they were planning on attending. In high school I was surrounded by people with goals and high aspirations.

 

On these forums, I saw someone quote a book that said parents of kids that were successful in school purposely surrounded themselves by other like-minded families. I completely agree with this philosophy. However, I've found this hard to find within the home schooling community. Last night was especially depressing.

 

While most graduations I've attended were not like this one, the kids still don't seem to be highly motivated. It usually, "I think I'll go to the junior college and figure out what I want to do." This is so foreign to the way I grew up.

 

Last night honestly makes me want to enroll my kid in a competitive private school so she can be surrounded by more motivated kids and a little more class.

 

Am I being a snob? Do I just need to keep holding my kids to a high standard and ignore this? Help, please!

 

I have to say that I agree with you. I worry that my dc don't fit in with the other homeschoolers around us. I worry that my dc will think that the low bar that is evident around us is OK for them too. And it's NOT OK. Now a low bar is very different than a gifted artist/musician trying to find his/her way. But what you're describing is a low bar with low expectations after graduation from home-school.

 

And I have been seeing the same thing around me A LOT this year. For example, the boy who, in his mother's words, "just didn't have the heart for college", so he's working at a call center and hanging out at the gym. Now it's fine to "not have a heart for college", but if this is the case, I believe that it is the job of the homeschooling parent to help the child find what he DOES have a heart for. Does he want to be a mechanic? Does he like carpentry? How about an electrician? He should be encouraged to develop a valuable, marketable skill. And picking up a phone and listening to someone complain is not a skill. It's a dead-end job.

 

I am also appalled at the number of home-school students around us who simply fail to complete high school. It's as though everybody (parents included) just kind of lose interest, and so just kind of let it drop.

 

In my opinion, that's a failure to parent and to educate.

 

My oldest dd (14) is very motivated. She loves literature and languages. She is already thinking about college. She also sees what's going on around her in both the home-school community, and the junior high, where she takes a couple of classes. She has asked me, "What are these guys going to do after school?" (high school) "They don't care about anything, and they don't work for anything."

 

So even a 14 yr old can see that many of her "peers" are headed down a dead-end path. It is not only in homeschooling. It is everywhere. It's just that I expected more from home-schoolers. But obviously, there are as many reasons to homeschool as there are homeschoolers.

 

Incidentally, the only place that my dd feels at home with her peers is in her on-line classes. Those kids are bright, motivated, and thoughtful. So I'm so thankful that we live in a world so full of options like home-schooling and on-line classes.

 

Jackie, who is now going to get ready for church, and take cover from all the missiles that are sure to come her way. :001_huh:

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Just another side....

What ever happened to all those motivated kids you knew?

Did every single one of them reach their goal?

How many of them changed their majors?

And - I am assuming that for most of these kids money was not an obstacle.

 

I wonder if the mom was depressed. Anyone recently die in her family? Who knows?

 

What I seem to see around me is that all these kids are gung ho and then they get to college and change their majors or quit. Some kids take a few years on the basics while they figure out what they want to major in.

 

I have a BSW (Social Work) and an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing).

The first degree cost me a ton of money and does nothing for me.

Years later I went back for nursing.

Sometimes kids should wait and figure out what they want to do before going to a four year college.

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The way you describe it, this boy just has no passion about his future. My homeschool goal is to produce graduates who are able to chase whatever passion they have, whether that means they become the best lawyer they can be, or the best skateboarder (with the least broken bones, please :D).

 

I would be much more disappointed with a lack of excitement and passion than I would an... unconventional path.

 

 

The lack of passion and focus is what I find most disturbing. If you have the passion, you will go far, even if the path isn't straight.

 

I've been skeptical about CC myself. Where I grew up they just seemed like another version of high school. However, I am slowly starting to see the benefit.

 

That said, I would still be stressed if my kids didn't go to a 4-year university!:D

 

Kelly

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I've been skeptical about CC myself. Where I grew up they just seemed like another version of high school. However, I am slowly starting to see the benefit.

 

That said, I would still be stressed if my kids didn't go to a 4-year university!:D

 

Kelly

 

Well, it seems you have an opinion about something you have never actually tried. I did take a course (statistics) at my local CC during a summer in between semesters. It was just like a course at Va Tech in terms of quality and instructor capability.

 

Not everyone wants to spend $60,000 on college. Sure, scholarships are available, and that could help, but for families opposed to accepting state aid (above and beyond the fact that a school may be a state school to begin with) for college, CC can be a great help.

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I would have probably felt the same way after something like that. I am concerned as well as my oldest is entering 8th grade this year. We are blessed that she has homeschool friends in our hs group that have future college/tech. plans, and that they will all graduate within a year or so of each other. Keep working hard, and doing what you are doing, and your child will be fine. Obviously you care alot about what happens since you wrote this post! My oldest is turning 13 this summer, but we are already discussing college plans and options. Not overdoing it, but just getting it into her mind to plant the seeds for the future!

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..I escaped.

I do continue to learn and educate myself.

 

I too want my kids to get all the skills they need to live a good life, and education is important because it opens up options we might not otherwise have.

 

That doesn't mean every teen who is directionless and lost and moody and lacks ambition is heading to a healthy place but I think we need to cut them some slack if they dont know what they want to do, or where they are going, and just let them know we believe in them and that they are capable of following their dreams.

 

very well spoken :)

 

who has in their sig "Not all who wander are lost" ???

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Ok I don't think you are being unrealistic. Infact, recently I attended a homeschool event and most of the kids were unpolished and quite rowdy, we didn't return. I have no intention of letting my kids hang out with them. I am not being a snot- it just wasn't our cup of tea, so to speak.

 

I think your expectation for your kids are all that matters. I didn't want to be linked to that group anymore than you want to believe your son or dd will grow up and want to be in a rock band. I do worry about the ramifications of homeschoolers- but know this..there are plenty of kids between 18-30 that are doing nothing with their lives.

 

What matters is what you are doing with your children!~!

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Diva's 'peers' are her sibs. Those are really the only ones that are having the same education, same background, etc as she does. Every homeschooler has a different view, even if its just the slightest degree. SpecialMama and I are very, very similar in most ways, but even then our dds are different ages, different experiences, different sib numbers, etc. While SpecialMama's dd and Diva are peers in many ways, they're very much individuals too. Neither SpecialMama nor I expect our dds to reflect each others, or use the others as a reflection. I don't honestly see why any homeschooler would. I thought that was one of the biggest strengths of homeschooling, the acknowlegement of the unique individual in every student. Why would what one family/student/mother be doing/saying/appearing be of any impact to your own personal situation or child? I just honestly don't understand the reason for concern.

 

Maybe I just need more coffee :001_huh:

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Just another side....

What ever happened to all those motivated kids you knew?

Did every single one of them reach their goal?

How many of them changed their majors?

 

 

Some kids are going to have trial and error, some are going to change their majors. I'm not speaking for the OP, but I doubt she is really upset that kids don't all settle down into nice careers right out of school.

 

I would feel disappointed if my child had no academic or professional interests or aspirations. I wouldn't feel disappointed if he changed his mind some on the way. But I hope that my efforts to educate my children will pay off in terms of having children with a great deal of intellectual curiosity. That doesn't have to translate into a particular career path or college plan. If my child were really excited about something and then changes his mind, I would feel okay about that. The lack of any interests in further learning would bother me.

 

But I still think, as I said in my first post, that a lot of kids this age resent the constant questions about their plans from near strangers. It gets old. Maybe he has much more challenging plans than those he chose to share, but he just didn't feel required to play the, 'What are you going to do with your future, young man?" game.

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Sometimes kids should wait and figure out what they want to do before going to a four year college.

 

:iagree: I picked a career plan straight out of hs. I was proud that I had it all figured out. I had NO CLUE that that career was just not fitting with my personality. While I'm glad I have a degree, I wish I would have spent some time figuring things out before making that decision. I have no desire to ever go back to that career, so I'll probably one day go back to school. :glare:

 

I have a wonderfully intelligent, amazing nephew. He took his first year out of hs off and travelled throughout Europe, much to the chagrine of extended family but the support of his parents. Before that, he thought he wanted to be an attorney (I had a gut feeling he'd be a missionary). After travelling Europe, he realizes that God has called him to missions. He took the time to think.

 

Like Night Elf said, I do this for many other reasons aside from education. I don't agree with institutional schools. I like my kids and want to be with them. I don't like too much peer influence. I want to influence their spiritual lives and teach them to walk with God. I DO want them to have a good education, but there are many levels to what we're trying to do here, not just provide a good education.

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IMHO... I would be sad for whatever is going on with the mom's issue of not being clean...

 

In terms of the kid...well I personally have not met many moms or families that share my committment to giving my yahoos a strong academic foundation. What I like about forums such as this hearing from other moms who are looking at "well training" their kids.

 

I am an afterschooler and not a full time home schooler. I have not many any homeschoolers or afterschoolers yet here in my area that I have clicked with...most seem a little off to me. Yet that being said, I also have not met anyone at my yahoos public school who I have clicked with either. None share my passion of educating kids.

 

The only place I have found shared commonality is here a couple other like minded forums and at the local Kumon center. We go to Kumon twice a week and it is soooooo refreshing to talk with other moms who like me are on a path to build a strong educational foundation for our kids.

 

Am I a snob? Oh yeah....you betcha! Am I an education snob? Oh yeah and so are my yahoos. They are learning to take pride in "learning" and with what they know.

 

I believe it is my job to teach my kids and prepare them to face the world without me someday. I will give them all of the tools to build their foundation but it will be their job to make something out of it when they leave the next. Hopefully they will do something that affords them a great lifestyle and brings them much joy. What it might be? Time will tell.....

 

Alicia in Sacto with twins ....we should meet up some time....

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I would have no problem with my kids aspiring to be a rock star or a professional skateboarder...as long as they approached it with some sobriety. How are they preparing themselves for their vocation of choice? Do they have a band that they're successfully marketing, or are they making connections with other musicians? Are they not only skateboarding, but also working out, seeking endorsements, familiarizing themselves with their competition and what the best skateboarders are doing?

 

But that's not what I hear the OP saying--she appears to be describing a child who lacks passion and direction coming from a family who fails to celebrate his academic achievements. I have seen some of that but the vast majority of HS families I know are deeply committed to academic excellence and identifying and encouraging their childrens' passions and gifts. So I don't think this family is characteristic of HS families and I think if you look hard enough (and maybe go outside the common avenues) you should be able to find like-minded families.

 

Also, saying that CC is "a common choice" is not the same thing as calling a person who attends CC common. I think that statement has been misinterpreted.

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But that's not what I hear the OP saying--she appears to be describing a child who lacks passion and direction coming from a family who fails to celebrate his academic achievements.

 

I agree with you that the OP is describing one individual who lacks direction. But I read the OP as the OP wants to weep and possibly enroll her children in private school a) because this particular individual is a "peer" of her own children and b) because most of the graduates are enrolling in community colleges instead of four-year colleges.

 

I understand wanting to surround oneself with like-minded families with children who have particular academic goals. I believe that's important and even commendable.

 

I do not understand wanting to weep for those who don't have the same goals. Nor do I understand the leap from most graduates enrolling in community colleges to an assumption of low standards, lack of class or lack of motivation.

 

Cat

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Well I attended a small home school graduation.

The one girl had act score of 24 and got a full scholarship to a local community college. She wants do be a historical actor.

 

The second boy says he want to attend a big university in this state and become a landscape architect. I know this family. He never finished a algebra course. I doubt he does this but t sounded good at the graduation ceremony.

 

The third girl I didn't know her or her parents. She wants to work in finance. She was well groomed

 

Her parents looked like unclean homeless people. I don't know the situation. The grandparents may be the ones educating her. I just tell you I felt so embarrassed for her.

 

The whole point is every graduation ceremony. Well its just ceremony. I didn't have clue at 18. I know so many people with degrees, that they never even worked in the field.

 

The second part.

 

My son is a gifted musician. He has taught himself several instruments. He really want to play in a band. He is 15 yo. I initially was not supportive. The adult in me knows that the odds of musicians finding work with steady and decent pay are few and far between.

 

He and I have talked alot about the future. He realize the more he matures that music is his joy but he might need other skills to provide for home and food.

He is currently considering a computer degree. The point is he is thinking like adult. I hope his dreams as a musician will come true but he is using his head planning for the future.

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Oh Oh...let me answer this!

 

I also went to a private highschool. Most of the kids went to 4 year colleges. Out of the 21 kids in our graduating class, the Valedictorian had a brain aneurysm at 19 and is now completely paralyzed. The Salutatorian was my boyfriend. He made straight A's all through school (grade school too!) and scored at 32 on his ACT. Sadly, he dropped out of an ivy league college after one semester to continue his drug habit. Then he went to the marines where he was kicked out for drug use. I think he finally finished college when he was around 28 or so. Me, I went to a 4 year college, all motivated to get my doctorate and teach English I was 4th in my graduating class...not sure what happened to #3). I came out 4 years later with a BA and a BABY.

 

Most of my classmates in that little private highschool had high hopes at 18 only to find that life changed and their plans changed. It is great to shoot for the moon, but just because you do doesn't mean you are gonna land there.

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It does seem that the kid is a little directionless, however, I think in our society too much is made of being passionate about what you do, about finding the perfect job. We think everyone should have big dreams and find their calling. It's kind of the same thing about finding the perfect "Harlequin Romance"-type spouse. It's a nice idea, but not at all realistic for most people. Most people, IMO, have gifts and talents in certain areas and could be good at a variety of jobs. Jobs that they would enjoy and find satisfaction in, but not necessarily be passionate about, and that's ok. But this idea of blowing a career's importance all out of proportion is crazy and puts a lot of pressure on a young person. Whatever happened to a liberal arts degree? Why are 4 year universities all the sudden glorified trade schools? You have to know what you're doing when you get in so you take all the right classes! I could have 2 college degrees with all the units I graduated with, because I changed my major a couple times. Back in the day, most people didn't have a whole lot of choices - they either did what their folks did, or they were apprenticed out. Now, there are so many choices, it's not wonder we have a lot of directionless 20-somethings who haven't graduated college yet.

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I agree with you that the OP is describing one individual who lacks direction. But I read the OP as the OP wants to weep and possibly enroll her children in private school a) because this particular individual is a "peer" of her own children and b) because most of the graduates are enrolling in community colleges instead of four-year colleges.

 

I understand wanting to surround oneself with like-minded families with children who have particular academic goals. I believe that's important and even commendable.

 

I do not understand wanting to weep for those who don't have the same goals. Nor do I understand the leap from most graduates enrolling in community colleges to an assumption of low standards, lack of class or lack of motivation.

 

Cat

 

Yeah, I get that. I've seen "homeschooled" kids that I wanted to weep for, one in particular who played computer games 15 hours a day (this is not an exaggeration). I see nothing wrong with CC (I graduated from one and postponed further education) but there's a big difference between wanting to live at home or save money and not having any plans or ambition.

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My dd's graduation is today and it will be fun, simple, within budget (reiterate the simple) and honoring of her- not a lot of hoopla, but about who she is. She still doesn't know "what to do with her life" and she'd rather cancel the party than celebrate the hard work and focus we've all poured into her life/education because she knows that that will be everyone's #1 question. Honestly, my dh, and I are o.k. with that and I'm praying that KB sees the wisdom of that. Putting together memontoes and "stuff"' to display for today I am overwhelmed at all that we've done and accomplished in the last couple of years. Besides really hitting some hard academics she's been politically active in several venues, been in 6 1/2 hour performances, done some amazing art work, developed as a photographer, written poetry and short stories that make you want to weep. She rocks. We've followed a different path so far with our kids, and as much as it would be easier to do the conventional thing now, I guess we're too far gone down the road of non-convention. A biz associate of my dh's made a trip to our house yesterday to give her a card and wanted to know her plans. We've done TONS of brainstorming but haven't landed on anything yet. He has 3 kids in their early 20's- 2 lawyers and 1 dentist. He just glowed as he told KB- "your family just follows a different drum. I have the greatest respect for you and, KB, I KNOW you'll go far in whatever you decdie to do." We were all so blessed.

If she wanted to be in a rock band or be a skate boarder right now, i'd say "go for it!" Just wear ear-plugs or a helmet. DREAM big, do the crazy. Now is the time for that. My oldest dd did and will leave on Tues for her 6th trip overseas, to spend a month in a gypsy village, she know 3 languages besides her own, has friends all over 2 continents and is bringing a lot of joy and hope to people who haven't seen much in life. All because she did the crazy, the non-conventional.

All of that being said, it's not easy to just hold fast and trust that it will all "work out." The conventional path is taken more frequently becasue it generally has given outcomes.

 

:001_smile:

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: I got disallusioned in highschool. I was going to a Christian private school, a school with a good reputation. I wasn't real strong academically because we moved so much when I was growing up that I had a lot of gaps. But I was there and trying hard. Well, it was a town with a big hospital, and the doctor's kids ruled the roost. The teachers gave them privileges, talked about how great these kids were, gave them high scores on their schoolwork, etc. ad nauseum! These same kids were the bullies and drug-pushers, but were never called on it because it was their parents that were supporting the school. My parents were both working (Mom-nurse, Dad-Respitory Therapist) nights and double shifts often times, to pay for this "Good, Christian Education." I had 2 really good teachers--one was the choir/voice teacher. He loved what he did and loved helping the students learn, and encouraged them to exceed others expectations and just shine. The other was the Biology teacher. An interesting aside--he was my Biology teacher in 10th grade, and my aunt's 10th grade biology teacher 30 years earlier hundreds of miles away! Cool! But I digress.....

 

At any rate, I got fed up with the lack of values, even in our Bible teacher. He taught one thing, but did not live it, and it bothered me VERY MUCH. When I was 17, just a few months into my Junior year, I asked my parents if I could drop out. I didn't want them working hard to put me through a school that I greatly disliked, and really wasn't learning from! I was spending more and more time at my job. I worked as an aid in a nursing home on weekends and even started working some afternoon shifts during the week. I liked that WAY more than going to school! They let me do that! I took the highschool equiv. test (you had to be 18 to take the GED), passed, and worked for the next year and a half. I went to college the same year I would have if I would've finished highschool and graduated. I struggled the first year, wasn't sure what to major in, but eventually dug in and graduated with an education degree.

 

So I could've been one of those without direction who wasn't neccessarily headed for college, I mean, after all, I didn't even graduate!:eek: Many who clucked their tongues at my parents for allowing me to do that, well, their kids ended up doing drugs, and having many problems.

 

The thing is, kids sometimes have their own goals. What if they choose not to go to college, but travel for a year, and THEN decide, or something like that? Will you be disappointed in them? If we are trying to teach our students to be successful, strong individuals, then wouldn't that include being honest about ambitions? If the child sees opportunities in things other than going to a 4-year college, will you be disappointed in them? That disappointment comes across as not accepting or loving them, or truly allowing them to be an individual, which then can cause it's own problems! It just worries me what will happen if all your children don't fall into the path you have pre-planned for them! I've heard people say it's not right that Lawyers or doctors, or whatever profession, expect and force their kids to be what they are! Yet, they think it's okay to force a kid to go to a 4 year college, because that's what they did! Is that any better?

 

Not saying anyone here is doing that, it's just food for thought....

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I am sorry you had rotten experience. We all want to be encouraged & motivated by the success of others around us in the homeschool community.

 

I have not read all the replies, but I want to say that you are jumping to HUGE conclusions about homeschooling based upon this experience. It is a melting pot of people... like everything else.

 

If you go to ANY public or private school today..... you will find lazy, unmotivated, and even undereducated students. WE have watched HONORs students graduate from private high schools talking about loving to watch movies (no other interest, studies or hobbies) and going to the families favorite university (based on sports) with ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what they will major in or do.

 

As for homeschooling, be stong!!!.... You are in charge of your kids curriculum, activities & peer groups. If you see issues that alarm you, change them. You can do it and you can do it gently & honestly.

 

We have a local "outstanding" college prep high school that offers music lessons for their students. NOT one of the piano students made it into any championship competitions.... but 12 (almost every one of them) of the homeschoolers recieved outstanding at the regional and 5 at the state competitions (same teacher/ same opportunities).

 

It is all in how you look at it & where you are putting your children. You will motivate them wAY MORE than a school environment (which can be equally destructive). You can push them to be involved with organizations, get jobs to learn about life, and study harder curriculums. Challenging themselves & not just trying to out-do Jane across the class is much more rewarding to many.

 

Remember also... there are a 1000 different reasons to homeschool: academic freedom, pursuit of excellence, special education needs, focust on arts or sciences, family travel/demands, on & on. ONE group are those who have kids who get kicked out of schools (or can't get along with anyone) & they have no where else to turn to comply with the law. (These children will not be successful at home or in the classroom until great changes occur in their heart & mind).

 

Hang in there. ;) I am sure you are doing a million times better b/c you are paying attention. Sorry this was rotten... but it isn't all of us. And there are kids with huge issues in every group!

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In this case, this student isn't a particularly talented musician or skateboarder. It seems like these choices seemed like the most interesting options at the time.

 

No, not everyone knows what they'd like to do for the next fifty years when they're eighteen years old. But, honestly, I'd be disappointed if my kids had no idea of a *general* direction whether it's college, traveling, or working.

 

When I graduated from high school, the price of my private college tuition, room, board, and books was less than the current cost of private high school tuition. Most of my classmates likely didn't consider junior college as the cost of a university was not unreasonable. I do see the need for junior college as an option today.

 

Also, I said that junior college is a "common" choice today. I did not mean that it was a choice for "commoners." I meant that it was a choice that was "frequent" or common today. I think most people were able to figure that out but thought I'd clarify.

 

When I think about my classmates, I know a college professor, high school teacher, Air Force officer, social worker, doctor, business owner and so on. I'm sure some of them are now in professions that differ from their college degree. My point is that when we were in high school, we were encouraged to consider our future.

 

Just as posts on this board that show high standards encourage those of us reading those posts to reach to a new level, the same can happen with our kids.

 

I was surrounded by kids with ambition and focus. That is my desire for my kids. My original post meant to say that I am discouraged to find out that this is not the case.

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I was surrounded by kids with ambition and focus. That is my desire for my kids. My original post meant to say that I am discouraged to find out that this is not the case.
This makes sense! I hope that with some more searching you can find that! I understand where you're coming from with that statement: My parents are great, but more or less expect things to be done for them, sit and play card games or whatever, and never were very successful. As much as I love them, if I had to choose aa different place to live, I'd choose to live near my in-laws. They're great people, like my parents, but have a healthy work ethic, strong goals that they work (and have worked) hard to achieve, and are NOT lazy. Those are the types of values I'd like my kids to see and emmulate!
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I went to a homeschool graduation today too.

 

I believe there were about 15 students...I think we see this same variety in almost any graduating class. Homeschoolers are a sampling of society in general, I do believe.

 

As this relates to the OP's question...I think a sampling of 15 is much more telling than an example of *one*.

 

I can't see getting worked up about one child, displaying a little uncertainty.

 

That said...I do look forward to attending the co-op we've joined, next year, and one of the reasons is that it's generally geared towards a college prep mentality. They've even switched the second meeting day, in part because it will make things easier for the kids who are dually enrolled.

 

I don't think it's necessary to have a peer group that's focused on the future, but I do believe it might help some kids, some of the time. That's my hope for one of my older kids, anyway. (The other came up with goals on his own, and would probably not miss this sort of thing at all.)

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If one equates success in life with a degree and social status, well, we should all be making sure our kids get to college no matter what. But that's not success, really, and although everyone pays lip service to deeper values than that, it's very easy to get caught there...I too want my kids to get all the skills they need to live a good life, and education is important because it opens up options we might not otherwise have....I think we need to cut them some slack if they dont know what they want to do, or where they are going, and just let them know we believe in them and that they are capable of following their dreams. I know I sound idealistic, but if everyone was "successful" in the normal sense, the world would be a boring place, and it would also make that sort of success meaningless.

 

Word up. :D

 

When I mentioned my excitement about joining an academically minded, college prep oriented co-op next year, I should have qualified it with the disclaimer that in the absence of that...I'd have no problem going it alone, at home.

 

While this co-op is great, academically...it's only one day a week. (My kids are going on the second day, too, but only for math help). We're still free to develop those positives that come from homeschooling (I believe), the rest of the time, and if I were going to err...I'd rather err on the side of encouraging curiosity, and raising kids who will seek out what fulfills them, career and life-choice-wise, rather than putting them in a rigorous, full-time school option. (Not saying you can't do that with kids in a rigorous, full-time school...just saying I don't know that *our* family could, and do it *well*).

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