October 8, 2013

Pondering a Remark

Photo by Steve - because fall is my favorite
The photo has nothing to do with my post - I just love it.  Steve took it last week near our home.  He's amazing like that.

Anyway - I'm pondering a remark that someone made to me during a conversation this past weekend.  In one sense I find it amusing and in another, slightly terrifying.
The remark happened when I mentioned one of my favorite topics - home schooling.  For those of you who aren't aware, we home educate our children and are now in our 12th year of schooling at home,
I believe my children are bright and funny, well-read, articulate (usually) and thoughtful, caring, kind, generally responsible, etc, etc, etc.  Basically pretty great young adults that are seeking to follow Christ.  At this point I'm pretty close to feeling like - Lord willing and by God's amazing grace - they are going to be successful adults in whatever plans God has for their lives.

So - back to the conversation.  I was talking with someone who teaches public school for a living. 
I mentioned that we home school and nodded toward my daughter who is almost 16 now and a junior in high school. 
The other person looked at J and looked back at me and said "I don't think I could ever do that. I think I would put too much pressure on myself."
I replied that there are lots of resources for the academics, but our goal is to raise young adults in Christ for God's glory and it isn't really about the numbers at all.  I said that our primary academic goal is mastery/excellence and having them know how to learn and do things - not just perform on tests. Then I added my standard line - as a parent you teach your children a ton before they are 5 years old anyway (walking, talking, using the potty, eating with a fork, saying please/thank you and to not hit/bite their friends), the academics just build from there.  The other person just sort of looked at me stunned and shook their head.

I was amused because this person teaches other people's children for money.  It is their job. Yet they feel there would be too much pressure to teach their own child(ren)?  That seems funny to me.  Wouldn't you think the pressure would come from the fact that you take money from someone to do something well? 

The terrifying part is that this person teaches other people's children for money.  It is their job.  Yet they don't feel the same pressure for something that they do for a paycheck that they imagine would be there for their own child(ren)? 

Standard disclaimer - Given the nature of the topic - I always add this part:  I fully realize that not everyone feels called by God to home educate their children.  I also realize that there are good and bad home school parents and public school teachers alike.  I am NOT making a judgement of people who make a different choice from our family - only stating that this choice makes sense for our family and our situation and according to what we know God wants from us as parents and as a family.