Homeschooling; How Creating Thinkers Leads to Passionate Adults not Afraid to Lead

Again this week I was asked by a woman why I had homeschooled my four children some 20 years ago. The answer that stands out clearly in my mind is that I wanted to help my children become thinking adults ready to solve problems and live life with passion. I am happy to say that I did accomplish my mission and I see evidence of this in discussions we have about their work and social lives. My children approach each day thrilled to see what it will bring and ready to get the most out of it knowing that a balance between fun and work is imperative. This makes me feel lucky because now their enthusiasm for what they do and experience fuels my desire to create and live life fully. My children now encourage me to do more and to never stop learning; what a phenomenal gift.

How did this adventure begin? For those of you who have read my book I won’t elaborate and list all of our reasons to homeschool but will cite the one that stands out over and over in my mind. My oldest daughter, who had taught herself to read before entering kindergarten, wanted to share her love of stories with other children and so she read to her classmates during free time. This landed her very quickly in the “think about chair” and started a huge battle with her teacher. I could just not get past the fact that a child was being punished for wanting to share her knowledge; and therefore, being taught to not use what she had learned.

Our family from that point on strove to teach our children that to think for oneself and gain knowledge was imperative to being productive members of society. We also encouraged our children to politely question all opinions whether they were put forth by their peers or adults. This was a novel idea for many adults my children met but it led to great discussions and learning that had no age boundaries. These situations also were great sessions that promoted thinking and forced my children to look beyond their own ideas. What this did was lead to self-discovery and a thirst to learn more.

I could write and discuss this topic further but blogs are not supposed to go on forever, so I will close by reiterating that being thinkers has created leadership skills in my children and I feel this is one of the most important qualities we need to engender in our children. My oldest son had an idea, so he ran with it and started his own company knowing he had the will to persevere and put his business training to use. The early reader, my oldest daughter, still loves to teach others it seems. She is employed by a well-known international retailer and trains management staff. My youngest son was a quiet and sensitive person, who was a voracious reader and observer of people. He now is a published author, president of his master’s program class and on his way to becoming a professor in his own right. The artist of the family, my youngest, volunteered in Africa this summer to figure out if teaching others was her life’s work. The experience was great but it also taught her that teaching is not where her path lies and she will finish college this year heading into her chosen career of counseling.

My reason for sharing what my grown children are doing is not to sing their praises but to let every parent know that all children can follow their passions in life, become lovers of learning and not shy away from a life’s challenges. I believe this is due to the self-confidence my children developed during their homeschooling years and the idea we all work to live by, which is don’t wait for someone else to solve a problem for you. Life requires you to jump in and make things happen. All parents can impart these ideals to their children and then enjoy having their children share this enthusiasm later in life. It definitely fuels my desire to keep learning and get the most out of each day.

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