|Are We, as Homeschoolers, Doing Enough?|
The latest homeschooling fad is the discussion of whether we are doing enough. Whether in a blog post, a popular book, or a real-life discussion, the gist is always the same:
"Are you insecure, guilty, worried that you're not doing enough?"
"Do you think your kids deserve more?"
"Are you 'enough?'"
"Do you feel inadequate?"
The answer is always the same, and goes something like this:
"Kids need time to play!"
"You need 'me' time!"
"YOU are more than enough!"
"Public schools don't finish the book, either!"
"You don't want to stress your child out!"
"Your child might begin to hate learning if you require too much of her!"
Have you ever heard a single argument from someone who is in favor of homeschool, but says that maybe we're NOT doing enough?
And that makes me suspect that maybe we're dealing more with a "politically correct" attitude that permits no open discussion, rather than honestly assessing the situation.
We're in danger of becoming like the citizens of Lake Woebegone, where everyone thinks of him or herself as "above average" ; )
Decades ago, my Mom, of Blessed Memory, was a public school teacher. She told me one of her teaching secrets one day, when I was still a child. It is a bit of wisdom that has stuck with me for the rest of my life.
She told me that if a student walked up to her, paper in hand, and asked her if it was "good enough" she never doubted what answer to give.
The answer was always, and certainly "No."
As a child, I was shocked and horrified.
"YOU DIDN'T EVEN CHECK TO SEE HOW GOOD IT WAS, MOM?" I demanded
"No, I didn't have to," she replied, with full confidence.
"But why, Mom?"
"Because there is only one reason a child would walk up to me and ask if his work was good enough - and that would be because he was trying to get away with less than his best," She declared.
Then she continued: "When a child has done his best, he would always walk up and say, 'Hey, teacher, look what I did!'" not 'Is this good enough?' When the children had done their best, they didn't need to ask!"
How does this apply to homeschoolers?
God's standard isn't "Do as much as the public school." or "Do what you can get by with" or even "Do enough to beat everyone else on the college entrance exams." or "Make sure your kid is at least better than the neighbor kid" but rather, it is:
"23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)
If we are obeying this command, we are doing "enough" - even if our kid has learning challenges and is 5 grades behind.
And if we're not obeying this command, we're NOT doing enough - even if our kid were to be so "gifted" that he is 5 grades ahead!
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