Trust The Children

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm Too Dumb / She's Too Dumb

Reaching Out

I was preparing to speak at a home schooling conference. I decided to interview a few dads to find out their take on home schooling. Some were already home schooling. Some had home schooled and quit. Some hadn't even considered home schooling. I wanted to know what their take was on the topic. The hope was that I would get straight forward unedited comments. For the most part, I think I did.

A number of reasons came up why not to home school, but one stuck out for me. Nearly every father, expressed at one point or another during the interview that he doubted if his wife was capable of "teaching" his children. It came out in different ways but the concern was nearly universal. Some admitted that in reality, they themselves felt inadequate. I suppose that imprinted itself on the spouse.

The conference came and went. We had a open house inviting neighbors and friends to find out more about home schooling. I am sitting in my office the next day. Looking out the window, one of our open house friends and her son came marching across the grass and up to the front door. In they came, asking, "Mark, do you have a few minutes? Would you help me find what my sons interests are?" I said sure and began asking questions. It wasn't long before we were on the phone to some resources I had and within a few minutes, he was off and running with ideas in an area that he is excited about. For that moment at least, this was one excited young man.

Conclusion? Some parents might not be smart enough to teach a subject or two. There might even be parents who can't teach very much at all. But, leaving aside the self directed nature of learning for most children, almost every parent is smart enough to FIND SOMEONE who is smart enough. That's what happened with this friend of ours and her son is better for it. Personally, I think she is a pretty smart lady.


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