Family & Education

Homeschooling to Individual Success

BY Jennifer Cabrera TIMEAugust 23, 2022 PRINT

Homeschooling is equally amazing and horrifying to new parents jumping ship from public or private schools.

Hoping to provide their children with a safe and individualized education, parents are escaping a dominating ocean liner of an education system—a one-size-fits-all cruise serving a mediocre stale buffet line of homogenous courses and conformity.

But once overboard, parents must start constructing their own seaworthy vessel to set sail on their family’s educational journey. With hopes for a yacht, it often begins as a dingy full of holes and an effort to find their sea legs while adrift in an ocean of possibilities.

Models of Learning

Suddenly overwhelmed with the freedom to enrich or ruin their kids, parents quickly begin looking for a proven mold or model to follow to ensure homeschool success.

“Which homeschool method is best for college-bound kids?”

“Which curriculum do most successful homeschool parents use?”

“How do we ensure that our kids will be as competitive as possible in the professional world?”

“We don’t want to be that weird, unsocialized homeschool family doing everything differently!”

Ironically, they begin veering their ship back toward the rigid designs and protocols from which they were escaping.

But parents shouldn’t abandon the chance to homeschool their children to their individual potential simply for homeschool conformity, false assurances, or their own egos and desires. Not every kid can, will, or even wants to become a scholar, doctor, or lawyer. And neither kids nor homeschooling curricula come with a guarantee of such achievements.

Even if you set up their college savings account during Lamaze classes or scheduled three ACT prep courses per year starting in the 7th grade, there’s no guarantee of academic and life success when choosing between public school and homeschooling.

However, homeschooling allows parents to immediately right their ship and address and fix problems as they arise. The public school system can’t make changes quickly, and certainly not individually. Also, there are as many unique learning styles as there are kids in assigned seats in schools. Sadly, institutions consider all but one or two of those styles to be signs of inadequacy.

Luckily, it’s unnecessary and counterproductive to recreate that classroom atmosphere at home. The ability of parents to remain moldable as teachers and resource providers for their children through their different learning seasons, needs, and goals makes homeschooling the educational option more likely to be successful.

Epoch Times Photo
(Biba Kayewich)

What Is Homeschool Success Anyway?

Is it getting your kids to sit down, focus, and learn in traditional ways but under parent supervision? Is it keeping up with or outdoing their public school counterparts? Full scholarships to top universities? Publications and patented inventions by age 17?

Homeschool success is certainly not pulling kids from one cage and creating another, more parentally soothing one for them at home. Successful homeschooling comes when we stop trying to shove our kids into a mold that worked for someone else. It’s getting to know each of our kids personally, and realizing that their interests, strengths, struggles, and charming but sometimes annoying habits are road signs pointing to the niche that God intends them to fill.

Within one homeschool family, each kid may engage learning in a completely different manner. One may obsess over every assignment, seeking perfection in all they do. Another may work diligently with less perfection but for more free time for hobbies and interests. A third may be adamantly against all things related to schoolwork, wasting hours butting heads with parents who haven’t yet embraced the freedom to personalize their children’s education.

What Success Looks Like

But when parents do let go and homeschool for individual success, amazingly unique, productive people emerge from their homes. Consider these examples:

Homeschool success is a restless kid who hasn’t lost that twinkle in his eye from forced idleness but is allowed to pursue what drives him. It’s capitalizing on his urge to work with his hands and test things till they break, realizing he’s a doer, a builder, an implementor, or an inspector. Maybe he’s a future craftsman, tradesman, or mechanical engineer. Allowing for more hands-on, visual learning, strong in science and vocational skills training, out of a chair and into the real world, will help him find his way—his success.

Homeschool success is the time a self-driven teen uses, after completing his general studies, to research, read for pleasure, or study a variety of topics for no other reason than wonder (though that might lead to a career interest). It’s the time a kid can use to teach himself computer programming in multiple coding languages; to become a math tutor for other, struggling students; or to start college courses early, saving money and precious time. It’s parents realizing this child is a thinker, a researcher, or a developer, and that unscripted free-study time will lead him to success.

Homeschooling success is allowing a teen who finds their passion early to step outside of traditional textbooks and lectures and begin their career skills and training as soon as possible. It’s parents realizing that the school system they worried about leaving would’ve hindered their driven child. Individual homeschool success is the drive and opportunity for a child to earn a pilot’s license at age 17, an early giant leap in the long road to becoming an international airline pilot someday. Or a teen musician mastering four instruments, performing in concert, starting her own business teaching piano lessons, directing her own stage productions, and preparing for college as an already accomplished music major.

Above all, homeschool success is a child who is growing his or her academic strengths and personal interests, and developing real social skills, moral responsibility, and integrity grounded in truth.

Individual homeschool success happens when parents forget about following a general model and let their kids show them who they are individually and what unique gifts they have to offer the world.

Then parents can design their homeschool to each kid’s style of learning and what drives him or her, always seeking experiences and opportunities outside traditional classroom settings to fuel talents and interests.

Homeschooling can be as personalized as a prosthetic leg, useless to all except the one it was designed for who will use it to conquer mountains.

Jennifer Cabrera is the writer and author at HifalutinHomeschooler.com, cohost of "The Homeschool Solutions Show" podcast, and writes for Homeschooling Today Magazine. She is a physician assistant, and holds a master's degree in public health, but found that homeschooling her three boys was everything she never knew she always wanted to do.
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