There is no homeschool guarantee.
Bringing up kids is challenging no matter how they are educated. Homeschooling can do a lot to help kids get off to a good start academically, socially, and emotionally. There are many successful homeschooling graduates who have gone on to excel in their work, in higher education, and in service to their communities.
They are musicians, blacksmiths, college professors, firefighters, software engineers, nurses, restaurant managers, physicians, athletes, surveyors, entrepreneurs, dancers, scientists, and business leaders.
And that’s just a few of the homeschool grads I know off the top of my head.
Homeschooling is a fair amount of trouble, so it’s reassuring when we see these successful young adult homeschoolers.
Homeschooling has no guarantee. Some homeschooled kids still have problems, and they have problems after they enter adulthood.
Their parents have the same challenge as other parents — embracing the understanding that how their kids turn out is beyond their control.
There is freewill, there are genetic factors, there are circumstances.
There are relationships, addictions, growing pains, crises. There are missed opportunities, distractions, illnesses, accidents.
There are gifts, passions that cannot be denied, and bills to pay. There are bad cars, bad bosses, and bad luck.
And good luck.
And hard work.
There are friends, perfect fall days for pickup soccer, endless supplies of Lego bricks, Stevie Ray Vaughan riffs, and prayers.
In other words, life is messy, and homeschooling is part of life.
Homeschooling does indeed provide amazing time and space for kids to learn. With Engaged Homeschooling techniques, kids have outstanding opportunities to develop their best selves.
But these selves are their own.
Homeschooling is an investment, yes. But you’ve heard the fast talking disclaimer at the end of the radio commercials for financial investments, right?
“Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.”
A lot of people have done well with homeschooling. A lot of parents love creating a homeschooling lifestyle and have full confidence in the effectiveness of homeschooling because they’ve seen it work.
This represents some of the “past performance” of homeschooling.
But if you’re looking for a guarantee from homeschooling, keep looking.
The homeschool guarantee is just as real as the guarantee from public schools and the guarantee from private schools.
Better then, to focus on the process of learning and loving than to over-focus on our kids as our products.
Back when we owned a horse farm, we had a good reputation for taking skinny and uncooperative horses whose owners had “tried everything” and making them fit and capable. Some of our clients joked that it must be something special in the soil of our farm.
But it wasn’t in the soil.
And it wasn’t taking shortcuts or using force to get a desired outcome.
There was no guarantee a particular horse would ever get where we wanted him to be, but we knew that we increased our odds by doing good things with that horse day after day.
Sure, we had goals in mind, and these influenced what we did. Different horses had different personalities, needs, energy levels, weaknesses, and strengths, so we responded to that individuality and kept doing things that worked, things that created improvement.
Over time, most of the horses grew into having more of the tools that would help them negotiate their world.
Homeschooling? Do what works. Stop doing what doesn’t work. Day after day.
There’s no guarantee in that, but it’s the best we can do, and along with living, loving, and learning, it’s a lot.