I often get asked about the one piece of advice I would give to all home schoolers. Probably folks want some type of motto that fits all situations and clears the air about many problems. I have thought and thought about this, and—for now, anyway—I think the best I can do is to say: “DO NOT TRY HOME SCHOOLING.” Surely, you think, this advice does not belong on a blogsite dedicated to the advancement of the home school experience. However, it is enlightening to look at what happens when we try home schooling.
First, a definition.
“Try” is a worn out word. An example of good usage is in the old saying, “If you don’t at once succeed, try, try, again.” We can learn a lot from this adage. For instance, we can learn that the purpose of trying is succeeding.
How many folks say they have tried the idea of home schooling, when actually, they only dropped the H-bomb at the dinner table and met with opposition from some child who is badly in need of it? Or maybe they bought an inane, dime-store book or two, and someone worked the first few pages and became disenchanted. Who wouldn’t.
Encountering resistance is not the same as trying.
Pressing against the resistance, with the determination to overcome it, is what trying really is. If a child balks, a relative whines, or a neighbor threatens, what makes us think it’s suddenly time to stop? We must see that type of trying is really just letting those around us dictate our convictions to us. If we are not trying to succeed, we have missed the whole idea.
The goal is not to try; the goal is to succeed.
Once I realized that, I could think of several great sayings that belong to real success in home schooling. Come back tomorrow for a few surprises.