Last evening, I had a long happy jokingly and serious discussion with a stranger about “What will the boys BE when they grow up”. We were at a community event, volunteering, chatting it up during the waiting times. When people meet my boys, they start asking me a lot of the hard questions. What are we doing – to make sure they will BE something.
As a homeschool mom, there is a lot of weight put on my shoulders. Living in a town where homeschooling high school is not a popular choice, I have to put on a pretty thick oilskin coat to let the question drip off my back. I smile, and answer, listen and respond.
I chat with homeschool moms, and recently – there seems to be a theme of directional learning. Comments such as – I think my son will be in a STEM type job, so we will focus on that. I think my son will be a pilot so we will focus on that. I think my son will be a Biologist so we will focus towards that. I have had these conversations. Last night’s went in this direction too. There was a round table discussion on what they thought my oldest would do /be / become.
And for a moment last night, I felt the pressure again. What am I doing to make sure they will BE.
During our trip to Santa Cruz, I had a huge parenting turning moment, too large for this single post – I will share that a determination was set in my mind for my youngest, to lift the boundary gates with him more. To allow him to be really utterly crazy. Go his own way – and see what he does with it.
And here I where we come to my time this morning, that I wanted to share with you. I was praying about our day, and feeling this weight of my responsibility to DO so that they will someday BE – and a friend sent me a TED video to watch. It is a of a homeschool ballerina who is also a neuroscientist. She talks of her path and it is pretty powerful. The link is :
The Myth of the Scientist: Crystal Dilworth at TEDxYouth@Caltech .
I was feeling fresh again, renewed in my heart that I need to just keep letting the boys engage in their passions, and not ‘direct them to BE’ when I took a moment to visit a group on Facebook that I have not looked at in a couple of months and saw another video.
Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDx University of Nevada Logan is a homeschooler, an avid Skier, and a 13ish year old kid talking at TEDx. His description of Hackschooling speaks very descriptively of my aha moment in Santa Cruz of Jon’s Surfing. When Jon wakes up this morning – I am going to have him watch this video. I hope you take a moment to watch it too.
The other part of this morning – is a conversation going on in FB Land of moms trying to figure out how to get in their 180 days of lessons from their packaged curriculum, when they want to spend time in their living books, field trips and adventures. And it turns back around to our Charlotte Mason, Ecclectic, intentional learning lifestyle. Hard to explain in a single respond comment. But I know. I know that there are so many moms, with a heavy burden, of making sure their child will BE someone in the future, and they are not seeing that their child IS something right now. AAAHHHH. Hard to put it into words. Just watch the two videos above. I hope they encourage you today.
Thanks so much for this post! Loved it!
I saw that second video on Facebook also and thought through some of the same things. I had my son watch it. He’s been on this kick about his friend who is going to “real school” when he hits high school, and my son thinks the grass is always greener… so, I had him watch this video. 🙂
Thanks Diane and Julieanne! We are doing alot of intentional learning through High School – so that – they will have the tools for whatever they need in their 20’s and 30’s. If they do want to be a ballerina super neurosurgeon – then they will need those credits in math and science to help get that bachelors and and above. If they want to be a creative pro surfer creating their new line of gear with their buddies – they will still need the math and management and buisiness and creative mind. I was repremanded by a homeschool friend recently for ‘wasting’ their time with some of their intentional studies. I like what my friend Barb wrote once, something to the effect that her son might just be the most well read highly educated pipe welder in the state of California. 🙂 I’ll keep giving them the tools, what they do with them, how they use them, will be up to them.
Great post. I plan on viewing the videos after lunch with my daughter. I feel a lot of what you are trying to convey. Her passions are art and that is what we are focused on. She would love to sell her art or create manga books for kids. Unfortunately in the arena of manga/anime their is not much available except for older teens and adults because of language, etc. She wants to create something that everyone can read. I am perfectly fine with her “Being” whatever comes down the path and not necessarily planning for higher education as the main focus.
I am so right there with you these days! We’re helping the girls follow and develop their interests, so when people ask us what the girls want to be when they grow up, I say, “Well, Kelsi is passionate about the violin, constitutional law, politics, and serving others and God. She’ll narrow down her focus as she matures and gets a bit older – maybe. There’s no reason she can’t do all of the above!” And for Brittany, “Brittany is passionate about videography, photography, and cooking/baking. She would love being a food photographer and a lot of other careers working with food. It will be neat to see where the Lord takes her with this!”
One of the girls will most likely go to college; the other one may end up at a trade school or art/cooking school – and we’re fine with that. Or, they may end up marrying at a younger age (18-20) and not go to school. We’re okay with that, too. We’re preparing them for college just in case they decide to go – but we are most definitely pursuing their interests which is so key.
So many children – but not all, I’m not stereotyping them – involved in public or private school are involved in so many sports programs and have so much homework that they don’t have time to pursue their true interests. Or they don’t even know what they are interested in.
Being homeschooled for the high school years allows them to blossom in big ways in the interests and passions that they have. Of course, it helps if the parents focus on the teens’ interests and capitalize on them instead of merely pushing them through tons of curricula that may not allow time or energy to also focus on their interests and passions.
You are doing a fabulous job with your boys, and they are going to be so much better at thinking outside the box than a lot of other young men, Angie. When people ask you those questions, I’d just tell them what your sons are passionate about, and that it will be fun to see how the Lord will lead them as they mature and finish their schooling!