I recently received an email with the subject line, “Is it really this simple?”
The real question, though, is probably one you’ve asked yourself. I know I have. It’s this one: am I doing enough?
What does that question mean? Do you know what you are asking? Enough for what? To appease your doubtful parents? To keep up with the Joneses? For your child to get a job? Or to get into college on a full scholarship?
What is your goal in educating your children? What are your goals for your family? Do you want children who love God and family and serve others? Is following the public school format of school all day and then more work in the evening really conducive to meeting that goal?
My husband and I want our children to be educated. We give them a core body of knowledge to remove their ignorance. The curriculum I’ve designed for my own family is one that I believe covers all of the basics and provides an excellent foundation in reading and writing, which I believe are indispensable for any future learning or career. We don’t know what the future will hold for our children, so we want them to be prepared for anything. We want our children to be able to get into the college of their choice, if they make that choice. We certainly would love for them to get full scholarships, but we’re not going to put that pressure on them or ourselves and make that THE goal.
I know I am doing enough. For our family, doing enough is covering the basics thoroughly and giving our children free time to devote to their passions. My children are already pursuing their future work. Because I keep their “school” day short and don’t have them in outside activities, they have hours of free time every day to do what they love. My oldest child is already getting paid to do what she loves, which is art. My next oldest is building an online following for his computer work. These things, their passions, are what will be important in their lives, more important than their ability to place chemicals on a periodic table or to list the presidents.
There tend to be two groups of parents who ask this “enough” question the most. Those with kindergartners, who wonder why I don’t do addition and subtraction and history and science with the five-year-olds, and those with high schoolers, who are wondering if what they are doing “counts.”
To the moms of kindergartners I say, your children will be able to complete calculus in high school even if they wait until they are in first grade to begin “real” math. Enjoy this time with your kids. Read books together. Google the answers to their questions. Watch videos. Try to relax.
To the moms of high schoolers I say, in some states your child could play video games for four years and you could call him a high school graduate. My state, Pennsylvania, is not one such state. Here are their guidelines for what “counts.” To count as a completed high school course a student can do ANY of the following: complete two-thirds of a textbook, have 120 daily logged entries, have 120 hours of logged study, complete a 10 page research paper, complete a college course, or pass an AP exam. If you follow Easy Peasy, you’ll have 180 “daily logged entries.” You’ll be way ahead of the game.
I wrote the assignments on Easy Peasy for my children. It’s “enough” for our family, but your children are yours, not mine. If this curriculum will help you meet your family’s goals, then use it and be happy with your decision.
There will always, always be someone else doing something different, something more. There have been times in the past when I’ve read on blogs about what other people were doing for school and their kids’ amazing accomplishments and certainly felt lacking. Well, guess what? My kids are turning out pretty amazing themselves. I bet your kids are pretty amazing too.
I’m someone who believes that everyone has genius in them. Everyone has something special to offer the world. I love giving my kids not only a great education, but the time to discover and develop their genius, and I’m teaching them that their gift is something to use to bless others.
So, I leave the question to you now. Is what you are doing enough? What are you really asking? Think it over. Pray it over. And I pray you come out on the other side joyful and at peace.