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Monday, 8 February 2016

They Aren't What We Make Them

I read an opinion article today titled What I'm never going to tell you about homeschooling.  In many ways it's a lovely article, I agree with some of the points it's trying to make.  At the same time it is heavily, and I mean heavily Christian.

Now there is nothing wrong with Christianity, and nothing wrong with Christian Homeschooling.  But for those of us who are not Christian, not of an Abrahamic faith, it is often extremely difficult to read good articles and blog posts that are heavily religious.  We tend to miss the point of the post because we are sitting there going, "ugh, no, eww, what in the hells?!?"  Or we just stop reading after the third time God is mentioned... In the first sentence.

This is our problem.  Not yours.  Keep on writing your Christian posts.  We'll keep on ignoring them.

Sometimes, however, ignoring a Christian post means that we are missing out on some good information, advice and knowledge.  The linked article is, I believe, one such post that we could all benefit from reading.  But we won't, because "Ugh!"  So, since I did read most of it, I thought I would share the salient point in a non-Abrahamic friendly way.

The original article revolves around the story of a woman who is a Christian Homeschooler and has raised her kids to become good and faithful Christians.  She is in despair that her eldest daughter, now an adult, is dressing in black, has multiple piercings, tattoos and is engaged to an "angry Atheist."  Yes, I already know what you think about that, but I am not here to discuss that.

The author goes on to make several points, here is a small excerpt
I'm not going to tell you that your twenty-year-old won't be arrested for being drunk in public.
I'm not going to tell you that your daughter won't get pregnant her first semester in college.
I'm not going to tell you that there won't be tattoos and piercings and pink hair.
I'm not going to tell you that your daughter won't send text messages so laden with profanity that they'd make a sailor blush.
It goes on like that.  Basically, "I am not going to tell you that your child will end up the perfect person you want them to be."

And it is so true.  When you take out all of the religious stuff from that article, it shares a very important message.

No matter what we do as parents and homeschoolers, our children are not going to be what we make them. They will be what they make themselves.

We can guide them, we can be good examples, we can attempt to teach them, facilitate their learning.  We can shield them from the world, or open the world up to them in safety.  We can tell them what is right and wrong, good and bad, health and unhealthy. We can do all these things.

But only they can choose to believe us and follow us, or not.  Only they can choose to be what they will be.  And what they will be is not necessarily what we envision for them.

I am not trying dash anyones hopes here.  I am not saying that homeschooling won't work.

If your expectations of homeschooling are to impart knowledge, facilitate learning, give what you can give, offer them opportunities - then you will likely succeed in that goal.

If your expectations hinge on who and what your child will be when they become adults, then you are likely to be in for a nasty surprise for at least some of those expectations.

Have hopes and dreams, sure.  But don't expect anything from your children.  They will be who they will be, not what you want them to be, not what you train them to be.

My highest hope is that my kids will be themselves, not what everyone wants them to be.  Though I suppose even higher than that, I hope they don't become sociopathic murderers, bent on raping, pillaging and plundering.

The chances are in my favour, I think.

Then again, I can't even get my son to stop urinating on the toilet seat, and that sort of thing surely leads to murder, doesn't it?



  1. I have to agree with you which is why I do read Christian blogs (and blogs from homeschoolers of all walks of life) because there is definitely some great stuff out there. It's all in the way you complete and analyse the reading I think :-)

    1. Yes, I try to read any type of blog or article that I think looks interesting, religious or not. I suffer from "Ugh!" occasionally of course, but the majority of the time I try to get something out of it :-)