Why I dropped out of school in grade 2 and want my kids to do the same
When I was in grade 2, I dropped out of school.
Where I lived at that time, I’m pretty sure that was illegal because I had to hide at home all day so the neighbors didn’t report me to the authorities.
Since I couldn’t go out, I kept myself busy by reading a new book or two every day and building a lot of cool things. Like booby traps, weapons, the best paper-airplane I’ve seen to this day, and Winnie-the-Poo inspired parachutes (which also involved a large tree and a “rounding error” in my pull-of-gravity vs. lift of helium balloon calculations, and ended badly for my right arm, but not for my all consuming desire to fly).
Where were my parents in all of this?
Well, being the awesome parents they were, they were actually quite supportive of my decision. My mom, in particular, made sure I had lots of reading material, and helped me learn the finer points of math, science, writing, etc.
In Canada we were technically outlaws, but should we have lived just south of the Canadian-US border, we would have been called homeschoolers.
I learned a lot during that time, but one of the greatest skills I learned that’s valuable to this day is the ability to work independently.
Being able to pursue my own interests also gave me opportunities to test out different paths for my life, including entrepreneurship.
I’m so grateful to my mom for being brave enough to do what she believed was right, and I credit her with any success that I have now. My best traits are because of my mom. Period. And most of that is because she homeschooled me.
To be clear, I’m not a homeschool Nazi, and I have no judgement for those that can’t or don’t want to take that path. In fact, most of the amazing people I know were not homeschooled, and many people I have great respect for don’t homeschool their kids, either.
But, I can’t ignore the incredible blessing that homeschooling has been to my life as an adult, and I want the same for my kids.
Here are the top 5 reasons why we homeschool our kids:
- It gives us more input over the direction of their lives than any other schooling option.
- It allows us be over-the-top adventurous with our kids. Frankly, even if they were in school, I’d pack them up and take them on a months-long adventure without hesitation, but that kind of thing is usually frowned upon.
- We want our kids to have entrepreneurial skills. Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to encourage entrepreneurship in them in a way that 7 hours of school and two hours of busy-work (oops, I meant homework) can’t.
- We can cater their work to their unique personalities and interests. Because we don’t have to teach to the lowest common denominator, we can teach our kids where they are at. When they need more attention they get, and when something makes sense to them we can quickly move on.
- The kids get to watch us more closely (and learn from us). As much as we try to tell our kids, they learn the most from what they see in us. By having them at home with us, they get to see us a lot more, and we have the joy and responsibility of leading them well by how we live our lives in front of them. Of course, all parents do this, but by being homeschoolers we get to have a greater impact by the sheer volume of time the observe and interact with us.
For others out there who homeschool, what motivated your decision to do it?
Top image – one of our 7 year old’s many lego creations.
P.S. Homeschooling isn’t illegal in Canada anymore. Phew! 🙂
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