I am pretty bullish on alternative and self-education. It’s one of the reasons my wife and I choose to home school our children. Our decision requires focus, intentionality, and a lot of extra work. It also gives us freedom to help our boys develop their God-given strengths.
Our boys are very entrepreneurial, and I tell them both all of the time that God is going to use them to do something HUGE to make the world a better place. I believe these words, and so do they.
Will loves to design and create. He sees the world in problems and solutions. He has created more Lego prototypes of things he wants to build then he can remember. And they are always big ideas (like cars that make sure no one ever dies in an accident). He wants to learn to program so he can start building apps to help people. Right now, he is learning about the product creation process. I am helping him develop one of his ideas. He wants a “place where people can save all of the Minecraft tutorial videos they likes and remember what is in them.” I could tell him services like this already exist (Pocket, Evernote, browser bookmarks), but it’s more fun watching his little mind decide what features he wants and how the site will look and function.
Hayden loves to sell. He wanted an Xbox last summer. We told him we wouldn’t pay for it. So…he asked us if he could earn the money himself. A day later he asked Braque to make a Facebook post to sell the handful of rubber band bracelets he had spent the day making. He told her to make sure to tell people he was using the money to “acheive his dream” of buying an Xbox because “people like to help kids out.” Smart or manipulative? You decide. Anyway, we sold $150 worth of bracelets in 2 weeks and bought a used Xbox from his uncle.
I read Hayden’s school newsletter this morning. (He is going to a 2 day-a-week hybrid school.) They are opening up ad spots in the school newspaper for “families or teens with businesses.” How amazing is this? We have had letters home from past schools informing us that Hayden was selling things at school (and I understand the disruption this can cause). This school encourages their students in their businesses.
I love that our kids are going to have the stability of a quality education and the freedom and encouragement to pursue their interests. I love how much of a focus is placed on developing the God-given strengths of young people so they can contribute to society.
I want our kids to have the confidence to know they can go after their dreams without waiting for someone to give them permission.
I want them to know they have the ability to learn what they don’t know…that knowledge is a path and not an obstacle.
I want them to have the discipline to get work done without someone looking over their shoulder (and sometimes it still takes us looking over their shoulder).
It’s a harder path, but it’s going to be so worth it.
P.S. My amazing wife bears almost all of the weight of our home school endeavor. She is amazing and has my full appreciation, confidence, and support. I love seeing her do what she does.