When I announced to my siblings that I was taking my family to Morocco for a month to celebrate their 16 & 18 b-days, my sis said to me, “If that were me, I’d be spending that money on my children’s education.” And I replied, “I am.”
- I sat on the modeling stand for 25 years at Kutztown U. and during that time I observed many, many students. It got so I could tell the difference between those students whose parents merely handed their children the money for their education, and those that had to contribute, make it happen, work for it. I told both my children as I jetted them to 18 different countries before they left home for college, and usually spending at least a month at each one exploring and adventuring, that they would have to find a way to get to college themselves… I was spending the money on travel. I THOUGHT a world education- experiential knowledge was more valuable in the long run.My children both figured out how to win scholarships and shine above the rest of the amazingly bright children out there now-a-days and there are many- who enroll in AP classes and have a ton of college credits under their belts before they even graduate from high school. But because my children taught themselves – home schooled, or as I like to say, world schooled, they were able to explore their world, nurture their passion, feed their talents and learn leadership skills so that when it came time to submit a home schooling portfolio, they really did stand out. It’s not that my children are rocket scientists, although they are both in Honors at Temple U. and are very bright- it was THE WAY they learned that made the difference. They taught themselves their last 6 years of school, they learned largely what they wanted to learn and they NEVER lost their insatiable desire to learn.
- So as I witnessed my daughter, Sierra, getting her golden cords placed around her neck, which she’ll wear at graduation next month, I felt so proud of her. I must come to Philadelphia multiple times in the next month to witness her receiving graduation honors, including the Diamond Award, the highest award to a graduating senior this university bestows.It’s not that I’m trying to toot my children’s horn here- the point is, we were scared shitless of homeschooling when we decided to take the plunge. I was afraid of losing my life, afraid of falling short as a facilitator, afraid my children would get lazy and I’d have to fight with them to do the work. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. If I were to give anyone advice on home schooling today, I would say, if you sincerely enjoy your children’s company and if your children are motivated individuals, it can be the biggest blessing and best decision you could ever make as a parent. It can also be the best decision your child can make as a student, which can positively affect him/her the rest of their lives. (And that is why I am writing a new book about it!)At Bryce’s graduation party here at home (graduated from “Cindy’s World School”) he wrote a rap about how he wanted to change the world and make it better- make a difference, my cousin came up to me and marveled, “Aren’t you just so pleased with your son- aren’t you surprised?” And I said, “Pleased, absolutely, surprised, not at all.” For I have always taught my children that they are here to make the world a better and a more beautiful place- SOMEHOW- that is their task, and I EXPECT them to work at this. That is one of the reasons I gave them the amazing childhood that I gave them. To give them the tools and the background to do that. And I can’t wait to see what My Star, Sierra is going to do with that!
“We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world, and we impoverish ourselves if we forget this errand.” – Woodrow Wilson.