Since this is the final part in a continuous series, I highly recommend that if you have not yet viewed the first three parts of this series, that you do so before proceeding.
GP – Third, there are standard tests given by a third party at the end of the school year to determine if the child has met provincial standards. “Boy” deserves to be taught to the standard and we think you need to have some accountability to someone.
LG – Yes, “Boy” deserves to be taught to a standard, but whose standard are we using? The absence of true standards is the best kept secret of the entire education industry. They cannot exist. How can we standardize people?
Continue reading “Pressured by Parents to Quit – Part 4: Quitting (Part 7)”
This week we continue to “evaluate” a stereotypical letter from loving (grand)parents to new home educators. To put this into perspective, this young family is not only the eldest in the (grand)parents’ family but also the first to make the decision to home educate. Although it may be difficult to see, both parties share a Christian worldview.
Since this is the third part in a continuous series, I highly recommend that if you have not yet viewed the first two parts of this series, that you do so before proceeding.
With permission and protective of privacy, I would like to share and comment on a letter received by a young family from their loving (grand)parents.
Please bear in mind that these (grand)parents are very sincere in their concerns and likely had no bad intentions in writing this note, even if displaying a profound ignorance of home education. It is equally important to understand that both parties claim a Christian worldview.
Note: Since the letter provides three main concerns, I have decided to break it up into three parts to be addressed over the next three weeks.
One of the biggest disappointments in life is when either parents or children fail. There are innumerable stories of how parents have failed children. In many ways, most of us feel a bit cheated by our own personal upbringing. Even the best parents fail, you know, because everybody falls short of perfection.
Children can also be a real source of heartache for parents. In fact, I doubt that there has ever been a child who has not disappointed his/her parents at some point, because children, like parents, also fall short of perfection.
It should be obvious that the closer the relationship, the greater the possibility for disappointment and since there is no closer relationship than the parent-child one, everyone will experience disappointment, regardless of the age of those involved. This goes both ways and involves both positive and negative traits and recollections.
Our years of experience in home education have seen a lot of very positive results and, unfortunately, a few wrecks and failures as well. It is hard to pin point a single reason for parents giving up on home education as each situation is as unique as the family involved.
However, there are some things that can be identified as fairly common reasons for doing so. This series will be addressing a few of these reasons.
The objective of talking about home education failures is obviously not to celebrate them, but to discuss why this happens, in order to avoid following the pattern. Everyone should pay attention to this as there are none who are 100% immune to falling into one or more of these traps.
The easiest thing to do is to just quit. Walk away. Abandon the event. Turn away from the problem. Although that may be the best way to remove yourself from an unpleasant situation where you are not part of the problem or the solution, it is usually not the best option most of the time. Needless to say, it takes zero courage to simply give up and quit.
No matter what you may be engaged in, you can count on being challenged. In fact, it may at times seem like the only thing that comes easily is trouble! Trust me, from my aging perspective, I cannot remember not having problems as an integral part of my life. If I thought life would get easier, I was either deluded or I was fed a lie or I wasn’t listening to my elders who undoubtedly warned me that things would not get easier with age!
Problems are a part of life. That is hardly front page news. The big news is not that problems will come but the way in which they do. If we could predict with certainty how and when they would come, we would be prepared to either avoid them or to take them on, but problems are rarely predictable.
I thought that I would start this new year with a shocker. I QUIT!
… Okay, maybe “quitting” wasn’t such a great “start.” Actually, I am just kidding…because I can’t quit.
I am definitely NOT quitting, at least not now. However, just to be sure that everyone understands that I do not want to over-extend my calling, you need to know that I have had my letter of resignation on the Lord’s desk, so to speak, for a very long time. He has yet to accept it, but if and when He does, I will be obligated to obey His directives and quit. Until then, I can’t.
I have probably said all I wanted to say about special needs or the learning challenged, yet I thought that this topic was so important it deserved to be summed up in a dedicated conclusion.
First, I think that it is important to acknowledge that learning challenges are real. God’s creation encompasses a wide range of physical and mental abilities, all of which are important to Him and therefore should be important to us.
I do not, in any way, want to disparage or minimize the fact that there are people (children) who have been born with characteristics making them different from the “norm.” However, I do want to point out that what is normal is not really a measurable standard, but more of a sliding scale based on subjective expectations.
We have now heard the story of Matthew from two perspectives, mine and Matthew’s parents. Now, we are going to hear from the man himself. Needless to say, Matthew has changed a lot since the day we first met him, so many years ago. Let’s take a look at how Matthew sees things, today:
I, Matthew and my wife Megan are blessed to have Léo & Faye in our lives. We are especially thankful for the many ways in which they have helped me through the struggles of getting an education. The love and care that they have shown me goes beyond what their job required of them. They have always encouraged me to always keep on and never give up.
I don’t have much to add to this account of my life, as what has already been said is sufficient.
I trust that you have found the Matthew story enlightening. However, there are always at least three sides to every story. In this case there are four.
After having documented my version of Matthew’s story, I sent it to Matthew’s parents to make sure that my perspective was not in conflict with the truth. I asked them to also pass it on to Matthew for his approval (or rejection) and invited both of them to write their side of the story. This proved to be very worthwhile, as you will see.
Today, I will provide you with what Matthew’s parents had to say about their experience: