It’s that time of year again! time to make tutorial and co-op decisions. It seems like it gets earlier every year. We’ve already had to claim the classes we want for next year in the tutorial that Lydia goes to. It gets me all confused because in thinking about next year: I get the idea in my head that this year is winding down. (It’s kind of a mean trick if you ask me!)
Anyway, what I want to share with you is how I go about deciding which classes we’ll “outsource” in the form of a co-op or tutorial and which we will handle at home. It can get pretty difficult to decide, especially if you live in an area where you have several tutorial choices. Unless you’ve got a pretty large home schooling budget, most of us have to pick and choose.
Judging by what I hear from the people I’ve talked with, most of us make these decisions based on two things: fear and interest level. We sign our kids up for the classes we don’t feel equipped to teach, and we choose to teach at home those subjects that are of particular interest to us.
Both strategies are perfectly legitimate.
Being a home schooler takes confidence on many levels. If we can feel more assured of what we’re doing by enlisting help, then by all means, enlist help! Also, you will do a better job of teaching the subjects that you have a personal interest in. You’ll spend more time preparing, you’ll dig deeper, and you’ll make it more interesting.
This year I was blessed with another way of looking at the whole concept of deciding what I’m going to pay someone else to do concerning my child’s education. That’s what I’m going to share today.
I’m a big believer in individual design. Proverbs 22:6 reads;
“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Amplified Bible (AMP)
That means that every child has a certain way he should go, and that way is defined by his talents and interests (or bent). This passage doesn’t just suggest that we could pay some attention to those things and allow for them during free time. It says to train a child according to them. That means his education is specifically designed to allow him to follow his bent. So, given that I take this message very seriously, this is how I decide what classes to pay for and which to teach at home.
Put simply, I’ve decided to pay for the opportunities that will further develop my child’s unique bent.
In my daughter’s case, that means looking for opportunities for her to learn and be involved in language arts, drama and music, creativity and art, teaching and mentoring, graphic design, entrepreneurialism and dance.
What that also means is that I am willing to accept that she will spend less time and effort in the other areas. For her, those happen to be the areas that are required for a diploma. Yes, I want her to get a diploma. I just need to point out that in order to get a credit, one does not need an A. Maybe I’m not equipped to teach chemistry and trigonometry so well that my child masters those subjects.
That’s OK: She wasn’t created to master those subjects.
When we’re talking about doing something to satisfy the state, a passing acquaintance with the subject and a C (or better) works for us. We’ll put our time and money into the things that her Creator intended for her to do.
I realize I’ve introduced a huge scary idea here. We home schoolers are a determined lot, and most of us have a high standard of excellence.
Unfortunately, that desire for excellence may be the very thing that keeps our children from becoming all they were created to be.
If we are requiring our children to be excellent at everything (with an obvious preference to those things required by the state), what we do is either burn them out or we end up with someone who is mediocre at everything and excellent at nothing. Why? Because instead of pouring time into a few areas of giftedness, it was spread out to try to include everything that everyone else thinks is important.
I prefer to allow my children to develop their own unique design to the glory of the designer. That means pouring into those areas of giftedness and not getting too concerned about anything else.
No one is excellent at everything. But everyone can be excellent at something… if given the chance.