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Monday, November 10, 2008

My Strength is My Weakness

I absolutely love Mary Grace. She cracks me up and writes rave reviews for Sonlight (even when I don't send her a free MathTacular DVD). Her posts often find their way into my "Other Posts of Note" and she has made me tear up at least once. Not to mention her incredible skillz with the iMovie.

With that as an introduction, here's Mary Grace on Strengths and Weaknesses. Well worth the read (including the comments).


I decided my comments warranted a post of their own. A post on this blog, since they'd be my thoughts, not a post on hers because my thoughts aren't that insightful <smile>.

What if one of the greatest strengths of homeschooling is also its greatest weakness?

That wouldn't surprise me at all. In fact, I think the world operates in this: Whatever could be our greatest asset to others also has the potential to be the most destructive force in our lives. It's the whole deal of "the bigger it is, the harder it falls."

In other words, the creativity, inventiveness and customization of homeschooling has, in this instance, failed to produce a desirable employee.

This also does not surprise me. But I'm going to spin it a slightly different way:

The public school system tends to produce people who are good for the workforce (this goes back, I'm told, all the way to the institution of bells that mimic the factory). Public education is designed to make good employees, not to inspire entrepreneurs or business owners. So the fact that a system, such as homeschooling, caters to a child's bent makes them dissatisfied with another's system and more prone to doing what they feel is best. This is a very good thing when it comes to innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.

In fact, I would say that Mary Grace's brother-in-law is right:'re setting your children up for a lifetime of frustration when they realize that college, workplaces, etc., don't follow those same, "have it your way" rules.

But, I would add, that can be a very, very good thing!

So even here, the potential of a "strict"/inflexible system is for both good and bad. It comes back to what you want for your children, and who they are. And that is what parenting is all about.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Julie said...

You rock. Homeschooling rocks. No wonder I love homeschooling...I'm kinda bent! HA! Happy day, Luke!!

mary grace said...

Well said. Thank you so much for taking the time to write out your thoughts. I am finding that God is using this discussion to work on my vision for our homeschool.

Luke Holzmann said...

Julie, I'm glad your day went so well. May the joy of homeschooling continue to overflow!

Mary Grace, may your homeschooling experience be even more refined through this. Most excellent!


Unknown said...

Great Luke, now I don't know where to comment Mary's or here! :) Maybe I will blog my own idea on it, but one thought....Maybe it had absolutely NOTHING to do with the schooling method! If she was the same worker, and had gone to public school, would that employer have assumed it was the public school system, or would it just have been her personality.

I hope my children are taught to be better workers, no 'Is this for extra credit?' slacking like I did. I mean if it was for no grade I did not do it. (you need to say that period that followed that sentence:) you know what I mean? There is a lot to a first job, partly, no matter the schooling, learning the procedures and following instruction. If we teach them to love to learn, and to work hard, I think they will work it out. I have, and I was in a system that taught me to get by with the bare minimum.

Told you I should have just blogged about it!

Luke Holzmann said...

That is certainly a possibility, Tiff! Great point.

And I'm glad you shared your thoughts here on my blog instead of Mary Grace's <Bwahahaha ha!>!

Actually, I find it fascinating when multiple people blog about the same topic, jumping off each other's ideas. I love that kind of thing.

...of course, I'm a little odd <smile>.


gina said...

There is no "ideal" approach to educating our children, and I see a balance of truth in the somewhat opposing strengths amd weaknesses of homeschooling vs. traditional schooling. Thankfully, there are varied activities outside our homes that can provide our homeschooled children with the life skills being reinforced within the traditional classroom. Thus, our choice to homeschool does not necessarily exclude or isolate our kids from such opportunities. My own experience, first as a traditional classroom teacher and now as a homeschooling mom has taught me that finding a balanced approach is an ongoing process. Aiming for that balance is important, as it will help our kids learn to adapt to a wider spectrum of life experiences both in and out of the workplace.

Luke Holzmann said...

Gina, every family must decide what is right for them. Homeschooling has incredible benefits; though, you are absolutely right: It can be harder to get some things--like band, wood shop, or even some sports--outside of the traditional school setting.

As someone who was homeschooled, attended a public high school, and went on to a Christian University, I've seen some of the various aspects of each option, and we must consider them as we point our children down the roads they should go. Absolutely.



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Luke Holzmann
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