What are your dreams for your children?
My two sons and I were standing in the grocery line the other day and my 5 year old starts reading the jerky packages.
Lady behind us: He just read the word “Honey”! How old is he?
Me: He just turned 5 in January. He’s picking up reading really well.
Lady behind us: You are so smart! You are going to be smarter than all the other kids in your class!
Me (laughing): Well, yeah, he will be because he is homeschooled. He’s the only one in his class.
Lady behind us: Well then, you are going to be smarter than all your friends!
Me (not able to restrain myself): Well, there are all kinds of smart. Some kids just pick up reading quickly.
The lady was trying to be nice, and I love that. I hope I didn’t offend her. It just felt like nails on the chalkboard when she was telling my son that he was smarter than other people. I truly believe that all children, all people, are smart. There are just different ways of being smart. Each of our individual brains works uniquely, but they are all beautifully made by a Creator who has a special purpose for each one of us.
I feel blessed because, when I tell people that I homeschool, I usually get positive comments. But I really don’t like the comment, “They are going to be so much smarter than the kids in public school!”. True, they may pick up on concepts more quickly because of the one-on-one attention they get being homeschooled, but that doesn’t necessarily make them smarter. The whole point of my homeschooling is be as involved as I can in raising my kids. And the whole point of raising my kids is not to have them grow up to be “smart”.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, his answer is the goal I have for my kids:
That’s it. The dream that I have for each of my children is that they are people who love God and love other people. This is the most important thing. They could grow to be billionaires. Or they could struggle and work a minimum wage job for their whole lives. Either way, if they love God and love others, they will have grown to be successful human beings.
So, nothing against the lady behind me in the check-out line, but I don’t want my son thinking that being smart is the ultimate goal (although knowledge and wisdom are great things!), and I definitely don’t want him comparing his brains to other peoples’ brains. What I want for him is to have great love for other people and for the One who created us all. That is all.
Blessings to you and yours,
P.S. The book that I use to teach my kids to read, in case you are wondering, is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Its worked really well for two of my kids.