I listened one day to a Periscope (a live streaming video) of a business owner who explained that there were 45 things she had neglected to do despite having a successful million dollar business. It got me thinking. My kids are adults. They are thriving and living the kinds of lives I’d hoped they’d choose when I was in the trenches of home educating them. As I looked back, I knew there were at least 45 things I didn’t finish, do, get to. And I had this hunch that hearing about those neglected areas would be liberating for homeschoolers today.
So I pulled out a pen and paper and began a long list down a page. I blew by number 45, realizing I was not at all finished. My pace only slowed as I hit the golden number 55.
55 things I didn’t do as a homeschooler that in no way prevented my kids from having the lives they want! 55 things that didn’t prevent my kids from going to the colleges of their choice, or getting coveted scholarships. 55 things I didn’t do, yet one of the five is on a full ride at Columbia Law. 55 things I didn’t do and yet three of my adult kids are on the editorial boards of literary magazines. One of them runs the most popular student organization at his college (a poetry slam!).
Despite not completing those 55 things, two of my kids were president of Amnesty International at Ohio State. The one who didn’t read until she was ten is studying three languages simultaneously including Hindi. My oldest is teaching himself computer programming and bartending, and my oldest daughter is spending this year in South America just to learn Spanish before graduate school in social work.
Somehow, despite not getting through the four year history cycle, or reading all the classics, one of my kids is in Great Books Program at St. John’s College—this from the kid with dysgraphia who didn’t write for 3 years.
Whenever I look at who my adult kids are, I’m again reminded that so much went right that I couldn’t always appreciate while I home educated them. Some days I thought I was failing to give them what they deserved—what other homeschoolers told me were essentials.
Today, I know differently. Please enjoy this sometimes cringe-inducing look at what I didn’t do while I homeschooled. And then, please!! go to my scope about the 61 Things I Did Right. I feel naked and exposed when all you watch are the things I did wrong.