Monday, 17 February 2014

Homeschooling the Boss

(I know it's been a while since I last posted - you're dying to know how the house is going... well I'm gearing up to post more, but for now, you'll have to wait a bit more while I share other thoughts...)

On our local homeschooling e-mail group, we had an interesting discussion about well-meaning loved ones who don’t understand or support homeschooling.  One parent was sharing a story about a relative who said:

"When she's working, if her boss gives her something she doesn't see the point of, she can't just not do it."

Kid 2 sees the point of cleaning the windshield.

Another parent had a very brilliant reply:

“As for the comments about not being able to say no to a boss in ‘real’ life...well, if you're planning on an extra income stream through child labour, that may apply.  Otherwise, I'd tell grandma that what makes her think your daughter won't actually BE the boss.”

Child labour: Kid 2 is a spackling expert.
Kid 2, aged 10, is still wiggly, and if he's not interested, he has a tough time paying attention.  But if he is really engaged in something - either because he is interested, or he is really attached to the person who has asked him to do it - he'll just knuckle right down and get it done!  For example, he hates writing, but today they were doing some writing at his Soaring Eagle class, and he got to the computer as soon as he got home to look stuff up and write it down, because he just LOVES the woman who leads the class.  I can see that being an adaptive attitude in a work environment - you do your work really well either because you love it, or because you love the people there - either the ones you serve, or the coworkers, or the boss.  Thinking about my own work, I think a little bit of each applies to me, and helps me get through what are sometimes very challenging days.

More to the point, schools exist primarily to create employees.  They were intended to create a uniform workforce, but they’re not very good at producing independent, innovative thinkers.  Or at least they don’t reward such tendencies.  But being an employee is not the best strategy for an individual in our society.  In general, our taxation and financial systems tend to favour business owners.  Two hundred years ago, just about every “Average Joe” was his own boss, whether he was a baker or a carpenter or a tailor (or a seamstress or a laundress or…), other than the serving class who worked for wealthy families.  So while I’m fine if my child grows up to be an employee, I’m rather hoping that he’ll go out on a limb and find his own way to do his own thing.  And this is something that homeschooled folks seem to be good at!
Maybe being a boss means more fishing!

You go, girls and boys!  Be the BOSSES!


  1. Gary is 40 and can't pay attention if he's not interested!

    1. Aw, heck, ditto! Good thing I find my work interesting. Some nights even chorus rehearsals are a challenge for me.

  2. School was also used in Germany (when it was Prussia) to ensure that young men were well indoctrinated and prepared for the army.