Guaranteed Genius

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Sonlight has a guarantee for our homeschool curriculum, but it's not that your child will become a genius. This idea that all homeschoolers are super bright and far outshine their public schooled counterparts rubs me the wrong way.

This comic is right that socialization isn't really an issue for homeschoolers. That's great. But the implication is that homeschoolers, on the whole, are geniuses and their peers aren't. And that's simply not true.

Hat Tip

In fact, the studies I've seen point out that homeschooling doesn't hinder learning... but that's about as far as that data can go. On the other hand, I keep dropping hints about the brilliant public schooled kids I know, like the three girls taking Calculus II as college Freshmen. And they aren't just math whizzes either: Their vocabulary, grasp of science, and understanding of history are all remarkable as well. And they love to learn and aren't particularly jaded about life.

This brings us back to what we discussed on Monday: Let's focus on the things that make homeschooling great. Your children are likely all geniuses, but they probably would be in a school as well. The point of homeschooling is not that your children are guaranteed to somehow turn out better, but that your family will love learning together.

It's annoying that people have such terrible stereotypes about homeschoolers. Let us not be guilty of a similar misjudgment. Homeschooling is an excellent education option. With Sonlight, you are guaranteed to love learning. But remember: A love of learning doesn't guarantee you'll turn out to be a genius.

...but it probably helps along that path <smile>.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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  1. Well, we'd sure like for those stereotypes to be true sometimes, wouldn't we? Or this, the "homeschoolers are innately curious and want to learn new things every day" stereotype. It is true that (especially in a LARGE school!) schools can stifle creativity and spontaneous learning. But taking a minute to look at the bugs outside your door isn't a homeschool thing necessarily... pity the poor teacher whose 30 students are absolutely fascinated when they find a treasure like this, but she cannot divert from the curriculum.

    I like to talk a bit about how well my homeschooler does in chess and mathematics, but I sure don't want to share too often that he has trouble writing in full sentences. He's in fourth grade and that would make me look bad. Homeschooling would look bad. Though like you said, this sort of thing happens in public school just the same as in a homeschool situation. My 16-year-old is illiterate. Autism is funny that way... it isn't a homeschooling or school thing at all... we work with what we have.

    Luke, I appreciate your blogging about this.

  2. Thanks, Mrs. C! I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with all this too. But, yes, when the stereotypes are in our favor, it would be nice if they were always true <smile>.


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