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:
...you'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.
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father