Wednesday, May 20, 2009

With Certain Dispostions...

Bob and I were driving to Michigan last week to attend the INCH homeschool convention in Lansing and he really wanted a good milkshake--you know made with real ice cream. So, I took the handy-dandy GPS that he received for Christmas and started searching for a place that sells real ice cream. I finally found a Hersheys ice cream parlor and we went in.

The milkshakes were fabulous--but what I found very interesting was the conversation we had with the owner. She told us that it is not a franchise, but they own the building and just get all their ice cream from Hershey's in Pennsylvania. She asked what brought us to her store, and so we got talking about homeschooling.

She had a ten year old son and she asked how long we had homeschooled and so forth. I was expecting her to say the classic line, "Well, I know I could never homeschool, I just don't have the patience." But, she didn't. Instead she said, "Well, I think you could only homeschool certain kinds of kids--with certain dispositions."

I have never had anyone say that before. I said, "Oh, no. You can homeschool kids with all kinds of dispositions and personalities."

She looked searchingly in my eyes, and said, "I think some kids just couldn't be homeschooled." I realized she was talking about her son.

I said, "Any kid can do well in homeschooling. Really! I have five kids, all very different, and they all were homeschooled for at least a few years. Any kid can learn at home." I could tell she didn't believe me, but we said some parting words, took our double chocolate milkshakes and continued on our trip.

I have thought about her words a lot and tried to think what kind of kid couldn't be homeschooled. I have talked to moms and dads who are homeschooling...
  • young kids
  • teens
  • children with dyslexia
  • brilliant children [reading at 2 and 3]
  • average children
  • compliant children
  • strong willed children
  • anxious/nervous children
  • children with ADD
  • children with ADHD
  • chronically ill children
  • children who are visually impared
  • one child
  • many, many children
  • etc.
About the only kids who really might be unteachable are kids who don't respect and mind their parents. I mean, it is pretty hard to teach someone who won't listen to you or do what you say. But, fortunately, some time spent in character building and discipline can make even this type of child teachable.

It makes me feel bad that some parents think their child is un-teachable by them. Even if you don't homeschool, I am sure this mom must have taught her son set the table, to ride a bike, to feed the dog..something. I wish she could feel good about that, could see that she has taught her son a lot, and can teach him so much more. I wish she could see that every child has a capacity to learn what their parents have to teach. I wish she could feel that joy.

Take care,

No comments:

Post a Comment