Over the past few weeks, I have been engaged in many conversations with families. Some are current FEC families and some are hoping to join us next year. But several things keep coming up… first, I have had discussions with MANY FEC families and some potential new families. The big question looming in the minds of everyone is ‘what if the work is too much?’ And a second question follows…’what if my child isn’t smart enough for this program?’
So, I went to one of the folks that I consider to be a mentor. I wasn’t always sure how to respond when someone was concerned about the amount of work. We try hard to monitor the amount of homework assigned and we try to keep the pace a reasonable one. But, obviously, we missed the mark several times this year. And, since the question is still coming up, I thought it was worth looking at again.
As I went to this friend, I shared the conversations I had had with her and the immediate response was ‘What are their goals for their children?’ Simple enough, but I hadn’t thought of asking that. What are your goals for your children? Not my goals, not the county’s goals and not the grandparent’s goals. What are your goals? So, I thought back over what I wanted for my own children (and these may be different from yours). Here are a few things I wanted for them:
Folks, we live in a tough and BIG world. A friend recently found statistics on the number of students applying to 4-year public universities (her daughter, a 4.4 GPA, AP test, Div. 1 potential soccer star was denied acceptance to several ACC schools) shows that of all the students that apply, 10-20% are accepted. At some of the schools they applied to, there was less than a 10% acceptance. Our population is growing and not only national, but international students are applying for these spaces. Community Colleges and apprenticeship programs are also more selective than ever before. At FCC last year, there were over 8,000 students. And just because you go to FCC, this does not guarantee your success. My daughter went through the nursing program there and had to maintain a 4.0 in ALL her classes to be accepted. She did just that because of the rigorous education she had received but of the 50 students who started out in the program, only 28 graduated.
So, I go back to the original question. What are your goals for your children? I know that we don’t have them for long…they grow up SO fast. But one way or another, through public, private or homeschool education, they need to be ready to meet the world when they are 18 or so. They WILL need to compete with the counterparts coming from all types of education and all walks of life and college admittance offices are NOT going to give any student a break. They are going to choose the most prepared students so that they will succeed in college. So pushing a little now can go a long way later.
The second question…’what if my child isn’t smart enough’ to complete this program? I actually just ignore this question. Any child can learn and can make progress with a classical education. Support from home, from teachers and from tutors will help this along, but remember, I have a child who eventually thrived on this education…don’t count your child out! The grades in the class are NOT everything.
So, as you consider your homeschooling, always ask ‘what are my goals for this child’ and ‘what will we do this year to work toward those goals?’