Nurturing Curiosity in a College Driven World

It is just after 8:30 am and public school kids are settling at their desk, starting a new day of education geared toward meeting standard x that they have been told they must know by y date to succeed in life. They may not understand x yet, but they push on through tears and feelings of little self worth, because, again, y said they should know it now.

The love of learning has been sucked away for the sake of and end product, one that isn't the best choice for every child, college.

I read a wonderful article this morning on HuffPost Parents, in which the author tells us why we need to let go of college expectations for our children. She brilliantly states,

We must stop the competitive, ridiculous, and oftentimes painful race to college. We must remember that our children come from us but are not a reflection of us. Together, we can stop this madness and allow our children to find their way in this world, prestigious college or not. By embracing what makes THEM happy, and by seeing them as the creative beings that they are, we can stop competing with each other as parents, and they can enjoy, flourish and even love this one life they have.
— Michelle Rose Gilman

In my six years of homeschooling so far, I have learned that she is absolutely right

I have also learned that those x standards and y people mean nothing to my children's education. Your child doesn't need to learn to read at age five or master fractions in the fourth grade. 

What they need is to develop a love learning; to be taught how to expand their knowledge on a topic that interest them. Allow them to explore rabbit holes of curiosity and develop skills at their own pace. 

When they are ready, when they see a purpose for it, they will learn to read, how to work with fractions and so much more! They will learn it because they are curious and passionate about something and by allowing them to do so we are setting them up to choose college in the future to continue to explore those same passions. They will be there because they want to continue to learn and grow, not because that y person said "this is what you should do now."

As you prepare you homeschool lessons for the day or get ready to send your children off to school, think about this final quote from the article and how it relates, not only to your parenting, but to your expectations of your child's education.

You know what does speak volumes about your parenting? Ask yourself the following questions:

Does your child have a compassionate soul?
Does your child have a healthy dose of intellectual curiosity?
Is your child resourceful and independent?
Is your child happy with who she is?
Can your child creatively problem-solve?
Is your child passionate about anything?
Can your child sit with himself and enjoy his own company?
— Michelle Rose Gilman