I have always said that there is a special place in heaven for parents who homeschool. I have been a teacher, and a mother, and have taught my own children in Sunday School….and I rest my case. This was my initial thought while beginning to read an article on Sofia Tomav, a 12-year-old girl (who is homeschooled) who has created an algorithm to stop adverse reactions to prescription drugs. Let me tell you both how significant this is and how DIFFICULT this is: I worked for a company that for YEARS had their very brilliant minds working on this exact issue with limited success. So in addition to her parents being sainted, I think young Sofia is on her way as well!
Which got me wondering how I would have done being home schooled. First, I don’t think my mother would have had the patience (see my experience above…). But then there was this: I was way too interested in the social aspect of school to see how I could exist being away from what was happening with my friends. I pondered this for a moment until the next thought appeared: How would I know how I was doing if I couldn’t compare myself to others?
And therein lies the answer to many questions and issues.
I’ve spent a bit of time now contemplating that idea. What if I hadn’t judged my worthiness or success by how I compared on the last test, the last assignment or the last class ranking? Would I have been forced to release the need to compete, or to be “the best”? Would I have fallen into complacency, or would I have instead exploited my natural curiosity and intelligence to the fullest extent?
I guess I’ll never know the answer to what could have been in the past. But I absolutely know that at the point in my life when I DID stop comparing myself to others, when I went from Superwoman to SUPERBwoman, I became a brighter soul, in all aspects of that term. And I see that happen over and over when people learn to tap into their innate gifts and release that need to do the “shoulds” which are dictated by others and don’t align with their talents and purpose.
So, my hat is off to all you parents who have the patience, courage and wisdom to homeschool your children. And to all the teachers out there that do the same things for their students. And to Sofia Tomav – remember that name!