I want to homeschool but I’m not smart enough…..
This was in my top 3.
Honestly for years I’ve told myself I’m not smart enough for most things. I was a horrible student. I could pull passing grades but I hated every second of my educational experience until I left at the beginning of my senior year of high school. In truth I couldn’t pass a test to save my life, but teachers loved me. I was great at grading papers and doing work my peers typically didn’t want to do, and never underestimate the power of good manners!!
At the beginning of my senior year the boy I thought I would marry was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and needed to be closer to a hospital that would be able to treat him. I decided to homeschool myself through my senior year and help his family care for him. Moving a few hours from the only town I’d ever known.
*For the inquiring minds that need to know, I walked with my class a year later, getting my diploma. I spent the majority of that year working as a waitress and watching the devastation that childhood cancer creates. Helping his family the best I could take care of his siblings, get him to chemotherapy appointments and taking shifts at the hospital.
Growing up my step-mom was a Middle School science teacher. Incredibly intelligent and book smart. And whether she realized it or not, she had a way of making sure I felt like I knew very little, because ultimately she knew more. It has taken me a lot of years to distinguish many childhood “facts” as actual opinions. Realizing that I am not the idiot I grew up feeling I was. I’d even go a step further and say that because of my life experience; growing up in a broken home, choosing to care for a dying boyfriend and overcoming both physical and mental obstacles not everyone is blessed with, I am more capable and smarter than than the average bear. Is my spelling perfect? Nah. Do I remember the periodic table of elements from physics or the anatomy of a frog from biology…nope. But I do understand people, I understand the power of our minds, and I know how to work harder than most. I know what it means to hustle and find a way when most just give up! I also know how to learn what I need, to get what I want and where I want to go. I know how to dream big and set crazy goals, even though for years I felt unworthy of living them out. I was not created to get my PhD or become a engineer, but I was created for something great!! I was also created to raise good humans. In fact I cannot remember a time that being a mama was not a part of my dream. Not just any mom, an exceptional one.
From the time I was 16 I paid my own way in life. If I wanted a car, a phone, to go to the movies, to move out my senior year, I would be footing that bill. So I learned early that finding skills that were transferable was crucial. I also learned that if I worked harder than everyone else my bills would be paid and that meant I didn’t owe anything to anyone. Hard work equaled freedom!! To me this was the definition of independence and success.
Years later I met my husband. A born entrepreneur, one of those rare unicorns who is both book and life smart. A man that had even bigger dreams and knew he would accomplish them all. We combined our dreams and started to build a life I never knew was possible! It was exhilarating really! He had a passion for all things construction and real estate. Fast forward and by our 3rd wedding anniversary we had 2 beautiful babies and I had my real estate license. Dreams do come true y’all! We worked with investors buying and flipping homes, and within a few years we were making more money than I knew was actually possible. I had no college degree, zero experience and at first no comprehension what a real estate agent even did. By year 2 I passed the state exam and became a Broker, opened my own company and had achieved status in the elite masters club! By year 4 I was selling more than 30 million dollars in real estate a year and was a top selling agent in Sacramento Ca. With my own team of agents and transaction coordinators. It’s hard for me to even type that, I fear it will be viewed as bragging. But it’s a story I need to get comfortable telling because it’s true! My education did not set me up for that career or the success I achieved while practicing it. In fact if I would have listened to what I was “supposed” to do I probably would have never had that opportunity or gone as far as I did.
What I did have was a passion to give my kids more. More than I ever had. I also really loved learning something that directly added value to my life. I loved becoming good at something, something I had no idea I could be good at! Because I was never told that this is actually how people learned. That there was far more to learn outside the classroom! Lessons that would truly benefit me and my family!
Albert Einstein said “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree , it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
I grew up as a fish trying to climb a tree. So when it came to homeschooling all that old fear crept in with fierce persistence. For Gods sake I wasn’t a teacher, in fact I was the opposite of any teacher I really knew. Who did I think I was to take my kids out of the academically acclaimed school they were attending? That I could teach them anything of value? I didn’t even remember the anatomy of a frog!
And then scrolling through my feed on face book one day I saw a meme. I’ll never forget the way it made me feel. “Stop questioning if you can teach your children, instead question the system that made you feel as though you can’t!” Boom! Right to the gut! When you feel truth you just know! That system that said I was a mediocre student at best, that system that left me doubting and lacking confidence, that system that sold me lies about what education had to be…never telling me I had other options! Never telling me that I could reach incredible success by taking other paths; why in the world was I allowing that to stand in my way! Better yet, why was I allowing my kiddos to sit and have a similar experience!?!?!
So just like real estate I passionately dove into unconventional educational paths. I asked a million questions, read a dozen books, listened to TedTalks, and podcasts and YouTube videos. I learned something new, but first I had to unlearn a lot of what I had been taught. And you know what? Just like my experience with real estate….it’s exhilarating! Because this adds immediate value to our lives, this thing I thought I could never do, that I had been convinced I didn’t have the right education for….is the thing that really lights me up! It has opened up doors to new questions and the need to unlearn and relearn almost daily. It has given me purpose and it brings happiness to my entire family. And if I would have believed that I wasn’t smart enough I would have missed it all.
Rachel Hollis says in her new book that “not having the information means your teachable, not stupid!” This applies to All. The. Things! Guess what? If it’s important to you, you can learn it and excel at it! Guess what else? No one knows your kids the way you do! Why think a stranger is going to do a better job than you? Because of a degree? I just don’t believe that anymore! I throw it in the pile of “other peoples opinions!”
I’m not smart enough to homeschool is a blatant lie! Its something you’ve been told, or assumed, but it’s simply not true! Maybe you dont have all the answers, but who does!?!? We live in a world that learning something is easier than ever, information is more accessible and often just a click away! And the coolest part of not knowing is the opportunity you will have to learn it!