The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the under growth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Frost just sings to me and this poem describes better, than any other written word, my journey to and through homeschooling.
Homeschooling is not just about education, as most know who live the lifestyle. But that is not what we understand about it when we begin the process. I came to homeschooling as a member of my local school board, as I was trying desperately to reform public education. Various events in that time of my life taught me that there was no hope of reaching meaningful reform in a timeframe that would help my own children achieve their highest level of educational excellence. So, after exploring the alternatives, I chose to homeschool. It was the best decision I made, for my children, as a parent.
While it was the right decision for us, it was not without, as I quickly found out, its own challenges. I joined the homeschooling movement in 2001. At that time homeschooling was on the rise, in the nation, and gaining respect due to the outstanding academic results by its beneficiaries. So I, naively, thought this road would be a smoother, less controversial path to educational excellence for my family. Well, (are you laughing yet?) I guess learning how to teach my kids to memorize math facts and to diagram sentences was not the only lesson I was supposed to learn in my endeavors.
Things I now know about homeschooling:
- It is not as accepted by the culture as I thought
- Homeschooling and parental rights are constantly under attack by special interests (teacher’s unions), unfriendly legislators, and family courts
- There are an abundance of educational resources for the homeschooling
- The emotional benefits strengthen families in ways that the present culture doesn’t begin to understand
- Present opinions, by the larger culture, about “Socialization” are a bunch of hooey.
- There is more than one way to educate a child
- There is more than one way to educate and adult
I reserve the right to add to this list as time goes on because any form of eduction is a lifelong process.
Join me, here, in the discussion about homeschooling. Help me to get the word out about its benefits, pitfalls, curriculum, legislative issues, and cultural issues. Work with me to strengthen a parent’s right to choose how to educate and raise their children.
Although I was not home educated I was taught at home, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right, and doing the right thing is not always the easy thing. So, as homeschoolers we walk, together, the road less traveled.