Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This is another one of those links I keep around handy to look back on as needed: In Praise of the Unexceptional

I think often home/unschoolers feel the need to highlight all the awesome things our kids do, as "proof" that what we're doing is "right" and "working" and "better than school." The thing is, it doesn't need to be better than school or other alternatives-- it just needs to work for us. There are many paths to raising kids, and this is just one of them.

Yet it still is so easy to fall into that trap of comparing, or seeking reassurance... The rational, logical part of my brain looks at the things my boys are doing and knows they're doing fine-- they seem happy. They continue to grow and develop and learn.  Yet that other part of me still freaks out from time to time. We all want our kids to be Exceptional, don't we? We want them to be ahead of the curve, be super creative and innovative, driven, etc.

The funny thing is, when I look at myself I've never been super driven or ambitious. I prefer a quiet life. I did well in school, but I never saw the point in losing sleep to finish a project or study for a test. I went to college, because it was expected, but chose my school based on size and proximity to my parents' home. I majored in psychology because I couldn't figure out what else I might want to do with my life. I've never felt driven by career goals, pretty content to make my home and my kids be my "career."

I remember when I was younger, in middle and high school, and everyone would encourage us to be Leaders, and I'd think "What if we're not all meant to be leaders? Doesn't someone have to follow?" Or maybe not follow, but blend into the background, I guess?

So yeah, I would describe myself as fairly unexceptional. I don't think that makes me uninteresting, or unworthy. I have no idea what is in store for my kids, what they will choose to do with their lives. But I don't want to put big expectations on them that don't fit. And I hope to be able to support them fully and unconditionally, whatever their goals may be.