Home School Insights: Dare to Excel

We take on a pretty big project when we set out to home school our children.

What is your guiding philosophy?

What risks will you take?

What habits will you break?

Of course we can’t progress much if we are addicted to the mediocre, the pedestrian and the uninspiring—lessons too often learned in our school years.

If we have become and remain people who fear the deep water and so keep our sails down, who won’t cross the desert because it is dangerous, difficult and above all just too hot, then we can never rise above what past generations have done.

Our destiny is determined at least in part by our daring.

Thomas Paine wrote that heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods, and if what we seek is spreading freedom, prosperity and happiness, to eduate ourselves and our children, to truly home school – the price will certainly be steep.

But what is needed of us today is no more idealistic or daunting than what was asked of Columbus, Galileo, Joan, Madison, Lincoln, Teresa or Gandhi.

Just a generation ago the regular young men and women of the 1940’s literally saved the world.

They are called “the Greatest Generation.”

What will our generation be called?

Great progress requires great thinking, great sacrifice, great tenacity and a lot of hard work in the daily mundane.

But it is still worth it.

And frankly, in the long run it is more fulfilling than the more mediocre alternatives.

Above all, I am convinced, we were born for it.

Becoming lost in learning is a lifetime endeavor, especially for those who home school.

In youth we get lost in vision, in dreaming about what could be and how the world should be.

This is why great revolutions are nearly always led by the youth.

And even those led by others must gain the support of youth or fail.

In adulthood we too often focus so much on the seemingly rational, the accepted reasonable, what we call the realistic, that we forget the lessons of youth.

In this state of grown-up amnesia, we forget to lose ourselves in making a real difference, in sacrificing to make the world better, in constantly improving ourselves to increase the power of our service.

Of course wisdom is needed, and part of a healthy realism is remembering that we were born for a reason and need to get to work on our purpose and mission in life.

We too often seek to get more and more for ourselves (sometimes out of greed, but more often from fear) instead of losing our lives in the service of others.

When Buddha and Christ taught this principle, the response was that these are “hard” doctrines.

Most adults seem to brush them off as naive, childish or unrealistic.

Then, finally, in old age we are literally a lost people—too rarely visited by our adult children and hardly ever deeply listened to, despite the great wisdom learned by years of hard-won experience.

Our eldercare facilities resemble the conveyor-belt schools of our children; but for the ages of those in attendance, the two can be eerily similar.

The future we bequeath to our children will be, in large part, determined by the answer question:

What will you dare?

About the Author:

Rachel is the co-author of Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning and the audio series Core and Love of Learning: A Recipe for Success, and the author of the award-winning educational resource, This Week in History. She is an accomplished musician, writer, literary editor, public speaker, consultant and momschool organizer.

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