Tests don't validate homeschooling. They are just one kind of we use to evaluate our children. Tests don't measure everything, and they certainly don't measure what is really important. We cannot neglect something more lasting than any A+ grade, and more important than admission to any college: character.
Several summers ago, my two sons were invited to compete in a full-tuition scholarship competition. There were ten winners out of 108 students. Two of the winners were homeschoolers. Both were mine. I wondered later, "How did that happen!?" I believe it happened because of the advantages of homeschooling through high school.
They were invited because of their comprehensive records and SAT scores, but that's not why they won. I was nervous about them competing in something so intense, but they had fun. When they came home that day, they both said, "I don't know if I won, but I had a great time! All the kids were so nice!" Later I was told that the evaluators were looking for character. The students were observed when they walked between events. Were they friendly and kind to others? How did they interact with their peers? When character and socialization are evaluated, homeschoolers have the advantage! We can shape the character of our children while they are at home, instead of them being conformed to their peers.
Here are 3 major character traits that will shape your child's future, both academically, and in the adult world.
Critical thinking is- you guessed it -critical for adult life. When faced with a problem, resourcefulness can make the difference between solving the problem or staring at it in defeat. The ability to use the tools available and be creative in finding a solution is invaluable.
"There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns." - Edward De Bono.
Creativity goes hand-in-hand with curiosity. The love of learning, the desire to explore and discover. These are qualities that set humans apart from the rest of the created things. The ability to question why things are the way they are, or how we came to certain conclusions will spark a hunger to learn more. With a love of learning, curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness, problems start to feel small. Train your student to say, "How can I solve this problem?" instead of, "I can't solve this problem."
Students will not go anywhere in life without a strong work ethic. Step into any workplace of any profession and you will clearly see this. Employers look for employees who take initiative and responsibility, are self-motivated, and committed to the job. Beyond professional employment, a strong work ethic is essential for adult life. In order to create their very necessary budget (and stick to it!) students must have self-discipline and persistence. These qualities are also important for their relationships with those around them, be it friends, family, or a romantic interest. They must have the resilience to weather tough times and arguments without throwing up their hands in defeat. They must have the determination to finish the task at hand or fight for their relationships. Having a strong work ethic will set them apart from the crowd.
This is perhaps the most important set of character traits. The core values of a person make up who they are, how they relate to others around them, and how they respond in the stormy seasons of life. Paramount of these is the faith they hold. From faith stems hope, courage, and love. Teenagers through early adulthood begin the journey of discovering their faith for themselves. They ask questions like, "What do I believe about myself? About others around me? What is most important in this life?" It is no longer their parent's faith, but their own. When they have the foundation of their faith set, other values will build on top based on what they believe. Compassion for others, humility, and integrity will take them far. These qualities will set students apart in job interviews and (though we might not be ready to think it) in the dating realm. These are quiet qualities, but they have loud impacts on the people around us! Enthusiasm for life, for betterment of the self, and for learning is a heady, intoxicating feeling that will have them falling in love with their life. These are qualities that cannot be taught by textbooks. Core values like these can only be caught. Live as an example to your student and they will surely follow your lead.
I've created a poster for you to print and hang on your fridge for a daily reminder that academic grades aren't everything you are measuring. Qualities NOT Measured by Tests free printable poster. Download for free and remind yourself and your student of these qualities every day. What positive character qualities do YOUR children have that aren't measured by tests?