There was a question asked earlier this week on my favorite forum about High School Science options besides Apologia. A mother has a daughter who despises the Apologia text and has no motivation to finish it. Apparently, this child is not science-y and not sure what she really wants to do with her whole life after school. (Not many of us at 14 knew what we had planned for the rest of our lives either!) Several mothers chimed in with similar concerns.
What really got to me was one person’s response that we have to make our child want to do this particular science curriculum because the child doesn’t want to be “the Road Construction Worker Holding the Sign in the Heat”. While I agree with a lot of what she said about furthering our educations, the attitude she displayed towards everyone who works in jobs that are not white collar college educated circles made me a little frustrated. I have been thinking about this a lot this morning, and I need to vent a little.
We as homeschooling mothers work hard. Many of us attended college, but just as many of us didn’t. We love our children and are trying to raise them to be life-long learners who are able to work hard, successful in what they choose to do, and be productive citizens. We don’t get paid big bucks to do so – but we aren’t in it to be wealthy in money or fame. We are in it because we can see the big picture for our families and individual children. I respect that this lady’s children are college bound – that is terrific! They have worked hard to get there and deserve our respect.
But while I agree with her that it is important to do things that need to be done even if we don’t like it and it is hard, I also agree with others that there are other options available. While 2 of my siblings were National Merit Scholars, the rest of us were not. Does that make the rest of us worthless?
All of us need to really appreciate that we all are different – not just mouth the phrase. Each of these children have different needs, different desires and different abilities. We all need to be taught that hard work in ANY job deserves respect…and we should teach that no matter the job, we give it our all.
Our way of life is dependent on every one doing their best…you know, the person holding the sign on the road construction literally has your life and the construction crew in their hands. If they aren’t paying attention and you go at the wrong time, someone will get hurt. We need people who can build and repair our homes. We need someone who can go into a nursing home as an aide and love the people they serve. We need farmers who are willing to work hard so we can eat. We need drivers who are willing to sit in a truck all day and deliver things to the store so we don’t have to do it ourselves. We need factory workers who build the products we use ALL the time – and rely on. We need the technicians who can fix those products when they break. We want people who can take our order at the window if we aren’t home to cook. Face it: we NEED (and want!) the garbage man to haul away our trash. 😉 There should be no shame in these jobs. Are they glamourous? Of course not. Do they pay Big Bucks? No, but they are a vital part of our society. There are thousands of over-qualified unemployed college educated people right now. There are other options: trade, vocational, and technical schools are areas where many people excel and can learn to make a living. There is no shame in being a hard worker – whether it be blue or white collar.
Yes, children should learn. Yes, they should educate themselves to want more. Yes, they should be able to support themselves. But using a certain high school science text and labs doesn’t guarantee all of that – just as earning Really Cool Big Bucks doesn’t mean that they will be life-long learners, be happy and fulfilled, be stable parents and productive members of society.