Friday, December 30, 2016

All Roads Have Rocks

By the time our children start school, we’ve already had to choose a side a dozen times.  For every choice my family makes I can find a camp ready to fight to the death that it is not only a good choice, but the only choice I can make if I love my child.  And I completely get it.  The surge you feel when you hear foolish arguments being made to justify an easy road.  Or the switch that flips inside when you are made to feel so very small for a choice you wrestled with and prayed over.  On any given day we all desperately want to be reassured that we’re doing a good job and making the right choices for our family.  It is in the heat of these encounters that all of us have made claims that logically just cannot be, but we’re so upset that the need to defend a position is too difficult to resist.  We start using words like always and never to villainize everyone who disagrees. 

I love homeschooling and if asked would probably suggest you choose it for your family.  I believe it facilitates so many good things in a child’s education and growth as a person.  There are some impressive success stories of homeschooled kids growing up to change the world.  However, if I or anyone else ever suggests that homeschooling is easy, fixes everything and eliminates all problems associated with the educating and raising of children, know that it is simply not true.  Public school by its very nature facilitates some great things for children – automatic structure, peer motivation, and great networking opportunities for college and careers.  Public school graduates students – myself included – all the time who enter adulthood with the skills they need to succeed and bring good to the world.  But again, if anyone tries to convince you that the public school has the ability to stamp out every struggle and can fill every child’s needs perfectly all the time, they are deceived as well.  Either vehicle we choose will hit rocks and holes in the road.   

Take any other opposing views and the scenario will be the same.  One side solves certain problems while creating others.  Being married has wonderful elements like companionship and security, but the struggles of living in harmony with another person are very real.  Yet, being single eliminates that struggle while creating the burden of isolation.  Moving out to the country gives you fresher air and better views, but you usually have to drive quite a bit to run errands.  There are always trade-offs and sacrifices.  The next time some heated debate lands in your lap, try to remember this:  Most of our choices are less about finding a clear path to our goal, but the path with the rocks we’re most comfortable working around.  While a lot of times there are real issues that need to be faced, don’t deceive yourself into thinking that either side is a slam dunk.  Successful results come from hard work, commitment and sacrifice -  not simply picking the right side of an issue.

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