This is not an article about homeschooling.
It is not an article just for kids.
It's about freeing you to realize you are not stupid, no matter what a GPA says.
And neither is your child.
One of the reasons I homeschool my kids is because I grew up thinking I was stupid.
That's a horrible word but that was the word I had in my head. Math was hard (except for geometry). Physics made my eyes cross. I didn't remember what I learned in history class enough to regurgitate all the dates.
I remember how bad I was at those subjects. I spent so much time trying to get by in them. I gave all of my energy to those subjects that were of little to no interest to me instead of realizing what I was excelled at.
I was a wiz in my English classes. I read and understood Shakespeare early. I could dig into themes and write papers comparing concepts with my eyes closed. I was amazing in Yearbook class. That was a fun year of collecting people's stories, encouraging them to smile for photos, developing pictures in a lab (this was before digital, kids!) and creating layouts on paper (again, no computers) for the final book.
I was a hoot in theater.
I was amazing in marching band.
But in the classes where grades mattered so you could be considered "smart" I suffered. I suffered so much.
Come to find out I have high Emotional Intelligence. I excel at inter-personal skills. In Myers-Briggs land I'm an ENFP but that doesn't speak all the volumes of what I can do.
I can sense vibration, which means I'm super-sensitive and might cry for an hour if you jump out and startle me but it also means I can navigate a life coaching session with a client with amazing insight.
School does not celebrate these skills.
School tells you to be quiet. Sit still. Don't talk. Get your work done. Eat your lunch in 20 minutes. Don't walk... run... to class because you only have five minutes between bells.
School tells you that your grades make up who you are.
School tells you that your overall GPA in all the subjects–even the ones you will never care about when you get older, never have a job in, and never need to use to that degree–decide your success in life.
It just isn't true.
I know people with amazing GPAs who struggle with their career because they have low inter-personal skills.
My husband met a man who made 60k a month (a month!) even though he could not read. He used his amazing people skills, his great sense of gratitude, and his power of sales to create his own career.
I know people who still add on their fingers (me) who can have a five minute conversation with someone and help them uncover an issue that has been holding them back for decades.
I know people with amazing grades who are miserable.
I know people with terrible grades who are miserable.
And I know people with all sorts of grades who are happy.
I wanted to homeschool my children so they could have enough skills to navigate life and then figure out what they excel at.
(Chances are the things they excel at are the things they love.)
One of my favorite stories (you may have heard it and you will probably hear it again) is about the little boy who was obsessed with turtles. Obsessed. His parents homeschooled him so they let him spend all of his time with turtles thinking he would grow out of it.
He never grew out of it.
He was into turtles as a kid. As a tween. As a teen. And now, as an adult, he's on the of the world's leading expect on what? You guessed it: turtles.
I don't know what his GPA is. I don't know how well he did in math or history. I DO know he found something he loved and he got to run with it all the way.
If your child is struggling with academics because they have a dyslexic process oriented brain, that's one thing. Learning how to read and spell is a fantastic skill and in most cases necessary.
But if they are struggling because they just don't care about those subjects or those subjects are not in their wheelhouse... what is?
What are they great at?
What comes naturally to them?
Let's focus on that.
And don't worry, if college isn't obsolete by the time your child is 18 they can always start at a community college and transfer later if they wish. There are 1,000 ways to get a degree and a high GPA is only one of them.
And if you are an adult who grew up thinking you were stupid, think again.