Saturday, April 19, 2008

What to do with a just plain, normal kid?

I read an article, forwarded on a homeschool list today about a homeschooler in Evanston who was accepted at Harvard - and Princton, Yale, U of C, Stanford, Northwestern, Columbia - seems like she would have made immediate admission to Heaven, God would have reviewed her admission papers and gave her a full ride scholarship.

She is the World Irish Harp champion for her age group - she went to Ireland every summer since she was 10 to study, she learned French at the Sorbonne, studied Classical Civilization in Greece, Attended Gifted classes at Stanford, Traveled all over the world, never missed a performance of the CSO or Lyric Opera, and aced the ACT, SAT, and all of the subject exams. This kid was admitted into these schools precicely because she doesn't need to go to college. She's already better educated than the vast majority of college grads I know.

It sounds cheery, but what does it say for those of us raising normal children on a budget? Here's how my daughter will stack up: Plays piano - pretty well but lots of people play better. Fences competitively - and always comes in the top 25% of the field. Is learning Spanish, but will likely never be totally bilingual. Enjoys occasional classical music and cultural events - but has more fun at Steak 'n Shake afterward. One of the best players on a mediocre Scholastic Bowl Team. Enjoys math, science, history and writing - but not enough to put in any extra time when the lesson is done, and 'StrongBad' has a new video up. Won't likely do better than high average on the ACT or SAT.

The Harvard Bound Young Lady's mother said she was worried about her daughter's chances of getting into 'a good college' in an interview. What's the mother of an 'average' homeschooled child to do? Perhaps I should just sign 'er up for CNA classes now so at least she can get a minimum wage job?

Baahh! ~M.E.


vxbush said...

It's strange, but in a world where we force-feed "sameness" to our children (no winners, no losers, everyone gets a ribbon for participating) that when a truly spectacular child arrives, we first stand in awe of her amazing abilities and then we are left feeling completely inadequate on behalf of our kids.

I hope my children have learned that their place in the world is unique not because of their abilities but because of whose they are and Who made them.

King Dan said...


This homeschooler from Evanston. No one'll know her name in ten years. Her accomplishments will hit a plateau, she'll burn out, or she'll get bitter. Getting accepted at Harvard isn't the foolproof measure of success. If that makes the Evanschooler happy, then more power to her. But if she can't have a good time at Steak and Shake like your girls can, then I can't really see much point to all that education.