We started homeschool last week.
Today was the first day we cried.
Our son Isaac just turned ten. We knew he was struggling a little bit in school, but didn’t realize how much it was affecting his confidence.
He’s more than capable, but had trouble keeping up in class.
Part of that is our fault.
We love to travel with the kids, and take them out of school quite a bit for life adventures.
Early this school year, we took the kids to Jamaica for a week.
When we got back, of course, the kids had missed a few lessons and needed to get ‘caught up.’
Isaac was upset one day after taking a quiz that covered the information he had missed.
Isaac told his teacher, “Sorry, I didn’t know anything on the test.”
The teacher that gave the quiz replied, “if you had not went to Jamaica, you wouldn’t be behind.”
I was livid.
Let’s break this down.
1) I don’t think the teacher’s comment was at all malicious.
I know all of Isaac’s teachers. They are amazing people that love their students and go out of their way daily to help them succeed.
Heck, it was even true.
That WAS why he was ‘behind!’
But how wise was that to say to a 9-year-old?
After the comment, Isaac told us he didn’t want to travel anymore.
He said it just made him ‘get behind,’ which felt bad.
And that’s the real issue. The mentality. The culture. The social expectation (brainwashing?) of not “getting behind.”
What does that even mean anyway? (More on that in a minute…)
2) Why in the world would anyone compare the learning experience a few days of school, to an overseas trip to experience a new culture?
Isaac missed school because he went to another country.
How many 10-year-olds can say they have been overseas?
Isaac experienced getting a passport, packing for a trip, and travelling in an airplane.
He was able to visit a local Jamaican school, swim with dolphins, and meet kids from all over the world at the hotel.
How is that in any way, shape or form comparable to reading something out of a textbook and taking a quiz?
This trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity that put him AHEAD in life, not BEHIND.
3) What does ‘behind’ even mean?
Behind what standard?
Some arbitrary curriculum map someone drew up in a corporate or government meeting room?
Whose standard or expectation are we trying to live up to here?
So, as we were doing his lesson today during homeschool, Isaac was having a little trouble with the content.
When he missed a question on the learning check, he lowered his head and started to cry.
I asked him what was wrong.
He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, “I’m sorry I’m not getting it, please don’t leave me behind.”
My heart sank.
He looked so defeated, like a person on the verge of quitting.
I reached over and rubbed his back, then asked him, “Why would you say that pal? I’d never leave you behind.”
Isaac replied, “That’s what they do in regular school. They show you once, give you a quiz, tell you what you missed, and move on to something else. Even if I’m not ready. They just always move on without me and leave me behind.”
Isaac replied, “That’s what they do in school. The show you once, give you a quiz, tell you what you missed, and move on to something else. Even if I’m not ready. They just always move on without me and leave me behind.”
With tears in MY eyes, I assured him that would not be the case anymore.
I told him that If we have to, we will study this same concept, this same lesson, for a week until he GETS it and is READY for the next step.
I assured him, “Don’t worry son, we will never leave you behind.”
It just shows how broken the system is…
I want to stress something: Isaac and Anna Jo went to a GREAT school.
It was an amazing place full of awesome teachers and students.
A real COMMUNITY school that cares about kids.
I don’t blame them for the way Isaac feels. It’s really not their fault.
It’s certainly not the teachers’ fault.
Jocelyn and I taught in public schools for a decade.
We GET IT.
Teachers have 30+ students every class and are doing their best.
Their hands are tied.
It’s not even the school’s fault.
They have limited resources to hire teachers and give them the resources they need to serve so many kids with varying needs.
I repeat, the teachers and schools are doing their best.
It’s the system itself that is to blame.
The current model for education isn’t working for modern kids.
The methods we use to educate our children are outdated, and were literally designed for a different time.
The world has changed, but the system has stayed the same.
That makes for a broken system trying to stick square pegs in round holes.
That’s not good.
Sometimes, when the system is broken, the only solution is to leave the system and try to create something new.
That’s what we are going to do with Isaac.
We are going to try to create something that works for him.
We are going to help him stop judging himself by the world’s standards, and start living his best life on his own terms.
That’s The Flipped Lifestyle.
This is almost the same process I went through with my job.
I felt neglected all the time.
Like I didn’t matter at all, as long as the gears of the machine kept turning.
As long as everything kept moving forward, even if I was being left behind.
Have you ever felt that way?
Have you ever feel neglected by your boss?
Or, have you ever felt like the system was leaving you and your family behind financially.
I used to constantly feel behind on our bills when we worked at our old jobs.
You are probably right to feel neglected and left behind.
But you don’t have to keep feeling that way.
You could do something about it.
When we realized the system wasn’t working for us at our old jobs, right wrong or indifferent, we created something new.
Same with school.
When we realized the system wasn’t working for us and our kids, right wrong or indifferent, we did something about it!
We tried something else.
And so far, it’s working.
By the end of today’s lesson, Isaac’s eyes had dried and he had a smile on his face.
It was hard to get to that point.
It required work, and a little patience, but eventually, we got there.
And tomorrow should be easier.
Great, life changing things are never easy.
But change does get easier over time.
Eventually, we will get to a place that is great.
I’m sure there will be many more hard days ahead, and more than a few tears shed.
By no means have we come close to figuring this homeschool thing out in so short a time.
But we moved forward today.
And Isaac is no longer getting left behind.
So we will keep going.
And see what happens next.
Flip Your Life.™
Stop feeling left behind!
We don’t want that for you and your family.
It’s why we created The Flip Your Life Community.
A community of family-focused entrepreneurs from all of the world to help each other find freedom, break free of the system, and work from home!
It’s why we created our easy to follow self-paced training program (The Flip Your Life Blueprint).
All of it is designed to help you, right where you are, with your next steps.
We want to help you with your frustration.
We want to help you learn what you need to learn so you can succeed.
And just like Isaac, we won’t leave you behind either.
Flip Your Life.™
Shane & Jocelyn
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