I have seen a disturbing trend among the 30 something home educated graduates for some time now and it seems to be getting worse.***
Unfortunately, many appear to have a know it all attitude. It doesn’t really matter what the subject. You can’t tell them anything that they don’t already know and have already figured out.
Now, is this really the case?
These 30 somethings certainly really don’t have it all figured out.
I’m nearly 50 (really? How did THAT happen?) and don’t even come close to having it all figured out. In fact, the older I get the more I realize that I have even less figured out when I was younger.
I asked Shane about it and this is my twist on what he said.
Let’s face it. When modern home education first began 30 years ago, the parents (and kids) had to ACT like they had it all figured out, even when they really had NO idea what they were doing or IF it would really work.
They got questioned by well-meaning family members,
by the professional education community,
and by well-meaning strangers.
They got reported to their state social services office, some had their children removed, and were charged with educational neglect.
They had to FIGHT! They had to be confident! They had to pretend they knew what they were doing! When they really knew nothing about what they were doing…
As the first generation was growing up, they were learning to learn and doing well on ACT’s. They were applying to and attending Ivy League universities on Full tuition scholarships! Or non ivy league schools on full tuition scholarships. They were well spoken, well socialized, respectful young citizens.
Shane said he has struggled with having a know it all pride. I’ve seen some of it during my 20 years of marriage with him.
Humility is a necessary Christian trait. In fact, I think all sin stems from pride.
Pride in how wonderful home education is, is a dangerous place to be.
I admit, I’ve been guilty.
I’ve dropped the “I’m married to a home school pioneer graduate who scored a 32 on his ACT and attended a small private Christian University on a full-tuition scholarship” and my in-laws helped right Missouri’s homeschool law” card.
I’ve looked down on government school kids.
I’m not proud of it. But I have.
So, back to the trend I see…
In many ways we’ve created little monsters (or bigger monsters). They are disrespectful in a different way.
Several years we knew a family with an older teen who had lived a pretty hard life before he came to them. They told us that because of that hard life he was so much wiser than most older teens and had several things figured out. (ok, they weren’t that blunt, but that’s the gist of what they said).
The truth is, he was a young man ooozing with pride so thick that many people couldn’t stand to be around him. He had an answer for everything. He was unwilling to listen to what the older and wiser had to say. Unfortunately, I found out that it has come back to bite him and he’s had to go through a very deep valley.
I was younger then, but I still had more life experience than this young man.
I am finding this to be an ever increasing problem.
I’ve recently been reading a book by Barbara Duguid, she talks about new believers looking down their noses at those mature Christians who are struggling with an air of pride. I like her explanation and believe it fits this situation as well.
She says that baby Christians:
“generally have warm and lively affections for God without a deep understanding of the sinfulness of their hearts and the character of God. They are inclined to spiritual pride when they are doing well, and to rebuking and correcting others who aren’t doing quite so well” p.47
She specifically talks about them rebuking older, more mature Christians whom God is refining.
I think this describes many older homeschool grads.
A pride of amazing magnitude, partly because we ( loving parents) have propelled it by talking about how much better home education is, by pushing them to academics instead of character (or seeing the pride as confidence and therefore making it ok).
Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers to remedy this situation.
My only solution is to point my children to what great sinners they are.
Pointing them to the fact that they are not good, in and of themselves, but only with Christ.
Repenting for MY pride and superior attitude about home education. (Although I DO believe it is the best educational option for EVERY parent, and I can believe that without being prideful about it).
And then turning them back to the gospel. To point them to the fact that without Jesus, they are nothing. From the dust they came and to the dust they will return. To point them to their worth not coming from their home -school diploma, but to their worth as a Christ-follower. To point them to the fact that they are frail human creatures that NEED humility to cling to the cross of Jesus instead of to their accomplishments.
Pointing them to the fact that they, like Paul, like me, like every person who has ever walked, lived or breathed is “the chief of sinners”
Pointing them to Jesus on the cross for THEIR sins.
Pointing them to the humility that comes from knowing that without Him I am nothing, na-da, dung, filthy rags, etc.
Pointing them to an identity in Christ ALONE.
***If you are a home educated 30 something reading this, please know that my intention is not to hurt you, offend you or belittle you. I am sharing observations I’ve seen for many years, even within my 1st generation husband (who is almost not 30 something :). I pray you will not be offended, but I pray that you will look within yourself to see if you fit this trend. If you do, I pray that you will do as I have done. Humble yourself and repent. Go to the cross and cling to it.