Have you ever heard of Google Alerts?
You can sign up to be notified through email when subjects of your choice pop up in blogs and in the news. I receive about 1-2 emails a day from Google Alerts about “homeschooling” and “modesty.” It’s a very lazy way to do research.
Paolini who was homeschooled by his mother, wrote “Eragon,” the first book in the series when he was only 15. Today, he still lives and writes at his parents’ home in Montana and is intensely private about the details of his life although he has told interviewers that he loves to hike in the mountains, practice woodworking, and make the chain mail used in medieval armor out of interlocking metal rings.
The things he likes to do, he acknowledged to CNN in an interview, “are not the things everybody in this country is doing.”
And yet that may well be the secret to his success. Paolini himself gives the credit to homeschooling. “A lot of kids get traumatized in school and get beat down for being different,” Paolini says. “When I went out in public, I was not afraid. I was never afraid to pursue my interests because of what other people would think.”
I am learning to be more like Paolini. I have struggled with being fiercly peer-dependent. I care so much about what other people think. I hate that about myself. God has been slowly refining me, challenging me to obey Him even when I just know I’ll be less liked by others when I do.
When my husband and I were youth leaders, we used to notice the homeschooled kids seemed a little less trendy in clothes and lingo and attitudes. At the time we felt a little sorry for them. Who wants to be a dork in high school? But as we continued to watch those kids, we noticed a maturity most of the other kids couldn’t hold a candle to. We also figured out that the concept of “dork” wasn’t even really on their radar screen. They had great self-esteem. They loved the Lord. They actually liked their parents. Weird, huh? Two boys I think of in particular have grown into very “cool” young men who are doing amazing things with their lives, and for the Lord.
I hope and pray that one benefit of homeschooling will be that our boys feel that freedom to pursue their interests in spite of what others think. Along the way, I’m learning to give my boys the freedom to pursue their interests, in spite of what others think of me.