Rebecca Stromsdorfer is a 17 year homeschooling mom of 5, a co-founder of Messy Perfection Homeschooler, and the author of "Kiss My Curriculum: How to Love Homeschooling and Ignore the Inner Critic."
13 years ago I was living in Maryland in the DC area in one of the worst public school areas in the country. But I was told there was this amazing private school that was French immersion and the kids were learning the coolest things. If I could just get my kids accepted, we would be fine.
I went and toured this school, my oldest was 5, I had 3 others at home, and I walk into this school and we did the tour. And all I did was watch the kids in that school. And yeah, they were speaking French to each other and they were spouting off facts, and they knew all these things! But something hit me that day. I was watching them and I looked at their eyes and something was wrong. They looked dead--there was no light in their eyes! Where was the light in their eyes? They just looked like zombies spouting off facts. And I got this creepy feeling. I thought I don’t want my kids to speak french, I just want them to have light in their eyes! I don’t want them to lose that. How do I help them keep their light forever in their eyes? And that’s when I turned to homeschooling.
My biggest goal in homeschooling is to keep the light in my kids’ eyes. There are days when I see it fading. When I start trying to beat subjects into them and I see that light start to go and that picture of those kids in those schoolrooms comes back to me and I think, “Ok, I’ve gotta keep this light in their eyes.”
I’m feeling this more with teens, now. I work in a charter school and as I see these teens I see them tired and their worn, dead eyes. How do I help parents learn to keep the light in their eyes? That curiosity, that confidence, that passion, in their eyes. Helping teenagers keep that light in their eyes. Help them rekindle the light. That’s my purpose in homeschooling and in helping others to homeschool. To help them keep the light in their eyes.