The Road Not Taken
written by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a wood,
And sorry that I could not travel both,
And be one traveler, long I stood;
And looked down one as far as I could,
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, just as fair.
And having perhaps the better claim,
because it was grassy, and wanted wear,
though as for that the passing there,
had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay,
in leaves no step had trodden black,
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back!
I shall be telling this with a sigh,
somewhere ages, hence and hence,
Two roads diverged in a wood—and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.
Earlier this summer, I called up my two grown children to ask them their opinions on having been home educated.
I was nervous. Mainly because my now-grown daughter and I butted heads a lot during her educational years. She was very stubborn and that mixed with slight dyslexia was not a good combination. She was a very hands-on learner and not super interested in grammar skills and spelling.
Oh how I anguished over that child! Read tons of books and articles and prayed.
For much of her childhood I was caring for babies and toddlers and trying to find my way homeschooling. I often felt she and her older brother were guinea pigs in a way- although I spent countless hours making careful decisions for my little guinea pigs.
In spite of my teaching and guiding, at age 8, my daughter could barely read basic words. It wasn't until she was 11 that she really took off. Once in her teens, she was reading 2-3 books at a time. At age 12, I lamented over her spelling and yet; over the next two years her desire to spell correctly came into play and she became proficient in that area.
During this time, she also learned to play three instruments, sing in a choir, crochet and embroider beautifully, train her horse and run an entire household if I let her.
My oldest son was the model student. A quick and eager learner, I'd find him reading science and history books for fun. He often created his own experiments and wrote endless stories, began college classes at 15.
What a difference for a child if they can read early and have high levels of comprehension!
A difference in the subject of Language Arts, anyway. I can honestly say that he and his sister were complete opposites on the learning scale...and yet they are both so intelligent in their own ways. And those ways compliment each other.
But back to my phone conversation. I called my son first- the same son who always tells his younger siblings to listen to me and be grateful for the experience of homeschooling. That they are incredibly lucky to have the freedoms to learn as they do. He even thanks me.
Of course I called him first. I knew what he would say.
He reinforced my desires to educate my younger children and gave me ideas to keep stress at bay. He reiterated his feeling that he is so much more knowledgeable about life than other young men his age.
I left the conversation strong and ready to ask my daughter how she felt.
I was really surprised. The same girl who 4 or 5 years ago told me she wished she could attend public school and would never homeschool her own children, suddenly had different opinions.
She said she had learned a lot from friends who had attended public school- middle and high school, especially. She learned that she had missed out on a lot of social garbage. Social garbage she is thankful to have lived without.
So thankful, in fact, that she mentioned that she's thinking about educating her own children some day...she and her husband both.
Wow, what a change.
The message that rang out from both of these now grown, wonderful adults is this:
They are thankful for the road less traveled...and it has made all the difference.