A gifted individual is a quick and clever thinker, who is able to deal with complex matters. Autonomous, curious and passionate. A sensitive and emotionally rich person, living intensely. He or she enjoys being creative. -definition of giftedness written by the Netherlands Study on Giftedness in Adults

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What the Super Bowl Can Teach Us about Homeschooling

Today is Super Bowl XLIX, when the Seattle Seahawks defend their National Champions title against the New England Patriots. Yes, this is a post about football. But it's also a post about finding your groove.

When Pete Carroll was hired to coach the Seahawks out of USC in 2010, there were detractors who said he couldn't make it in the NFL as a coach. He'd been fired from the Patriots before, and hadn't had much success on this level. Lots of success with USC, though, and Seattle was happy to have him.
Recruiting class of 2012... in their second Super Bowl in a row.

The first couple of seasons with the Seahawks were tough, as Carroll began implementing his plan, but the mostly-losing team began to win a few games, and that was encouragement enough. But they needed a quarterback. Badly. So in 2012, Carroll drafted Russell Wilson in the 3rd round out of Wisconsin. The media went crazy, giving the Seahawks an "F" on draft day for a class that included now-starters Wilson, Bruce Irvin, and Bobby Wagner. And I quote:
Pete Carroll is proving why he didn’t make it in the NFL the first time. Not only was Bruce Irvin a reach at No. 15, the Seahawks proved they were oblivious to their madness by celebrating their selection. As if the day wasn’t bad enough, Seattle selecting Russell Wilson, a QB that doesn’t fit their offense at all, was by far the worst move of the draft. With the two worst moves of the draft, Seattle is the only team that received an F on draft day.
Today, the class of 2012 (including Jermaine Kearse - 2014 NFC Championship winning touchdown scorer, who wasn't even drafted but came out of University of Washington that year) is going to their second Super Bowl in a row. All thanks to their coach.

Now, I'm a big football fan, but I'm not one of those people who studies all the coaching moves and such. But the thing I keep hearing from the Seattle Seahawks themselves is that they love working for Carroll because he lets them work their strengths. He doesn't try to mold them to his system, but he allows each player to play his own game, for the good of them all. He coaches them to be family, brothers, united for a single goal. And he lets them be the professionals they are. He works them hard, doesn't allow them to let up on areas that are not as strong. If there is one thing to which you could put down the success of this team, it is this: Carroll allows each player to find his groove. 

It's working.

And this is what I loved about homeschooling - instead of trying to force my son to fit a system that wasn't working for him, we were able to allow him to work his strengths as we supported the areas that needed growth. We could do this by being creative with curriculum - in his strengths we just gave him the opportunities and let him fly; but in his weaker areas, we were able to create assignments that would blend into his interests and give him the opportunity to learn and grow. He also had opportunities to learn life skills that he couldn't at school - doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning. And he was able to "be socialized" (if that's even a thing) in a way that was appropriate for his learning and ability - with people of all ages.

Whatever the result of Super Bowl XLIX, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks have done something amazing these last few years (and Seattle fans hope for many more to come!).

And whatever my child decides to do in the future, I know that homeschooling him has helped him get there. It has given us the opportunity to allow him to fly in his strength areas, while being supported in his weaker areas.



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