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Muffy Mendoza is the mama-in-chief at brownmamas.com, a lifestyle site that focuses on helping Black mothers enjoy everyday life. She often blogs about making life easier for moms using technology.
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
Feb 27, 2017
Homeschooled kids get a bad rap; a reality I was thrust into two years ago when my husband and I decided we would homeschool our kids. It turns out that while we thought we were just doing what was best for our sons, everyone else thought we were bonkers.
Just last week I was bombarded with questions about whether or not I am capable of educating my kids and the classic question of whether they are socialized. It’s a common misconception that socialization only happens in a classroom - not also on the playground, at baseball practice, or with family members.
For these reasons, every time I hear of all the good Olympic medalist Simone Biles is doing in the world, I want to scream, “And we score!”
As if winning 5 gold medals in her first Olympic bid isn’t inspiring enough, the 2016 Olympic medalist recently decided to champion yet another cause: foster care. Now, Biles is partnering with Mattress Firm to raise money to connect foster kids with basic necessities and extracurricular activities.
“I recall some of the kids coming to the foster home with only the clothes on their back and a backpack,” Biles said in the January issues of PEOPLE Magazine. Biles landed in foster care after her mother fell on hard times and became addicted to drugs and alcohol. At the tender age of 3, Biles and her younger sister spent time in a foster home before being adopted by their maternal grandfather.
It was her recollection of the dire need of many foster children that led her to become a champion of Mattress Firm Foster Kids. From now until April 2, Biles is supporting the organization in its Dollar Drive. The organization works to supply foster children with basic needs (like clothing and book bags) and also introduces foster kids to extracurricular activities.
“It was difficult,” says Biles. “It’s hard going into the system with hardly anything, because even though foster parents may receive a stipend, sometimes it’s not enough to cover all the necessities.”
Just in case you didn’t know, Simone Biles was a homeschooled kid. Her adopted parents, who happen to be her grandparents, chose to homeschool so that she could concentrate on becoming a gymnast. And let me tell you, THAT is the beauty of homeschooling. I recently finished reading the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. In his best-selling book, he contends that many great people succeed by distinguishing “the vital few from the trivial many.”
Simone Biles’ parents and many homeschoolers make these types of choices every day. While my husband and I ensure our children receive a well-rounded education, homeschooling gives us the opportunity to concentrate on discovering where our kids’ unique talents and skills lie.
Biles’ journey inspires me to tune out the noise and continue down the path of ensuring my children aren’t just well-educated, but that they also have a good understanding of where they fit in the vastness of our society.
I can count on three hands how many of my friends graduated college and later found out they weren’t even remotely interested in the major they earned a degree in. That’s not to say that all of those adults should have been homeschooled, but they certainly would have benefitted from more essentialism in their lives.
For me, Biles represents a reminder that homeschooling is an effective way to raise successful adults and she’s certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. For my kids, Biles is a living example of how intention, focus, and dedication can manifest into goals attained and dreams made reality.