Today I went to a homeschooling conference in Austin. I attended one seminar titled "9 Reasons Why You Should Homeschool" It was believable how much encouragement and inspiration I recieved. At one point, the speaker, David Quine, (who is the author heading Cornerstone Curriculum, a Christian based educational curriculum) read this story to us. I cried. I needed to hear this. This is one of the major reasons why we pulled our children out of public school.
Once upon a time the animals decided they should do
something meaningful to meet the problems of the new
world. So they organized a school.
They adopted an activity curriculum of running,
climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to
administer the curriculum, all the animals took all
The duck was excellent in swimming; in fact, better
than his instructor. But he made only passing grades
in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was
slow in running, he had to drop swimming and stay
after school to practice running. This caused his web
feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average in
swimming. But average was quite acceptable, so nobody
worried about that-except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of his class in
running, but he developed a nervous twitch in his leg
muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he
encountered constant frustration in flying class
because his teacher made him start from the ground up
instead of from the treetop down. He developed
"charlie horses" from over exertion, and so only got a
C in climbing and an A in running.
The eagle was a problem child and was severely
disciplined for being a non-conformist. In climbing
classes he beat all the others to the top of the tree,
but insisted on using his own way to get there.
The obvious moral of the story is a simple one- each
creature has its own set of capabilities in which it
will naturally excel- unless it is expected or forced
to fill a mold that doesn't fit. When that happens,
frustration, discouragement, and even guilt bring the
overall mediocrity of complete defeat. A duck is a
duck- and only a duck. It is built to swim, not to run
and certainly not to climb. A squirrel is a squirrel.
To move it out of its forte', climbing, and then
expect it to swim or fly will drive a squirrel nuts.
Eagles are beautiful creatures in the air, but not in
a foot race. The rabbit will win every time unless, of
course, the eagle gets hungry!
What is true of creatures in the forest is true of
humans too. When you are forced to meet someone else's
expectations, that are beyond your capabilities,
frustration, mediocrity, phoniness, and total defeat