It would be pointless for me to walk into the kitchen, wanting to know what we're having for supper, and say "Hey, Mom, are you using the blender today?" The sensible question would be "What are you making for dinner?" If her answer was "lentil soup puree," then I would assume she was using the blender at some point in the recipe. If her answer was "stir fry," the blender would obviously be out of the question and I would know that a hot wok was the tool she needed to use the ingredients the way they were intended to be used.

College can be viewed in the same way. College, like a blender, has many uses. It prepares many different people for many different jobs in many different fields, but it is by no means the best tool to process every combination of ingredients. If your own special blend of personality and giftings seem to be sending you in the direction of a lawyer, scientist (or a smoothie), then college (or the blender), is a wonderful tool for the job. However, if, like me, you happen to be made of humanitarian worker, missionary (or stir fry) ingredients, then, no matter how you try, college (or the blender) can not turn you into a very good lawyer.

Once again I'm in the little white room with the person in a lab coat. This time I'm prepared.

 "How old are you?"


"What grade are you in?"

"I'm a senior."

"Really? What do you want to do in college?"

"My family and I have decided that there are more efficient routes for me to learn what I want to learn."

"Such as?"

"Well, I'm a freelance writer for one thing, I also spin, weave, knit, sew and enjoy designing my own patterns. I also teach sewing lessons. I think I'll pursue those interests through a course of home study as well as working in my current job of telecommunications manager in my family's business." (I don't mention that my telecommunications job primarily consists of finding creative ways to convince other telephone companes that I don't want to save incredible amounts of money in three easy steps.)

"Wow! You homeschoolers are amazing! I saw that you came with your mom, don't you have your driver's license yet?"

"Well, actually no. I haven't been in any hurry to drive."

Dead silence. Then, "I see you've been grinding your teeth. I'll see Dr. Carlin about making you a mouth guard."

Oh, well. You can't win them all. My mom just announced that her future plans do not include being my personal chauffer, even if I am scared of winding roads and big trucks, so it's off to the transportation office to get a permit.

[Editor's Note: Did you miss last week's article from a dad's perspective? Click Here ]


Bethany G. Smith is the home educated young author of I Remember Mama from Sweet Home Press, an activity book for mothers of young children. She lives with her family in Tennessee.

This article was originally published in the Jul/Aug '05 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, visit To request a free sample copy, visit