by Christina Yeager
When you were in school and had to do a small research paper, more than likely you heard your teacher tell you that Wikipedia was not a significant research source. This meant you couldn’t use Wikipedia as a research reference in your paper. The reality now though, is that we probably use Wikipedia more now than we would have for our research papers in school. It’s a simple source of information we may need quick concerning a specific topic or person.
So why is Wikipedia relevant when discussing homeschooling our children? Well, it’s not so much about the website and its capabilities as who helped found it.
Providing a learning resource
Jimmy Wales is the co-founder of Wikipedia. This is a pretty big deal considering the website’s success. Such a big deal, in fact, that his net worth is said to be somewhere around 1 million dollars. Jimmy’s own educational history is quite interesting and is worth noting when discussing individuals who became successful and homeschooling.
Jimmy wasn’t necessarily homeschooled in the traditional sense, but if you look at the conditions, it was very similar. He attended a school ran by his mother and grandmother, with only four other children within his grade level. If you take a moment to consider the average size of even a special needs classroom in public school today, 5 is very small. This would probably be equivalent to a larger sized family who homeschools all of their children.
“A long term project of learning, experimenting, you know trying things.” –– Jimmy Wales
Jimmy did eventually end up attending a larger private school, but for the first few years of his education, he was taught closely with his mother, and with very few other children around. Yet and still, he co-founded a well-known website.
Teaching the next generation
Another interesting thing is that Wales’ wife currently homeschools their own children. With a net worth of somewhere in the field of 1 million dollars, private school education could easily be afforded. Instead, however, there was a conscious decision made to encourage true learning and pursuit of passion through the method of homeschooling.
Jimmy is in the category of “famous homeschoolers.” Famous individuals who chose to homeschool their children instead of sending them to a public or even private school.
Homeschooling is good enough for Jimmy Wales and his daughter, who began doing math at grades above where she should have been. There must be perks to it. Rewards even. When we think of famous people, we don’t generally think of them in the aspect of having the time to homeschool their own children. Maybe being schooled at home, hiring a professional to come in, but not doing the work themselves. This is one of the things that make Jimmy Wales unique.
Allow Jimmy to inspire you. No, your net worth may not be worth a million dollars, but the passion and education your child may experience with you could cause them to become famous citizens with a large net worth!