My wife and I home schooled our five children for four years during their lower grades. As an aside, and to give some semblance of proximity, their present ages are 17, 16, 15, 14, and 13. One of our sons went to school for four years before we pulled him back out for nearly straight F’s. Even though his test scores were significantly higher than they should be at his grade level, his attitude toward daily assignments was nearing ignorance. He was bored into believing high school didn’t mean anything and felt stifled by the routine. In home school we gave him the opportunity to pursue whatever he wanted, so long as he found a course of study that would serve him well for entering college, should he choose to do so. He immediately began building an electric guitar, a desire of his for several years since we couldn’t afford one. He went out into the woods, cut a tree, and made the neck, using an old metal coat hanger for the frets. He picked up an old throw away header board and cut it up for the body, then grabbed some tuning pegs of a guitar that was rather inferior. He put all of those parts together, all the while searching the internet for instructions on construction and parts lists. I ordered some fine gauge wire that we couldn’t find at the hardware store, and he wound his own pickups using his mother’s sewing machine. He has been salvaging parts from older electronic components for several years, a trait that became valuable when he needed controls for his guitar. The not quite finished guitar sounds incredible on the cheap amp he got at a yard sale. He already knows a few songs and is starting on his next guitar, which he contends will be much better. I believe him.
Our other children have each had differing successes in art or music, each one expressing themselves to their own abillity and need. Some require the structure provided by school, although sometimes chafing at it. At least one felt inhibited, almost suffocating, from the limitations of that structure. We have found that the opportunities presented by schools is only a part of the equation. All children are unique in how they deal with their expressions through art and music, as well as their various and diverse experiences while passing though the educational system. To my mind the biggest thing is – that they believe in themselves, and have the support they need to fulfill their purpose in life.