Articles

The Future Belongs to Homeschoolers

The following is an excerpt from "Thriving in the 21st Century: Preparing Our Children for the New Economic Reality," due out in 2006 from Cardamom Publishers How does Google find employees, and what does that have to do with homeschoolers? I'll get to the second part of that question shortly, but first let me tell you a bit about Google. If you've spent any time at all on the Web, you know that Google.com is a powerful and popular Internet search engine.

The company responsible for that site is also known as Google, and it is growing rapidly. Google employed fewer than 700 people two years ago; today there are nearly 2,700 Google employees. Such rapid growth required an innovative yet efficient approach for finding qualified engineers to program the Google search engine; Google rose to the challenge. In an economy that has not been kind to many technical workers, word of available jobs at a young and growing company like Google brings swarms of people from all over the country and beyond. How can any company sift through so many applications and resumes in order to find the right people in a reasonable amount of time? The traditional resume-then-interview sequence would take far too long.

The powers that be at Google came up with a system that breaks free of traditional hiring practices and brings the right people to their doorstep quickly and easily. It includes placing aptitude tests in "geek" magazines including "Physics Today" and "Mensa," resulting in a flood of answers sent in by candidates. Google also buys space on billboards in Silicon Valley, posting on them only the phrase "(first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e).com", with no mention of the company itself. Whoever figures out the answer ends up at a site with a puzzle on it.

Those who successfully solve the puzzle are then sent to a site where Google accepts resumes. Puzzles and challenges like these are irresistible to the brainiacs that are desired by Google, and they respond even if they didn't intend to look for a new job. Google uses these tactics to attract the quality applicants needed for its continued success. The beauty of this system is that Google has broken free of traditional hiring practices in order to construct a system that brings qualified potential employees to its doors efficiently and in a reasonable amount of time. So what does this have to do with homeschooling? Everything! The "let's try something different" mindset thriving at Google is also at home in the home. Homeschooled kids learn to think for themselves while learning about what interests them, instead of being told what to do along with 25 or 30 (or more) others who are assigned to do the exact same thing in the exact same way.

Homeschoolers don't spend their youth held captive in one building all day, being encouraged to "fit in" and "go along to get along." They have the time and the freedom to try things, to succeed or fail, and to try something else. That freedom is a must for anyone who would innovate.

Master innovator Thomas Edison, with his 1,093 patents (and inventions too numerous to list) spent much of his youth learning on his own. According to Blaine McCormick, author of "At Work with Thomas Edison," the inventor ".deplored formal education. He believed it ruined your ability to think. To Edison, the ABC's of education stood for "Avoid Being Creative.

" " As we rejoin the global economy, where Americans are faced with competitors in other countries who will work for far less money than we will, we must become innovators in order to survive. Workers in other countries may end up making the things we used to make, but they will still look to us when determining what to make, as long as we continue to set the trends by coming up with new products and ideas. Our country's economic future depends on our children's ability to be creative, to come up with new ideas and implement them.

By homeschooling them, we equip them to bring about a prosperous future. Copyright 2005 Cardamom Publishers/Barbara Frank .

By: Barbara Frank



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