What’s Best for the Kids: Lessons from a Homeschool Veteran

Walt and Margaret Cranor homeschooled their five children, and helped many homeschool families.

By Kathy Kuhl

In homeschool communities, experienced parents pass along their wisdom to new homeschoolers. This process is invaluable to homeschooling. Because of their willingness to help others, these experienced parents save the rest of us a lot of mistakes.

One such parent is my sister-in-law, Margaret Kuhl Cranor. In 1997, I was a bit reluctant to begin homeschooling a child with learning challenges. Margaret spent hours giving me tips and encouragement. I’m one of many she has helped. In turn, her help also enabled me to help many others.

After twenty-nine years of homeschooling, Margaret and Walt’s youngest child is graduating. Reporter Alan Wartes of the Gunnison County Times interviewed Margaret about this milestone. In the interview she looks back on her decision to homeschool, as well as the development of homeschooling and her role in it.

I appreciate her reflections on how homeschooling has changed since 1988. I also love her concern to help others. More than anything, I like the focus of her homeschooling:

“It’ll always be about the kids and what’s best for them,” she said.

She still shares gems with me. For instance, last month she wrote:

“A very wise woman said something to me today–we were talking about her homeschooling her grandchildren and knowing that she’d never give them a super academic education. They all have some major learning glitches (foster adopts). She said, ‘We might not be giving them a perfect education, but we ARE giving them a childhood.'”

For those of us raising kids with severe challenges, like this woman, it’s helpful to focus not just on academics, not just on talents, and not just on life skills. We also need to remember what we can give our children:

  • rich learning experiences
  • hands-on discoveries
  • a beautiful childhood

Read the complete interview below. Thanks to Alan Wartes and Katy Murtaugh of the Gunnison County Times.

Full Interview with Margaret CranorFull Interview with Margaret Cranor

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