While education necessarily involves the acquisition of knowledge, most home- school parents would agree
that the development of character is at least
as important. In recent days, public school
educators are finding this to be true as well.
The quality of perseverance or “grit,” in particular, has been widely discussed, and a
recent study indicates that this quality may
impact student success more than even intelligence.
In the field of education, measures of
“success” are often used to determine effec-
tiveness of the educational process. While
“success” is defined by different people in
diverse ways, in education this generally
means that students are able to effectively
perform in college or a career and are able
to become financially independent. Home-
school parents may define success in dif-
ferent ways as well, but most see financial
independence as a valuable goal.
In a recent study, educators attempted
to measure the value of perseverance on a
larger, international scale. The study, which
was published in December 2017 in the
Economics of Education Review, compared
the Program for International Student Assessment test scores of students from 60
countries and also looked at the consistency of student performance from the
beginning of the test to the end of the test.
The study came to a surprising conclusion:
Student ability to persevere to the end of
the test was as important as student performance on the test in predicting whether a
country was on an upward economic climb.
In other words, countries whose students
show greater perseverance are more likely
to grow economically.
The importance of perseverance has long
been recognized by leaders. However, this
issue is actually debated in educational
circles. Some see teaching perseverance or
“grit” as the answer to America’s educational woes while others feel that this idea
negates the notion that society should be
geared toward removing obstacles—such as
poverty and racial injustice—from a child’s
life. However, these ideas are not mutually
exclusive. We should do what we can to alleviate suffering. But as suffering is inevitable in every life, the teaching of perseverance can only benefit those who must live.
The idea of “grit,” which has become a
by-word in education of late, is said to have
The Power of
Perseverance is the key ingredient for
success in homeschooling, as it is in life.