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Congrats Homeschooled Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor Part Three

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Congrats Homeschooled Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor

Part Three

By Linda Dobson

homeschooledPlease visit Part One and Part Two of this story.

You Never Understand the System Until You Get Out of It (and Get Homeschooled)

When Georgia visited Jason after his move to the Dolphin’s home base in Florida for his new job as football player, she was shocked to see how he was living. “Here he was a millionaire, and all he had were his sheet and blanket from college and a bed because he knew he had to have a place to rest.” Mother and son went shopping, and today Jason is more comfortably settled. He is unmarried, although Katina, a sister of a teammate, currently occupies quite a bit of his time. A public school graduate herself, Jason’s girlfriend finds homeschooling intriguing.

Jason would like to marry one day and raise a family. He’s not sure about homeschooling for his children but admits, “It will be different when I actually have children.” He recalls that he wasn’t initially thrilled with the idea of homeschooling and says, “Looking back now, there’s nothing I would criticize about it at all. It’s led me to where I wanted to go, so there couldn’t be anything wrong with it.”

Georgia gives homeschooling credit for Jason’s success. “When we freed up his schedule by homeschooling him, we freed him to be educated in what he was good at,” she explains. “We never knew what was in Jason, what his abilities were. Not until he was homeschooled were we able to see what we needed to do as parents to support the abilities he was capable of excelling in. We learned you can help anyone become a champion. It’s just a matter of finding out what that champion is champ of.”

“I heard someone say this once, but I’d never realized it – you never understand the system you’re in until you get out of it. That’s when you can stand back to examine it. Our children went to a very good school. It wasn’t until they were out that I could see the unnecessary time spent. I could see money wasn’t being allocated right. I could see the children weren’t being offered things they could have been if only somebody took the time to do it and be concerned about it.”

Like so many other homeschooled children, Jason carried with him into adulthood a simple, but important message. “I know I can look into something I’m interested in and learn it,” he says, “whether it’s by reading books or finding it on TV or talking to the right person. I know I can do it myself.”

When asked if he thinks other teens could homeschool, even if mom and dad work, Jason says, “I think they certainly can. Again it puts the pressure on the kid to get up and do his work. He’s not going to have Miss Smith shoving it down his throat every day. You’ve got to get up and do it. If you fail, there’s only person you can point a finger at.”

I ask if that’s what makes it fun and meaningful, when your education becomes your responsibility. “Yeah!” Jason answers with the most enthusiasm expressed during the interview. “And I think it helped me when I went to college. If you don’t show up for class in college, no one’s going to call you or come get you to take you to class. Homeschooling prepares you for that, also. You get a syllabus and a book; it’s up to you to get your butt to class to learn.”

Jason was just 23 years old when fulfillment of his dreams thrust him into responsibility for more money and fame than many people see in a lifetime. “Once you get into it there are a lot of pressures,” he says. “The homeschooling has helped me be accountable for my actions and handle the pressure to get things done. That has carried over. Handling the notoriety isn’t something you learn in books, I’ll tell you that much. The scrutiny is one of the toughest things outside of the pressure to perform every week, to do my job, and push to be the best at what I do. You have the Monday morning quarterbacks that want to criticize everything you do and the media pressures and pressure from the fans. There’s a lot that goes into it, but it’s a great job if you can keep your head on straight.”

Success is measured differently for all of us, Jason believes. “There are people that can’t do some of the things I can do, and I can’t do some of the things they can do,” he explains. “When someone makes the most out of the situation he’s in, I think that’s when he’s successful.”

“My situation is different,” Jason continues. “There are a lot of things I want to do in life. I don’t think at 25 I or anyone else can say we’re successful. Hopefully at the end I can look back and say I was. One of the sayings I have on the wall in my office is: Success is a constant journey, not a destination.”

When I ask Jason about future plans, he replies, “It’s funny that you ask that. I was just talking with Katina about how much is going on right now in the NFL (National Football League). A lot of the players are getting into trouble; now they’re going to jail for murder. Derrick Thomas, a player for the Kansas City Chiefs, died, and Tom Landry, a great coach, passed away yesterday. I was explaining to her about how you can sit there and plan and hope that you’re going to get to a certain level, but you never know if you’ll get a chance to do it. I take it a day at a time,” he concludes. “I’ve got a lot of things I want to do in the future, but you’re never promised tomorrow.”

Despite that philosophical attitude, Jason does have a “perfect plan” in mind. “That would be to play football for about 10 or 12 years, make a ton of money, take care of my mother, take care of my sister, and not have to do much of anything besides what I want to do when retired. It would be nice if football could eventually get me into other ventures, with TV and the like.”

After speaking with Jason, I have little doubt that he will “keep his head on straight.” Does this mean he’ll continue to regard playing with the Miami Dolphins as a great job? I hope so. I like to think more homeschooled folks will be rooting for my favorite football team when the leaves start falling again.

homeschooledFor more information about Homeschoolers’ Success Stories: 15 Adults and 12 Young People Share the Impact That Homeschooling Has Made on Their Lives, visit this link at Parent at the Helm.

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