Really, when you ignore children's education as much as I do then the general expectation is that they're going to grow up dumb as earthworms. I'll admit to being a mom who uses the Visual Lobotomy for a little peace and quiet to get other things done. When the Banshees howl that they're bored, I tell them that they have four choices: Reading, Writing, Math, or Laundry. I got a lot of laundry out of that before they wised up. (I've sinced added "Running Like Fiends Around the Front Yard i.e. P.E. They aren't naive enough to go for the weeding-as-fun routine.)
So when did EB turn into a voracious bookworm? We live together, don't you think I would have noticed that going on under my nose? MB's obsession with history (as long as it's Titanic's history), geology (as long as it's a volcano or a black smoker), and the Solar System is phenomenal (Got Black Holes? No? Darn!). LB is still unable to read but appears to be making a bid for Family Bard. Or possibly author for soap operas. Sometimes the boundaries are a little fuzzy.
No, no, no! They aren't supposed to be this...well, well-educated. They're supposed to have the IQ of a philodendron.
Of course, then it hits me: my initial philosophy of teacher as facilitator as opposed to prison guard is working out just fine and the doubts that I'm having are just the internal scripts left over from my public school experience. I gathered together the resources and had the wisdom or the infinite degree of addled luck to let them be bored out of their noggins every once in a while. The Banshees aren't picking it up in the linear fashion that I did, but it's trickling into their brainpans nonetheless. I feel all puffed up with pride and infinitely humble all at the same time. My kids. Wow.