As a homeschooling mom, it is hard to keep perspective. You constantly compare your child to other homeschoolers and the dreaded “average public school kid”. It’s a nightmare. It makes for many moments of anxiety.
I find the best help for this inevitable comparison is keeping a long-term goal in your view. If you, like me, intend to homeschool K-12, you have a real advantage. You can move a child through skills and curriculum at his own pace. One example is from my oldest son. He is a very bright boy who is not overly academic. I’m sure you know the type. When he was in second grade I struggled, beating my head against a wall trying to teach him to tell time. Finally, frustrated, I gave up. Two years later he bought an analog watch at a yard sale. In five minutes he learned to tell time. Because he was ready.
In public school, he would have been struggling, frustrated and constantly under pressure to learn a skill that he didn’t even need yet. But because I had the flexibility to postpone that lesson, he learned it easily and with confidence.
I have watched the same child struggle with reading, each year feeling more and more like a failure as a parent/teacher. I have had constant reminders from my homeschool support network (if you don’t have one, get one – more on that in another post) of my own personal philosophy of home education. I’ve been looking to the future. Where do I see him at 18? Do I really believe he will develop the skills needed to be successful What is my definition of success for him? What are his unique strengths that will help him develop this particular skill?
I am pleased to be able to say that this year, nearly ending the year, I see a vast improvement in his skills and in his confidence. It was nearly overnight, or so it seemed.
So as you struggle, keep these questions in mind. Does he have to learn this now? Why is he learning this? Can he learn this another way? What does success and a successful life look like for this child? What are his strengths?
Never grow weary of doing good.