Saturday, April 5, 2014

Don't Compare

As I gear up for a busy week of Geography club, working on our matchbox swaps, and also doing our art curriculum I thought it would be the perfect time to revisit a blog post I did over at Time4Learning last year.

Most parents know not to compare their children to one another as each child is an individual with different challenges and different strengths. The same holds true with your own family's homeschool. There is not one correct way to homeschool in my opinion. Each child most likely has a different personality and learning style from their siblings and the parent/s that teach that child also have things that they are good at and things that are more difficult for them.

We have been homeschooling for 7+ years and I wish that I had known early on not to compare how we do things with other families. I guess the exception would be when asking input or advice of another family that may have gone through something similar. Both my husband and I have had a few people over the years make comments like "I'm sure you do a lot more with your children than we do." How would they know this? They don't. Somehow they have gotten a preconceived notion from observing us.

I've also gotten the comment many times, "I could never homeschool a child with special needs, I do not know how you do it." In reality, I think most people could do it if they thought it was the only way their child could get an appropriate education. Which was the case for us. They usually do not see the occasional bad days we have where we are just doing our best to deal with behaviors and doctor appointments. Honestly some days are survival mode, LOL. We pretty much homeschool year round for this very reason. This allows a day off from educational lessons when other special need issues arise, as they often can. It also allows for a spontaneous trip when we all need a break, rather than when most people take a break. (summer)

Yet, I have done the same thing comparing our homeschool to others! I will see a family with many children (I just have two) and I will think silently, that the mom must possess extra super powers that I do not have. I admit I have been a bit jealous of families that do not have to deal with special needs challenges even though I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm also sometimes envious of some of my friends that are talented at teaching co-op classes, scout groups, and group activities in their home, as that is not where my talent is.

All of this is what makes homeschooling so ideal! We learn our children's learning styles and our own teaching styles. We are able to let our children actively pursue their own interests and talents without being burdened by typical public school hours. After awhile we figure out what works best for our own individual families and adapt when changes need to be made. When we are involved in group activities with friends we can combine our talents with other families and share our talents with them.

Has there ever been a time you have compared your homeschool to another family and not felt up to par?

1 comment:

  1. I used to compare ourselves to other homeschooling families all the time, but I finally learned that we can be different, but still be just as successful. That's hard to learn though, lol. We are very relaxed. No super strict schedule, no "classroom at home" kinda thing. But, my boys are learning and thriving and happy. So, I'm good with that. :)