Well, it’s been forever since I’ve posted something. I don’t know why, but I’ve been in a dry spell. Just can’t think of anything to say. Life is kind of just cruising along at about 100mph. The days blur into each other and sometimes I think I’m in the movie Groundhog Day…each day like the one before. I know I should be thankful for that. Mundane means everyone is healthy and accounted for.
I thought I’d speak to you fellow homeschool moms for a few posts. Sometimes I forget that HUGE part of my life and the fact that I’ve been doing it for 14 years now. Not that that means I have it figured out…cuz I don’t! Every year something changes. Every month I am shocked that so much time has flown by. Every day I question if I’m doing the right thing.
You’re not alone, homeschool mom. I see you. I get you. I feel you.
I think I’ll do a series special for you moms. If you have anything specific you want to know, please tell me!
Right now, I want to dispel a myth that runs rampant among us moms. I bet you’ve thought this, said it out loud, and believed it wholeheartedly. (If not, good for you.) Here it is:
My kid is behind.
You’re nodding your head right now, aren’t you? You’re probably even saying, “But, Sarah, my kid actually is behind.”
I want to ask you some questions I have had to wrestle with myself.
What do you mean behind? Behind in a subject? Behind emotionally or socially?
How do you know your child is behind? Who or what are you comparing your child to?
I’m guessing you are comparing your child to other kids, whether homeschooled or public schooled. I did it too. A lot. And I can only tell you one thing, as a good friend.
Stop. Just stop.
If 3rd graders are doing division and your 3rd grader isn’t, who cares? Who put that standard in place for all 3rd graders to begin with? Did that random board of supposed experts know your child? Did they know any children for that matter? Did they or do they know your life experiences? Do they have any idea what your child is exceling in?
If your child is a slow reader or has a hard time at math, does that mean he or she is actually behind? Or is comparison just robbing your joy with your child and causing you both to be frustrated?
I have kids who have learned to read at 5, others who haven’t learned until 8. I have children who are amazing artists but cry if you ask them to read a book! I have kids who excel in math and others who could take apart an engine and put it back together, but if you gave that child a math book there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Does this mean that I don’t have the one who dislikes math, do math? Of course not. But, if there’s frustration and tears, put away the math, put away the standards you are pressuring yourself with, put away the pressure from the outside world (including family), and do something your child enjoys. Then come back to math.
One of my kids never liked school, never. He cried, he would hide his books, he would lie that he’d done a subject when he hadn’t. But you give that kid some tools and he could figure out just about anything. I can’t do that. That’s a gift, a unique gift that he’ll use for the rest of his life and probably make a good living with.
All those years, I fretted, worried, yelled, argued and put undue pressure on…guess what. He’s going to be okay. He’s going to turn out well and be able to stand on his own two feet.
I have another one that, right now, can’t walk up the 17 steps to the second floor, into his room and get dressed without getting completely distracted. I’ll find him 20 minutes later building an elaborate marble works with half his pajamas still on. Drives me batty. Had he been my first child, I would have worried, yelled, pleaded (let’s face it, I’m sometimes still do that), but I am learning now that it’s a beautiful part of his gifting and personality. He is always, always, always thinking, wondering, questioning the world around him. What if I did this? What if I changed that?
When I stop to listen to his ideas I’m amazed at how smart he is. Does he run on a different clock? Uh, yeah. Can that be annoying when we’re trying to get out the door? Definitely. But, is he behind? No. He’s just who God created him to be.
Your child is unique. No one on earth is just like your little boy or little girl. Don’t you forget that. And because of that, comparing your child to any other person on this planet is unfair. You simply can’t do it! Because it’s like comparing an elephant to a monkey or a steak to an apple. They are so different it’s impossible.
This meme is silly, and yet it’s exactly what we’re doing when we compare.
I leave you with this: Psalm 139. These words are God’s about you and your child. And they are true.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.