You’ve done your research. You’ve talked to other homeschool moms. You’ve seen success in other families and you’re ready for those results. You’ve ordered your curriculum. Your kids are excited. All right, let’s do this. Let’s homeschool.
Monday morning rolls around, and your kids are not getting that math lesson. One child is crying while the other is distracted and not focused. The clock has somehow fast forwarded three hours and the schedule that you created for that day is long abandoned. How did this get away from you so quickly? Was this a bad idea? Other homeschooling families are doing great and don’t have this problem.
Oh, yes they do.
One of the biggest pitfalls you can fall into as a homeschooler is the Comparison Trap. Whether that means comparing your curriculum to another family’s, comparing how your days went, or simply wishing that your homeschool experience looked like theirs: it’s a trap.
Here are a few ways to get out of the Comparison Trap.
Realize that comparison is the thief of joy
In 2 Corinthians 10:12, Paul talks about taking joy in your own actions without comparing it to somebody else’s. Easier said than done. It seems to be in our nature to look at our work and nitpick it compared to someone else’s. Do you realize that this small action takes away whatever pride you had in that project and turns it into a desire for more? Without realizing it, your expectations sky rocket into something that you might not be able to reach. When those expectations aren’t met, disappointment hits. Then, all of the beaming joy you had in that project turns into “This isn’t right” and “It should look like this.” It takes the fun and personalization out of whatever you are doing. Each family is different. Homeschool your children in the way that THEY learn best. Once you stop looking at other journeys next to yours, you will find true joy in your homeschooling.
Every single family is different
Once you have a few weeks of homeschooling under your belt, your confidence will start to form. But comparison may start to rear its ugly head once again as you realize that you are homeschooling your children very different than some other people you know. You might start to panic a little because you compare your children with theirs and think their kids are farther along than yours. It’s important that you remember: your children learn differently than other children and sometimes we forget that’s a good thing. You may run your household differently than your peers and handle situations in a way that they never would – and that is okay! It’s easy to look through the figurative window of another family’s house and long for the things that you see. But it’s important to remember that you never really know what other families are dealing with in the background. You created and built your family. You know and understand how your children work (for the most part!). Your family dynamic is unique than everyone else’s and that should be celebrated. The Lord has called you to homeschool your children and just because it looks different than someone else’s experience or routine does not mean that you’re doing it wrong. It probably means you’re doing it correctly.
Nothing is ever as it seems
We teach our children to be unapologetically who they are and to love themselves. How easily we forget to take our own advice. It would break your heart to see your child compare their reading ability with that of another child. In your head, you would realize that, while the other child may excel at reading, they may be unable to hold a candle to your student’s passion for math or science. As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children not to compare themselves to others around them; we may not know what is going on behind the scenes. Despite what the world of social media and exterior appearances may try to tell us, we have no way of knowing what is going on in another family’s household. We don’t know how many curriculum options that family went through before they found one that helped their daughter learn long division. It may look like it took only two weeks on the outside, but behind those doors, we don’t know the struggle. Nothing is ever as it seems, and it’s important to remember that before you compare yourself.
Cut yourself some slack and breathe. You’re starting out on this new journey, and it will take a minute to gain confidence and experience. Walk alongside your kids and do this together. Take your time, you will get it.
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©2019 HomeLife Academy. Article by Kait Martin. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher http://homelifeacademy.com/.