I’ve got a bad habit of comparing myself. Do you?
It started when I became a mother….
He’s already potty trained?
You’re still breastfeeding?
You’re having ANOTHER baby?
Then, as the years went on and I had more children, I became more confident. The comparisons dwindled. My child will wean or take formula when necessary. I’ll take his cue. If I don’t spring for the BPA-Free sippy cup at Target, I need not feel guilty. I know my children and do my best day to day.
Luckily, when it came to school, (so I thought!) I’ve been spared! I don’t have to compare preschools or teachers or spelling test scores! We’re homeschoolers. I’m in a ‘safe zone’.
However, as the weeks and months have unfolded on our first year of homeschooling, the comparisons have been creeping back in.
While chit chatting with other moms at homeschool park day, curriculum fairs, homeschooling blogs….and the dreaded… Pinterest!
I sit down to begin planning my week and all the sudden I’m drowning in what we’re doing compared to others and whether I’m doing too much or not enough for my child.
“She’s reading? Oh. Well, when did she start? Whole language or phonetic approach?”
“You’re doing Saxon?! I just ordered Math-U-See! Will my child be behind? Did I waste my money? I should have researched more!”
Then I jump on Pinterest. ”They did a cute activity for St. Patrick’s Day? I didn’t even know it WAS St. Patrick’s Day!?” Now my child won’t know how to trap a leprechaun or create a rainbow themed snack out of fruit!”
No curriculum for pre-k? Too much curriculum for pre-K? Am I over stimulating my little toddler or slipping into the unschooler unknowns?!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. (Breathing into a brown paper bag.)
I didn’t expect this. I’d envisioned homeschooling as a Hallmark card in which you are in your own world–never questioning your practices or looking over my homeschooling neighbor’s shoulder.
Then, I realized…it is ME. I am comparing myself and my choices to others. My children have no idea the girl from the co-op could read 6 months before they did—nor do they care. If I manage to print out that awesome printable and actually follow through with it, great. If not, I’m sure my child will still be able to find a job once the time comes.
I think this issue will be a process I go through with each child. Although I hope and pray that with each passing day, week, month, and year, I will embrace my own style when educating my child.
Homeschooling may not require a degree in education or a vast amount of training, but it does require confidence. Confidence in ourselves, in our children, and in our Savior.
I turned to the Bible for some help. Help from my Lord who knows my innermost thoughts, fears, and desires…
2 Corinthians 3:4-5: …We are not saying that we can do this work ourselves. It is God who makes us able to do all that we do.
Psalm 112:8: They are confident and will not be afraid; they will look down on their enemies.
And finally James 1: 5-7: But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving it to all people, so he will give you wisdom. But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown up and down by the wind. Such doubters are thinking two different things at the same time, and they cannot decide about anything they do. They should not think they will receive anything from the Lord.