I know in my heart that the path we’ve chosen for our kids (home-education) is the correct path for them, it is not easy but it is the right one. However even knowing that you are doing what is right for your kids does not mean that sometimes you don’t play the comparison game in your head.
For me this is probably one of the most destructive things that I can do. My two gorgeous kids are amazing but they face some sensory challenges in their young lives so activities / outings that should be normal for most are nothing but normal for us. This means I can not compare them to what their friends are up too. I need to enjoy the progress that each child has made.
For my daughter stepping into a swimming pool even just to play is full of sensory challenges. This is a child who has likened the feeling of drizzle on her skin to being cut with knives (not that she ever has been cut with a knife before but those were her words). So for her just spending time in water is massive, never mind lying on her back or putting her head under or tying to swim. So I can not do the comparison game and think by her age I was swimming. I did not have a sensory challenge with water. Instead of comparing her to what is expected I try to celebrate every time she gets in a pool and has fun.
And for her those days when we go swimming by the time she gets home her brain is so overloaded that academic activities are just not an option. But I can not stress over that. Instead I need to enjoy that fact we went swimming. We don’t stick to a timetable, so what we miss out on doing one day normally gets made up over a weekend or during a traditional school holiday.
My son has an incredibly tough time understanding touch. His brain tells him that soft/ gentle touch is painful. So often when he comes to give me a hug he will almost strangle me, he is not trying to hurt me, for him a tight firm hug is comforting so when he wants to hug me he naturally applies the same logic. I can not compare him to other kids his age who already understand the difference. I need to instead enjoy those moments when he gets it right without me having to ask him to be gentle. And those moments when he does not wipe a kiss off his cheek (a kiss on the cheek is gentle so for him not nice) – those are pure gold.
It is hard. People naturally want to compare what our kids are doing to what their school-going friends are up too. But I need to remind myself that they do not see the huge progress that the kids have made and that I can not get sucked into the comparison game. My kids are home-educated because we know that the school enviroment does not suit them. We do not need to force them to do everything in the same time frame. There is a race in our home.
And I know for families who are not in the same situation as us it can be hard to understand but I really do not want to get sucked into the comparison game I rather want to enjoy the individual progress that each child has made (Yours aswell).