One of the most important lessons I have learnt while home educating is this. Every Family is different, what works for one is not going to be the blueprint for another so when it comes to home education every family is going to do it in their own way.
I really mean this. I have met LOTS of home educating families over the last 8 years (well 8 years in August) and none of us ever do everything excatly the same. Yes there are similarities, we often borrow ideas from each other and listen to resource suggestions, but the end result is always unique to that individual family. And this is the Main reason that a lot of us feel so strongly about home education – because you can adapt it to suit the family structure and your kids learning style.
But part of realizing this is accepting that comparing is never good. There is a fine line between sharing ideas, concepts, resources and comparing your home education to what one family is doing and then feeling anxious because you don’t feel like you are measuring up.
This is never a good thing.
It is amazing to borrow ideas from each other. I have learnt so much by following what other home educators do and seeing what worked for them. But you need to keep reminding yourself that everyone is different. And just because your kids might be taking longer on a concept than some other family it’s Okay. If you only get around to 1 thing whereas that family did 3 – It’s okay. The worst thing we can do is to beat ourselves up that we are not getting enough done. Or worry that other kids seems to be so further ahead in maths then yours. We need to remember everyone is different. Every kid is unique and yes sometimes your kid is going to take longer to grasp a concept but lets no rush them because we are comparing ourselves to that other family.
It might be a case that your gut is telling you, now is the time to take a few steps back and revisit some basics that your kids is still unsure about. Do that. Listen to what your kid needs and not what other families are doing.
When we first started down this path I kept comparing where we were to the local schools. And in the begining we took a lot longer learning basic sounds and getting going with our reading. And I fell into that trap of comparing and getting anxious. And then one day my oldest just got it and she started flying. Her reading took off and she now loves reading. She normally has about 5 or 6 different books that she is reading at one time and constantly amazes me with what she reads. I am now so glad that we took it slow and did not keep up with the local school pace. It was a lesson that I learnt and always remind myself to this day.
So please if you are a home educator or if you are a school parent who is now supervising distance learning I now it is hard but please try NOT to compare and get worried. Try to borrow ideas where you think they may work, adapt them if you need to and when you know something is just not suited to your situation just bin the idea. Really it is okay if you don’t do the current art craze or read the book that everyone is so determined is the one book you need to read. Borrow what suits you and your family, borrow and adapt but please please don’t start comparing what each kid is getting done in a day. And please, please remember home educators are going to do things a bit differently to distance learning families just like home educators do things a bit differently to schools.
Very wise advice!