It’s been a busy month for our family. Not only did we attend a large homeschool convention, but we also attended a local three-day homeschooling event with teaching available for parents and educational camps for the children.
Talk about information overload!
I still haven’t had adequate time to process all that I have taken in. To be honest, it can become overwhelming. I have been presented with dozens of varieties of resources, teaching methods, testimonials and free samples. Most of which sound wonderful. I’d love to incorporate them all into my homeschool, but that is simply not practical. Due to the influx of information, there is one thing that I have been tempted to do this summer that I do not recommend. That is, living under mom guilt for what I have not done this past school year.
At the homeschool convention I would pass booth after booth that would present certain material and I would get down on myself that not all my kids know all fifty states yet or can’t quote all their capitals. I would start doubting whether the math skills of one of my kids was up to par. Once I got home and started sorting through everything I started becoming fearful rather than encouraged.
Then, at the local event I attended, I was surrounded by a plethora of highly educated moms who strive for nothing more than excellence for their children. Some of their children were able to quote historical events that I personally never mastered until I was in college! Needless to say, rather than looking at my children’s strengths, all I could dwell on were their weaknesses. And mine.
I have caught myself comparing myself with other moms and have felt like a failure in certain areas. Therefore, I have determined in my heart to stop comparing and not focus on what we haven’t done in our homeschool but rather look at the progress of each of my kids.
Each of my children have come a long way and one of the joys of homeschooling is that we can meet our children where they are at and move on from there. If one child is at a place in their reading that is not “grade level,” it’s not a big deal. We just meet them where they are and gradually work with them towards the next level.
The danger with homeschooling out of fear is that it is easy to push our kids too fast when they aren’t ready. If we are afraid that our child doesn’t know his multiplication tables inside and out then we can be tempted to force them to “speed learn” them in a short period. This only becomes frustrating for both the child and the parent. Rather, if you genuinely are concerned that your child needs to work on something, simply schedule it in for a few minutes each day and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse until they get it. It might take a few weeks or it might take a few months but repetition is key and eventually they will get it.
To help keep my summer enjoyable, I refuse to dwell on what I haven’t done but instead meet my kids where they are and joyfully move on from there. Rather than living in mom guilt over unreasonable expectations, I plan to snuggle up with my children with a good book and enjoy hearing them read to me at their level. Enjoy your children this summer as well. Use this summer as a time to get refreshed and be encouraged to gently guide them to where they need to go this the upcoming year!