One of the main reasons why you as a parent may choose to homeschool is because your child is struggling in a regular school. Maybe the pace in a classroom is too fast or too slow and the school is unable to accommodate your child. Or maybe your child doesn’t understand what’s going on and needs more one-on-one assistance that, again, the school cannot provide. Therefore, you decide that homeschooling will allow the opportunity to work with your child individually and at a pace that meets his or her needs.
So, you start the process and in setting up your child or children in the homeschool environment, you get together with other homeschool parents for social events or within co-ops. Whatever the scenario, you converse with other parents and learn about their day-to-day activities, curriculums, extra-curricula activities, and how their children cope with it all. And then you freak out.
You discover that your child struggles in math so much more than your new homeschool friend’s child, and they’re the same age and in the same grade. You learn that your child isn’t able to keep up with extra-curricular activities in addition to regular classes, like another family’s children, or that your child can’t draw a self-portrait or write cursive well. In fact, your child or all your children are just not on the same academic level in some areas of their homeschool education when you compare them with others.
So, guess what? Don’t compare them.
You see, the only rules you must adhere to when homeschooling are those set by your state. If you’re following the law, the rest of your homeschooling requirements are set by you and your child. And this is good, because, as you know, every child is different.
Homeschooling is hard enough without trying to compare your child with others. And if you’re comparing your child with others, then aren’t you doing a disservice to your child? And most importantly, aren’t you defeating the whole purpose of homeschooling altogether?
Your child is a beautiful and unique individual and his learning process is equally distinctive, as are his academic strengths, interests, and talents. Rather than compare your child with others, focus on what works for your child. Find out what your child needs that will make his math experience easier. Learn what your child’s gift is so that you can find ways to incorporate that into his academics. Take one day at a time as you learn about your child and even as you learn more about yourself as a teacher.
Most importantly, stop focusing on what your child can’t do or where he can’t keep up. Focus on what he can do. Discover and utilize his strengths and use that knowledge to help strengthen the areas of his learning that he is finding the most challenging.
Homeschooling is a gift to both you and your child. Don’t get caught up in comparing your child with others or even his siblings. It’ll only cause unnecessary worry to you and your child.