Parent Community and Forum - Blog:Do Not Compare
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  • Blog:Don't Compare

    Most parents know not to compare their children to one another as each child is an individual with different challenges and different strengths. The same holds true with your own family's homeschool. There is not one correct way to to homeschool in my opinion. Each child most likely has a different personality and learning style from their siblings and the parent/s that teach that child also have things that they are good at and things that are more difficult for them.

    We have been homeschooling for 7+ years and I wish that I had known early on not to compare how we do things with other families. I guess the exception would be when asking input or advice of another family that may have gone through something similar. Both my husband and I have had a few people over the years make comments like "I'm sure you do a lot more with your children than we do." How would they know this? They don't. Somehow they have gotten a preconceived notion from observing us.

    I've also gotten the comment many times, "I could never homeschool a child with special needs, I do not know how you do it." In reality, I think most people could do it if they thought it was the only way their child could get an appropriate education. Which was the case for us. They usually do not see the occasional bad days we have where we are just doing our best to deal with behaviors and doctor appointments. Honestly some days are survival mode, LOL. We pretty much homeschool year round for this very reason. This allows a day off from educational lessons when other special need issues arise, as they often can. It also allows for a spontaneous trip when we all need a break, rather than when most people take a break. (summer)

    Yet, I have done the same thing comparing our homeschool to others! I will see a family with many children (I just have two) and I will think silently, that the mom must possess extra super powers that I do not have. I admit I have been a bit jealous of families that do not have to deal with special needs challenges even though I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm also sometimes envious of some of my friends that are talented at teaching co-op classes, scout groups, and group activities in their home, as that is not where my talent is.

    All of this is what makes homeschooling so ideal! We learn our children's learning styles and our own teaching styles. We are able to let our children actively pursue their own interests and talents without being burdened by typical public school hours. After awhile we figure out what works best for our own individual families and adapt when changes need to be made. When we are involved in group activities with friends we can combine our talents with other families and share our talents with them.

    Has there ever been a time you have compared your homeschool to another family and not felt up to par?
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. bailbrae's Avatar
      bailbrae -
      This was something that was very hard for me to NOT do! Especially in those first couple of years. We had not really planned on homeschooling, so when the time came and my son ended up at home, I didn't have any thoughts or ideals as to how our "school day" would go. In the homeschool group I immediately joined, the families has so many different styles and methods they practiced. I thought that if I didn't do what those "super moms" did, then I'm not doing it right. I don't know at what point it finally clicked with me...that we didn't have to be like other homeschoolers to homeschool successfully, but when that click finally happened, it was such a relief, lol.
    1. MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
      MamaToHerRoo -
      The group I joined when I first started homeschooling was very textbook/workbook based. They made me feel inadequate because they didn't understand the curriculum we had chosen, (Time4Learning) didn't understand that on the computer was how my child learned best. They seemed to think that if I didn't use one of the "big names" in homeschool curriculum I was not truly homeschooling. My daughter has done wonderfully, and I learned not to compare her, or let others cause me to second guess the process we have established. I still feel a bit inadequate if I try to compare our way of homeschooling to families that have mild-mannered, compliant, obedient children who never question, never balk, never pose a challenge to their teachers/parents. My daughter tries me at ever turn, and needs to be challenged constantly. On "survival" days I wish for easy homeschooling, but I never regret choosing homeschooling!
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