Don’t miss the follow-up post Objections to “There’s No Behind in Homeschool” Answered!
I regularly hear homeschool moms lament that their child is behind.
This is public school mentality.
For most of us it is all we have known, and it’s takes some amount of convincing to consider that it might not be the way we have always been told.
But let’s take a step back.
Someone, somewhere, sometime decided that children should learn certain things at certain times.
Who was it?
When was it?
No idea –but it was a long time ago.
Did they know our children?
Does someone you’ve never met, who has never met your children, and probably lived decades ago really truly have a right to decide what’s best for your child?
No! Absolutely not!
Children are all different. They don’t mature and grow physically, emotionally, or psychologically at the same rate.
Why should we assume they’d be able to learn at the same rate?
This is, quite simply, the foundation of homeschooling. It is the reason homeschooling was revived in the late 1900s: parents wanted to be able to make individualized choices for their own children based on what they believed was best.
Parents have fought for that right and gained that right in all 50 states.
While the laws in each state vary, the basic goal of homeschool remains the same: to educate your child as you believe is best for your child.
Some state laws will dictate what must be done when. I am not suggesting that you disobey your state laws, but rather that, as much as it is possible you allow your child to learn at their own pace in as natural and unforced way as you possibly can.
Do not let the pressure to perform or for your kids to perform to persuade you to push your children beyond what is best.
You will be tempted to push them.
The pressure on homeschool moms to prove that they’re doing a good job is immense.
Remind yourself that it’s not about who finishes first. It’s not even about the acquisition of knowledge.
It’s about preparing this child for adulthood.
Damaging a child by pushing beyond what’s best is not preparing the child for adulthood.
The child’s emotional and psychological well being are so vastly more important than if your child can regurgitate names and dates and facts on cue.
Don’t sacrifice your child’s well being for a schedule, a goal, or a test. And especially not for your pride.
Your child is so much more important!
Let go of what you were told was supposed to happen. Don’t force learning on your child.
Make the child’s well being the highest priority, and make learning fit in with that.
If your child is having a bad day, don’t force learning. He will learn better when he’s having a good day and no good can come from forcing it on a bad day.
Learning should be enjoyed and not forced –if we can make it that.
School doesn’t have to be fighting and tears and frustration.
”We have a mistaken correlation between grades and years. We tend to think if our child is 3 grades behind in the acquisition of a subject it will take intensive effort and tons of time to overcome. But time and time again I have seen children go from years behind in a subject to on point or ahead in 6 months to 1 year. Sometimes a change in curricula was involved, but more often the child just matured to the point that they were ready and an understanding of the subject just started clicking into place. Be faithful to love, support, and joyfully teach, and it will come.” -Joy Bishton
It does not matter how fast they are learning as long as they are learning.
It will all even out in the end.
There is no behind in homeschool; there’s just where we are right now.
For more of my posts on homeschooling, see this blog series.
This post is my reply to common objections to this post. It delves more indepth into the idea of children learning at their own pace.