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Never Compare, or Compare?

 

In our home we have a family motto:  "Never compare, someone always gets hurt."  I think we got that from James Dobson at one point, encouraging us not to compare one child to another - especially in areas that are hard wired and the child can't change.   I think that's a wonderful reminder for homeschoolers, because sometimes we compare one child to another, when in fact they are both a unique individual with unique strengths and weaknesses.

But then again......  Maybe there IS a place for comparison.

I talk to parents that get very concerned that their child is behind.  Many times, simply referring to some standardized test scores can remind them that their child is truly on track, average, or even above average.  But sometimes there is more to the story.  Sometimes a test score may be pretty low.  At those times, it may be helpful to compare, but not with other homeschoolers.  Instead, compare to the alternative;  public schools.  You don't want to imitate a public school, or set your goals too low.  Then again, there is one weakness I have identified in homeschooling.  We lose track of where our children are relative to the general population.  

We know what our child's failures are - it's right in our face.  But sometimes we forget that the general population isn't filled with Einstein's either.  When we educate our child at their level, in each subject, carefully picking and choosing curriculum to match their gifts and their needs, then they WILL LEARN.  Keep your focus on learning.  Remember that a thoroughly learned algebra will be more valuable than an almost-failing grade in geometry.    Keep your goal on learning, and your child can be successful.  They don't have to achieve a certain level.  They don't have to perform highly in every area of a standardized test.  They can keep learning in their area.  Focus on work ethic and values, because those can compensate for moderate scores in some areas.

Focus on learning, and you can succeed.  Try to avoid staring at failure. Compare your child to others if necessary, so that you can feel confident in your abilities.  Remember that your child may not be above the 50th percentile in something, but you can still make sure that your child learns more than they would in another educational setting.  Work to teach your child at their level in each situation, knowing that LEARNING is true success.

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Comments 3

Guest - Lisa (website) on Saturday, 06 June 2009 19:38

I have a child who is very academic and one who isn't (here I am comparing). Even though the less academic one may be "behind" by some standards, I don't worry too much because he's a deep thinker, is gifted in building with his hands, and loves to learn. I agree that learning is more important than test scores, and work ethic and values are priceless.

I have a child who is very academic and one who isn't (here I am comparing). Even though the less academic one may be "behind" by some standards, I don't worry too much because he's a deep thinker, is gifted in building with his hands, and loves to learn. I agree that learning is more important than test scores, and work ethic and values are priceless.
Guest - J W on Tuesday, 02 June 2009 17:45

P. S. - we're not at the end of this journey yet, in fact, we're only halfway to legal adult age, but I can confidently say that having a child who is "behind" is not the end of the world. It will mean some hearbreak, and that is something one learns to lay at the altar of God time and time and time again. It will mean extra "advice" from naysayers. It might also mean a few extra years with the child "in the nest." But I wouldn't trade the child for anyone or anything else in the world, and I personally have learned SO much on this journey.

Our entire adult Sunday school last Sunday dealt with the difference between what the world defines "success," and what God considers "success." Such a comparison study would be helpful to anyone struggling with their child's academic performance.

P. S. - we're not at the end of this journey yet, in fact, we're only halfway to legal adult age, but I can confidently say that having a child who is "behind" is not the end of the world. It will mean some hearbreak, and that is something one learns to lay at the altar of God time and time and time again. It will mean extra "advice" from naysayers. It might also mean a few extra years with the child "in the nest." But I wouldn't trade the child for anyone or anything else in the world, and I personally have learned SO much on this journey. Our entire adult Sunday school last Sunday dealt with the difference between what the world defines "success," and what God considers "success." Such a comparison study would be helpful to anyone struggling with their child's academic performance.
Guest - J W on Tuesday, 02 June 2009 17:37

Yep, I agree. Some people outside our family are quick to latch on to a label and blame every bad thing on that label. "Oh, she's behaving that way because she's homeschooled." I'm sure there are some of you readers who can relate! But isn't it ironic how quickly us parents latch onto the same unrealistic view of how "the other kids" compare to our children? It looks like the naysayers, through sheer aggravating volume and repetition, have managed to feed our self-doubt and lack of faith! Thank God we can counteract that by supporting each other! Thanks, Lee, for creating a place for us to do that!

Yep, I agree. Some people outside our family are quick to latch on to a label and blame every bad thing on that label. "Oh, she's behaving that way because she's homeschooled." I'm sure there are some of you readers who can relate! But isn't it ironic how quickly us parents latch onto the same unrealistic view of how "the other kids" compare to our children? It looks like the naysayers, through sheer aggravating volume and repetition, have managed to feed our self-doubt and lack of faith! Thank God we can counteract that by supporting each other! Thanks, Lee, for creating a place for us to do that!
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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

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