Sunday, August 17, 2014

Homeschooler, You Are Different! It's a Good Thing!





Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.-2 Corinthians 10:12

We live in a culture of diversity.  Everything is different.  There are lots of choices when it comes to virtually just about everything.  No two people are alike, with the exception of identical twins.  Sometimes even they look different because of environment and other factors.  So, why should our expectations for homeschool be any different?
In the United States, there are a variety of school types to choose from preschool up through high school.  You have Montessori schools, Charter schools, Public schools, and Private schools, the latter of the two of which I am going to discuss.
I have worked in both private and public school.  There were extremely different.    In the public school, students were allowed to wear clothing of their choice.  In the private school, students wore a uniform, except on special days.  In the private school, classes were smaller, giving the teacher a little more control and freedom.   Public school classrooms are often filled to maximum capacity.  Public school students attend school for free.  Private school students pay tuition to attend school, giving everyone involved a little higher standard of accountability.
Within both school settings you had teachers teaching different grades.  Those teachers had different backgrounds.  They went to different colleges.  They came from different cities.  They had different life experiences.  They had been teaching for different amounts of time.
When I student taught, I taught 7th grade and 3rd for my final practicum.  There were three 3rd grade teachers.  I was only supervised by one, but I got to go in all three classrooms.  Each one was different.  They had different personalities and different things they liked.  Each of their students was different-different life experiences, different interests, and different abilities.
So, why I am telling you all of this?  As a homeschooling parent, you will be different than the homeschool mom you like on facebook.  You don’t have the same qualities, intent, or purpose as her.  Your children and your family do not have the same personalities, likes or dislikes, and purpose for your life as theirs.  You might be tempted to compare yourself to her and other homeschooling moms along the way.  This is not helpful to you.  The Bible has something to say about comparing ourselves to others and about thinking of ourselves in the correct way. God’s purpose for you, your child, and your family, is not the same as my purpose, or my child, or the purpose for my family.  So, why should our educational focus and goals be the same?
Let’s look at one family in the Bible.  In the book of Genesis, we read the story of Joseph. He and his brothers were shepherds.  But it seems as though Joseph developed some other skills along the way.  We know that God gave him the ability to interpret dreams.  He also seemed to have wisdom and leadership skills either given to him by God, or developed in him by his life with his family.  Later on, after he was sold into slavery in Egypt, those abilities proved to help him.  The skills he possessed eventually propelled him to the position of Prime Minister of Egypt, thus enabling him to keep the Hebrew nation alive by saving them from famine. (See Genesis 37-50.)  God has a purpose for every person and family.  You and your family are no different.
So, when you feel tempted to compare yourself to another homeschooling family, remind yourself of the differences in the current educational system. Remind yourself that just like those differences, there are no two homeschools alike.  And most importantly remind yourself that God has a plan for you and your family that is significant to only you.

Many blessings to you on your homeschool journey wherever it may take you!

~Beth

(This post was originally published at Upside Down Homeschooling)

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