Last year, though, I discovered something else about myself during my convention experience. You see, I had a pretty rough spring semester and had arrived at convention in a bad emotional state. I learned a lot and had a great time with my sister, but deep down there was part of me that was stuck on comparison: comparing my family with the speakers, my results with theirs. And for the first time, I felt defeated.
As the speakers shared, I saw that they had these really great kids who loved God and were making good decisions. Families were putting God first in their schools, dealing with any character issues that came along but still keeping up with their studies. Their kids were graduating and going on to bigger and better things, and we had barely made it through the end of the semester.
I was already looking at the upcoming school year with anxiety — knowing I needed to make changes, but not sure where to start. I am a planner and an organizer, but can you plan your child’s spiritual growth? I looked at these other parents and couldn’t stop wondering, how do they do it? What do I need to do that they seem to be doing right to achieve these outcomes?
So I muddled through the first semester, still stuck in the comparison rut. I was feeling like I may not be the right parent for this job. But this last month, I finally had a break through. I realized that God has a plan for our family: He put everyone in our family that needed to be here, and I am the right mother for the job. One thing that I remembered learning in one of those convention workshops is the fact that that God will fill in the gaps where I miss it. He will be my strength where I am weak.
This year I’m resolving to let go of comparing our family to other homeschoolers. Our family has a unique mission and plan than any other family. And while there is plenty of wisdom to share and glean from in the homeschool community, not every good idea works for every family. We have our own path to follow.
My days may not look like the ideal homeschool days we all hear about. We experience a lot of interruptions in our daily schedule because of our family business and other changes we’re going through right now. But the flip side of this is that the boys get to spend a lot of time with their dad in the afternoons. As a family, we believe this time is very important and that the boys learn so much in the real world.
Suffice it to say that our family plan is going to look much different than any other — and that is OK. I am learning to let go of comparison and embrace the journey God is taking us on.
Do you struggle with comparing yourself or your family to other homeschoolers? How can you make sure you’re encouraged — not discouraged — by the strategies and tips shared by others? What are you learning to let go of this year? Join us this month at NextGen Homeschool as we discuss Ten Things to Let Go of This Year, and join the conversation! Find the series here.