Comparison and Discontentment
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Has this ever happened to you? You had a really good school day. Your kids listened and actually seemed to be learning the information. You were able to explain the concepts to them in a way they understood. It was a good day. They are progressing along, doing great. Then all of a sudden, someone calls you on the phone. It’s your friend. You begin to tell her how well your day went, and she beings to tell you about hers. However, somewhere in the middle of it all, the comparison game starts. It creeps in. No longer are you just sharing your day, you both begin to compare what your children are learning, what they can and cannot do, how far along you are in the curriculum. Suddenly, your good day doesn’t look so good anymore. You start to worry. Doubt sets in about how you are homeschooling, what you are covering, how far along you are. All of a sudden, discontentment rears its ugly head.

I once had a pastor’s wife share with me, “Comparison will always lead to discontentment.” That is so true. And we begin comparing our children to others as soon as they are born. Her child sleeps through the night, why doesn’t mine? All of a sudden, you question what you are doing wrong and become discontent with where your child is at. It continues as they continue to grow, comparing when your child started crawling, walking, or speaking. And it continues even more as we homeschool. “My child learned to read when he was 5.” “Well mine was reading when he was 4.” On and on it goes. Comparing and becoming more and more discontent. So next time you are tempted to fall into the comparison trap, here are a few things to remember.

1. Your child is uniquely designed by God. Every child has different learning styles, as well as strengths and difficulties. They will learn at different rates and in different ways. This means your homeschool day will look different as you tailor it to each child’s needs. Find what works best for your specific child and let them learn at their own rate.

2. You have a unique teaching style. Just as your children are different, you are different. Your style of teaching is going to be different than others and that is how it should be. God placed your children in your home, and He equips you with a teaching style that is just what they need. This means that the curriculum you choose and how it is implemented may look very different than what your friends are doing.

3. You have unique goals and priorities for your family. The things that you want to accomplish in your family are not going to be the same as other families. Our ultimate goal may be the same: to glorify God. However, the way this plays out will be unique in your family. Stay true to your academic goals and priorities, and move at the pace that you have decided will help you to achieve the goals you set.

The comparison trap can be hard to avoid. Hopefully by keeping your eyes on these three things, you will be able to escape the trap. If trapped, it will lead to discontentment. But if averted you will experience peace and joy. Couldn’t we all use more peace and joy in our homeschool journey? I know I could!

Meet the Author

Heather Spencer - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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