How are you measuring success, homeschool Mom?
By academics? Because all children learn differently and at different speeds and in different ways.
By appearance? Are you judging your own behind the scenes with someone else’s highlight reel?
By comparison? “Comparison is the thief of joy” is an oft heard phrase.
Here is how I measured success in my homeschool this week. By this: (It says “Thomas (and) Friends The Cranky Day”
and by this… which if you look close, you will see “Percy’s Chocolate Crunch”, “Cranky Bugs” and
“Lady Hat’s Birthday”.
My Timothy wrote this. He is 14 and in 9th grade (technically). He has special needs due to birth trauma and he decided he was going to write out some things he wanted for Christmas this week (a little early but holidays are exciting and to him and his brother, the start of Halloween decorations everywhere means three things: “HALLOWEEN. THANKSGIVING. CHRISTMAS”.) And they both ask me that “Mama, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas?” often now, wanting an affirmation that indeed the holiday season is upon us.
Both my boys have special needs. This paper, which others would deem as not grade level, not perfect, not even close to what other homeschool (or any mom’s) 14 year old son could write, is our homeschool’s big accomplishment this week.
Shouldn’t it be about progress?
Shouldn’t it be about the best that we can be; doing the best that we can do?
I was always an over achiever in school. I was reading before Kindergarten, straight A’s all the way and voted Most Likely to Succeed of my public high school’s senior class. Of course, all my kids will be reading brainiacs to whom school comes easily, right? Well, I have one little in the house right now who is a struggling reader. It does not come easily. I see posts in homeschool forums; mothers concerned and panicked. “My 5 year old is not reading yet!” My very typical almost 8 year old is on her first beginner readers. She has a speech/language disorder/delay that we work on every day and as it gets better, so does her ability to understand phonics, decode, and gain reading fluency. But it has been a difficult road for her. I’m thankful I am a speech pathologist who can help her. I’m thankful I homeschool so she doesn’t know she is “behind” in her reading–because our homeschool doesn’t have the regular reading group and then the lower reading group like public school classroom grades do. She just knows she is learning to read and the accomplishment on her face when we finish each day shines brighter than the sun.
I will not take that away from her or me by comparing me or her to others.
I loved Timothy’s Christmas list. A child we never thought would learn to write due to cognitive and fine motor deficits took initiative and in a task that is extremely hard for him, gave it his best for two solid pages. I say A+.
I love hearing my Charlotte read. I don’t care the words are small or the mistakes along the way. During those lessons, my lap is her classroom and I am overwhelmed with love as she is overwhelmed with her accomplishment.
If those things aren’t the measure of success, then I don’t know what is.