In homeschooling we often will look at where others have gone and compare it to where we are currently going.
This is like trying to bike on rocky arduous terrain while looking down at our wheels. You will end up hitting every bump in the road.
In biking you have to look where you want to go, not where you are currently going if you want to avoid any pitfalls and landing on your backside.
I know, you think that in order to avoid hitting a rock, you have to see where it is; but you don’t. This is because if we look where we are currently going, we crash & fall.
The same is true in parent-teaching, if you want to move ahead, you need to look at where you want to go, not where you are.
Think about that rock in our biking path we want to avoid, we can’t look right at it, we have to trust that our bike will forge ahead missing the rock all together, while we keep our head up & look at the path we want to move along.
By keeping our head up, focused on where we want to go, we will always avoid the obstacles directly in front of us.
The minute we doubt ourselves and look down at that proverbial rock, we head directly for it. Then we are in for crazy swerving and dashing trying desperately to out maneuver the obstacle. Even if we are fortunate enough to avoid the one rock, we end up crashing into other objects along the way.
Whether we are biking or parenting when we cast our eyes downward, we panic. Suddenly aware of all the objects that were out of view coming into focus.
When we were focused on our goals ahead we can’t see these treacherous land mines waiting for us to plow into them. We trust that if we keep moving forward, we will reach our goal.
Only when we become fearful we will with all certainty hit all of these now visible obstacles. Fear griping thoughts enter your mind . . . “will my child ever learn to read, spell, remember his math facts, and become motivate to write as eloquently as Janice’s kids?”
It’s counterintuitive to look up and away from what right in front of you. But it’s exactly what you must do.
You have to stop worrying if other people compare as much as you do about how your kids are faring. Let me reassure you, they are. Just like the rocks are there in your biking path. They are and they are there. But it is ok. It won’t matter so long as you keep your eye on your future prize.
This is how we need to think about our children’s education. Think about where you want your children to go and where you want them to be. Not so much about where they are.
This has been especially trying for me during two points in each of my children’s lives. Recently, I have had an unmotivated sophomore in high school and my tendency was to panic when I began thinking about her eminent impending future.
In the past, I had to deal with having a third grader who has yet too really catch on to reading, yet all his younger friends could read well.
I remember finding myself terrified about a co-op I had signed up for with such a reluctant reader and I carefully looked over each class furtively choosing the ones with as little reading as possible to prevent any embarrassing moments for him.
Maybe you’re finding yourself in the midst of potty training, and for some reason your four year old decides to start wetting the bed again and pooping in his pants. You begin to wonder if there is any future for him because clearly he is behind developmentally and it must be your fault.
It is in these harrowing moments as a parent-teacher you think to yourself: “who knows maybe you’re just a crappy teacher who can’t teach a child to read –Why are you even home schooling? The other moms clearly can because their kids can do it all and it’s just yours who can’t.”
All of these worrying fears are the very “looking right at the rock” thoughts that end up causing you to swerve & fall off.
When I began to focus on where I wanted my children to go and stopped worrying about where they were I began to see the path ahead unfold. I began to re-trust myself, and work within their current limits knowing where I wanted to take them.
Now my reluctant reader, is in 6th grade and is a fluent lover of books.
My unmotivated teen has found confidence in herself and has set really ambitious goals that she wants to work towards. Recently, one of her co-op teachers told her she was too prepared for class.
I was massively disappointed that was the comment she chose to go with, but was jumping for joy that finally in 11th grade my daughter is motivated and working hard.
Start to see where you are wanting to head, and trust that is where you will get.