In Her Own Good Time

One of the very reasons that we homeschool is to avoid the pressure of comparing one student to another. In theory homeschooling is all about letting kids learn in their own good time.

But in reality, we often fall into the comparing trap. Admit it, you’ve been in one of these positions. It’s a homeschool park day. You’re talking to that mom you just met. Casually she drops into the conversation about her 4 year old who is already an avid reader. And then you begin to worry. “My 8 year old doesn’t read well yet. Maybe she’s behind. Maybe she needs professional help. What am I doing wrong?!”
I confess that I’ve been on both sides of that picture. I had two children who read pretty quickly. And then I had two children who did not. And even though I preached the philosophy of “don’t compare” to my friends, I was mentally comparing.
My youngest child has been the slowest at developing several skills. Throughout her toddler/preschool years, it was speech. I was sure she was behind. She couldn’t speak plainly. She didn’t know enough words. But, fast forward a few years, and her speech is fine.
Reading has been my other big concern. At the beginning of this- her 2nd grade year- she couldn’t even consistently identify every letter of the alphabet. As recently as Christmas time, I was talking to Jason one night about how worried I was about her. Did we need to seek help? Even though I was a teacher before I had children, and even though I have taught special ed, I felt lost, worried about my child.
Fast forward a few months. This child is reading chapter books. I handed out Bible reading records last week that would guide the kids into reading the book of John throughout the summer. She is reading ahead each day, and she is a third of the way through with the reading.
She learns in her own good time. It’s not on my schedule. It’s not according to my plan. But, when she is ready, she learns. 
I am NOT implying that there is never a legitimate learning problem that needs to be addressed. But I am saying that sometimes we just need to step back and wait. Wait for development. Wait for readiness. Don’t compare. Don’t expect your child to “get” a subject or a skill just because she has reached a certain age or grade level.
And often they will learn it in their own good time.

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