Measure Up

I have a confession.

I spent an absurd amount of time the other night entranced by a fellow blogger's account of how she homeschools.

And not because I was inspired by her ideas.

The reason I couldn't seem to hit that red x at the top of my screen was that her 3 year old was doing things that my 3 year old isn't close to touching.

Reading, spelling, writing, math.

I spent hours going through her archives trying to figure out how she taught her daughter these things at such an early age.

Desperate to figure out where I was lacking.

I copied her worksheets, I furiously took notes on her lesson plans, her schedule.

And around the end of my second hour, when I was on the verge of tears thinking I'd better just send Josie to school since I was already ruining her, God reminded me of something.

He stopped me about 10 seconds after I started trying to explain to him how far behind I was with Josie. One statement made me throw all my notes away,

"Isn't this the exact reason you're homeschooling?"

And He was right.

While the school system in Georgia is seriously lacking, classrooms are obviously overfilled, and they can't seem to get the arts out fast enough are all a big reason we decided we are the best ones to teach Josie, they weren't our main reason.

I am a firm believer (even if I sometimes forget that I am) that a child is only a child for a small amount of time.

And in our culture, that time is getting shorter by the generation.

Little girls in mini skirts and makeup. Little boys talking like sailors. Toys that promote sassy attitudes and TV with absolutely no morals.

Last year, Andrew and I decided we were OK with people thinking we were weird. We got rid of TV completely, threw out any movie of Josie's that didn't promote God and his values, and decided commercialized toys weren't going to be a part of Josie's childhood.

We've been told we are too extreme. That a movie isn't a big deal. That Josie will be out of the loop.

But when I consider what "the loop" is, I'm ok with her not being in it.

I want to homeschool. Not only to protect her from things that will make her grow up too fast but to protect her from comparison.

From feeling like she doesn't measure up.

So what if she can't recognize the letters yet? Is it that big of a deal if she doesn't know her right from her left? And if she doesn't learn to read until she's 12, will that really be the end of the World?

I felt awful for trying to compare her to that little girl.

She is 3. And I want her to be 3.

And I will be happy with whatever that means for her.


.:blessedmommy:. said...

What a precious note. I was so overjoyed to hear your goals for Josie and your desire to raise her in a way that is pleasing to God, above all else. May He bless you in your journey!

kimmer said...

I think you and Andrew are definitely doing the right thing!!! And Josie is learning So much from you both right now...and from all the experiences you are introducing to her. Try not to compare her...but, if you do, you will find that she is learning and growing at a very fast pace. I see it all the time, you may not because you are with her so much. She is so bright and so quick to learn. I am very proud of you for all your love and and patience. Josie is blossoming and growing in so many beautiful ways!!!

Erin @ I Should Be Studying.... said...

We were home-schooled as well, but one thing we've learned is not to compare ourselves with others, cause we are all different. My younger sister was reading at 2 while my brothers were 8 before the finally got it. :) Different kids, different learning styles :) Don't feel badly.

Consequently we don't have TV either...videos? Veggie tales and the like. :)

Mrs. M said...

Your "confession" touched my heart. I too have been in that mode at times....comparing, scared that my child is lacking, and then coming up for air. I admire that you have chosen to stand by your convictions in regards to all things....faith, homeschooling, outside influences, etc. The TV Movie biz for our kiddos really annoys me! Even an Elmo movie we had used the word stupid!!! It's so unnecessary. So we too have removed the offending movies and our boys are loving Veggie Tales, Curious George, Sid the Science Kid, Super Why, etc. Licensed Toys? Yup...we don't go there either. Some make it into our house as gifts, and I like that the boys enjoy all types of play and are not obsessed with certain characters. Having said that, the influence is still there because my oldest boy would do anything to have Star Wars and Transformers and guns etc....where does this come from? Especially since we don't allow it. It's amazing how much they soak up. So, kudos to you for letting other peoples comments about being too strict and all slide off your back because our little kiddos are sponges and what they soak up is amazing!
I wish I could homeschool....and I believe in it, but one son with speicial needs requires more than I can offer. Have you looked at any of the Montessori type at home learning stuff? It's really fun. Uses things that are found in the home and leads into handwriting, etc without the push. It's child lead and wonderful! I think there's even a link or two on the side of my blog if you want to check out more.
Okay this has gotten really wordy, and I should get off the soap box but I just wanted to let you know that I admire your convictions and really enjoy reading your blog.
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. M

Anonymous said...

I was a preschool teacher for a few years, and when we got the kids at the beginning of the year, most of them can't read or count. Their difference was that the parents didn't teach them at home, so you are already doing better than a lot! I understand that it is frustrating, but as long as you don't push her before she's ready- she will do fine. You are a wonderful mommy. A book that most kids learn first these days (they memorize the words first, then they read/follow along) Brown Bear, Brown Bear. It's not a religious book, but it gives the child a good word recognition, especially with sight words. Enjoy the homeschool, and good luck with it!

Paige said...

I very much so agree with this post. Good for you and your Husband doing what you two feel is right.

bri said...

Tears! She is so blessed to have you and Andrew as her parents! I know you feel the same in turn about you all being the blessed ones!

She is a smart little girl and she will forever remember these days she has with you. She will always KNOW she is good enough as long as you look her in the eyes every day and tell her she is EXACTLY who God made her to be!

Y'all are a wonderful family!