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A Loving Response to Comparison

You don’t have to look far before you realize other people’s homeschooling endeavors look different than yours. You will find that some enjoy creating their own lesson plans while some incorporate study utilizing pre-made curriculum. Others encourage greater participation in extracurricular activities, mission work, or field trips. When you compare various homeschool adventures to your own, however, you may begin to question your efforts. After all, some days it may be challenging enough just to take a shower!

You are not alone in the questions, doubts, uncertainties, and other worries you experience on this adventure. Full disclosure, I am all too familiar with the confidence and contentment inhibitor which we call comparison.

Each family’s homeschool experience is unique to them, based on such factors as priorities, skill sets, interests, and personalities. Therefore, their experiences are uniquely their own. The time they may dedicate to one area of interest equates to less time for another area that may be more important to your family.

When we compare ourselves to others, we place our self-worth in measuring up to others, or attaining their approval, rather than finding our worth in God.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

Celebrate the uniqueness of your own family. You know your child better than anyone. You realize your own strengths and weaknesses. When your child requires extra assistance in an area, you are the one identifying that need and will come to know the ways in which your child learns best. You are the one factoring in the dynamics of your family as you consider the commitments, challenges, and responsibilities your family faces.

While it is helpful to gain knowledge and insight from others, faith and prayer should be the compass that guides you to the decisions most appropriate for your own family. Consider gathering as a family and writing down your homeschool motivations, values, priorities, and goals. If at any point during your homeschool venture the path should become unclear, you will have a list to review. Walk with your spouse in prayer, seeking God’s counsel to help ensure that you maintain focus and your decisions stay true to your family’s best interests.

We all need encouragement. Therefore, seek connection, not comparison. The next time you see another homeschool mom, reassure her with a smile, a hug, or, later, a simple text reminding her that her efforts are valuable. She is nurturing her child’s heart and providing love that will stretch far beyond her imagination.

-Yvonne Strachan

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