Do Not Compare; Seek Wisdom
Now is also the time to consider all the
character issues in the house to see where
they have helped or hindered in your
homeschool progress. Some of my favorite
things about homeschooling are the ample
opportunities for sanctification. You will
never be short of chances for you and your
children to grow in virtues like diligence,
consideration, good use of resources and
time, honesty, obedience, love, patience
and perseverance. Where these areas need
to be built up, go ahead and factor that
time in as well. Then, dear mother, roll up
your sleeves and get to work.
One area I caution highly against is to
compare yourself with other families and
how they homeschool.
When I began home educating 15 years
ago, I was very interested in how other
women ran their homes. I wanted to know
all the details. Did they keep a schedule?
Did they use chore charts and curricu-
lum? Did their children have little school
desks and say the Pledge of Allegiance
every morning? Did they even get
dressed each day (I had heard rumors of
school in pajamas)? How did they han-
dle multiple ages or even babies and tod-
dlers? Did they test their children?
If you are struggling in a particular
area, it can be a benefit to speak to a
mom who has more wisdom or experience than you. To the extent that getting
ideas from wise women benefits you, go
for it! Seeking wisdom and Godly counsel can help you overcome difficult areas. But as a seasoned home educator of
many children, I caution you not to get
into the habit of continually comparing
your home and school to that of others.
When we continually compare ourselves
to other people, we are not using a real
measuring stick. In our sin nature, we
want to compare ourselves to another
person’s best or another person’s worst.
When we see things we wish we could do,
our opinion of ourselves will diminish.
When we hear stories of other people’s
failures, somehow this falsely elevates us
in our own minds.
Resist this urge, dear mother. With
your husband, pray over your decisions
regarding your home and school and
trust God to give you wisdom that is
unique for your situation. No one else
has your children, your resources, your
dynamics, or your issues. And finally, extend the same grace to yourself and your
own children as you would to another
mother in your same shoes. God’s grace
is so wide, so far-reaching, and so deep,
you will never reach the end of it.
Keeping a gentle and gracious spirit
will benefit your family far more than
finishing your school year by a certain
date or finishing the last few chapters in a
Malia Russell is the blessed wife to Duncan, thankful mother to six children, ages
two to 24, a grandmother, and an author,
conference speaker and director of www
Keeping a gentle and gracious spirit will benefit your family far more than
finishing your school year by a certain date.