I realize I can be a bit overzealous when it comes to lifeschooling, but there are several phrases I see tossed around in the homeschool world that really make me nuts.
Like seriously nuts!!
These are the verbal viruses of the traditional school mindset that have crept into modern homeschooling and are part of what led me to try to “rebrand” this whole idea of “homeschooling”! I was finding myself feeling less and less excited about the connotations with the term “homeschooling.”
3 Homeschool Phrases That Drive Me Crazy
I opened my e-mail the other day and was assaulted by these offensive phrases again. (I know, I know… I can be dramatic. But I really dislike them so much that I a sense of righteous indignation!) This homeschool mom (and second generation, mind you) talked about how glad she was for this particular program because it eliminated her children’s “learning gaps.”
Think on that a minute.
Listen, if you don’t have any learning gaps, then I don’t know what kind of superhuman you are! Learning gaps are part of life. None of us will ever know everything about a topic and the gaps are exactly what keep us pursuing knowledge and enjoying the learning process!
This same mom also talked about not wanting her kids to “fall behind.” Fall behind what, may I ask? Why do we feel the constant need to compare and contrast our children’s abilities with those of other children? Does this really sound biblical at all to you? Who are these people that get to determine where all 3rd-grade children need to be intellectually and academically?
Our kids are not cogs on an assembly line and we are not the assembly line workers, shoving information into their learning compartments and moving them down the line. No, these are our children. They are spiritual beings with deep needs that go beyond academics.
Can we trust that God will orchestrate their academic learning much better than we can?
It is only up to us to be faithful and it is up to Him to reward our faithfulness. As another homeschooler put it once,
There is no behind in homeschooling…except the one you’re sitting on! 😂
The final phrase that I want to banish from every homeschooler’s vocabulary is “grade level.” I hate it for the same reasons I hate the other terms. It is based on comparison and it leads moms to fear that they are not doing enough. I don’t know of a single homeschooling mom who is not trying her best to educate her children…and that is enough.
And the irony is that those who seem most tempted to give in to this fear do more to damage their children’s education because of that fear! It leads them to be controlling and overbearing, rather than allowing the learning process to be natural and fun… hence, memorable and effective.
Perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18
If we love our children, we will not make our decisions for their education out of fear of “learning gaps,” “falling behind,” or staying on “grade level.” We will not compare them with others, but rather ask God where He wants them to be in their unique educational path.
Bottom line: These phrases are nothing more than fear tactics.
They make us think we need someone or something else in order to stand on our own. But listen, moms… God’s school doesn’t have any learning gaps! He knows exactly what your children need to learn each day and His plans cannot be thwarted by those who truly seek Him and obey His voice. So stop listening to those who peddle fear, particularly if they are selling something.
I know. Easier said than done for some of us.
But I just want you to hear this today and take it to heart, even if you have to reread it again tomorrow. We are learning and growing every day and God’s grace is sufficient!
He loves those kids more than you ever could, and the path He has them on is the perfect one for them. Trust His voice.