In the culture of homeschooling, there is no “right” way to do it. It is all based on what is needed, wanted, and works for your family. As long as you meet the requirements of education set forth by your state, you can get there as creatively as you please. That is a beautiful part of homeschooling.
On of the subsets within the culture is not pretty, biblically or otherwise. Homeschool jealousies. Homeschool jealousies can arise in almost any aspect of homeschooling. curriculum used, activities attended, activities completed, co-op group choices, child development, etc. etc. I have found myself wrapped up in homeschool jealousies at one time or another. It’s not pretty, it’s not fun, and it wars on your family. God prepared me for this most recent bout.
Kelly is a very dear friend of mine and I’ve had the privilege of watching her children grow up. When her eldest was in elementary school, she had a very best friend. They were in the same class and all the same activities. Kelly stayed home so the very best friend was often over after school. One day while I was there after a school day ended, the girls were doing their homework. Kelly told me that the very best friend was very behind in her education. I sat down to work with the her to try to assess where the disconnect was and offer encouragement. The very best friend was SEVERELY behind. Not because she wasn’t capable or didn’t want to learn. She was behind because she needed more help in getting the lessons. I recognized it in how she tried to get the right answer just so she could be seen as keeping up even though she had no understanding. Kelly talked to the mother of the very best friend about this and the mother said she and Kelly’s daughter were the same and her child could keep up just fine without any additional support. This did not address the issue and years later, it is not better.
My Jazmine has a very best friend. They are the same in many ways and participate in many of the same activities. However, in this case, my Jazmine, though not behind, is on par (if not slightly advanced) in her second grade education. My Jazmine’s very best friend however, is advanced. Most recently, and this is often a occurance in homeschooling, her very best friend moved up in grade level. At my first hearing this from my Jazmine, I was taken aback. My initial Mommy reaction (thought in my head not said out of my mouth) was, ‘how is she moved up? You both are the same? She can’t out learn you!’ Immediately, in my mind, I was trying to decipher ways my Jazmine could keep up. After all, she’s not incapable. Perhaps she could be challenged more? Perhaps she could benefit from an increased workload? Perhaps I could move her curriculum up a grade level too? Perhaps we could add more educational activities/opportunities to allow her to further flourish? Perhaps…perhaps I could get a dag-on grip!
I could have smacked myself. I IMMEDIATELY remembered the mother of the very best friend. I sounded just_like_her! NO FREAKING WAY! Children can remain friends regardless of educational prowess. Activities may change but, especially in homeschooling families, as long as parents make the effort for the child to be with their friends, that friendship can flourish! My Jazmine’s very best friend will remain her very best friend because all parents involved are committed to that happening! All parents involved in this situation are actual adults, not children pretending to be adults.
So to my Jazmine’s very best friend, fly baby fly! achieve! We support you!
To my Jazmine, your Mommy is not going to move hell and high water to keep up with ANYBODY! You move and grow at your own pace and your father and I will be here to support you always! Fly and soar sweetheart! We remain proud of you!