Written by Laura Thomas of This Eternal Moment
A friend of mine who is also a public school teacher visited our home and had my five-year-old daughter read her a few books. She immediately concluded, “She’s reading at least on a first or second grade level.”
While in some ways, these types of comments can serve as an encouragement and/or relief to me (“Whew! Glad she’s not behind in her reading…”), they can provide a false standard of measurement for what success in learning looks like.
They could also cause my daughter to become prideful about where she ranks in comparison to other children her age, something I want to diligently fight against.
Another friend of mine, a lawyer as well as a fellow homeschooling mom, made the following observation to me:
“When I was in school, I always made As, but didn’t have to work hard for them. Rather than motivating me, it made me lazy. When I got to college I realized that I had never been challenged to push myself to keep learning. I merely knew what I had to do to make As and I did it. College was a big wake-up call for me.”
The more thought I have put into it, the more certain I have become that for our family, we won’t be labeling our academic achievement primarily by grade levels or other more external measurements.
Instead, I’ve created a few primary values and principles to guide me as a homeschooling mom and teacher: