I put my son James in public school for a short time and the teacher said he was “behind”. I was so upset, I cried for days! You said he is so young, I shouldn’t worry. At what point should I worry?
At what point should you worry?
Just pray and do your very best. Children have their own growth path, their own maturation process. Assisting them to learn what they are interested in, and providing fun ways to learn the things they have no interest in, but that are necessary life skills—is the best any mortal can do, including any public school teacher. You are their very best teacher! Your methods may vary, and you may explore and try new ones, but basically, it is YOU— your love, your caring concern, your energy to help them pursue their interests— not the academics, that makes a good education.
Your child is not “behind” or “ahead”. He is James. Period. With all his varying skills and abilities—some areas higher and some areas lower than the “norm” (which doesn’t exist, of course).
I am so sorry that you felt bad and cried about the teacher’s opinion. James is who he is. I wish you could see how it will work out—that James will grow up to become his own phenomenal person!
I think we underestimate the divine nature in our children. They are progressing, opening like a blooming flower. And their potential and final intelligence level is really not up to us, just as we cannot determine what color a blossoming flower will be. We can assist, or retard their blooming efforts, but we can’t determine their talents, ability or intelligence level.
Make sure he has religious training. That is the biggest factor, because as kids get to be teens, their respect for God, and for you and others will make a huge difference. Next, make sure he has the basics: reading, writing and math—according to his time table—don’t put expectations on him to go faster, to be something he is not. Make it fun, as I know you try to do! Help him: be his best aid in pursuing his interests. Get books at the library, buy kits, find DVDs, travel with him, take him to science fairs, seek out mentors like the blacksmith at the county fair, that can answer his questions. Kids are hungry to learn things that interest them. Feed him as fast as he can take it. And don’t force feed him too much stuff that he has no interest in.
I used to stress, too. I think it is because I had the mistaken idea that I was the creator. That how my children turned out intelligence-wise, talent-wise was entirely up to me, somehow. I know that if you keep homeschooling the best you can, and you keep him out of public school and make sure he has religious training, you will be calling me in ten years to tell me what a fabulous, smart, achieving, amazing son James is.
Breathe deep. He is God’s child first, yours second. Do your best, and you’ll be amazed with the results!
Diane Hopkins is the homeschooling mother of 7 and the author of Heart-to-Heart with Diane. She chooses the homeschool resources for her store, Love to Learn.
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