Turning Negative Thoughts Around

I am really hard on myself usually, and as I’ve read some home school blogs, as well as some FB status updates, I feel like I am doing something wrong – my kids aren’t as advanced as this kid, or that kid. Isn’t the point of this hard work and homeschooling so our kids can take their SAT/ACT’s before they’ve completed the second grade?! We are the advanced, élite, ahead of the game group. I mean, aren’t we trying to produce the next generation of geniuses and academic stars?? So now the faith element to homeschooling is taking second place to the academic race.

Then, the still small voice reminded me that we are doing great – learning about Creation, studying the Bible during school, and learning to start our days praising God. We are learning to pray more regularly, about so many topics – it truly is amazing to watch my children grow. So, I am taking those negative thoughts, and building something constructive. Faith, and teaching my kids about God from an early age, is the number one reason I am homeschooling. I want the boys to include the Lord in their life, EVERY day, ALL day – not just “after school” or on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

As for a practical step that I realized I could work in – opportunity! I have limited some of the reading and writing opportunities, as well as a few others, and I am working on challenging myself, slowing the day down, and encouraging my kids to explore new opportunities to learn, and to show me what they already know. We aren’t behind, my oldest did a fantastic job on his placement tests this year, and my youngest is working hard to keep up with his Bubba!

Don’t let negative thoughts beat you up. Don’t let comparisons drag you down. Give them to God – pray and ask Him to show you the truth. If the situation is something that you can learn/grow from, and use practical steps to broaden your horizons, that is a huge blessing, but still don’t let negativity run your life!

How do you handle negative thoughts and the comparisons between yourself and others?

Such Good Intentions

I am blessed to be raising two of the most wonderful boys on the planet. (They are sleeping right now, it’s so easy to think great things about them when they are snoozing!) They are rotten to the core, blue-eyed charmers. They steal my heart daily, and challenge all of my parenting-ideals every second of each day.

I have worked very hard creating separation for them in school, so they can develop into their own individual people. With only 16 months between them, I often find myself lumping them into the group “boys” – not recognizing them as individuals. They are vastly different from one another, and I’m trying to acknowledge and encourage their differences. In trying to do so, I have separated their school activities – after all, Thing 1 is reading better than Thing 2 (as to be expected!) and technically, Thing 2 is in pre-k while, Thing 1 is a kindergartner.

Here is what I’ve figured out:

Thing 2 wants to do the same work at Thing 1. He is way more focused on his brothers work, and as a result, I’ve noticed he is quickly gaining momentum and reaching his brother’s academic level. Thing 1 wants to share his lessons – if I’ve over-separated them for their lessons, the first thing they do after school, is play school. Thing 1 dictates a lesson to Thing 2, and grades his work. He’s a strict teacher (hmm…wonder who he got that from…) and he doesn’t offer much of a margin for error. My first thought is to remind him to baby the baby, but if I listen for a bit longer, I realize that Thing 2 is learning so much from Thing 1! It’s crazy how much those silly “play school” lessons are teaching Thing 2, and I’m regretting my decision to not buy kindergarten curriculum for him. I keep wondering if I should do it now, before Thing 1 gets much further in the year, or if I should keep them separated by one grade.

Do you home school? Are your kids close in age? How do you deal with “grades” and who should be in what “grade”?