For me, it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing myself to others – probably in homeschooling more than anywhere else. I am slowly learning that “comparison is the the thief of joy” and God didn’t make us all to be identical.
It is not a bad thing to examine our homeschool and gauge our success, but I shouldn’t be doing it from outside standards: not the world, not relatives, nor even other homeschoolers.
It’s very important for me to go back to our family’s goals in order to gauge our success. Your family’s goals may very well be different from ours, so please gauge your homeschool’s success on your own goals!
I want my children to:
- know God and make Him known
- be lifelong learners
- have the skills necessary to learn anything they want or need to learn
- love each other and to show God’s love to everyone
So, in the midst of spelling tests, math worksheets, and reading lessons, I also see if these are evident. (Not every day necessarily, but over the course of a week or month.)
These are some of the questions I ask myself to gauge our success:
- Are my children choosing to read in their “free time”? Does their reading include subjects like history, science, and art?
- Am I reading to the kids? Chapter books to all of them? Picture books to the younger ones?
- Are we having discussions about good books, current events, or character issues?
- How loving are we to each other? Is our to-do list so important that we can’t help others?
- Is there progress? (in math, reading, memory work, etc) – Progress isn’t always evident from day-to-day, but when I look back a few months, can I see how far we’ve come?
- Are we studying God’s Word and hiding it in our hearts? Are we sharing about Him with others?
- Have we gone to interesting places? (local or vacation field trips, factories, doctor’s offices, stores, parks, creeks, hikes)
- Do we enjoy time together as a family? (could be anything listed above or playing games, watching movies, doing projects)
What would be on your list for gauging homeschool success?
Note: I love the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Many memes and blogs attribute that quote to Theodore Roosevelt, but I couldn’t find any documentation to show where this quotation is found. If you know the actual source of this quote, please let me know.