It usually begins in casual conversation in where we ask a fellow homeschooling mother about her family’s curriculum. Sometimes it crops up when we ask how she manages to always have a home cooked meal on the table every night after a long day of lessons, or even when we ask how she is able to have all of those fun crafts for her toddlers while still teaching geometry to her high schooler. It is then that the thoughts of inadequacy encroach on our innermost rooms.
It is then that we forget the importance of keeping our eyes on our own work.
Unlike grade school, we no longer have to hover over our papers, shielding the marked answers we have found and discovered along this path of mothering and educating. Instead, we are able to let anyone of our choosing freely glimpse in our direction and relay to them our findings. With the wealth of knowledge that is to be gleaned from other veteran mothers and sisters along this journey, when these conversations are shared, it is quite beneficial to note our own abilities and limitations–for I am not you, and you are not me. There will always be disparities in personality, family size, income levels and philosophies. While we may be similar and both journeying on this path of homeschooling and parenthood, we are each our own.
Tempting as it may be, we should fight the urge to lift other’s answers and cheat from our neighbors, trying to fit ourselves into the mold that is theirs, which only cheats ourselves and our family. Instead, when we do have the opportunity to glance at the papers of our peers, we should do so in the hopes of learning new lessons, not in hopes of learning why it is that we have failed. The enlightenment that is conveyed should serve to help us uncover pearls of wisdom that, applied correctly to our own lives, help to make our walk easier.
Let us not forget that we are answering our vocation– a calling that He knows we are equipped and able bodied to carry out. We must remember that we, ourselves, are still responsible for writing our own answers on our own papers. So instead of straining our necks and looking over our shoulders to compare notes, we should be grateful for the task we have at hand and keep our eyes focused intently on our own work, for writing our own paper is much more rewarding.