Homeschooling in Humility (aka Pride Goeth before the Fall)

While I’m certainly not one of those moms who brags on her kids all the time (heavens, no!), I do from time to time mention their amazing capabilities. Can I help it if my girls are amazingly talented, kind-hearted and (hushed voice here) … gifted?

I don’t bore most people with these anecdotes, but certain folks do seem to beg for them. You know, like the ones who said I’d never be able to teach my kids anything? I like to update those people with the occasional tidbits peppered in our conversation. Now and then.

Soleil is reading at an adult level! Coco is acing Spanish! And I may have been caught smirking as Soleil read aloud all her birthday cards last year, much to the amazement of the friend who bought her kindergarten phonics workbooks because she thought I was crazy for not using workbooks. So, you see, nothing major. And certainly nothing undeserved. Right?

Ugh. Wrong. So, so wrong. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time (or the title of this post for that matter), you’ll know that I didn’t just wake up one day and realize I was wrong.

No, my homeschool-pride in all it’s ugly glory was brought to my full attention during an impromptu quiz given by a relative to my six year old Soleil. (Don’t you just love those?)

This relative was quizzing her on several facts (read: checking up on me), and at some point she brought out coins. I scoffed inside. Gimme a break! My scoffing soon turned to horror, though, as I realized that Soleil has forgotten everything I’ve ever taught her about money. Perhaps because I taught her back in preschool and we seldom revisit it. Of course my bright girl would remember the names and values of coins if I had bothered to teach her! But I couldn’t really say that, could I?

Because then I would be admitting how incompetent I really am.

So I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders when the quiz-giver gave me a pompous, You really can’t teach your kids anything, can you? look. Believe me, that look exists. I am not projecting my own feelings into her glance, here. It really happened.

Anyway, I was embarrassed. Now, I’m embarrassed that I was embarrassed, but there it is. I was ashamed I hadn’t properly taught my girl something so basic. I mean, I kind of forgot about it for a year or so. I was also a tad sheepish about my earlier bragging.

Because this particular relative has been quite vocal about my inability to teach my kids and because I am personally working on not getting down on myself because of other people’s opinions, I decided to ignore the money issue for a few weeks. Better that than to immediately commence an intense coin-recognition regime to prove to said relative that we know our stuff around here.

Not that it crossed my mind.

After a few weeks of trying to tame the shrill voice in my head that kept saying How will your child ever function in the real world?, with the calm response, “We aren’t homeschooling to prove anything to anyone,” I settled down a bit and began introducing money concepts again. In a totally sane, non-schizophrenic fashion. I promise.

And I haven’t said a word to anyone about how well she’s doing with it.

So, about the bragging: Lesson learned. About trying to prove people wrong when they say I can’t teach my kids: Lesson learned.

Aren’t you proud of me?

photo by photoxpress
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Comments

  1. Oh, I know that smug look–and believe me, they have had nothing in all these years to base that look on. You are stellar, and hands down the finest teacher I have ever had the honor to observe–and you know that in my life I have observed hundreds.
    Just remember what Greg said a few weeks ago, “We have and know things that the world does not have and know.”
    Oh yes m’am, blessed indeed.

  2. You’re are an amazing mother and teacher. Our Kids need to hear us brag about them. Telling them how great they are only goes so far, but when they know we are so proud that we have to tell others I think it really sinks in. You can’t teach your children everything. The best teachers know that sometimes the subject has to come up on it’s own & sometimes the children need to seek the knowledge before you can teach it. Just my jumbled thoughts on the subject.

  3. Oh my goodness! You’re a better person than I am. I would have been ashamed, but then I would have promptly gone for something like a trivial pursuit game and quizzed the quizzer. People learn things and then sometimes forget them. We all do it. Just because someone could stump her on something that she learned and forgot doesn’t prove anything. As a matter-of-fact, the whole situation just makes me mad. Boo to that relative of yours. I can’t stand it when people feel the need to tear down someone else. So, so wrong.

  4. Comfort yourself with this – information can ALWAYS be learnt, but character is formed, shaped and discipled. That is much more important than knowing stuff. Yes, our chilren must be functional and competant, but these skills are learnt along the journey of living and being conformed to the image of Jesus.

  5. I love it, and my perfect wife and kids teacher. I would not have it any other way.

  6. Oh, so remember those days, and still have some now. I remember the Lord not allowing me to relax about my home schooling until my first one had graduated from our home school. I have now graduated four from our home. All are functioning adults…all very social, but more then anything they are grounded in the Word. They are living morally and they love each other and their family. Years into my home schooling journey, now 21 years, I learned that achedmics was such a small part and character and relationships was everything.
    Enjoy your journey. I believe I will see all the fruit of my efforts when my children raise their own children. God calls us to obedience and he is responsible for the rest….how assuring!!!

  7. Oh boy, do I understand that battle between a balanced focus on family and the pompous looks of others. After all, I am a pastor’s wife, and so I get a TON of disapproving looks, comments, etc. You are right to come back after your initial emotion and get your focus where it belongs. You are such a great mommy and teacher. Keep up the great work!

  8. I’m so sorry that you have someone in your life who treats you like that and makes you feel so defensive about homeschooling. That person must be dealing with his/her own insecurity — I know, because when I’m judgmental like that, it’s because of underlying insecurity about my own need to feel validated for MY choices.

    And yes, I totally relate to that feeling of wanting our children to publicly shine in order to reflect well on us and all our efforts at home. It’s very natural … and of course, fallen. The Lord is faithful to expose our need of Him, no?

    Thanks for sharing. Love your site.

  9. Pardon as I giggle some. I know that look. I have relatives that are on the school board in Northern CA and that are public school teachers and an uncle who is a social worker. I feel I and my kids are constantly under the microscope. Even by the occasional stranger. You are right! We aren’t homeschooling to prove anything to anyone. I see the strengths and weaknesses in my kids and I tailor their education accordingly. I want my children grounded in His Word and to be able to take and compare all that they hear/learn/see to the Lord’s word. Aside from that, all else is icing on the cake. You’re a great mommy! Loved your site. :o)

  10. I forgot to tech my kids how to tie their shoes. Ummm…..we were too busy with quadratic equations? :)
    Lori Devine´s last blog post ..Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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