As parents we are always striving to give and do for our kids. We research and worry
about what is best and second guess
every step we make. But here’s the thing: even if we follow all the rules — whatever they may be — our kids still might not turn out the way we expected.
Instilling a Passion
Take learning to read for example. You spend your child’s baby and toddler years surrounding them with board books, reading to them for countless hours, exposing them to as much reading as you can. You buy the easy readers and phonics books, the flashcards, and living books, or whatever tools you have determined are right for you and your child. Heck, you even love reading yourself and demonstrate naturally what a love of reading looks like!
Whatever the path you choose, whatever rules you follow, you are suddenly faced with a child who seems like he will never love to read on his own! You think, “What happened? I did the research, I followed the rules, and he still isn't passionate about reading!”
Seemingly Falling Short
Here is the reality, even if you follow all the rules, your child may still struggle to read, or write, or understand math, or insert anything you wish you child did or did not do. They might not have a passion for reading or an affinity for math.
Do you know what else? It is okay. It is okay to have a child not reading at the age of 6, or a teen who only reads because she has to.
Why It’s Okay
We spend so much time and energy putting undue pressure on ourselves and our children to perform in a way that we think measures up to some arbitrary standards the world has laid out for us. It's easy to lose sight of who they are and what their great potential is. Just as homeschooling does not ensure exceptional kids, following all the “rules” doesn’t ensure a certain outcome.
If we think about it, is that what we would really want—a predetermined result based on a certain set of actions?
Our kids are uniquely themselves. Were it not for our athletes and artists, scientists and writers, early birds and night owls, our world would be flat and boring. Not everyone loves to read; not everyone is exceptional in math or a natural born artist. What is important is that we take the time to see our children for who they are and help them develop their strengths and passions to grow them into the unique individuals they were born to be.