The following post is from contributing author Heather Harris from Teaching My 3.
One of the many beauties of homeschooling is allowing children to move at their own pace. Sometimes this means whizzing through a math unit in half the time you thought it would take. Other times, it could mean having to spend a few extra days or even weeks to master a skill. The ability to allow this natural ebb and flow of learning is one of the principal benefits of homeschooling.
However, the learning path for each child is different. If you have more than one child, you may eventually be faced with having a younger child whiz by an older child in a particular skill or subject. So what should you do when your 3rd grader finds 5th grade math too easy but your 5th grader is struggling to do 3rd grade math?
5 Things To Remember
1. Remind your child that they are only measured against themselves, not each other. The goal of learning is to grow from where they are today. You could work with each child to create a list of goals they want to accomplish for the month or quarter. Then, the focus would be on meeting their goals rather than competing against each other.
2. Remind your child that grade levels are totally arbitrary. What one publisher considers to be 3rd grade might be 2nd grade work for another. The number on the book should mean nothing.
3. Remind yourself that no matter where your kids go to school, they would face with comparison and competition. I am sure you can remember comparing report cards with your friends.
4. Remind your child that God made us all in His image but that He gave each of us a unique set of talents and strengths.
5. Remind yourself to praise and encourage them both equally.
You obviously don’t want to dote on the excelling child so much that the struggling child begins to feel inferior. On the other hand, if you focus too much on the struggling child, the excelling child might begin to think that they didn’t do anything that great after all. Finding the right balance can be a challenge.
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