I get a weekly email from "The Old Homeschool" magazine, which I definitely enjoy because it only takes a few minutes to read it. My favorite columnist is Todd Wilson, The Familyman, and here's his advice today:
"My advice on comparing is: Don't do it . . . ever! Don't compare yourself with your friends, the people you read about in homeschooling magazines and blogs, homeschool celebrities, or "real schools."
You see, what ends up happening is that you compare your weaknesses against others' strengths, and you can't win that game. So don't do it. You have plenty of gifts and strengths of your own, but you can't have every gift or strength.
Some like crafts; some don't. Some are organized; some aren't. Some did undergraduate work at MIT; some barely made it through high school. Instead of lamenting the fact that you're not what some are, thank God for your strengths and capitalize on them.
Now, as for comparing your homeschool to a "REAL" school: Why would you compare yourself with something that doesn't work? In fact, you know what? Public schools compare themselves to us. They know that one-on-one teaching is more effective and that real-life learning is more successful. They sit around in committees and try to make their school environment more like home. They have students plant gardens, hike through the woods, learn to cook, build stuff, and learn to relate to others. That's what you do every day . . . and it's working.
So stop comparing yourself to them or anyone else. Ask God what He wants your school-I mean home-to look like and then do it.
Now if only I can get my wife to stop comparing.
(Originally published in the February 27, 2008 issue of The Homeschool Minute.)