Recently my son became engrossed with hurricanes. He began watching the Weather Channel and hurricane Bonnie while Bonnie was still a tropical storm. He now knows more about hurricanes than most seven-year-olds. I've also spent a lot of time with my son watching videos and reading about the Civil War. We're working on a study of fossils and hope to go fossil hunting soon. It seems a natural outgrowth of his interest in rocks. He's had a rock collection for many years. This is also the year that he will learn to write in cursive. In just the first five lessons he has already developed a nice looking cursive hand. He'll probably finish with elementary school level mathematics this year, although we will spend time working in the book Calculus for Young People.
Does the preceding paragraph leave you feeling intimidated? Are you a little incensed that I would devote my column to bragging about my son? Well, it was all done to make a point. Although it's true that all the things described have been accomplished by my son, that paragraph was a combination of achievements from both my sons. The seven year old is not finishing elementary mathematics, reading about the Civil War or learning to write a lovely cursive hand. He has been engrossed in hurricane Bonnie. My older son is just starting sixth grade. We waited until now to start cursive writing, so it only seems natural that he would have an easier time at it. He really wants to learn to write in cursive, so the motivation is very strong, too. He will finish sixth grade math this year, and we do plan to do a chapter or two in Calculus for Young People. That book is written for children as young as seven years of age. It's not high school calculus. My sixth grader is also the rock hound. He began picking up gravel in the church parking lot when he was three. His collection is lovingly maintained in a pile in his dresser drawer.
My kids are not extraordinary (although I really have to quell my natural instinct to glow about them). They have their gifts and they have their problems, too. My point in writing this to you—to remind you to take with a grain of salt all the glowing reports you will hear from other homeschool moms about their children. Remember, they are telling you the highlights. They have down times and problems, too. Don't compare your homeschooling experiences with someone else's highlights. Especially when you are facing difficulties or problems, find someone who will share about their down times and how they handled them. That may very well be the homeschool mom whose children seem to be angelic geniuses.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12: 15-16