Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Do not judge a day or week or month gone wrong.
You have tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Years ago at a homeschool conference in the 1990s, I heard a speaker make a bold claim: that everything I was trying to teach my kids in K-6th grade could be taught in 7th and 8th grades much more easily. The speaker asserted that maturity would allow kids to make rapid progress if they had not understood a concept as smaller children. In fact, junior high is a rehash of elementary school in preparation for high school.

The main point? Your child is not “behind.”

But here we are in the middle of the panic known as: “My child is behind!” The pandemic caused some to declare that students have fallen behind. I want to say “Behind what?” Kids are where they are. They aren’t behind or ahead. They are simply learning at the pace allowed by their:

  • personalities,
  • abilities,
  • and social conditions.

The conditions over the last two years have been difficult for everyone—and confusing too. It’s been a tough season in every way, and you may even have a dollop of personal pain on top to manage as well.

Let’s start by not judging what we did or didn’t “get done.”

We have tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. Kids, as they mature, often do make swift progress in a subject that previously felt opaque and difficult at a younger age. Suddenly math clicks or phonics are less frustrating. History gets taught in cycles and it’s okay if they skip a year or two and resume in high school and college.

If a child is struggling with any subject, take time (3-4 weeks) to allow for some consolidation of what you’ve been trying to teach. Sidle up to the subject for a bit.

  • Reading: turn on captions for all television
  • Math: play board games
  • History: watch documentaries or period-accurate films
  • Science: get outside, go to an observatory, or a nature center
  • Spelling: circle words on word searches, work a crossword puzzle together

Give yourself permission to go slow to go fast. You’ve got time.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

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