Recently I answered a post by a homeschool mom that was feeling discouraged. I thought I would share my response here as I think it may be useful to all of us.
I think feelings of discouragement are more common than we admit. We see those other posts, read those magazine articles or look up statistics and we wonder what we're dong wrong. Why isn't my child making leaps and bounds? Why isn't my child succeeding in that way? It's an easy thing to slip into, but we need to be aware and watch for it. We need to keep our focus on our own kids and make sure our goals actually fit for them. Not what we want. Not what those other kids are doing.
While in the mean time, we should review and revisit our tools. Any other profession will have continuing education or conferences of some type. Professionals know they have to keep on top of their game. So, why don't we? A refresher course- re-reading the book, watching the video or attending the class again- all ways we can refresh our teaching. Our job as teachers is worth the effort or expense for extra or updated training.
The other thing most professionals do as well- is refreshing the 'spirit'. They might not call it that. But some time reflecting on why we do what we do is also very helpful. I have loved attending the real refreshment retreats. [http://blog.apologia.com/live/ ] So much so, that I also keep the program with my notes in it for re-reading throughout the year. I highly recommend it. If you can't do a 'real refreshment' you may want to do your own. Set aside some time where you can reflect on why you do this, where is God leading you? What is He calling you to do in this manner? What scripture verses speak to you? Mediate on Him.
My children are never going to make those great leaps or probably ever be 'above' grade level in some areas, but they are continuing to progress in all areas at their own personal rate. [bumpy and uneven at that] Sometimes I need an attitude adjustment to help me see how very talented and smart my kids really are. . . I have come to accept that my children and my homeschool will not look like anyone else's, even if sometimes, I need a reminder.