Homeschool Fear #3: What If My Child Is Not at Grade Level?

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“Oh, dear. My child is in ____ grade and (s)he still doesn’t know _____________!”

I just opened BibleGateway and typed grade level in the search box. This is what I found:

“Sorry, we didn’t find any results for your search.”

Hmmm . . . if God didn’t say anything about grade level, why do we worry about it so much?

Your child is unique. Aren’t you glad really? Would you really want to be the mama of a child who was exactly like every other child in your town or even in your church or your neighbors’ houses?

Imagine a little boy in a second grade classroom today at the elementary school nearest your home. There he sits day after day. He would love to be doing something with his hands. That’s what he is really good at. Why, just last week he made a catapult that sent a kidney bean flying clear across the backyard.

This little boy doesn’t learn like educational professionals in an office far, far away from his elementary school have decided that he should learn. Someday he could be the best auto mechanic in town, but that day may never come. As he sits there day in and day out, year after year, ashamed because he isn’t “on grade level,” he just might decide that he doesn’t amount to much and . . . . Well, you know how all that goes. Poor kid.

Children Playing School
Children Playing School, 1908

In this photo from 1908, children play school. Notice the little one in a dunce cap. Dunce cap? No child deserves to wear a dunce cap — no matter what euphemism might be used that means the same thing!

When our littlest, Mary Evelyn, was four or maybe five (she has a “late” birthday), we took her to a local education office for preschool testing. They wanted me to put her in a special preschool class because she was “too shy” for her age. Our Mary Evelyn — who hasn’t been shy in years, who loves to act and is quite gifted at it, and who has 116 children signed up for her next Homeschool Dramatic Society production, a God-honoring work she has directed for the last seventeen years — wasn’t at the proper place on the shyness scale established by the local board of education.

As it turned out, we (who felt like we were pinching every penny) made too much money for her to qualify for the program. Whew! I have long been glad of that. I’ve long been glad that she got to grow the way God made her instead of the way some “authority” said she should.

God has ways of “testing” us, but it’s not to see if we are on grade level. He is concerned about much more important things than that.

I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14


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    • I think “labels” that help parents understand their child better so that they can help them in the best way are good, but each child is God’s creation and He knows why He made the child that way and He has a very good reason for doing that! A label should never hurt a child. That is what is so sad.

  1. A hearty amen!!! One of the sweetest blessings of homeschooling is providing a place to nourish our children and watch them bloom in their own time!!

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