No matter how long you’ve been homeschooling, there will come a time (or two or three!) when a particular subject challenges your teaching ability. You may not understand the subject yourself and therefore feel insecure about teaching it to your child.
Don’t fret Homeschool Mom. You’re not alone. It happens to all teachers…even the ones teaching in traditional classrooms. I was a public school teacher for nearly ten years. Trust me. I know.
When those times of educational uncertainty arise, what can you do? Toss aside your fears and select a course of action. God has called you to be a homeschooling mom and He will give you what you need to find success. You have options! Consider implementing some of these tips.Perhaps they wiill free you from your curriculum conundrum.
- Don’t stress. Don’t let a challenging topic cause you to break out in cold sweats, elevate your blood pressure, or induce a panic attack. Your child isn’t doomed because you have trouble teaching Calculus or because you can’t explain Physics. Take a deep breath, relax, and remember that none of us knows everything. A clear head will help you better understand what you need to do.
- Determine the educational goal. Consider how much your child truly needs to know about the topic at this time. Are you striving for exposure or for mastery? If a child just needs to know the basics, teach those and delve into the advanced details in a later grade. Determine what needs to be taught and only teach that.
- Don’t pretend to know everything. When there’s something you don’t know, don’t be afraid to say so. Be honest with your child and then research to find the answer or seek out someone who does have the answer. Pretending to know when you don’t is deceptive, can cause your child to lose trust in you, and undermines your personal and educational integrity.
- Simplify the concepts. Don’t tackle too much at once. Break the subject down into smaller chunks that may be easier for you teach. Teach little by little and build upon concepts so you don’t become overwhelmed. Teaching bit by bit makes the topic more teachable for you and allows your child to gain a better understanding of the subject.
- Study ahead of time. Before you begin teaching take plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the subject matter. Watch a video to help you learn more about the subject. Read books and articles about the subject. Search YouTube for videos on the subject. There are a wide range of resources available to you. Don’t be afraid to use them. You may learn exactly what you need to know in order to teach effectively.
- Tap into local homeschool resources. See if you can find help within your local homeschool community. Talk to the homeschool parents in your area. Post your concern on the local homeschool forum and see what type of responses you receive. Perhaps there’s a fellow homeschooling mom who is willing to teach the challenging subject if you’re willing to teach another subject to her children. The arms of the homeschool community reach far and wide. You may find help just by asking.
- See if a nearby homeschool co-op offers a class on the subject. These days, many homeschool cooperatives offer a variety of classes to meet the needs of its members. There may be a class your child can take. If no class exists, suggest a course offering and then offer to assist the homeschool parent teaching the class. This can be a great solution because your child learns, you gain a better understanding of the subject, and the homeschool mom teaching has help while teaching.
- Hire a tutor. The tutor can be a fellow homeschool mom who is an expert in the subject, a high school or college student with understanding of the subject, or an educational professional who has advanced knowledge on the subject. You may only need to use the tutor for a short set period of time or simply as the need arises.
When a challenging topic surfaces, don’t fear! Your child will learn exactly what she needs to know. Find the course of action that best matches your needs. Both you and your child will soon be on the road to success!
Photos by David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.