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Facing My Biggest Challenges


What's one homeschooling challenge you've faced, and what solutions did you find?

 

Fear of failure is one challenge I think all homeschool parents experience.  During the early days of our homeschooling, it seemed relatively easy.  In high school, though, parents are faced with subjects they don’t understand.  My biggest challenges involved calculus, physics, and foreign language.

 

I researched the problem, and found a surprising solution.  I did not have to learn the subjects myself, and I didn’t have to teach the subjects to my children.  All I had to do was make sure my children learned the subject.  Older teens need to learn how to teach themselves. If they go to college, they will be expected to learn all the textbook material by themselves. College lectures are most often supplemental to the textbook – not the same. If perhaps they don’t go to college, they will certainly still need to teach themselves some computer skills, or perhaps online banking, or how to buy a car – whatever.

 

Once I realized I didn’t have to learn calculus myself, I was able to take a deep breath. I didn’t need an advanced degree.  I simply needed a quality homeschool curriculum that assumed teacher and student did not know the material.

 

My kids taught themselves pre-calculus and calculus. They taught themselves physics, French, and Latin. I know they understood the material, because they passed the tests. They studied on their own, referring to the answer key frequently.  Each week, when I went to the grocery store, I gave them the test and took the answer key with me.  When I returned, I compared their answers to the key. I didn’t know what the calculus symbols meant, but my children gave answers that matched the answers on the key. I could have taught them Biology and Chemistry (I’m an RN and I love that stuff) but they actually taught themselves those subjects as well. It just worked out better for us when they were teaching themselves, while I simply checked up on them now and again.

 

I eventually found answers to all of my high school concerns. I found support and encouragement from other homeschool parents who walked with me through this hard part of homeschooling.  And if there is one thing I know for sure, it is this: if I made it through, you can too.  I feel so strongly about this that I’ve now spent years helping other parents homeschool through high school.  Homeschooling high school can be intimidating! I encourage you to take advantage of those who have blazed the trail and can share what they've learned!  If you’re feeling discouraged about homeschooling, I’d love to talk with you and help you get back on the path to success.  I have some great free resources at www.thehomescholar.com/homeschool-freebies.php.



 

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Comments 2

Guest - Lee (website) on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 08:30

Joelle! I love this!
"So I have to be content with “flunking” Latin as I work beside my child who is absorbing the language like a sponge."
Amen, sister! Been there, done that, right there with you!
Blessings,
Lee

Joelle! I love this! "So I have to be content with “flunking” Latin as I work beside my child who is absorbing the language like a sponge." Amen, sister! Been there, done that, right there with you! Blessings, Lee
Guest - J W on Monday, 16 July 2012 19:14

My biggest challenge? Dealing with never being able to teach my two children anything together. People said, "Oh, your kids are only X years apart - you can teach them together!" As it turned out, one child is gifted, the other is challenged. So I had to learn:

1) flexibility

2) to let go of my expectation that I could "hand down" curriculum to the younger child - we sell the older child's curriculum every single year

3) to teach to two children with completely different learning styles

4) to be extremely protective of my time and eventually say "no" to the church - juggling two students and running a household is more than a full-time job

5) to stick to my guns in spite of what "everyone" says about how public schools are best for gifted and will "fix" the challenged


My second-biggest challenge came this year when I realized I am simply not as quick with memorization as I used to be. So I have to be content with "flunking" Latin as I work beside my child who is absorbing the language like a sponge. This child learns best when interacting with me - quizzing me, correcting my papers, discussing concepts with me, etc. This means I have to keep up to a certain degree. I learned if I understand the concepts, I'm OK. It's turning out that our strengths and weaknesses are complimentary, so we pretend we're taking the class together and we're "study buddies."

My biggest challenge? Dealing with never being able to teach my two children anything together. People said, "Oh, your kids are only X years apart - you can teach them together!" As it turned out, one child is gifted, the other is challenged. So I had to learn: 1) flexibility 2) to let go of my expectation that I could "hand down" curriculum to the younger child - we sell the older child's curriculum every single year 3) to teach to two children with completely different learning styles 4) to be extremely protective of my time and eventually say "no" to the church - juggling two students and running a household is more than a full-time job 5) to stick to my guns in spite of what "everyone" says about how public schools are best for gifted and will "fix" the challenged My second-biggest challenge came this year when I realized I am simply not as quick with memorization as I used to be. So I have to be content with "flunking" Latin as I work beside my child who is absorbing the language like a sponge. This child learns best when interacting with me - quizzing me, correcting my papers, discussing concepts with me, etc. This means I have to keep up to a certain degree. I learned if I understand the concepts, I'm OK. It's turning out that our strengths and weaknesses are complimentary, so we pretend we're taking the class together and we're "study buddies."
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