Help! My Child Knows More Than Me!!
I sometimes hear from homeschooling parents who are concerned that their child knows more than they do! Their child will ask them a question and the parent doesn't understand what they're talking about. Or the child will insist the textbook is wrong!
I am here to tell you, it's SO OK for your child to know more than you do! You don't HAVE to know all the stuff they are learning - that's their job, not yours. Remember that you want your children to become auto-didactic (self-teaching), so they can succeed in college and in their careers. Knowing how to teach yourself is one of the most important indicators of success. So when your child is learning on their own, that is a GREAT thing.
I did also have a strategy for "the answer is wrong" reply. Sometimes the answer keys ARE wrong, but most homeschool curriculum will have a support email, or an 800 number you can call when such questions arise. When your child thinks an answer in the textbook answer key is wrong, you can contact the book author and find out whether they're correct. When I got frustrated with my children because of their protestations of incorrect answer keys, I would tell them that their answer had to look EXACTLY like the answer key. If it didn't, the answer was marked "incorrect" unless or until my child called or emailed the textbook author to get the corrected answer. That put it in the hands of my children to solve the problem, and not me.
Instead of saying "Help! My child knows more than me," realize it's wonderful that homeschooling will allow your children to learn at their own pace - even when they know more than you! It's a good thing, not a bad thing - and certainly not a reason to prevent parents from homeschooling!
Please note: This post was originally published in April 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Your teenager has a lot to learn in order to be successful in homeschool high school. As the parent, there is a lot for us to learn, too! In your role as teacher, coach and guidance counselor, there is a lot of information that you need to internalize in order to successfully navigate the high school waters. Help is available with the Gold Care Club!