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Do you ever wonder how to homeschool when you hate certain subjects? Do feelings of inadequacy overwhelm you when you think about teaching subjects you flunked? Did you have such a miserable experience that you don’t want to touch the subject with a ten-foot pole?
I despised math as a child. The endless problems, rote memorization, and puzzles that I never seemed to solve made my brain hurt. I seriously dreaded every math lesson and swore that when I grew up I would never do another math problem for as long as l lived.
I had a knot in my stomach at the thought of teaching my precious children the mysteries of math. I seriously reconsidered homeschooling. Only the thought of my children going through something similar squelched my fear.
We all have certain areas of study that we have a hard time grasping; whether its academics, life skills or interpersonal challenges. In a nutshell, we are human.
What is encouraging is that you know how hard you worked to grasp a subject. You know the potential hang-ups and you have the flexibility of teaching a small group of children.
This means that with a little out of the box thinking, you can explore your most hated subjects and survive (and even thrive). We are going to talk about the ways and resources that you can use to successfully teach subjects that you despise.
1. Keep An Open Mind
2. Teach Differently
3. Utilize Resources
1. Keep An Open Mind
Our children are like ninja warriors that instantly pick up on our feelings, especially when it comes to different aspects of learning. Though I wouldn’t encourage mass hysterics, there is no use trying to mask your past challenges.
It means A LOT to your child when you acknowledge your previous difficulties with a subject. To a child, it is endlessly fascinating to think that mom isn’t great at everything. This act of vulnerability teaches your child that we don’t have to excel in everything we study. It’s freeing to know that we are each created uniquely with different gifts and talents.
I am not saying that we don’t wrestle with a concept or idea, but that we each have certain aptitudes that make different subjects easier or more difficult, based on the person.
Ask your child if you can work as a team to learn this subject together. This is the skill of life-long learning in action people. Working side by side to master an area of learning communicates crucial values that will live on in the life of your child.
Be encouraged, just because you hated this area of study before does not mean you won’t enjoy it now. At least this time around, you have the secret power of the answer key and a Google search at your fingertips.
2. Teach Differently
I remember excitedly walking into a language class, dreaming of travel. And walking out of that class swearing to never leave my native shores. My teacher overwhelmed us with busy work and drills, effectively squelching our interest in a foreign language. I remember thinking as I struggled to complete my weekly homework assignment that nothing was worth this misery.
In comparison, I once had an English class where the teacher was a master at fostering a love of classical literature. She made dry, dusty books come alive through insightful questions and spirited debate. It was such a popular class that there was always a waiting list a mile long. Even students who had zero interest in literature thoroughly enjoyed the class.
So, what was the difference between the two classes? The language teacher adopted a firehose mentality to teach her students. She believed that data dumping meant effective learning.
The English teacher on the other hand creatively invited all students to participate by using a variety of tools. She thoroughly loved what she taught and her enthusiasm was magnetic.
How you teach can make or break a class.
You don’t have to teach or co-learn this subject the same way you were taught. You have the freedom to teach outside of the box and to use a plethora of resources. You don’t have to stick to a curriculum or method of study because of a classroom or school district mandate.
You know your child better than anyone else. You know their strengths and weaknesses, you know they learn and grow. You have the freedom to tailor-make their education to fit your child and your teaching style.
Here are a couple of questions to think about:
A. What made the subject you hated challenging? (Was it the course material? How it was communicated?)
B. How do you learn best? (Do you love or dread textbooks etc.?)
C. What type of study gives you life?
D. How does your child learn best?
E. What type of study gives your child life?
You will need to reach a middle ground between how you teach and how your child learns. For instance, if textbooks fill you with dread but your child loves the fill in the blank answers; try a workbook or an online program instead.
You will be more likely to teach the subject consistently when you don’t dread using a certain method or tool.
3. Utilize Resources
- Check out local Facebook Homeschool groups for information on local homeschooling classes or co-ops.
- Check out your City Homeschool Group. They will have a listing of the available classes, tutors, field trips, co-ops, conferences, etc.
- Check out HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense) for a list of Homeschool Co-Ops by state.
- Visit a Local Homeschool support group and ask for more information about upcoming opportunities.
- Check out the vast resources of the library. Tutoring help, curriculum, free software, online tutoring, curriculum from around the US, etc. Here is a step by step guide here.
- Look for Internships
- College Classes for High School Students
- Tutoring -Online and locally (Some libraries offer free tutoring)
- Bribe Family and friends (Always a win! )
- Check out Local Community Clubs on your city website.
- Check Local Parenting website for additional city opportunities.
- Check out museums for classes.
- Some Local Public Schools allow you to register your child for specific classes.
- Utilize great computer programs.
- Go on field trips related to that area of study. And create memories that will last a lifetime!
- Read A lot of Living Books!
Are you wondering HOW do you actually get started homeschooling? Join our community of moms who want to invest in the lives of their children through homeschooling. I also created a 10 Tips to Finding Excellent Curriculum form to help you on your journey.
What about you? What subject is most challenging for you to teach? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!