Parents Who Can’t… (Remember) Teach!Dec 23rd, 2011 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Issues in Homeschooling
Parents learn to teach again quickly.
Inevitably it will happen: you WILL doubt your skills as a teacher. After all, most public school teachers have a thorough knowledge of their subject area – backed up by a degree and classroom experience. And you? You’re merely a parent whose last memory of algebraic equations may have swished out the door with that old pair of bright red parachute pants.
It’s probable that parents lose a bit of cognitive function while working in the trenches of early childhood, battling those dirty diapers, dealing with sporadic tantrums, and managing the mountains of housework families leave in their wake. But I can assure you – we have gained quite a bit in common sense, problem solving ability, and how to think fast in a pinch. Believe me—you’re ready!
Tip: Don’t underestimate your credentials as both a parent and teacher
It will certainly help to educate yourself on each subject to some degree BEFORE delving into a curriculum with your child. Remember that you don’t need ALL of the answers… just a solid head start and the resources to uncover an answer when the eventual questions arise. Let us help you get a leg up with these great resources!
Worksheets are an excellent resource to help with identifying where your child might be weak – and where you are weak as well. They can help you to organize lessons, brush up on forgotten material/terminology, and they are cheap or free online!
Study Guides and Strategies.
A website deserving of its own category! If you can think of it, there’s a whole guide to it found here. A wealth of valuable information in one location – use as a jumping off place for all your searches.
The natural world can sometimes feel more complex and unnerving than quantum physics! If science was not exactly your forte, and the thought of insects, fungal growth, scat, and poison ivy rash leaves you shaking in your never-before-worn hiking boots, fear not! With these resources, it might just be fun.
The Power of Google.
If you have a question you don’t know how to find the answer to, just type it into a Google search, word for word. You might be amazed at what pops up.
Local Support Groups.
If all else fails, reach out and ask others in a similar situation. Networking with local homeschooling families is always a great idea!
As your child gets older, keeping a firm grasp on the subject matter WILL undoubtedly become more difficult. With your older homeschooler (just for fun and to see how it works), you may want to role swap. Have them research their designated topic areas – then teach you the basics of the subject matter. As questions arise, you can tackle them together, essentially by functioning more as “classmates” than as a traditional “teacher” and “student”.
In summary, the pure beauty of homeschooling is that there is no “right” or “absolute” solution to any given situation. You can make homeschooling fit your lifestyle, your capabilities, AND your child’s individual learning needs. Your synergy together will always be a wonderful work in progress!
Additional homeschooling posts:
If You Give a Homeschooler a Project
Have you ever read, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," or "If You Give a Moose a Muffin?" That mouse and that moose characterize my oldest child to a T.
Encouragement for Homeschoolers
I heard a great quote the other day that cannot go unrecognized: "Don't lay down in the cemetary until you have to".