Sometimes in homeschooling we get worried that we cannot teach all the subjects. Some of them we may never have learned. Others we just don’t like.
Even the best of students grow up and forget information or how to do things. It happens. It’s life. Do you remember how to do logarithms? What could you tell your friends about modern history? So what do you do when you are homeschooling and you have a subject you are not good at or are not confident with?
WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN
It can be easier to feel more confident covering all subjects when your children are younger. The beginning of reading and writing, the foundations of math, these all seem ingrained in us. But even since I started teaching, methods have changed. Math looks different at times and I have found myself having to learn how my girls are learning math.
It can be helpful to go over lessons prior to sitting down with your child. This might help you feel more confident, or know what you are doing.
Do not forget that it is ok to say that you don’t know something. My favorite response is “I am not sure. Why don’t we learn that together?” Or you can ask your child to teach you. It is actually an effective teaching tool.
If you really don’t want to be teaching a subject – and that is totally acceptable! – you can find online classes for your child, or involve another teacher. There are educational co-ops that could cover subjects you feel a lack in.
Personally, I am not confident in teaching my girls art. I can teach about artists and their styles. I can talk about the different techniques, but I can’t teach them. So we watch videos that show the technique and learn about it together. Then we can practice. I could say “I am not good at art therefore we won’t do it” but that won’t help your child. You don’t have to be excellent, or even good at it, to teach it and make sure it is part of your child’s educational journey.
FOR OLDER CHILDREN
This might mean more effort on your behalf to learn a subject, in order to make sure your child is learning it correctly or understanding it.
Here is a great opportunity to pool resources with others. Does another homeschooling friend have a strength in a subject you don’t? Perhaps you could join together and they teach one subject and you teach another.
Tutors are also valuable for subjects you don’t feel confident teaching. This wouldn’t be daily, but rather weekly as an opportunity to make sure your child is understanding the content.
Look around for community classes. These can often be a great resource for older students.
Make sure they know how to learn. This is where skills based learning can be super helpful. When your child knows HOW to learn, then they are in a strong position to be learning new material. Research skills, analyzing, critical thinking, and communication (written and verbal) are all valuable.
I have worked with teenagers as a learning coach and they have asked for assistance with subjects I was unfamiliar with or wasn’t confident with (especially higher levels of math). I was very grateful for online resources that allowed me to show the steps to the problems. I honestly don’t remember learning half of what they were learning. And being Australian, I may not have. But that didn’t stop me. And it won’t stop me with my girls when they get older.
WEBSITES OR ONLINE PROGRAMS
There are some great online resources that can help you learn a subject before teaching it. YouTube is full of helpful videos. There are also other great websites.
Websites or programs that you can use to learn, or for your child to learn from:
Remember that homeschooling is about choosing what is best for your child to maximize their learning potential and make their education meaningful. Make the most of the resources around you.