The early years of education are fairly "easy" to teach...in that there isn't much specialization. There are incredible companies out there that offer great packages for all these early years. But still...every homeschool mom has her "waterloo". That's what I call the subject that eludes them. The one they are less than thrilled about teaching. Maybe it's a subject they themselves don't like, or maybe it's one of the less exciting ones. Regardless, I challenge you to find a mom who is excited about teaching everything.
And then there is the dreaded....da-da-dum! HiGh ScHoOl!!!!!
I will not lie. The idea of teaching High School scares me to death. Once you get to that age group, you have to start really getting down to brass tacks (if you haven't already) and start thinking about things like transcripts, diplomas, and college entrance exams! It scares the bravest homeschool mom. I have several years before I have to worry about it, but I'm already seeking out ideas!
As for subjects, well if you are a regular follower, you already know that Science is my Waterloo. Math isn't too far behind. But, I, like most of the other moms with "waterloo" subjects, have found ways around our fears. It's called....Independent Learning!
I don't know if everyone truly understands the reliance that homeschooling families have on online resources these days! They have saved many a homeschool parent from hair pulling by offering up everything from tips and tricks for teaching, to resources, to material, to complete curriculum that takes the parent out of the equation--and usually the problem.
We discovered that me teaching math just isn't a good idea. We had a great program, but it just wasn't working well for Little Britches and I. We were able to solve this problem when we discovered the online math curriculum CTCmath.com and GPALOVEMATH! Now I do not have to be the teacher! I can be the tutor or assistant while someone else teaches my child. This is brilliant. And my son loves it! And I know he's getting everything he needs to be successful at the subject in his grade level. We saw significant progress once we made the switch, affirming that we had made the right decision.
Some homeschool families are able to use co-op programs to allow other teachers into their "schoolroom". There are some programs where parents within the homeschool group each teach a subject they are comfortable with to the group of children. What a help this is for the homeschool community!
Curious to know what kind of subjects that homeschool moms dread? Here are some of the responses I got when I asked this question to a group of homeschooling moms...
Jennifer C.: Math. My oldest is only in 3rd grade but I struggle teaching him math concepts and I know this will only get harder as we go along. Neither him nor I are math/number minded people. I dread teaching higher level math.
Tiffany: Math. The end.
Alicia: Character. Making sure he has the character to be who God wants/needs him to be. It scares me everyday.
Jennifer P.: Ummm... Can I say all of them? Math is one I fully intend to farm out by middle or high school. Most of the sciences scare me too. Big C is really into the arts as well and I can barely draw stick figures and can't carry a tune without a bucket, never mind read music or play an instrument. I am blessed with a husband who reads physics books for fun though so there's hope yet.
Elaine: Music, science lab facilities, other languages, specific sports (swimming, gymnastics, rock climbing).
Diana: I am not a writer. I've never enjoyed it and never felt I was good at it. I just don't have the confidence to teach it to my son. I plan on finding the best curricula I can until high school and then will probably end up outsourcing (tutor? community college?) so that he can get a really solid foundation in writing. He talks about wanting to be a fiction writer, so he needs to have someone stronger than me to move him forward.
Renata: Art....I cringe at the word (sorry to all the amazing artistic mothers out there - I highly respect you). I have a physics degree, so maths & sciences are fun for me. All the other subjects are fine too, but art.... I would rather teach a day of math lessons than a single art lesson if it were up to me! Of course my children LOVE art so I do pull out the materials at the end of the week like a good homeschool Mummy (but secretly inside I am cringing at the mess).
Clarissa: Art is so hard for me! I love language arts, math is OK, and other subjects are interesting usually.... But Art is just not my thing! If giving coloring pages and crayons can pass as art, then I'm doing OK! Lol!
Carol: I don't like teaching Grammar. It either sound correct, or it doesn't. I don't want to diagram a sentence just because a book says we should.
Jennifer: Math is the worst for me. It literally gives me the sweats thinking of teaching it. I fumble through at best until dad comes home!
Joelle: I will have to say art too. I also dread teaching high school science. That is why I love it when I find a good online science program (Visual Learning systems...)
Shecki: I'm going to go with math and science. I'm hitting the wall with my 5th grader. We're at the point in math where I can't just look at a problem and know the answer now, so I have to re-learn how to do it in order to teach him. I think we're going back to MUS next year so he can watch the videos. And science? I don't like cheesy experiments. Dropping rocks into a bowl of flour? Um, no thanks. I'll pass. We did most of the ones in last year's science book, and this year we've skipped more than we've done.
Lori: I'll add to those that dread math. I keep wanting a math program that will be as beloved as all of our literature, art, history, science, and music. It would be a perfect program if it kept a particular child away from tears and frustration. Math is my nemesis. And I love numbers! I do, however, completely dread needing to do upper level science with the girls that might possibly require dissections, ICK!!! My oldest loves science, though, so we might be headed that way.
Debra: I detest teaching writing.
I don't like doing art either. I feel totally incompetent there.
Kym: Science if it involves dissections - No.Thanks. Not happening at my house thankyouverymuch.
One of my now graduated sons did high school level chemistry, and the only reason he did was because another homeschool mom (with degrees in math and science) taught the class at her home and the ONLY thing I had to do was grade the chapter tests. Believe me, that was stressful enough! I don't remember enough about my own high school chem and algebra classes to decipher answers if it's not exactly what the Answer Key says, and if I'm supposed to explain how to rework the problem, yeah, that's not gonna happen. When I started homeschooling, I totally dreaded teaching science but as we went along I found out that as long as I had a good book to teach from, I was learning things I'd forgotten or that didn't make sense to me when I was in school, and I was fascinated. So much so that I volunteered to teach a middle school level Physics class at our co-op one year. And I actually enjoyed it.
Brittney: I currently dread anything that falls under language arts. It was a shocking realization, because I loved those subjects in school. It all came naturally to me, so I struggle with the fact that it's not always easy or natural or enjoyed by everyone else. It's definitely not a favorite of my STEM kid. I don't particularly love art either. If I could send my kids to a quality art class or was close with another homeschooling mama who would take it over, I would do it in a heartbeat!
Katie: WRITING!!!!! It always came naturally to me, I write what is in my head and really don't have too many issues other than spelling and an overuse of commas :D. Asking Amethyst to write is like pulling teeth! I find it frustrating that she can tell me the answer verbally but by the time it gets on paper it is a jumbled up mess. She is a very literal thinker and I think that because there are so many ways to write the same thing she gets frustrated. I will teach math any day, there is only one answer!
Jen: I would say higher math scares the bajeebies out of me! I do not want to go there. Thankfully my dad has a degree in Physics and is a whiz at math so he can help when it gets to that point ;). I also feel less than stellar at the Art. I love the ARTistic Pursuits right now because it does it for me and I don't have to make examples of what it should look like. :) I've never been artsy or crafty and my finished project doesn't always look like the instructions :laugh: I love literature but dislike the Grammar part of it. I do not understand diagramming sentences...
Lisa: I hate higher math...in fact my 14 year old knows if he has a problem he 'waits till Dad get's home' - I married a man with Master's level math's - smart!
Susan: I loved school, so as a homeschool mom, there isn't anything about it that I consider a nemesis, but if I had to pick something that I wouldn't even try teaching because I am completely inadequate and would go nuts trying to learn it in order to teach it, it would be a foreign language like Spanish or French, and reading music. Also shop for my boys.
You see, we all have subjects that are more challenging than others to teach and subjects or grades we are loathe to start. Does this mean that we need to hand in our homeschooling "license"? No. It means that we seek out other methods for teaching them. Researching independent programs. Talking to friends and relatives to see if someone else you know is willing to help. Checking out online curriculum ideas. I do not need to be a certified algebra teacher to teach it to my child. I just need to find a great program to either help me do it, or be an independent curriculum for him to do by himself.
Don't let a lack of confidence on teaching your child all they need to know hold you back from your homeschool adventures! We all have subjects that we need help on. Fortunately there is help out there and even the most fearful mom can be at peace teaching whatever comes her way.
Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!
We've covered four of the five most common myths about homeschooling: patience of Job, no second thoughts, social awkwardness and the preparation and eagerness to teach everything. We have one final day in this hop! Tomorrow I am going to share what home schooling looks like. It's not just doing school...at home!
What subject do you or would you dread to teach your children?