Homeschool moms, new and experienced, have many questions and concerns throughout their homeschool journey. One I hear over and over again (and one I had myself when I started out) is whether or not we’re capable of teaching our kids everything they need to know.
How high can I take my kids in math? How can I teach chemistry when I didn’t take it myself in school? How can I homeschool if I don’t know it all?
I went to college and earned a teaching degree several years before I started my own homeschool journey. I kept hearing over and over again how easy homeschooling was going to be, because I was a “real” teacher. Let me assure you that is not the case!
When I came home to homeschool my kids, I became solely responsible for their entire education. I wasn’t just teaching third and fourth grades (the ones I’d taught in public school) anymore. I was responsible for K-12!! That’s a heavy burden to bear.
Can I really teach my kids things that I don’t know?
Yes, I can! And, you can, too! If we can incorporate one or more of these resources, we can homeschool subjects you didn’t excel in or even take during your own academic years!
I’ve been homeschooling for fifteen years, and I have taught many things that were totally new to me. I’ve taught many more that I felt less than qualified to teach. Latin. Algebra. Chemistry.
Here’s how I did it, and how you can, too!
1. Use scripted curriculum.
Homeschool publishers have made our jobs so much easier. There are so many choices for curricula that are scripted for parents who need a teaching aid. I’ve used quite a few of them over the past fifteen years. When my kids were younger, I used Saxon Math and Saxon Phonics – both of which are scripted. I currently use Rod & Staff English which is scripted.
Using a script doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing. It just gives me a little confidence to know I’m not leaving anything out. There are, in fact, concepts in our grammar book that I do not remember from school. So, the script helps me teach advanced topics with confidence.
2. Purchase solutions manuals and answer keys.
What if you just can’t teach a particular subject? This year, my 8th grader is going into Algebra I. I took Algebra I in school, but that doesn’t mean I remember it well enough to teach it. Our higher-level math books come with a solutions manual which shows each step of the problem being worked. When my kids get stuck, I can cross-reference their work with the solutions manual to see exactly where they are getting confused.
Solutions manuals and answer keys are designed to help homeschool moms teach their kids without having to know it all.
3. Enroll kids in a local co-op.
Co-ops are a great way to outsource a course that you don’t feel comfortable teaching. Not so good with math? Is there a class your child can take that’s taught by someone else?
This year, my daughter will attend co-op for the third year. She’ll take two art classes, a creative writing class, and beginning French.
Attending co-op allows her to take classes that I’m not able to teach such as her pottery and art classes. It also allows her to take classes from someone more qualified than me – French. Her creative writing class at co-op also gives her access to resources I don’t have (even though I could find them if I tried). This class is focused on writing for a creative writing contest open to 7th and 8th graders.
What is your best tip for teaching things you don’t feel qualified to teach in your own homeschool?
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