Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How do you teach what you don't know?

One question I sometimes hear regarding homeschooling is: How do you teach what you don't know?

I acknowledge that this is a valid concern, especially for high school.
Some moms wonder about their own basic knowledge. You are not alone in realizing that you made it through school and didn't necessarily master all the knowledge that was presented to you or perhaps you have forgotten it somewhere along the way. I know a lot of homeschool moms who say they are in whatever grade their oldest child is in. As in, "Suzy is in 5th grade and I'm in 5th grade too!" You can learn the content along with your child. I would suggest previewing the teacher materials beforehand so that it's fresh in your mind when you teach it.
Sometimes there will be something that is just outside of your range of teaching abilities. For instance, my oldest took Pre-Calculus in his senior year, which is not something my husband or I took in school. Nor did either of us ever imagine ourselves learning it. So, our son taught it to himself. (And did quite well, actually!) So, your child becoming an autodidact (look it up!) is one possible way to handle the problem. Several companies, such as Teaching Textbooks (pictured) and Alpha Omega's Switched-on Schoolhouse, produce curriculum that is designed for independent learning.

Tutors are often an effective solution in situations where you don't have the necessary knowledge or perhaps the time (or desire) to learn the skills. Tutoring can be a paid situation or a trade. For instance, last year I taught my friend's daughter essay writing and she worked with my daughter to complete her Biology dissection lab with my daughter. Science is NOT my thing. This was our second trade like this, as we also did the same thing with our oldest sons. Several other friends have found paid algebra tutors for their high school students.

An additional option could be dual enrollment in college. Several families I know have chosen this route for their high school students, who are then earning college credit while learning their high school curriculum.

So, as you can see, not knowing everything is not a barrier to homeschooling. Don't let that stop you!

1 comment:

Wee Pip said...

We have sooo many options to get the job done. I hated math in school and could never imagine myself picking up a math book ever again; however, now it's sort of a fun puzzle to solve. Science, however - I could see trading that one, hiring out, or getting my husband to teach that one. Science is not my thing either!