What if I can’t teach this subject?
It happens to most homeschool parents at some time, whether they are just starting out or have been homeschooling for a while. Eventually, they come up against a subject that they struggle with themselves – and it is not always the expected and oft-dreaded high school science and math!
So, what do you do when you come upon material that feels to difficult or that you don’t understand yourself? How can you teach what you don’t know and make sure your child learns a subject that you yourself aren’t comfortable with?
Points to Ponder
Here are a few suggestions for tackling those topics and subjects that just don’t come naturally to you.
Homeschool parents have the unique opportunity to learn right alongside their students. Purchase books with step-by-step information or watch videos together. You may find that you come to love the subject you thought was too tough for you.
Recruit dad or other family members to help with a subject you don’t understand. Many fathers teach a class they are more comfortable with in the evening or on weekends. Grandpa or grandma or an aunt or uncle may also be willing to teach a course in a subject they are proficient in.
When shopping for curriculum, look for products that teach. There are several homeschool curricula that are designed to teach directly to the student. This bypasses the need for a parent to understand the material. This can be done in book or computer/video format.
There are a growing number of online classes that you can take advantage of. Some are self-paced, while others are conducted in real-time using video conference software. Your child can learn from an expert in the field, while you can focus on subjects you are more comfortable with.
Find a Tutor
Tutors and tutorial programs are an excellent way to make sure your child learns a subject you find too tough. Try calling a local college to find a student in the subject field that might be interested in a part-time tutoring job or seek an older homeschool student who excelled at the subject. Also check YouTube for online tutorials that you can watch together.
Join a Co-Op
Your local co-op could be a great place to find help in a subject. Co-ops often have group classes where a parent with special knowledge of a subject teaches a group of homeschool students. If the class you need isn’t available, ask if the co-op might consider it for the next semester or year.
Some areas do not have a local co-op or organized association. But you don’t have to have an official co-op to find local help. If you have a friend who is proficient in a subject you are weak in, she might be willing to trade off that subject for one you are good at. And your kids would probably love the chance to process through a class with their friends.
College Courses for Dual Credit
If your child is in high school and meets requirements set by the college, he can sign up for courses at the college level. These courses will not only meet the need for a high school subject, but will also count as college credit on his transcript, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
A Few More Thoughts
When a homeschool parent runs up against a difficult subject, it can be easy to feel like throwing in the towel. Instead, with a little planning and research, you can continue the homeschool journey and still offer your student a good understanding of every subject.