Hi. I’m a homeschool Mom of 3 boys, and a baby girl. I stay home and teach, clean, cook, etc. Sometimes I sit on the couch and delegate the chores while I’m nursing (or just sitting!) I read aloud to and with the kids nearly every day. We read straight from the bible, from a devotional book, and right now, from a book on stuff/ecology/economy/systems. It’s a good read. Lengthy, a little beyond the younger two, but a good one so far.
I was never a history buff, but I try to engage the boys in historical-type topics. I try to have them practice some sort of writing exercise almost daily. Sometimes we just focus on penmanship (which, for some odd reason, one of the boys is fighting tooth and nail). We have a weekly home ec day, where we just bake and clean and practice life skills without ever touching a textbook.
I love workbooks and worksheets and “busy” work. I like the kids to become proficient at a skill, and therefore will make them practice a lot. The new information doesn’t stop while we practice skills we already have, though. I just like seeing them put on paper that they really have something figured out. I like to encourage them to teach each other – like trickle down education. It’s pretty nifty.
We don’t do the same thing everyday. In fact, I change it up all the time. I’m still not sure what works best for the oldest, so instead of getting stuck in a rut, I change it up. The kids know they have school time every day, but they don’t always know if we’ll be working together, or sitting at the table, or what order they will do their subjects for the day.
I loathe math. Not adding and subtracting. Or even multiplication or division. I can handle fractions, decimals, and counting back change. But algebra makes me sick. I get a headache instantly and my brain becomes dumb. To combat this, I spent lots of time watching YouTube videos so I could help the oldest with his work. (Am I allowed to say that doing so sucked? No? Okay, then I won’t say it.)
Guess what I found? I found an online compilation of YouTube videos, with lots of online work, and tests, and it’s free. It starts with basic math and works up all the way to trigonometry and calculus. So now, I sit back and let the kids watch the YouTube videos, and then work the problems. This program even tells us when they are proficient with a skill! (Click here to check out the program! Note: I am not in any way affiliated with Khan Academy, and I receive nothing for using or recommending it. Just sharing something I found with you!)
My confession boils down to this: I am taking a “backseat” position with math. I am admitting that just because I homeschool, doesn’t mean I know everything (or even have to). Homeschooling means I know how to find and use resources and have vowed to teach my kids the same thing.
Have you ever taken a “backseat” position with a subject? Or anything in life?
8 thoughts on “Homeschool Confessions #4: Math”
Way to go, Regina, there is no reason to teach the subjects that you yourself are no good in (or that give you a headache!) as long as you can find suitable resources to teach them! I delegated math over to Teaching Textbooks and Khan Academy years ago! I also have the kids do their own science (and they do) because that’s not my area, either. I teach my strengths and let somebody else do the rest. It works! Blessings, mama, it sounds like you’re doing an awesome job!
Thank you, Amy. You are always kind and encouraging, and I greatly appreciate your comments!
‘We have a weekly home ec day, where we just bake and clean and practice life skills without ever touching a textbook’. – Sounds like your are doing a good job. Academics are great but you can’t get very far without life skills.
We are going for “book smart, street smart” in balance. Thank you for your kind words!
I totally agree that in life sometimes you need to take a backseat and let others take the reigns. I’m applying this practice right now with learning to delegate tasks in my business instead of spreading myself everywhere.
Way to go, Chivon! That is hard in business, as the temptation to micromanage is ever present. We all need a break, and also need to contribute our best work, that’s not possible if we are spread to thin. Keep learning!
I’m so glad you’ve found a great resource like Khan Academy. Nobody can do everything herself, so I think it’s great to know where your limits are and respect them rather than pushing to be everything to everyone and ending up spreading yourself too thin and doing a halfway job anyway. This sounds like a great solution for everyone!
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Nancy! It can be hard to admit my own weaknesses, but when I finally do, we are all relieved and blessed for it.