Homeschool Confessions #4: Math

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?