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One of the hardest things I had to learn as a homeschooling parent was learning when to take a step back. I needed to learn when I actually could not teach my son something. It was a pivotal moment in our homeschool journey. For it didn’t matter the curricula, it didn’t matter my heart or desire, or his willingness to learn. Learning to take a step back and let him figure it out… this was what was important. Every independent learner will have some subject that makes this matter pivotal in their journey. Being prepared will make it easier! 🙂
I loved teaching my son. Learning together, making discoveries and talking about them. It’s such a great thing to watch a child learn something and make it their own. A total highlight of my day. But you know what? Children learn and grow, they develop their own way of thinking. It’s a good thing no? And it’s occasionally eye-opening as well.
I still remember saying to my hubby. “I can’t do this, I can’t teach this boy math, I am so DONE with it.” In the ensuing conversation, I brought up how the lad thinks about math differently than I do. My approach is to come at it from point a to point b. Math is a subject I like, and it’s generally very straightforward to me. The lad looks at math more like a solution.. and then how do I get there? It seems so very backwards to me but it works for him.
Since we think very differently it was a matter of here is some really different math curricula… do it. Think about math differently. See how it goes. Over the course of six months, the lad explored math-art. That six months gave the lad a break from “mom math” and the time he needed to decide what he really wanted in a math program.
Something he could do on his own, that would challenge him, and would teach him real math. I came up with three solutions for him. One proved a total bomb (total waste of dollars), one worked extremely well(mostly free), and the other was a back up for when the extremely well one didn’t explain things properly (completely free, old textbook). He also utilized youtube and khan academy. I was a sounding board and nothing more. No more frustration! The lad learned to teach himself math, in a way that totally works for him. He loves math and does well at it.
Just as you need to set your student up for success with electives, giving them choices that will help them with their future endeavours, you need to be prepared for your student to take some initiative. They will at some point, balk at something you want to teach them, or a method you use, or the style of the material.
And that’s okay.
It’s a sign of growing maturity, of burgeoning independence in someone who is discovering their own way. Light their path for them. Give them the tools they need to get there. Tools for the future, and options in the here and now. They will (hopefully) thank you for it later.
Just as you organize their day and the stuff they need to do their schooling, you can organize your stepping back, exiting from where you are not needed as their independence blooms. And enjoy the process (and yes, it can be hard), but independence is our goal after all is it not?
Summer is almost here and let’s just celebrate now with the homeschool year wrapping up.
I’ve gotten together with 7 other bloggers to bring you this wonderful giveaway so that you can enjoy planning for your next homeschool year.
We are giving away 3 $100 giftcards from the place of your choice. You can choose from:
- Rainbow Resource
- Hobby Lobby
- Christian Books
The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize or else another winner will be chosen. By entering this giveaway you will be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers. Read the terms and conditions for more details.