One of the most common concerns I have heard from most parents when it comes to homeschooling high school is the fear of teaching higher level math and science courses.
And, why shouldn’t that be a concern? Many of us struggled through classes like algebra, trigonometry, chemistry or physics, so it only makes sense that the idea of teaching those subjects to our own children would cause us to doubt our abilities to homeschool through high school.
Thankfully, there are many options for teaching those subjects to my children that don’t involve me having a firm grasp on the material myself. As a matter of fact, Samantha mentioned several options in her post on high school science.
Knowing how I struggled with algebra when I was in high school, I always had an idea in my back pocket for Brianna – a math-whiz friend who tutors on the side. So far, we haven’t had to call on her, but I will if it becomes necessary.
Tutors can be expensive, so another idea to keep in mind is local college students. Most cities have a community college nearby, even if there aren’t any larger schools. Call the school office to see if there are students willing to tutor area high school students. You get an inexpensive tutor and a college student earns some much-needed money. Win-win!
Homeschool classes and co-ops
Our area offers both co-op settings and classes that amount to once- or twice-a-week school classes for homeschoolers. Both of these are great options for those sweat-inducing subjects like upper-level math and science, as well as classes that work more effectively with a group of students, such as drama.
Learning alongside your kids
When Brianna was in 5th grade or so, I discovered that I have a much better understanding of the metric system than I did when I was her age. That’s been true with other things, as well. So, don’t discount the fact that you may be able to learn the material alongside your student and help them understand it, too. It’s actually kind of exciting to realize that the subject that seemed so hard in high school really can make sense.
We’ve used both Teaching Textbooks and Thinkwell for upper level math subjects and they’ve been wonderful. There are courses for other subjects, as well. (Samantha referenced some of the online courses for science in her post.)
One thing I liked about the video courses is that I’m not the one trying to explain the subject to Brianna. And there is no laziness or feelings of inadequacy in that statement – there is, however, a sense of relief that I was able to skip some of the teenage “mom-you-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about” drama for a couple of the hard-to-understand, frustration-inducing subjects.
Many colleges are now offering dual-enrollment for high school students. This can be a great option for tackling those difficult subjects while simultaneously earning college credit.
Don’t ever discount the skills of the homeschool community. What may be a difficult skill for you may have been one of your fellow homeschool moms’ favorite subjects…and, perhaps the subject that was your passion was one she loathed. Offer to trade skills.
Maybe a fellow homeschool mom or dad could help your high-schooler with his math while you help theirs with her grammar. This also comes in handy for skills outside traditional academics. Maybe you can teach a friend’s kids how to cook or can vegetables and her she can teach your kids how to change the oil in their car and check the spark plug wires. (Hey, I’d have no clue, but I have a cousin who knows more about cars than the average man.)
As Samantha mentioned in her post, one thing that helps many parents through the high school years is realizing that we become much more facilitator or adviser and less teacher during those years…and that’s a good thing. The high school years are a time of transitioning responsibility for your child’s education from your shoulders to his. It’s a time of making sure that our goal of teaching them how to learn, rather than what to learn is being realized.
What resources have you found helpful in helping your students learn subjects that you find difficult?
Be sure to visit these brilliant women during our 10 days adventure between November 7th-18th!
- 10 days of Character Studies | Confessions of a Homeschooler
- 10 days of Christmas Countdown Ideas | Milk & Cookies
- 10 days of Creative Writing | Chocolate on My Cranium
- 10 days of Crockpot Meals | The Happy Housewife
- 10 Days to a Godly Marriage | Women Living Well
- 10 Days of Growing Leaders | Mom’s Mustard Seeds
- 10 days of I Wish I Had Known | Fruit in Season
- 10 days of Keeping Your Marbles | The Tie That Binds Us
- 10 days of Kid-friendly Food | Planner Perfect
- 10 Days of Language Arts Lesson Planning | Jimmie’s Collage
- 10 Days of Learning Apps | Daze of Adventure
- 10 Days of a Mason Jar Christmas | Cajun Joie de Vivre
- 10 Days of More JESUS in Christmas | Preschoolers and Peace
- 10 Days to a Peaceful Home | Raising Arrows
- 10 Days of Raising a Life-Long-Learner | Bright Ideas Press
- 10 days of Science with Math | Blog, She Wrote
- 10 days of Teaching Values | Our Journey Westward
- 10 days of Winning your Child’s Heart | I Take Joy
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.