Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Homeschooling High School - How Do I Even Teach That?

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How Do I Even Teach That?? (Homeschooling High School Blog Hop) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

The million dollar question, the one that can cause anxiety and panic for many parents as they consider homeschooling through high school is this one: "How am I going to teach high school level ______________?????" (Fill in that blank with whatever subject you feel least qualified to teach!) It's a valid question. After all, most of us don't have a teaching degree, and almost all of us struggled mightily with at least one subject during our own school years. Even worse, since it's been quite a few years since we slogged through that subject we disliked, we feel like we've probably forgotten whatever we did learn and maybe what we do remember is sadly out of date.

Ready for the good news? Your student does not have to be limited to what you know and understand. There are actually plenty of options for your kids to get the high school credits they need and want that don't require Mom or Dad to act as the professor. 

You can be a student too!
Just because you graduated high school more years ago than you want to count doesn't mean you can't still be learning. Seriously. If you've got the textbook, you can read it too! Read along with your student and learn it together - if your kid is cool with that - or have your kid teach what they are learning to you. This is actually good for your student too, because one powerful way to make sure you understand something is to explain it to someone else. If you're using DVDs or computer-based curriculum, you can easily sit in on the class. You may be surprised at how much you remember, or how much you can pick up and understand.

Get the right curriculum for the job!
When your kids were learning first grade math, you probably didn't need the answer key to help you, but with high school algebra and geometry, that has probably changed. Sometimes the answer key and teacher's guide is just as important a consideration when choosing curriculum as the student book. For high school math, I need a teacher's guide and answer key that not only shows the correct final answer, but also shows the steps in arriving at the answer. For a course in English composition, I want a teacher's guide that includes a grading rubric and lets me know what to look for and how to evaluate my student's writing. Maybe a curriculum that does the teaching for you would be a good choice - something like VideoText Interactive (for algebra and geometry) or Fascinating Education (for chemistry or biology) takes the pressure off you to explain concepts to your student.

Give the responsibility to your student!
So your kid wants or needs to learn something that is totally outside your area of expertise. Put the ball in their court. After all, they've learned how to read and research, right? Let them take the lead in hunting up a curriculum or textbook, or in doing their own reading and research into the topic. This obviously works best when the subject area is one the student is motivated to pursue rather than a required credit that they have little personal interest in.

Pass the buck book . . . or baton!
Seriously. Sometimes the best option is to give the job to someone else. Look for a co-op that offers the class your student needs. Ask around and see if you have a friend or relative that has the educational background or experience to help your student in the areas that you can't. Hire a tutor - perhaps a college student. Check out the possibilities at your community college or a technical school. Often homeschoolers can take a college course for dual credit, or can take trade skills classes at a vocational training center or technical school.

Add to your resource list!
Sometimes it's not that you need an entire course taught through a co-op or dual credit class, but your student needs some extra help that you don't feel qualified to give. A mentor or a tutor might still be a good choice. But nowadays there are also some great extra help resources available on the internet; some can be combined to make full credit courses, or they can be used as supplements or short courses. Some examples include: Stinky Kid Math (for algebra and geometry), Fortuigence (for writing), and Standard Deviants Accelerate (for supplemental coursework in many subject areas).

Don't let that one scary subject stop you from homeschooling through high school. Just keep an open mind as you explore the many resources and options available to help you and your student. Like all the other homeschool decisions, start with prayer about those difficult subjects and continue to believe that God will provide what you need.

Some related posts here on the Homeschool Coffee Break:
Mom Does Not Know Everything

How Do I Even Teach That?? (Homeschooling High School Blog Hop) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Visit the other participating bloggers this month, and see what advice they offer:

This post is also linked up on the Homeschool Review Crew Blog for the 5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop (Spring 2018).

Lessons About Trusting the Experts (5 Days of Lessons for Homeschool Moms) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

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Michele said...

"Don't let that one scary subject stop you from homeschooling through high school." THIS!!! You are so right, we must be problem solvers! Great post, Kym!

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