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Hi,

This is our first year of homeschooling and it’s been a roller coaster ride for us. It is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but never had a reason to do so until this year. 
My DS (just turned 10)recently asked “what made me think I can homeschool when I don’t even have a minute of teaching experience”

This  brought out the feeling I was having that I do NOT bring anything to the table as their teacher. We mostly follow scripted curriculums ,do read aloud and for science very light unit study approach. I didn’t study here so all this is new to me too hence I do scripted curricula. So at this point I’m just a facilitator for them if they want to go down any rabbit trails or if I see any sparks in them on any particular topic.

Am I doing a disservice to them by keeping them away from possible passionate teachers in public schools. 
 

Because of how I was feeling about it already I couldn’t reply back to my DS. 

 

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I'm so sorry!  Children are so tactful!  🤦‍♀️  Be assured that the first year or two are roller coaster rides for most everybody, even those who set out to homeschool from the beginning and haven't landed there in response to some kind of crisis or global pandemic.

Do you know what prompted the question? Is he repeating something he heard someone else say, or is he struggling with a particular subject, or could it be one of those delightful pre-teen hormone things?

You have 12 or more years of formal learning experience, plenty of life experience, and 10 years parent-teacher experience.  You taught this kid to talk, brush his teeth, be kind to others, put the toilet seat down when he is finished, use a knife and fork... And you partnered with his school in teaching him to read, write, add, subtract, learn his times tables.  No, it's true you don't have a qualification in the area of herding large groups of children, but since you're not teaching a large group of children, that hardly matters.

Facilitating their learning is totally appropriate.  There are lots of ways to teach: you can be the subject matter expert, you can be the facilitator, you can be a fellow learner (I'm about to start Latin with my kids but have never learned it myself), or you can simply be the cheer squad (my son is intensely interested in learning to build and fix things, and I'm happy to purchase materials and hook him up with practical people who can help him, but I have no skills in this area and don't intend to acquire them).

If you plan to homeschool again next year, perhaps you could choose a time when your son is in a good mood and ask him, without reference to the earlier conversation, to nominate two things he liked about this year's homeschool, two things he didn't like, and two things he thinks would make next year better.  His answers might surprise you - some kids want pretty minor things like to sleep in a bit or to choose the order they complete their work in - and there might be some useful insights.  Additionally, if you give a little in these areas you might get the buy-in you need to swing the rest of your plans.

As to passionate teachers... yes, it's possible you're keeping him away from someone who could do ten times the job you can.  Of course, you're also keeping him away from the ones who should never be teachers at all, who don't care, can't teach, and even prey on students.  I experienced both types in my school journey and gladly acknowledge that I am not as inspiring as my best teacher, nor poisonous or incompetent like my worst.  Homeschooling doesn't mean being my kids' only teacher; just their primary one.  They will encounter passionate people doing the jobs they are passionate about as we live life together.

Best of luck, and welcome to the WTM forums ❤️

 

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Posted (edited)

Well, the scripted curriculum I've found has been written by people who are passionately fired up about their topic. As opposed to the actual teachers I had in elementary school who might have been passionate about one topic, but were often woefully incompetent at others. 

Do you being passionate curiosity  to his schooling, if not passionate expertise? Because that's valuable too.

Edited by Kiara.I
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57 minutes ago, Homeschooler_CH said:

Hi,

This is our first year of homeschooling and it’s been a roller coaster ride for us. It is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but never had a reason to do so until this year. 
My DS (just turned 10)recently asked “what made me think I can homeschool when I don’t even have a minute of teaching experience”

This  brought out the feeling I was having that I do NOT bring anything to the table as their teacher. We mostly follow scripted curriculums ,do read aloud and for science very light unit study approach. I didn’t study here so all this is new to me too hence I do scripted curricula. So at this point I’m just a facilitator for them if they want to go down any rabbit trails or if I see any sparks in them on any particular topic.

Am I doing a disservice to them by keeping them away from possible passionate teachers in public schools. 
 

Because of how I was feeling about it already I couldn’t reply back to my DS. 

 

You've answered your own question - in some ways, you DON'T think you can home school, because you don't have experience or training, so you are researching and using the experience & training of others who have gone before you (aka, us here as well as your curriculum writers). That's what professionals do! And you're actually even doing MORE than "bare minimum" because you're honoring & facilitating & encouraging their rabbit trails and sparks. ❤️

It's 100% legitimate to learn alongside your child. Every "real" teacher in a classroom does the exact same thing. 

 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Homeschooler_CH said:

Hi,

This is our first year of homeschooling and it’s been a roller coaster ride for us. It is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but never had a reason to do so until this year. 
My DS (just turned 10)recently asked “what made me think I can homeschool when I don’t even have a minute of teaching experience”

This  brought out the feeling I was having that I do NOT bring anything to the table as their teacher. We mostly follow scripted curriculums ,do read aloud and for science very light unit study approach. I didn’t study here so all this is new to me too hence I do scripted curricula. So at this point I’m just a facilitator for them if they want to go down any rabbit trails or if I see any sparks in them on any particular topic.

Am I doing a disservice to them by keeping them away from possible passionate teachers in public schools.

Because of how I was feeling about it already I couldn’t reply back to my DS.

Excuse me, but as of today, you have 10 years of teaching experience. Don't let anyone, including the 10yo child, suggest that you don't have "even a minute" of teaching experience. Also, I want you to practice The Look. You will use it on anyone who questions you, including the 10yo child. You might even need to use it on yourself in the mirror (there's nothing wrong with feeling insecure; it is only that it really is a thing to be the Authority in the face of those who question you.)

Excuse me, but how can a teacher in any classroom be more passionate about teaching your own children than you are? These are your own children. You grew them. You care more about how they turn out than anyone else does. You are more invested in them than anyone else is. Classroom teachers may have more knowledge, and at some point you might let some of them teach some things to your children, but they will never be more "passionate" than you are *about your children.*

Excuse me, but how could you possibly be doing a "disservice" to your children by keeping them home? You are *this close* to them all day. You know all their dreams and and future plans. You discuss things with them all day long in ways that can never be done in a classroom. You are ready and willing and able to look for the things that will help them learn the most. In what world would that be a "disservice"?

It takes most of us more than a year to figure things out. And once we have things figured out, the children change and mature and stuff, and then we have to figure things out again, lol. It's part of the process, and, frankly, it's what makes us (including you) experienced and passionate. 🙂

Edited by Ellie
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1 hour ago, Homeschooler_CH said:

My DS (just turned 10)recently asked “what made me think I can homeschool when I don’t even have a minute of teaching experience”

... I didn’t study here so all this is new to me too hence I do scripted curricula. So at this point I’m just a facilitator for them if they want to go down any rabbit trails or if I see any sparks in them on any particular topic.

I do have tutoring experience but they were with friends' relatives that were collecting Fs. I did not study here either. I have been a facilitator for my teens since the day they are born. I have also purchased curriculum that were flops which I happily give away to other families, and curriculum that happened to be a good fit for my teens.

We started homeschooling when my oldest was 9 and in 5th grade. We only did the 3Rs and went to all the free educational events that was within commute distance. It gave us time to adjust to a different daily routine and also to figure out what are our short term and long term plans for schooling.

In our case though the public school teachers encourage us to homeschool or send my kids to private schools so it wasn't that hard a switch for my kids when they toured private schools we could afford and didn't like any.

My kids had passionate public school teachers but they have limited bandwidth to customise education for each student. These passionate teachers are better for being my kids tutors than their teachers.

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7 hours ago, Arcadia said:

My kids had passionate public school teachers but they have limited bandwidth to customise education for each student. These passionate teachers are better for being my kids tutors than their teachers.

When I took my first child home from the hospital, I wondered who in their right mind would send a baby home with someone as unprepared and inexperienced as DH and I.  Our siblings were near us in age, we had no vastly younger cousins, no nieces or nephews anywhere nearby--we had no experience at all with newborns.  But, as PPs have pointed out, we were invested 100% in the care and wellbeing of that little person, so we did the best we could, read a lot, asked questions of those with more experience...and I'd like to think we've done a pretty good job these past 12+ years.

I quoted Arcadia above because I was a schoolteacher before becoming a parent.  I was completely disheartened at the end of my first year because even though I had a small class (only 18 kids!), I still felt like there were some kids I'd spent 7 hours a day with for an entire year without really getting to know them.  And even with such a small class, it was impossible for me to customize my instruction like I wished I could.  There just wasn't enough time or enough ME to go around.  And yes, given enough years in one position (I kept getting moved every year) I probably could have gradually developed more customizable curriculum/units, but there is no way a classroom teacher can customize learning like you can when it's just you and your children.  You know when they understand and can skip review or when they're confused and need another approach.  You can ditch a curriculum if it doesn't meet your family's needs or come up with your own material, following all those rabbit trails they're interested in. 

Just like when you took home your first baby (at least, if you were as clueless as I), you research and ask questions of those with more experience to inform your own decision-making.  You may not always FEEL qualified, but you are definitely motivated to ensure your children's success, and in my book, that's worth more than any teaching certificate you can earn.

(On a side note, I was slightly appalled when I was waiting in line to take my teaching certification test, since everyone around me was discussing how many times they had failed the test so far.  This was a test to see if you were competent in ELEMENTARY skills.  People who fail should perhaps consider not being the ones to teach these skills to the next generation.)

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I have taught for years in private and public schools, tutored (and even had my own tutoring agency) and homeschooled two kids from K to 12th.  So I've done it all including gotten a teaching degree.  My teaching degree taught me how to manage large groups of children.  It taught me how to present material in various settings.  It did not really teach me how to teach the material (with the exception of a couple of classes which were helpful).  But even then, I had to throw all of that out in the one-on-one setting of homeschooling because in homeschooling I am not teaching material to the group (while hoping the outliers at the top aren't too bored and are happy with a bit of enrichment thrown their way,  and that those at the bottom are able to manage especially if they have some help from the resource teacher or an aide).  In homeschool I am teaching my child who I know intimately.  I am able to shore of their weaknesses and maximize their strengths.  Not perfectly.  But better than I could in a group setting because there is no way I could give 25 students in a classroom all the same level of attention that I could give my kids in homeschooling. 

Use the scripted material to help guide you.  But enjoy those rabbit trails.  If you get stuck, it's ok to model how to ask for help here or other places.  There are a lot of resources out there on how to teach place value or how write a paragraph (for example).  But mostly, just enjoy learning alongside your children.  That's something that can't be done as well in a group. 

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11 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

Do you know what prompted the question? Is he repeating something he heard someone else say, or is he struggling with a particular subject, or could it be one of those delightful pre-teen hormone things?

He isn't struggling but constantly keep on comparing how little he had to do in school ( 2 pages a week for math). We did talk about it a lot changed amount of work he needs to do. Everything was easy for him at school and now he have to put a little effort which he capable of and actually enjoys once he gets into it. Not sure about pre teen hormone since this is the only place we are rubbing off everything else is completely normal. 

 

12 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

You have 12 or more years of formal learning experience, plenty of life experience, and 10 years parent-teacher experience.  You taught this kid to talk, brush his teeth, be kind to others, put the toilet seat down when he is finished, use a knife and fork... And you partnered with his school in teaching him to read, write, add, subtract, learn his times tables.  No, it's true you don't have a qualification in the area of herding large groups of children, but since you're not teaching a large group of children, that hardly matters.

He never questions my role as a mother it's only when it comes to teaching he has a problem. 

 

12 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

(I'm about to start Latin with my kids but have never learned it myself), o

I'm learning math in a very different way too with him when we do BA and he loves it and asks for it. 

 

12 hours ago, caffeineandbooks said:

If you plan to homeschool again next year, perhaps you could choose a time when your son is in a good mood and ask him, without reference to the earlier conversation, to nominate two things he liked about this year's homeschool, two things he didn't like, and two things he thinks would make next year better. 

We constantly do this as of now i know he doesn't like his grammar but it's new for him so giving him time to go through it. My DS is pretty vocal about everything not just school if he isn't into it he will let me know about it. But i can see that it would be nice to do a year end review.

 

12 hours ago, Kiara.I said:

Well, the scripted curriculum I've found has been written by people who are passionately fired up about their topic.

Never thought of it this way!!

 

11 hours ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

You've answered your own question - in some ways, you DON'T think you can home school, because you don't have experience or training, so you are researching and using the experience & training of others who have gone before you (aka, us here as well as your curriculum writers).

Thank you for putting light into it. This forum is a BIG help for me since i'm anamoly in our close group of friends (only HomeSchooler)

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13 hours ago, Homeschooler_CH said:


My DS (just turned 10)recently asked “what made me think I can homeschool when I don’t even have a minute of teaching experience”

It looks like I am going to say something different from everyone else. If your child is opposed to homeschooling, I can’t imagine that it’s going to be an easy experience. I honestly would be very concerned if this is the dynamic of your relationship at how homeschooling would actually happen, especially for a middle schooler or high schooler.

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12 hours ago, Ellie said:

Also, I want you to practice The Look. You will use it on anyone who questions you, including the 10yo child. You might even need to use it on yourself in the mirror (there's nothing wrong with feeling insecure; it is only that it really is a thing to be the Authority in the face of those who question you.)

See I do have the look but in this case I wasn't even sure and was caught off guard.

 

12 hours ago, Ellie said:

You discuss things with them all day long in ways that can never be done in a classroom.

This is true for us we we discuss a lot of things and if they still have questions we've something called interest time in our house where they can research about a topic of interest and let me know of their findings (great alternative to passive tv time)

 

11 hours ago, Arcadia said:

In our case though the public school teachers encourage us to homeschool or send my kids to private schools so it wasn't that hard a switch for my kids when they toured private schools we could afford and didn't like any.

This is stark contrast to our area where we hardly have private schools and generally everyone prefers public schools which have a good rating.

 

4 hours ago, eternallytired said:

And even with such a small class, it was impossible for me to customize my instruction like I wished I could. 

My DS is above average but didn't get into gifted programs hence what was taught in class was easy for him and didn't challenge hime enough. I'm guessing there are lot of kids like my DS who don't fall into one category or other.

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33 minutes ago, stripe said:

It looks like I am going to say something different from everyone else. If your child is opposed to homeschooling, I can’t imagine that it’s going to be an easy experience. I honestly would be very concerned if this is the dynamic of your relationship at how homeschooling would actually happen, especially for a middle schooler or high schooler.

Even on one of the bad days my DS says he prefers HS than going to school BUT just wishes his schoolwork is same as PS. 

As i think out loud my DS might want the best of both the worlds very less schoolwork like PS, lot of breaks and reading time (he loves reading) like @home. PS was an easy ride for DS and HS is making him think. We did adjust his schoolwork to reflect some of the changes he would like but complaining never really went away. 

Dynamic of our relationship during school is something even i would like to sort out before taking deep dive into next grades. What he said initially came as anger but then subsided and he was genuinely questioning my expereince. I've left my job couple of yrs back to stay home with kids so he remembers that I had a different career. It might be that he was comparing teaching to the career I had before not really sure yet.

I wanted to have some thoughts cleared myself before I talk to DS.  

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Just now, Homeschooler_CH said:

Even on one of the bad days my DS says he prefers HS than going to school BUT just wishes his schoolwork is same as PS. 

As i think out loud my DS might want the best of both the worlds very less schoolwork like PS, lot of breaks and reading time (he loves reading) like @home. PS was an easy ride for DS and HS is making him think. We did adjust his schoolwork to reflect some of the changes he would like but complaining never really went away. 

Dynamic of our relationship during school is something even i would like to sort out before taking deep dive into next grades. What he said initially came as anger but then subsided and he was genuinely questioning my expereince. I've left my job couple of yrs back to stay home with kids so he remembers that I had a different career. It might be that he was comparing teaching to the career I had before not really sure yet.

I wanted to have some thoughts cleared myself before I talk to DS.  

It's also the perfect time for him to start "owning" his own education; if he's willing to be respectful to you, and to do the work well, he can begin to gain SO much freedom in his actual work.

Example: If he wants "less math work", show him your goal (2 books in 1 year or x about of time per day, etc), and see if he has any ideas how he could still get the work done but maybe arrange it to his liking. Even if he setles on the exact method you're currently using, he "owns" his schedule / pace now. I told my kids that the hard work was my way of respecting their capabilities. They have surprised me over the years with some choices they have made, but they do things differently than I do, and that's fine. 

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1 hour ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

It's also the perfect time for him to start "owning" his own education; if he's willing to be respectful to you, and to do the work well, he can begin to gain SO much freedom in his actual work.

Example: If he wants "less math work", show him your goal (2 books in 1 year or x about of time per day, etc), and see if he has any ideas how he could still get the work done but maybe arrange it to his liking. Even if he setles on the exact method you're currently using, he "owns" his schedule / pace now. I told my kids that the hard work was my way of respecting their capabilities. They have surprised me over the years with some choices they have made, but they do things differently than I do, and that's fine. 

This.

We're at the end of 5th grade now.  DS gets input into his materials, how classes are designed, and the order of his work.  We moved to doing a print out of a week's worth of work so that he can plan out how he tackles his days.  With help, of course.  I may set parameters like doing a certain number of assignments as a minimum, or encouraging him to think about how what he does on day 1 affects day 4.  "Hey, kid, you may want to spread out your writing.  It looks like you're going to be writing all day at the end of the week and I know you don't like it THAT much!" 🤣 It's a learning process.  With so many online courses geared toward upper high school and college, though, learning to schedule his time commitments is going to be important to start learning now for future success.

 

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If your DS came up with that line by himself and didn't hear it from an adult, he's definitely entered the Logic Stage! (Trying to think positively here 😉 ) I would agree that if you're getting this level of pushback about homeschool in 5th, something needs to be altered about the way the HS day is happening in order to not have next year be conflict-ridden. Nice thing about HS, though, is how flexible you can be. Scripted is definitely enough--in fact I've gone more and more into scripted curricula as my kids have gotten older. As a schoolteacher myself (of an elective subject) I go out of my way to find materials that require the least amount of planning on my part, because curriculum design is not my strong suit. I know how to teach each topic, but if I don't have a textbook to stick to, I find it too easy to go off on tangents that are fascinating to me (the expert) but way, way above the students' heads. I know that getting distracted is my weak point, so I do my best to strengthen that weak point through my choice of materials. I think thinking through your current strengths and weaknesses about once per semester is a good practice. Obviously the checking in with your kids is important too, and I do that, but checking in with myself is more important. For example: "I'm pretty good at evaluating materials and choosing ones that will suit my kid and me. I'm not as good at time management - we don't ever finish what I planned to finish over the course of a week. Why is that? Is this really a time management/distraction problem on my/my kid's end, or is it that I'm being unrealistic in my assessment of how long each task will take?"

Finally, like others here have said, try to expand your mental picture of what "experience" and "education" and "teaching" are. PS kids tend to think of teachers as people who tell them what they need to know in order to pass the test. Most homeschoolers aren't that kind. My kids had a rough time coming out of PS because they were anticipating that I would tell them everything they needed to know, and I wanted them to learn how to learn things on their own. I myself was almost completely unschooled--the only curriculum we used longterm was Saxon Math, which I hated. When I was sent to PS in 7th grade, I got placed in pre-algebra, even though I was behind every other homeschooled kid I knew in math. I was a better writer than almost every other kid in my language arts class, because we didn't have a TV and literally all I did as a homeschooler was read all day, play outside, and avoid doing my Saxon problem set. This wasn't even intentional unschooling on my parents' part, they just bit off more than they could chew trying to homeschool while both of them also held jobs. You could do much worse at this age than taking away all screens, stocking the house with books / visiting the library frequently, and just doing Beast Academy and reading time all day. (Well, maybe some science experiments too.) 

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6 hours ago, stripe said:

It looks like I am going to say something different from everyone else. If your child is opposed to homeschooling, I can’t imagine that it’s going to be an easy experience. I honestly would be very concerned if this is the dynamic of your relationship at how homeschooling would actually happen, especially for a middle schooler or high schooler.

It’s hard to tell if the child is opposed to homeschooling or his mom being the teacher. My kids didn’t want us to teach, they want us to help when needed but prefer to go at their own asynchronous pace.

OP started homeschooling during COVID so I don’t know if the child is saying out of frustration with the COVID situation or with homeschooling.

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7 hours ago, stripe said:

It looks like I am going to say something different from everyone else. If your child is opposed to homeschooling, I can’t imagine that it’s going to be an easy experience. I honestly would be very concerned if this is the dynamic of your relationship at how homeschooling would actually happen, especially for a middle schooler or high schooler.

Holy cow. She didn't say that her ds was "opposed to homeschooling." She said that her **10yo child** questioned her ability to teach him. That doesn't mean either (1) that he's opposed, or that (2) she should now be "very concerned" about her "dynamic" of her relationship with him. She and he are both going through the normal emotions that many of us experience when we begin homeschooling, especially when the dc have been in school for several years.

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7 hours ago, stripe said:

It looks like I am going to say something different from everyone else. If your child is opposed to homeschooling, I can’t imagine that it’s going to be an easy experience. I honestly would be very concerned if this is the dynamic of your relationship at how homeschooling would actually happen, especially for a middle schooler or high schooler.

I see your point. And I'm curious what the day-to-day dynamic looks like and whether the child is enjoying the set-up. Did he like school before? How does he feel about homeschooling? 

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52 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I see your point. And I'm curious what the day-to-day dynamic looks like and whether the child is enjoying the set-up. Did he like school before? How does he feel about homeschooling? 

The OP has answered that.  Her son likes homeschooling.  He just wants it to be easy like school was.  An adult perspective is that being challenged to work harder is actually better for him academically but of course a child won't see it that way.  

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43 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

The OP has answered that.  Her son likes homeschooling.  He just wants it to be easy like school was.  An adult perspective is that being challenged to work harder is actually better for him academically but of course a child won't see it that way.  

You’re right. I missed that, thank you! From that description, it does just sound like growing pains.

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Posted (edited)

As someone who has both taught in the classroom and homeschooled I can say a few things...

1.   Passion is great but it isn't everything.   You can be passionate about something and not know how to teach it.   That was me when I was a classroom teacher.  If I had had a scripted curriculum that first year in stead of having to figure it out myself I might still be classroom teaching (I crashed and burned after a month and a half).  Now, after homeschooling 5 years, I can say that I do tweak the curriculum now (now that I know my kiddo and how he learns and know how I teach better), but it is SO GOOD to have that base to go off of.  

2.   Teachers aren't passionate about every single thing they teach...not normally, and especially in the elementary years (cause you teach all subjects...and most teachers have their faves and least faves).   Even as a high school teacher, there were things I had to teach that I didn't love.   I did do better teaching the things I loved...but I didn't love everything.   And in homeschooling I've learned sometimes love isn't everything.  I am actually doing a really good job teaching math this year, though it was my least favorite subject in school.   But I understand how to help someone with it when it's hard cause it was hard for me.   I was an English teacher and I am finally seeing that help in how I teach writing.  BUT...I love poetry and my son hates it and that just makes it excruciating for both of us (my passion does zilch in this area, unfortunately...luckily it's not an essential thing but you get my drift).

3.  You gain passion and knowledge as you go.    I did not start out passionate or knowledgeable about teaching reading (I was a writing and lit gal...not that interested in the beginning stuff).  I am now a frikken expert on teaching reading to an ADHD/Dyslexic child.  The dyslexic stuff I needed curriculum and lots of advice for (just got diagnosed but suspected it from about a year in so started using stuff/techniques for that).   When we found out he had ADHD I looked into teaching techniques for that and learned that I had figured out pretty much everything they suggest.   You learn by doing, just like classroom teachers do.

4. You have passion for your child and that means a world of difference.   Teachers love what they do (sometimes), but they have attention that is divided over 20-40 kids.  The longer you teach your child the more in tune you get to what they need.   That makes a huge difference. 

Edited by goldenecho
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Posted (edited)



PS.   It can be hard for kids to adjust to the idea of being taught at home.    For 4 years teaching my son never questioned me teaching him, but he did after I put my son back in public school a couple years (long story).  

Our 2nd year back I noticed some of the homework wasn't helping him and asked the teacher if we could do something different that I thought would work better (and it did end up working better).   The teacher agreed but my son resisted...not because it was harder (it was actually less work...just more hands on for me), but because "that's not what the teacher said" (even after I told him the teacher had said ok).  That was after four years of being his teacher....it was so frustrating that he didn't trust me to teach him anymore.

  This idea that he has that you can't teach as well  because you're not a teacher could have NOTHING to do with how you are doing as his teacher now, and everything to do with what he's used to.   Teacher's have to maintain a certain "authority" to keep a classroom in order, but this can sort of build them into something more than what they are in kids minds.

(Anyways...once covid hit all this didn't stop him from making the choice to let me be his teacher again, and he actually asked to keep doing this next year.   There's stages.   Just like you have doubts sometimes they have doubts too.   Doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.)

Edited by goldenecho
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Ellie said:

Holy cow. She didn't say that her ds was "opposed to homeschooling." She said that her **10yo child** questioned her ability to teach him. That doesn't mean either (1) that he's opposed, or that (2) she should now be "very concerned" about her "dynamic" of her relationship with him. She and he are both going through the normal emotions that many of us experience when we begin homeschooling, especially when the dc have been in school for several years.

I didn’t actually ever say that he was opposed to homeschooling or that this was the dynamic. I said that IF he is opposed or IF this is the dynamic, it would be difficult for both of them to homeschool him for the next eight years.

I stand by my statement, especially since everyone else was exclusively posting that everything would be fine. Sometimes everything isn’t fine. I found the fact that he made this statement and his mother was concerned, to suggest that there could be difficulties worth looking at, rather than brushing under the rug. Susan Wise Bauer has discussed her various challenges homeschooling one of her children. She has a lot of wise words to say about her situation that some of us have found useful.

A child who doubts his mother’s qualifications at age ten may generate conflict in the future (if you somehow don’t think this is at all an issue at the present time....despite the fact the OP made a thread about it to ask our advice). It is my opinion that if there is a problem or conflict, it is better to acknowledge it and address it than ignore it.

Edited by stripe
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1 minute ago, stripe said:

A child who doubts his mother’s qualifications at age ten may generate conflict in the future (if you somehow don’t think this is at all an issue at the present time....despite the fact the OP made a thread about it to ask our advice). It is my opinion that if there is a problem or conflict, it is better to acknowledge it and address it than ignore it.

I agree with you that this may generate conflict, but from the sounds of it, the solution will be the OP not feeling inadequate herself and shutting this kind of thing down quick. People can smell fear, you know? 😉 If she feels like she isn't qualified, he may feel the same way, too. If she feels on top of it and acts that way, things will go better. 

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On 5/3/2021 at 1:18 PM, Homeschooler_CH said:

Am I doing a disservice to them by keeping them away from possible passionate teachers in public schools. 

Yes and no.  When you homeschool there is always the possibility that your student will not get the teacher in school that would have changed their life.  This is a very real risk.  On the other hand, life changing teachers are few and far between.  Your student may never get such a teacher even if they were to go to school full time for all of K-12.

That said, if you're just going through the motions using scripted resources, you are not going to be winning any passionate teacher medals.  This means that, assuming that the schools your student would attend are average or better, that they are more likely to encounter a passionate, life changing teacher in school than in your homeschool.

Note that I didn't read the replies, so I don't know if the question became more nuanced over time.

 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

Your student may never get such a teacher even if they were to go to school full time for all of K-12.

You could also look for such teachers in the context of homeschooling. Homeschooling doesn't have to mean never outsourcing... 

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My first thought is that he heard this from someone else.  I was surprised that only one other person suggested this as well. Either way, if he thought of it himself (good on him, sounds like something an adult would say) or got the idea elsewhere, it should probably be addressed the same way.  People here did give you good ideas to address it.

If you doubt yourself a little or a lot, I would definitely tell you to, "fake it till you make it." Don't let him sense that. People look to leaders, parents, teachers, doctors to display a sense of confidence, whether they feel it or not.  

Even great teachers have had trouble navigating the present situation effectively.  Being out of public school has unique benefits now that don't usually exist.  To be fair, I am hearing from public school teachers that there are some benefits to the present situation too, less distraction with half the class virtual and half in school, in our area.  That surprised me, but it makes sense.

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10 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

You could also look for such teachers in the context of homeschooling. Homeschooling doesn't have to mean never outsourcing... 

That is certainly true.  But my point was that the fewer teachers one is exposed to, the less likely it will be that the student will encounter a passionate, life changing one.  

Of course, there are many reasons to homeschool in spite of this problem.

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You do have teaching experience. You probably call it "parenting".

Ten-year-olds, alas, aren't generally aware of this, and think they are two separate jobs with no crossover.

At high school level, lots of people who actively taught all the subjects to their homeschooled children become facilitators on a gradual basis. You're just starting certain elements of that process early out of necessity. Again, your 10-year-old is probably a bit young to have this explained to them.

The "I don't see why I have to do hard work that was not previously required, expected or necessarily wanted from me," is another example of a 10-year-old being 10 and not yet having developed an adult's perspective on the same situation. It may take some time before full adjustment to different (higher) expectations is completed, and unfortunately it will require both of you to extend grace to each other. Encourage a good attitude... ...and train the Look that @Elliedescribes.

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35 minutes ago, EKS said:

That is certainly true.  But my point was that the fewer teachers one is exposed to, the less likely it will be that the student will encounter a passionate, life changing one.  

Of course, there are many reasons to homeschool in spite of this problem.

I feel like this is more true in high school, though. Our society doesn’t select for passionate, life-changing elementary school teachers! Not that they don’t exist, but that’s not the norm.

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

I feel like this is more true in high school, though. Our society doesn’t select for passionate, life-changing elementary school teachers! Not that they don’t exist, but that’s not the norm.

I actually had one, but in general you're right.

Also, as far as numbers go, you're more likely to run into such a teacher in middle/high school anyway, simply because middle and high school students have separate teachers for each class--so more teachers (like 6+ times more), and each teacher is, in theory at least, teaching a subject in which they are interested and have expertise. 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

I actually had one, but in general you're right.

Also, as far as numbers go, you're more likely to run into such a teacher in middle/high school anyway, simply because middle and high school students have separate teachers for each class--so more teachers (like 6+ times more), and each teacher is, in theory at least, teaching a subject in which they are interested and have expertise. 

And - in my own kids' experience - even MORE likely to run into it in home schooling circles / online providers, where teachers often offer classes that they are truly experts in and passionate about. That has been one of the greatest surprises for me as I've had the privilege of watching my own kids' high school experiences. 

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1 hour ago, EKS said:

I actually had one, but in general you're right.

Also, as far as numbers go, you're more likely to run into such a teacher in middle/high school anyway, simply because middle and high school students have separate teachers for each class--so more teachers (like 6+ times more), and each teacher is, in theory at least, teaching a subject in which they are interested and have expertise. 

Exactly. That's part of what I meant, too -- you see MORE teachers in later schooling. 

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On 5/4/2021 at 8:41 AM, HomeAgain said:

DS gets input into his materials, how classes are designed, and the order of his work. 

He doesn't seem to have mcuh of a problem with the materials itself and so far he has the independence to do his work within day in whatever order he likes. I'm hesitant to give more freedom as i see with him the more choices he has the more he is lost. BUT i see your point about parameters and i will try to add it in slowly.

 

On 5/4/2021 at 10:00 AM, egao_gakari said:

If your DS came up with that line by himself and didn't hear it from an adult, he's definitely entered the Logic Stage! (Trying to think positively here 😉 )

 

1 hour ago, drjuliadc said:

My first thought is that he heard this from someone else.  I was surprised that only one other person suggested this as well. Either way, if he thought of it himself (good on him, sounds like something an adult would say) or got the idea elsewhere, it should probably be addressed the same way.  People here did give you good ideas to address it.

It's all him. We're always talking through whatever questions he might have since he wants to know why we're doing something the way we're doing.

Some of his religious questions had me for a spin but this one is defnitely more mature than anything i've seen before from him.

On 5/4/2021 at 10:21 AM, stripe said:

Do you think scripted curricula project competence? Just wondering about your thoughts. 

At this point i do not see any way out of scripted curricula for me. I defnitely see the need to enhance and broaden it. My knowledge is limited to PS and that is what i'm constantly comparing to see if i'm doing okay. The conversations that go on this forum about education is something way above my league as of now.

 

18 hours ago, goldenecho said:

Teacher's have to maintain a certain "authority" to keep a classroom in order, but this can sort of build them into something more than what they are in kids minds.

This the need for authority at some level is also i see missing in our home. 

 

14 hours ago, stripe said:

A child who doubts his mother’s qualifications at age ten may generate conflict in the future (if you somehow don’t think this is at all an issue at the present time....despite the fact the OP made a thread about it to ask our advice). It is my opinion that if there is a problem or conflict, it is better to acknowledge it and address it than ignore it

I see what you're saying here but do you think for him as a child who was always in day care and public school from the beginning and never saw me in that kind of teacher role before it's all hard to take in.  If it's a problem do you think me  being more authoratative in school space might be the solution? As of now that is one thing i'm getting out of all these conversations.

 

14 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

People can smell fear, you know? 😉 If she feels like she isn't qualified, he may feel the same way, too. If she feels on top of it and acts that way, things will go better. 

You've definetely met my child he can sense it.  On top of it and acting that way, fake it till you make it, being authoritative is all i'm taking away from this.

 

14 hours ago, EKS said:

if you're just going through the motions using scripted resources, you are not going to be winning any passionate teacher medals. 

Yes i do understand this and on the curricula side i'll definetely look to enhance our learning. Science units we've done are probaly one of his favorite things we've done this year.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

even MORE likely to run into it in home schooling circles / online providers, where teachers often offer classes that they are truly experts in and passionate about.

Yes head of AOPS or the person who does those videos is certainly his favorite :-).  Andrew Pudewa is next in line.

We took a pottery class and the teacher was half native american whose grand parents lived in our area so when he talked about anything pottery or history of this area we could see how passionate he was.  

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Homeschooler_CH said:

If it's a problem do you think me  being more authoratative in school space might be the solution? As of now that is one thing i'm getting out of all these conversations.

I’m not very authoritative in normal life, and frankly I’ve had to ramp it up this year, or the level of pushback was both unpleasant for ME and unproductive for the KIDS. They were spending so much energy trying to convince me they didn’t have to do stuff that they had none left for, well, doing stuff.

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Posted (edited)

We can’t say whether you need to be more/less authoritative because we don’t know your family dynamics.   And you could try the “fake it til you make it”method or......

Be honest with your child. Agree that you don’t have years of experience teaching public school. And just basically rehash what’s been written here. Tell him the pros of homeschooling (personalized, tailored education, no busy work, freedom in schedule etc). Tell him the cons (mom may not be the greatest teacher).  But in the end you’ve decided that the Pros outweigh the Cons. If he balks, put a “deadline” where you promise to re-evaluate whether it’s still the better option for his education.   

EDITED TO ADD:  you can also be honest and say “I’m learning right along side of you. Let’s just see how we do and make the best of it.”  So in essence, you are modeling what it means to be a learner. 

Edited by domestic_engineer
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9 minutes ago, domestic_engineer said:

EDITED TO ADD:  you can also be honest and say “I’m learning right along side of you. Let’s just see how we do and make the best of it.”  So in essence, you are modeling what it means to be a learner. 

I guess this might work with the scripted curricula. I know that for us, since I was making the work and the schedule, having authority was really not optional. (And I say that having tried not leaning on authority for a couple years. It led to way too much willfulness.)

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47 minutes ago, domestic_engineer said:

you can also be honest and say “I’m learning right along side of you. Let’s just see how we do and make the best of it.”

I seem to have lost leverage when I did this. And to be honest he knows very well I’m learning it too. Maybe I can retell same thing in a more positive way. 

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18 minutes ago, Homeschooler_CH said:

I seem to have lost leverage when I did this. And to be honest he knows very well I’m learning it too. Maybe I can retell same thing in a more positive way. 

Sometimes, it's easier to say, "I'm not here to teach you.  I'm here to help you learn."

Sometimes, the materials teach.  Sometimes a person teaches.  Sometimes, a person teaches themselves.  And all of those are valid ways to learn.

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I didn't get to read all the responses. I think the comment he made was well addressed in the early replies (didn't get to read the rest). 

I just wanted to add that your kid acting like he doesn't like school doesn't necessarily imply anything negative about your homeschool.  I know of a family whose daughter is maybe six months younger than my ds13.  We were both homeschooling. This daughter *loved* with big puffy hearts, unicorns, and rainbows, anything learning related. LOVED.  My kid? He tolerates it. He didn't hate it, but he was not even in the zip code of "love."  There are kids like this. I have two of them.   I recall reading a thread on here early on that addressed this false idea of all kids "loving to learn."  It can really create a sense of inadequacy in the mom if she thinks it is her fault her kids are not "rainbows and unicorns" passionate about learning.   

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18 hours ago, Homeschooler_CH said:

I seem to have lost leverage when I did this. And to be honest he knows very well I’m learning it too. Maybe I can retell same thing in a more positive way. 

Perhaps you could talk up the fact that you've had a LOT more practice learning things than he does and you know a lot about how to make sure learning actually happens? 

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2 hours ago, cintinative said:

I didn't get to read all the responses. I think the comment he made was well addressed in the early replies (didn't get to read the rest). 

I just wanted to add that your kid acting like he doesn't like school doesn't necessarily imply anything negative about your homeschool.  I know of a family whose daughter is maybe six months younger than my ds13.  We were both homeschooling. This daughter *loved* with big puffy hearts, unicorns, and rainbows, anything learning related. LOVED.  My kid? He tolerates it. He didn't hate it, but he was not even in the zip code of "love."  There are kids like this. I have two of them.   I recall reading a thread on here early on that addressed this false idea of all kids "loving to learn."  It can really create a sense of inadequacy in the mom if she thinks it is her fault her kids are not "rainbows and unicorns" passionate about learning.   

Yes yes yes. On one of my worse days early on when homeschooling my stepkids I remember wailing to DH, "I've never met two such UNCURIOUS kids!" One of them has improved quite a bit since then, one hasn't. But even the one who has improved doesn't love learning. Gets satisfaction from good grades, and from crossing tasks off a list. But doesn't love learning.

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4 hours ago, cintinative said:

I didn't get to read all the responses. I think the comment he made was well addressed in the early replies (didn't get to read the rest). 

I just wanted to add that your kid acting like he doesn't like school doesn't necessarily imply anything negative about your homeschool.  I know of a family whose daughter is maybe six months younger than my ds13.  We were both homeschooling. This daughter *loved* with big puffy hearts, unicorns, and rainbows, anything learning related. LOVED.  My kid? He tolerates it. He didn't hate it, but he was not even in the zip code of "love."  There are kids like this. I have two of them.   I recall reading a thread on here early on that addressed this false idea of all kids "loving to learn."  It can really create a sense of inadequacy in the mom if she thinks it is her fault her kids are not "rainbows and unicorns" passionate about learning.   

For kids who don't love to learn... do they like to learn anything? 

My kids definitely like to learn, I think. But I don't really know how it would look like if they didn't... it's not like they enjoy workbooks or scripted curricula particularly. They liked doing stuff together with me and they like feeling like they understand the world better. 

So what does a look like when a kid doesn't enjoy learning? 

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25 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

For kids who don't love to learn... do they like to learn anything? 

My kids definitely like to learn, I think. But I don't really know how it would look like if they didn't... it's not like they enjoy workbooks or scripted curricula particularly. They liked doing stuff together with me and they like feeling like they understand the world better. 

So what does a look like when a kid doesn't enjoy learning? 

I don't really know how to answer this. I think my kids are just not the type to show a dramatic love for anything. My kids might like a teacher but the way they respond to that might cause other people to think they are indifferent about it.  They just aren't wired to be excited about things.  My friend's kid would say, "I just can't wait to learn math today!" My kids have never been like that. They would say they like youth group and video games, and if pressed that they like reading, art, and science labs (sometimes) but they would never go around saying, "I really like to read."  High praise from them is "it's okay" and the very low end is "I hate this, can we burn it?"

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Some kids don't like to learn anything academic - ie. the 3 R's which are the building blocks for learning other interesting things.  And let's face it, it can be hard work learning those basics.  And while some exhibit a lot of curiosity in rabbit trails, others just don't have that kind of a personality.  (My very late bloomer only really started to show interest in learning some of those things after age 18 when she had to learn things out of her own need.) 

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51 minutes ago, cintinative said:

I don't really know how to answer this. I think my kids are just not the type to show a dramatic love for anything. My kids might like a teacher but the way they respond to that might cause other people to think they are indifferent about it.  They just aren't wired to be excited about things.  My friend's kid would say, "I just can't wait to learn math today!" My kids have never been like that. They would say they like youth group and video games, and if pressed that they like reading, art, and science labs (sometimes) but they would never go around saying, "I really like to read."  High praise from them is "it's okay" and the very low end is "I hate this, can we burn it?"

I don’t have kids who can’t wait to do math, either, lol. But they do read on their own time...

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