Teaching Difficult Subjects When You Don’t Feel Qualified

Here are some options to explore when your kids out-learn you!

Homeschool parents often have concerns about whether or not they can handle teaching certain subjects, especially as kids get older. Some parents don’t feel they are qualified to teach more advanced subjects like algebra, chemistry, or foreign languages. Homeschool parents may already feel they are under scrutiny for their educational choices, so when they envision teaching difficult subjects, their confidence in their abilities may wane.

The good news is that homeschool parents are not required to be experts in everything in order to provide a solid home education to their children. The even better news is that there are numerous options available today that make it easy to find a solution that works for many different situations. (It is also important to keep in mind that the student is the one expected to do the actual work, not the parent!)

These Options Will Make Those Difficult Subjects Easy!

1. Curriculum Choices: When choosing curriculum for difficult subjects, look for options that are written to the student. As children enter middle school, they can begin to work more independently and take responsibility for their own studies, to a certain extent. Many curriculum companies are producing materials that make it easier to tackle advanced subjects, with features like videos, interactive classrooms, and self-grading functions. The narrative of many books is geared toward the student, as if the author is speaking directly to them. The content is still challenging, but the material is presented in a way that is age/grade appropriate for students to read on their own. These curricula give students the ability to work fairly independently, with parents serving as facilitators and tutors.

2. Online Classes: Several homeschool academies offer classes in the core subjects, and even electives. From math and science, to filmmaking and computer programming, there are numerous options. Some popular textbook authors even offer web-based classes. Taking a class or two online could round out a student’s homeschool plan and provide parents with peace of mind in taking a difficult subject off their plates.

3. Dual Enrollment: There are numerous benefits to earning dual enrollment credits while still in high school. It is a wonderful way to make the most of the last two years of high school and earn high school and college credits simultaneously. One semester of dual enrollment equals one full year of high school credit. Students can take courses that will fulfill their high school transcript requirements while also knocking out general college requirements. These affordable programs add up to big savings on full time college tuition later on, and some students can begin their college careers a full semester ahead. In addition, more difficult subjects are taught by experts in the field.

4. Cooperative Learning: In addition to offering dual enrollment classes, some colleges also offer things like science labs and writing courses for non-dual enrolled homeschool students. Local museums and libraries often offer history and art classes. Many homeschool groups offer co-op classes for almost every subject. Retired teachers and other homeschool parents offer classes in small group settings as well. A little research in your local area will reveal many opportunities you will want to take advantage of.

5. Private Tutors: College students, teachers, and homeschool parents often offer tutoring services in their areas of expertise. Foreign language is one example of the perfect subject for one-on-one tutoring. Even though this may be a more costly option, the benefits will pay off when your student is able to test out of certain college courses or earn CLEP credit from these intensely focused learning sessions.

Since the homeschool community is growing by leaps and bounds, there are more opportunities to find assistance with difficult subjects than ever before. If homeschool parents decide that they and their students will be better served with an alternative form of learning for these subjects, everyone will benefit from the elimination of stress and anxiety.

Anne Campbell

Anne Campbell, a former classroom teacher, is a VIPKID teacher, writer, editor, and homeschool consultant. A homeschooler for 15 years, Anne enjoys customizing learning experiences to meet the needs of her 3 boys as they embrace the lightbulb moments of discovery every day. In addition to teaching English online to kids in China, she teaches other homeschool children through literature study, research paper writing, and living history experiences. Visit Anne’s blog for help navigating everything homeschool, from early learning to college admission, at www.MyLearningTable.com.

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