Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as behind in education. Hence, there is no such thing as behind in homeschooling. I want to take some pressure off of you if you have felt guilty or stressed or incapable of teaching your children correctly.
Don’t feel like you’re behind. Who says you’re behind? Whose standard are you not meeting up to? The individuals who developed the scope and sequence or the order of skills taught in a curriculum were guessing the average ages and stages of readiness for certain skills and knowledge. It’s arbitrary. Don’t think it’s set in stone. Don’t act like it’s a law. It might help as a general guideline for what you want to introduce to your child and when, but remember to look for readiness. You can tell if they’re ready for it or not. Look for the signs.
All of math can be taught in 8 weeks, according to this article by besthomeschooling.org.
So if your child is “behind” in math, maybe you should evaluate how you’re teaching math and see if you can get through it more quickly. I’m going to, that’s for sure! I have heard great things from Dr. Melanie Wilson, aka psychowith6, about a curriculum that cuts to the chase and helps you learn math fast. In fact, that’s what it’s called: Learn Math Fast! You can find her reviews of this curriculum here.
What about the other subjects? Language Arts does not have to be broken up into 5 different topics, such as Reading, Spelling, Vocabulary, Handwriting, and Grammar. And let’s not forget about Literature, Composition, Speaking, Creative writing, prose, poetry, and research papers. We can easily combine those first five topics as we do those last seven subjects. We use all of the basic skills when we study Literature. We use the basic skills when we write stories and research projects.
Of course we need to teach reading first of all. And handwriting must be taught before the other subjects can be adequately studied. But when the basic skills are mastered, they don’t need to be singled out in workbooks with contrived, irrelevant, and unrelated sentences and exercises to continue practicing them. They should be used, put into practice, with real writing. By teaching language arts this way, your student may be able to accomplish the objectives much more quickly and efficiently than by using workbooks.
There are quicker, more efficient ways to let your kids study science and history, too. Let them study the topics they want to learn about. They may not cover all the topics in a typical textbook, but does that really matter in the scheme of things? What will be relevant to their lives after they graduate? Are the typical topics vital to their lives after high school? Probably not.
If there are certain subjects that matter to you and that you feel your child absolutely needs to know, then make sure he studies them.
But don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself or your child to cover everything in the book or finish by a certain time.
Deadlines help to make sure we get things accomplished, but keep expectations reasonable and look for the quality of the work and the results of the efforts more than the quantity or speed of accomplishment.
If you will change your mindset to one that says, “We are not behind. We are learning what my child wants to learn about, while using skills that he has learned and honing them even more”, homeschooling will become more enjoyable, productive, and relevant to real life.
- And you will no longer hear the voice of that terrible taskmaster screaming at you that “you’re behind”.