One of the first responses I often get when I mention that I homeschool is “Well, I couldn’t do that, because I could never teach my child _______ (fill in the blank).” I understand exactly why they say that, as my husband and I both agree that neither of us is strong in biology or chemistry and we both know that I’m not teaching math past algebra. However, this fact has never concerned us – and wouldn’t even concern us if we had a child wanting to go into the medical field. Here are three reasons why I’m not worried about teaching my kids all the subjects I’m not strong in.
Reason 1: I Don’t Have to Teach Alone
Why? Well, because homeschooling doesn’t mean that I’m my children’s only teacher for all subjects – it just means that I get to pick all of their teachers for each of their subjects. Now, I’m not saying that as a homeschooler my goal is to leave all my children’s education up to the tutors I choose – legally, you do have to teach the majority of subjects to your child in most states. However, I do have the ability to purchase video curricula, online classes, or even real life classes for my kids to learn certain subjects. I live within 20 minutes of two different sets of high school science and lab classes that are part of inexpensive homeschool co-ops. I can name three different total video or computer software-based curricula off the top of my head as well as an online school – and I know Google would probably show dozens more. I’ve also heard firsthand of a handful of tutors that are proficient at math or science within an easy drive.
My kids currently learn math from a video curriculum (that I watch with them) and have learned reading and writing from a well laid out step by step program that I literally just open and follow the directions to each day. I can easily get a curriculum that lays out every step of the way for every one of their subjects if I want to, and as it gets harder for me I have other options like videos, online school, co-ops, or tutors.
Reason 2: I Can Still Focus on Their Interests
Part of my reason for homeschooling is actually so that my kids can focus on their interests in school as well as find out what they are good at for their future jobs. So I have a girl that adores art and crafts, one son that is all about math and engineering, and another son that loves sports and puzzles. I’ll tell you right now that I am not the least bit good at ANY of those things. Since my kids are in elementary school and we live in a great homeschooling area this still is not hard to do at all – in fact, we have free and cheap resources that aren’t even affiliated with homeschooling that focus on my children’s interests. Lowes and Home Depot often have free classes to build stuff, there’s a kids art studio and community center with art classes, there’s a good amount of sports teams that aren’t associated with the school system, and so many other things that my kids can do. And I don’t even live near a big city!
This semester, my daughter is taking art, music, and nature study classes. My oldest son is going to take extra math, PE, hands on science, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and games and strategy classes. My youngest one gets to do art, music and PE classes. I’m not teaching any of these fun extra classes focused on their interests, but they still get to take them with friends and with awesome teachers who love those subjects!
Reason 3: Someday My Child Will Teach Himself
I was homeschooled and also saw many of my cousins being homeschooled firsthand and I know for a fact that my machinist husband, university math teacher cousin, computer programmer cousin, and engineer cousin didn’t learn all their math from their parents. Granted, three of them went to college and took a lot of higher math there but all four of them worked through math books on their own through the bulk of high school. I saw three of them pouring over Saxon Math on their own and I’m told my husband actually was given the answers and then taught his mom how to do the algebra lesson.
Like a homeschooling friend mentioned to me once, “The end goal of homeschooling is to teach our kids how to teach themselves anything they want to know.” Even in early elementary school I can work towards this goal by letting my kids do more and more independent work while they still know I am there to help if needed. I can also focus on the way my kids learn by turning on a video or audio book for my son, helping my daughter find some way to create things with her hands, and letting my youngest son build his puzzle of numbers.
With the other tutors and curricula that are around me, the extracurricular choices I have, and the independent spirit I can nourish in my children I have no worries that I can’t teach science, math, art, or anything else because the resources are there if you just use them.