Something that holds some people back from homeschooling is the fear that because they aren’t “good at” specific subjects they won’t be able to teach them. With all the resources and tools available, though, you really don’t HAVE to be “good at” every subject you teach! In fact, there are many opportunities for us to learn with our children as well!
I admit, though, I affectionately refer to myself as a “nerd” because, well, if I got a “B” in something that is what I was “bad at.” So I didn’t really have any apprehensions with my ability to educate my children – at least in the aspect of skills and knowledge. Of course, I would say I’m a little more gifted in the aspects of language arts, and it’s definitely what I most enjoyed learning.
Something that I quickly learned, though, is the ease of teaching a subject can have absolutely nothing to do with what would be considered my strengths. In fact, teaching language arts (particularly reading and phonics) has been particularly challenging! I never would have guessed my first struggle teaching homeschool subjects would begin here! I was surprised that I ran into this dilemma! Yet I find myself struggling with it a little each day.
The essence of what I have learned through my personal experience is this: it is challenging teaching my children a subject that is challenging for them but easy for me. That is the root cause of my struggles. Our children are progressing slowly with reading and phonics, but progressing nonetheless. Yet I find myself feeling overwhelmed when they struggle because I KNOW this stuff, and I feel like they should be catching on quickly and progressing more quickly.
In short, I lack patience. I know they have special needs and challenges that are different than my own. Even our daughter who has Sensory Processing Disorder like myself learns in a different way than I do. I need to acknowledge this and be patient. They are learning at the speed that is working FOR THEM. I have to remember it’s about THEM and not ME.
Our oldest son, though, who is on the Autism spectrum has the most challenges. His memory for letters and sounds is a big challenge. The short “e” is a sound he forgets constantly. He could say it 50 times in a row and five minutes later he will ask what sound it makes again. Unfortunately, when he struggles he may yell or cry and can lash out physically on himself, which is also heartbreaking. This adds to my struggles as I work to be encouraging and speak calmly as well as redirect the behavior.
Despite my impatience on the inside, I am careful not to express it when we’re learning. I remind him it’s OK. We all make mistakes. I say that phrase SO many times a day.
I remind all three of our children I am never upset by mistakes, and they don’t need to be upset with themselves either because mistakes are a part of learning. Then I think of the irony because I realize the root of my own struggles with teaching them reading and phonics is that I am upset with myself. I have taken their frustration and blamed myself. I think I need to give myself the grace I give them as well!
Do you struggle teaching homeschool subjects? Is it because it is difficult for you to teach or difficult for your children to learn?
Some other bloggers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew are sharing their stories of their struggle teaching homeschool subjects. Because we all have different struggles for different reasons, I definitely recommend checking them out! You can read them all here or click on the button below!