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But I Can't Homeschool: Understanding the Material

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Admit it: as soon as you walked out of your last high school algebra class, you promptly stored all of that information in the “I don’t really need this” file and proceeded to forget every single bit of it. Pulling it back out to teach your kids is not only intimidating, it feels downright impossible! How are you supposed to answer their questions when you don’t even remember how to do it yourself? Or maybe you’re a math whiz, but the idea of trying to write a paper sends cold chills running down your spine. Maybe the last time you did research for anything that didn’t allow Google, you had a card catalogue and a massive headache trying its best to pound its way out of your skull. And what’s the verdict on Wikipedia these days, anyway?

The good news is, even if you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed by the material presented to your homeschooling child, there are options available.

Look at the curriculum you've chosen.
Look at the curriculum you've chosen. Emily L. Goodman

Look at the curriculum you've chosen.

Many times, that curriculum is designed to help parents teach their children what they’re expected to know in order to pass state-mandated tests.  Other times, it contains detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to teach it (even if you don’t necessarily understand it yourself).

Check out a virtual school setting.
Check out a virtual school setting. Emily L. Goodman

Check out a virtual school setting.

They have teachers—real, licensed ones—that are available to answer any questions your child has.  They’re about as good at it as a regular classroom teacher (take that as you will), and usually willing to work with your child to see to it that they ultimately succeed.

Consider a co-op.
Consider a co-op. Emily L. Goodman

Consider a co-op.

Do you have a friend who’s really good at the subject you’re really bad at?  Does she homeschool her kids, too?  Sounds like a match made in heaven!  Both of you can work with each other’s kids…and give each other a little break in the process.  There are also many occasions when there are co-ops already available locally to help your children through those harder-subject years.

Take advantage of local resources.
Take advantage of local resources. Emily L. Goodman

Take advantage of local resources.

Librarians are usually eager to teach your kids how to do research the right way, especially if you go by at a time when they aren’t particularly busy.  You might also be able to find a tutor or some other helper to give you a hand figuring things out.

Learn it!
Learn it! Emily L. Goodman

Learn it!

You could do this stuff when you were in high school, right?  Sit down with your child and go at it together.  If you’re really lucky, you might find out that your child is really good at it, and learns intuitively.  If not, you might discover that it’s a little easier now that you’re not scribbling a note to your best friend while trying to absorb the lesson at the same time.

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