Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Cruise: Covering the difficult subjects

When I first began to tell people that we were planning to homeschool (the kids were 5, 3 and 18 months), invariably, I was immediately asked one of two questions.  The first one was obvious, honestly, I think it is one of those automatic reactions like when the doctor hits your knee and you kick.  You know already, I'm sure:  "But what about socialization?"

The second I found hysterically funny at the time though.  "But how will you teach chemistry?" (or calculus, or fill in the blank of some high school topic that intimidated the asker)

My answer then was something like:  if I don't know enough to teach my kindergartner, then obviously my public school education was so horribly pathetic that clearly I cannot do worse.

Or, if the person doing the questioning seemed sincere, I would say something a little more polite, such as "He's FIVE!  I know I can get through algebra.  When we get there, I'll start looking at options."

I don't laugh at people asking me that question anymore.  Because now that I have older kids, it is a legitimate question.  And there isn't a clear-cut answer.  But there are a lot of options:
  • Learn the material alongside my child.  My public school education was adequate enough that I usually can get through a high school text.  
  • Find a self-teaching course, like the computer programming I reviewed this morning.
  • Take a class online.  There are lots and lots of those out there now.
  • Do video-based or web-based instruction.  Someone else can do the teaching.  Maybe I can learn too.
  • Take a course at the community college.  I'm leaning towards this for Calculus and beyond.
And there are some options that don't necessarily work for me, but might for someone else:
  • Barter.  I'll teach your kid science, you teach my kid British Lit.  Unfortunately, we don't really have anyone close enough to us to make bartering a possibility.
  • Homeschool co-ops.  Have the child take a class or two.  Again, we don't have anything remotely nearby.
Homeschooling the advanced subjects does not have to be impossible.  I purchase expertise where I have to.

Check out the TOS Crew Blog on Tuesday for more ideas as to how to teach the more advanced subjects!


Anonymous said...

This is a good blog. Keep up all the work. I too love blogging and expressing my opinions. Thanks

Doreen said...

I always giggle at those question about socialization even after 4 years. Thanks for sharing your experience and encouragement.

Cruising through from the Crew and now I'm a follower!