Does anyone doubt that they are actually teaching their kids or is it just me?

Corinne - posted on 05/12/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am just about to finish my first year as a learning coach with my 2 kids. I have a 2nd grader and a 4th grader. I am in a virtual school program in California and just feel like my kids may not know everything they are supposed to. My kids just took a state test yesterday. I am worried that they didn't do well. Results won't be in until September. I am trying to figure out if I should continue with the virtual school or send them back to public school. I struggle with this everyday this year that I'm not a good enough teacher for them. This thorn in my side still has not gone away. Any advice out there?

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Tanza - posted on 05/13/2010

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Corinne - I an relate. We actually started the year with CAVA and then in January I dropped it to use our own curriculum choices. First off with state tests - they are not the end all, be all!!! Not every child does well with tests either - even if they know all the material.

I have taken this first year to learn more about how my children learn and what motivates them in this process.

You do not need to be perfect for this. Trust me - I am far from it. However, the opportunity to 1) be with my kids, 2) pick how and what they learn and 3) to help them prepare and develop for the real world by integrating lessons from academics with every day life.

Maggie's advice was good. We left the CAVA program because I felt it had a typical 'school approach' in the presentation of materials etc and wanted something else for my kids.

Each of your kids may learn in a different manner - which is harder when you have 2 younger kids who need your time and attention.

Do you have any moms you can get together with weekly - to have the kids together while you support each other and share ideas?

I do a 'Community Day' with another mom weekly that allows our kids to be with each other, do school work, do P.E. together and gives us as moms a sounding board.

Hang in there! Hugs and happy school days!

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Lisa - posted on 01/01/2012

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I know this conversation is old, but you asked a question that I think is really important for Homeschooling parents to ask themselves. Namely, "am I teaching my child everything he should know?"



There are plenty of books and websites out there that give you a solid idea of what your child should be doing at each grade level. Your child may be ahead in some things and behind in others. The benefit of homeschooling is that you can move ahead at your own pace. I use the Iowa Test every spring to give myself a snapshot of where we are. Are they behind in anything? Maybe I need to switch books or spend more time on that subject for a while.



You will NEVER find a public school classroom in which every student is progressing at exactly the same speed. In fact, both those who are ahead and those who are behind too far are being overlooked in favor of most kids in the middle range. With homeschooling you can give your child exactly what he needs, exactly when he needs it.



Also, lots of parents worry that there is some great curriculum in the sky that all public school teachers have access to. They worry about missing some specific fact or topic that will forever brand their child as "uneducated." As a former teacher, let me assure you that there is no such thing.



One of the classes I taught in a public high school was World History. I broke the work into continents and began each section with a study of Geography, followed by Political and Social History. One of my colleagues (who majored in - ahem - philosophy) did a tour of the world through the eyes of world philosophies. Another colleague focused almost entirely on understanding world cultures through comparative art (yup, an art major!). Another teacher didn't use the textbooks at all. He would give the students a list of questions, take them to the library and require them to research and write their own textbook. Although I was supposed to share the class set of atlases with everyone in my building, I never had to, because I was the only one that used them!!!



Each state has a complex list of standards for each subject at each grade level, but the truth is that every school, and sometimes individual teachers within each school (as was my experience) are free to interpret those standards as they see fit.



YOU are just as competant as those teachers to research the standards for your child's grade level and implement them in the way you feel will most benefit your child. If you feel the Byzantine Empire is best addressed by reading a chapter out of a history book and watching a video, or if you want to spend a month in the library researching it in depth, know that there are public school children all over the United States at both ends of the spectrum, or neither, because their teacher spent a month having the class build a model of the Acropolis out of sugar cubes and ran out of time for Byzantium altogether!



Never forget that YOU are the best possible teacher for your child, because nobody knows your child better than you do.

Talea - posted on 08/12/2010

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We just finished up our first year also and what kept me going is hearing "the first year is always the hardest". He is still not used to being at home vs. school. Alot of adjusting happens for the whole family. It sure didn't help that I got pregnant and had a baby our first homeschool year either! lol We have had our share to temper tantrums, lazy attitudes, and smartmouthed comments, but we both are getting there! This year I've added to our chaos by taking over the cover school offered at our parish. :) Don't get discouraged, hang in there. Just when I thought I wasn't getting anywhere I noticed he started comming to me more with all sorts of things, we are free to run with whatever he's intreasted in and this has brought a bit of encouragement for him. Living so close to where the Civil Rights Movement began he feels the chills of what actually happened to so many people on the streets, and places we visit all the time and has taken a new intreast in our community. To help us out we have also continued with his scouting and belong to a support group in our area. With the expense of homeschooling we have made our Christmas gifts and gift giving in general more experiences/time with the family. Things like membership to the YMCA, or a trip to Horseshoe Bend here recently while we vacationed at the lake with my inlaws. Seeing and being in places where events have happened has brought history to life and created in him a desire to be a positive part of society - recycling, service projects with the scouts, volunteer work at the church. All these things are being developed in him and his siblings and he's begining to get it. Public school he was allowed to goof off with his friends and they all wanted to be "cool" - aloof and better than others, now he's seeing things differently, to the point that my oldest who will be 18 soon is taking note and wanting to be a better person also. (he attends public school and has chosen to live with my mother for the last couple years of his education.) It's not easy volunteering, especially when my husband is away almost all the time (he drives a big rig over the road so we see him maybe once a month if lucky). Hang in there, you are teaching most when you think they aren't watching. :) Hang in there mom, it's all good, I promise.

Corinne - posted on 05/17/2010

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Thank you both Maggie and Tanza. I do need to find more local support here. I just focused on school work and didn't make if very fun for the kids. I will have to read the book on educational philosophy as well. The summer break should give me time to get organized. I was in CAVA as well. The support and getting to know local moms is there I just never tried.

Maggie - posted on 05/13/2010

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Give it a chance for the results to come in...you may be pleasantly surprised! Every parent that genuinely cares about their child will have doubts about many aspects of their parenting, not just homeschooling. I know I do. I've been homeschooling my kids from the beginning, though (I have a 10yo, 8yo & 4yo)...and I've found that the longer I keep at it, the more confident I am and the better results I see. It may be that the program that you are using is not the best medium for your child. You may need to do some research on learning styles and become more familiar with other programs and curriculum that are available.I'd recommend Cathy Duffy's book: 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Educational Philosophy for Your Child's Learning Style. I found one at my local library, so you can check there first if you don't want to buy it. Good Luck!

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