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Am I Doing Enough In Our Homeschool ?

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM
  • 8 Replies

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I have. :)


The following post is from Shannen of Middle Way Mom:

 When can you rest assured you're doing enough in your homeschool? What benchmarks do you use? - www.RealLifeatHome.com

Right behind socialization, stressing out and thinking “Am I doing enough in my homeschool?” may be the most common question a parent worries about before they start homeschooling, but the difference is, this question doesn’t always go away.

So, what’s the benchmark on whether you’re doing enough? When can you rest assure and be able to say to yourself, “I’m doing enough in my homeschool.”

What are you goals?

This is the first question I ask when people come to me concerned that they’re a homeschool failure. We all have different end goals for our kids and what their adult life will look like.

Is it more important to you that your children have a strong religious education than get to pre-calculus in high school? Do you want them to follow their artistic interests, even if it means they don’t remember the periodic table of elements?

Write down your goals that you are unwilling to bend on, and remind yourself of that goal when you’re checking if your homeschool is working.

Don’t compare

One family may be able to fly through seven subjects each year, while you feel a comfortable pace at four or five. Also, do they list out grammar, writing, and reading as separate subjects and you list it as language arts?

Each child has their own strengths and weaknesses. Too often we’ll compare our weaknesses with others’ strengths, and that’s just not fair to you! It’s easy to do this with our kids, especially once they hit the puberty and teen years and things get tough. Remember their strengths and work with those.

Never, ever verbally compare them to another homeschool kid. Break the cycle of comparison and don’t let that creep in.

It’s not about time spent

You don’t have to spend five hours a day on school to ensure you’re doing enough. Many elementary school students are done by lunchtime, and they cover a lot of work!

Remember, a public school spends time handing out papers, bathroom breaks, getting kids in line for recess and lunch, classroom management, and all those other classroom tasks you do not have to do. Some days could be two hours, some could be four.

In high school, most students will work into the afternoon, but they rarely have to work in the evening if they are using their time wisely.

You can’t teach everything

You will have gaps in your homeschool education. That’s just a fact.

As you’re teaching your kids, are you coming across stuff that you weren’t taught when you were in school? Your parents likely were happy enough with your education that those gaps didn’t concern them. Were you less likely to get a job as an adult because you never learned about the fertile crescent, or never mastered the theories of geometry?

For many, the point of homeschooling is to nurture a child through their formative years, and instill a love of learning that they can take with them. This love of learning will fill in the gaps they need to know later in life.

What are the state requirements

Okay, so we’ve gone over the warm fuzzies. Now, there are times when families are genuinely not doing enough in their homeschool.

One benchmark one can use is the state requirements. In Minnesota, homeschooled students are required to cover reading, writing, literature, fine arts, math, science, history, geography, government, health, and physical education. We do not need to teach all these subjects every year, but they should all be covered on a regular basis.

A good rule of thumb is to cover each of the supplementary subjects (geography, government, health, physical education) in elementary, middle, and high school. It would be a big disadvantage to wait until high school to cover geography, for instance.

What are the college requirements

As your student gets older, you’ll want to make sure they are ready for college, if that’s the path they’d like to take. I’d say even if they don’t show interest in college, their transcript should be solid enough to get them into a community college.

Take a look at colleges in your area for their minimum requirements for admission, and go from there. If you’re aiming high, check out Harvard, Yale, and the like to see what they require, too. All of this information is normally fairly easy to find on their website, or give them a call and someone should have that readily available for you.

How do you measure YOUR homeschool and whether you’re doing enough?

by on Dec. 4, 2014 at 4:09 PM
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Replies (1-8):
Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Dec. 4, 2014 at 4:56 PM
1 mom liked this

 You all know I am a "schoolat home" type. I follow the basic public schoo lexpectations but modify the curriculum on a kid by kid basis. i also don't follow common core. i know it is kind of conrtadictory but I'm just that way..LOL

My goal is basically to raise kids who can read and follow directions and who can read and educate them selves and get along in society.  I want them to have enough basic knowledge to get into the kind of school or training program of their choice.  I don't thik any of my kids aspire to Ivy leage colleges but I know they could do it if thy wanted to.

Precious333
by Julia on Dec. 4, 2014 at 5:01 PM
2 moms liked this
Thanks! It is a constant battle for me. I made a small goal this December to b4ing the academics down a notch. My goal is that much children will grow in their walk with God, and I hope that their education does that and gives them the tools they need when they are making career choices.
kirbymom
by Sonja on Dec. 4, 2014 at 6:58 PM

I like the contradictory*ness. It's what makes things unique.  :)You are unique. :) 

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

 You all know I am a "schoolat home" type. I follow the basic public schoo lexpectations but modify the curriculum on a kid by kid basis. i also don't follow common core. i know it is kind of conrtadictory but I'm just that way..LOL

My goal is basically to raise kids who can read and follow directions and who can read and educate them selves and get along in society.  I want them to have enough basic knowledge to get into the kind of school or training program of their choice.  I don't thik any of my kids aspire to Ivy leage colleges but I know they could do it if thy wanted to.

 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Dec. 4, 2014 at 7:02 PM

 It's a battle for me too. I think I am never teaching enough subjects. I have to hold myself in check or otherwise I put all of us on overload.

Quoting Precious333: Thanks! It is a constant battle for me. I made a small goal this December to b4ing the academics down a notch. My goal is that much children will grow in their walk with God, and I hope that their education does that and gives them the tools they need when they are making career choices.

 

GodsAmiga
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 8:05 PM
1 mom liked this

My oldest is still only 6 so I'm not too worried about how many subjects we are covering but I do find myself worrying that I'm not teaching the right things. I have to remind myself that my priorities are different from the public school. For instance, my friend's 1st grader's class has spent a ton of time on money and counting coins, etc. I have only covered this lightly so far with my daughter and am planning to teach it to her in more of a hands-on real life sense after we move (right now we use two different currencies and she has actually learned how to count yen since we use it more change-wise and bill-wise than we do usd). I was worried that she was going to be behind if something made me have to put her back in public school. But then yesterday she began learning multiplication and she got it right away and wants to learn more as well as continue with fractions (her favorite math area) and I realized that she is being given a strong foundation of understanding math and that has always been my highest priority in that subject. I have also been able to find a curriculum that works for her and has all problems printed in colored ink which has helped with her dyslexia and I know the public school system wouldn't be able to do that for her. :-) So once again it's about priorities. Despite that I still find myself worrying at times. Especially since I was always one of those moms who said that she could never homeschool until I started. 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Dec. 4, 2014 at 8:15 PM

 

Quoting GodsAmiga:

My oldest is still only 6 so I'm not too worried about how many subjects we are covering but I do find myself worrying that I'm not teaching the right things. I have to remind myself that my priorities are different from the public school. For instance, my friend's 1st grader's class has spent a ton of time on money and counting coins, etc. I have only covered this lightly so far with my daughter and am planning to teach it to her in more of a hands-on real life sense after we move (right now we use two different currencies and she has actually learned how to count yen since we use it more change-wise and bill-wise than we do usd). I was worried that she was going to be behind if something made me have to put her back in public school. But then yesterday she began learning multiplication and she got it right away and wants to learn more as well as continue with fractions (her favorite math area) and I realized that she is being given a strong foundation of understanding math and that has always been my highest priority in that subject. I have also been able to find a curriculum that works for her and has all problems printed in colored ink which has helped with her dyslexia and I know the public school system wouldn't be able to do that for her. :-) So once again

 it's about priorities. Despite that I still find myself worrying at times. Especially since I was always one of those moms who said that she could never homeschool until I started. 

 It is heartening to see other moms figure out that they are capable of educating their children.  :)

Lordgodempress
by on Dec. 5, 2014 at 9:53 AM
1 mom liked this

I am always worried I'm not doing enough or that I'm doing too much.  I think I have everything under control then I hear someone is teaching their kids programming and I flip out again lol.  It's a constant inner struggle. I am learning to just relax and realize that as long as my daughter is learning and not overwhelmed I'm doing ok.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Dec. 5, 2014 at 9:59 AM

I swear we have the same thought process!  I do the same thing.  It is difficult for me to relax when I think that I am not doing enough or as other people we've come across tell me, I am making them learn too much. It's the fastest swinging pendulum ever! lol

Quoting Lordgodempress:

I am always worried I'm not doing enough or that I'm doing too much.  I think I have everything under control then I hear someone is teaching their kids programming and I flip out again lol.  It's a constant inner struggle. I am learning to just relax and realize that as long as my daughter is learning and not overwhelmed I'm doing ok.


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