Friday, August 19, 2011

15 Lessons from a (retired) Homeschool Mom - part two

Continuing on in our series . . .

4. When teaching more than one child, do as much schooling together as possible. Even though our girls were three grades apart, we did much of our schooling together (except math and language arts.) That leaves a lot of great subjects to enjoy together -  history, science, art, Bible, music, foreign language etc. This was much less work for me, saved us money and was much more fun for the girls.

5. Let your kids work at their own pace. The girls knew what they needed to accomplish each week. (see #3) If they wanted to work extra hard and get it done early, that was just fine with me.

6. Teach to your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. For me, I loved history, literature, writing, Bible and the arts. I could teach science in a mediocre way, if I had a good curriculum. And, I stunk at math. (This is why I taught first grade, because I cannot do second grade math.)

If you are not sure what your weak areas are, here is a sure fire way to know. If you and your kids end up in tears every time you attempt a certain subject - bingo, that is it. For us that was always math. Be creative in your area of weakness, but do not just skip that subject. 

Once the girls got to any upper level math, I knew we could no longer muddle through. For Christy - our friend Melinda loved math. So once a week, we exchanged a home cooked meal and use of our laundry room for tutoring. 

For Jenny, (we moved and very sadly - no more Melinda) we enrolled her in pre-college level math at the community college.

image credit 


  1. I love #6 - I'm not a Math person either and I struggled to teach it. I eventually bought a computer program and my children love it and are doing great. And now we can enjoy Lang and Reading & Science & History. (and also #4 - love watching my children learn together). Thanks for this great encouragement! :)

  2. i'd still teach math for a home-cooked meal and some finished laundry :)


  3. Glenda, thank you so much for sharing this. I only have a step-little one at this point, but hoping to have more family and hoping to home school so that we have the flexibility to travel with the children - so that we can spent part of year in different parts of country & because The Man often travels for several weeks or more at a time for work, etc. It would be so great to be with him on these trips.

    Also there is so much being forcibly taught in public schools now that just infuriates me & insults our beliefs that I feel certain I will not want my kids in public school when the time comes. I'm always so thrilled to find women who've done it successfully and with joy. Can't wait to make use of your fabulous suggestions & guidance.

  4. Thanks for these! From someone on the other side (not even sure if it's going to work for us it's good to hear from someone who's been there!

  5. Love this, my sister is seriously considering homeschooling her kids, but how to get her husband on board. . . that is the big question!!

  6. me too..Math. I stunk at it as well. We muddled through. Thankfully the two older girls do not do anything in their careers that they needed high level math!:)
    before putting Grace in public school last year I began using an online teaching program over the computer where she has a teacher etc. We loved it.

  7. Dear wise friend,
    you continue to
    amaze me. Not sure
    I'd have the chops
    for home schooling.
    And yes, math is my
    weakness, as well!
    Your girls are testament
    to the fact that you
    were a great teacher.
    And I bet you made it
    good fun, too!
    xx Suzanne

  8. Well Glenda, you're not alone with maths issues. I have to pay a friend to tutor my kids in maths because I can't help them with homework. Something in my brain freezes up the moment I'm confronted with figures. I love the versatile approach that you have to learning. :)

  9. i'm glad you mentioned math. we've been working on math (my soon-to-be 4th grader and me) all summer to keep him sharp and he's really been fighting it. he's been getting upset everyday. not sure what to do here. any thoughts? my hubby is a genious at math though. maybe they could do it at night when he gets home. although it seems an unopportune the evening. any other thoughts? oh glenda, how I WISH we were neighbors. you would be (and are) so wise. i LOVE friends like you :)


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