With my homeschooling career coming to a close, I thought it only fitting to do a Top 10 List of “What I’ve Learned Homeschooling” my 16-year old daughter the past three years. Today will be part one.
#10. Learning about my daughter’s learning style is invaluable whether I homeschool or not. The summer before we started homeschooling, I read what to do and not to do manuals, gave my daughter learning style assessments, took a few myself to discover my teaching style, and analyzed curriculum to see what fit with her learning and my teaching styles. It was an eye opening experience as I realized more about both our personalities than I didn’t already know. It improved our communication and relationship just having those tools to work from, let alone helped make our homeschooling experience more successful. I remember wishing I had known that information sooner as it would have helped in daily parenting decisions.
#9. Expanding my communication skills is critical to effectively teach. I’ve always thought I was a great communicator … that was until I started homeschooling. I would explain how to do an algebraic equation, but she didn’t get it. It made sense to me, so I explained it again the same way. She still didn’t get it. I learned that communicating information is far more than repeating the same thing over and over. How my mind processes information is different from hers. So I had to take time to dig deeper to discover how I could explain it in such a way that it would make sense to her and the way she thinks.
#8. Research is my friend. There were many times where I didn’t know how to breathe more life into a historical fact, how to push through a learning hurdle, or know whether I was doing it right. My response was to research, research, RESEARCH! I found countless articles, resources, and encouragement on the internet that provided me exactly what information I needed. I was amazed at how much I learned, on many levels, through the process of teaching my daughter.
#7. Being a teacher and parent is a tough line to find. When difficult situations arose with assignments or projects, I found it to be a hard line to tow between teacher/principal and parent. At times I had to stand firm as the teacher and other times I let the parent in me rule. In looking back, I would say I’ve learned that in homeschooling, you are a parent first, then a teacher. Being their teacher is very important, but not to the detriment of your relationship with your child. Some days were a struggle to keep a good balance!
Stay tuned …