A lack of confidence in your abilities as a teacher can easily sideline the desire to homeschool your high school-aged teen but there’s no need to panic. When you become a homeschooling parent, you’re not standing in as the replacement for an entire school system; you’re just adding a new element to your role as provider, protector, and guide to the young person you already know so well. And since you went to school once before yourself, this new role will likely be more doable than you think.
In our first post of this series, we referenced the census data that tallied a whopping 1.8 million homeschooled students for the 2011 - 2012 academic year in the U.S. Not only is that a lot of students, that’s a lot of parents turned educators! What do they have to say about bringing education into the home?
“The foundation for a strong learning experience is relationship,” explains Jamie Martin, author, motherhood blogger, and homeschooling parent of three. In her blog at Simple Homeschool I Want to Homeschool, but I Don’t Want the Responsibility, she points out common fears about homeschooling and dispels the idea that only “experts” are qualified to teach. As a parent, you’re always teaching your children. Homeschooling is merely an extension of what you’re already doing day in and day out.
Of course, as an adult, teaching grade school subject matter may feel like a breeze compared to teaching high school courses. If higher math, science, and upper level foreign language curricula are looming ominously like gale force winds before a storm, help is out there.
“Common sense dictates I would not attempt to teach my children algebra, geometry, algebra II, pre-calculus, or Cclculus,” admitted Heather Sanders, writer and homeschooling mom of three. In her blog at The Pioneer Woman How to Handle Teaching What You Don’t Know, she advises that it’s healthy to acknowledge your weaknesses as a teacher. When she felt she couldn’t boost her own skills sufficiently enough to teach a particular subject area, she sought out homeschool co-ops and dual credit courses at local colleges.
Your relationship with your teen may be the backbone of your homeschooling endeavors, but when your high schooler needs educational guidance that’s out of your reach either time-wise or knowledge-wise, James Madison is here to provide instruction for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade student.
Turn to us to fill in gaps for up to five credit hours through our individual courses for homeschooling in math, science, and liberal arts as well as dual enrollment courses in partnership with the University System of Georgia. Or you can enroll your high schooler for fully independent study towards a General Diploma or College Prep Diploma. We provide access to academic tutors, learning resources, and more.
In the next blog: Building a Foundation for Success While Homeschooling Online.