Though I’m sure many people feel the same, I find the subject I struggle teaching most is MATH. The funny part is that I don’t really “teach math these days, the DVD does. However, it is still a difficult subject in our homeschool.
Now i’ll tell you a little about why its such a sore spot in our household. Let’s back up 3 years. Yes, 3 years — that’s when it started.
We started homeschooling in Kindergarten and things went fairly well. I mean, how bad can they be while you are teaching your little ones to count. But then things went a different way when we hit 1st grade. In first grade math quickly became a difficult subject. The curriculum we were using was just not working. It was what others were using and others were having success so we thought it would work for us too — it most certainly did not.
So, we started down the path of finding something that DID work. We even got to a point where we stopped math all together after three curriculum’s were used with little progress and a LOT of tears.
After the break we started in on our FOURTH curriculum and, as luck would have it, it actually clicked. I have never been so thankful. But i must say…though the curriculum worked, and is the one we are still using today, math STILL has its difficulties.
However, after 3 years and 4 curriculum’s I now have learned to read my daughter and know when we are due for a break or a change and have found some fun ways to keep up with math review WITHOUT burning her out when she needs the break.
How is it difficult?
Well, in addition to the curriculum presenting math in a manner that simple didn’t work well with my daughters learning style and preference, she is a perfectionist and has a difficult time being satisfied with less than perfect worksheets and therefore no matter what curriculum we use, she will never truly be happy. However, we have learned through our years of homeschooling that this is her personality and she is slowly learning that its ok to miss something, ask for help, and practice some more, and I am learning how to present topics better and give her breaks and games to mix it up some when she needs it most.
What have we both learned from this subject?
- There are many curriculum’s out there. There is a reason for that. If it isn’t working for you, try another one and don’t be concerned with a setback. If you find the right curriculum, things will go much more smoothly and, soon, you will be caught up but happier.
- It’s important to know your child’s learning style and learn to work with it instead of forcing through it.
- There’s nothing wrong with a break. If things aren’t going well, try something else or take a break for a while and come back to it.
And the last thing I learned is, as we spend the majority of our 1st grade math year switching curriculum’s, we did not make the progress through a curriculum like we should have. I had to come to terms with the fact that we would be “behind” in math but that it wouldn’t matter because we would eventually “catch up.” But, incidentally, at the end of our 1st grade year we did standardized testing and found, that though we were “behind” in my opinion, we were right where we needed to be according to the testing. This was some reassurance that helped us realize that its ok to do what you need to do to make things go smoothly for your subject and don’t be as concerned about getting where you feel you SHOULD be. You will likely find it will all work out.
What’s your most difficult subject to teach?
Read about what the other Crew members find to be difficult to teach here.