Are you bad at any 'subjects'? How do you still HS?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-12-2012, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Are any of you mamas not so good at certain subjects such as science or English etc? How did you get past this and home school your children on that same subject?

I am pretty bad at math. I am not home schooling yet but will be, one day hopefully. How would i go about teaching my own children math when I myself am horrible at it??
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#2 of 15 Old 05-12-2012, 06:07 PM
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There are many guided programs out there, for math you might look at Teaching Textbooks. We are using Math Mammoth blue books which go through each concept one at a time and I've found their explanations are pretty good.

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#3 of 15 Old 05-12-2012, 06:08 PM
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I think a lot of women fall into this category.  I have so many friends who shyly admit that they are "bad" at math.  And, you know what?  Their (teenage to adult) kids, think they are bad at math, too.  They think it is scary and hard and overwhelming. 


I am not bad at math, and don't feel the need for it to be systematic, or difficult.  Math is all around us, and so much of it we need all the time.  I have quite a casual relationship with math, and my kids do, too.  We talk about the basics all the time, in a day to day atmosphere.  Little by little, the things they need to know increase, and so does their desire to do it.  Every now and then, I show them the next step in figuring something out, but, as of yet, most of their math is mental and oral.  (My oldest is 7, but does math work around a 3rd grade level).


My point is simply this: just don't scare them.  Don't allow your feelings about math project to them.  Keep it light and casual, and provide resources in a non-threatening way to them.  Vidoes, games, etc, as well as frequent conversation normalize math, and make it much easier conceptually. 

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#4 of 15 Old 05-12-2012, 07:07 PM
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I'm not the best person to give advice about this, my girls are young and we are in the beginning stages of homeschooling.  But I will say this--when the kids are young you can learn as you go if you need to.  Learn together.  Little kids don't know that teachers are "supposed to" know more than they do.  In fact, I think some kids would prefer this approach to the traditional empty-vessel-child-and-all-knowing-teacher relationship.  


Anyway, that's the viewpoint from this end of things.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#5 of 15 Old 05-12-2012, 08:22 PM
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You can learn alongside them. That's what I have done. I learned everything so long ago I forgot most of it anyway. :-)


But I am just now starting to become aware that the reason behind my having trouble conveying mathematical concepts to my son is that he is a right-brained learner and I grew up learning in the left-brained way (drilling, memorization, worksheets, etc). This means that we were sort of doomed from the start. I am now trying to get caught up on the whole concept of teaching in the style he needs me to teach in. (or not teach at all, but rather facilitate his learning)


I am grateful to this web site for the information it contains:


Also, I got this book from the library and am eagerly devouring it. I think it will help me to be able to teach him in the way he needs:

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#6 of 15 Old 05-12-2012, 08:29 PM
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I am bAaaaad at math. I do ok with basics but beyond pre algebra forget it. I am hoping by the time the hard stuff comes around he'll have teaching textbooks or something he can do on his own

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#7 of 15 Old 05-13-2012, 05:08 AM
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I think the beauty of homeschooling is that we get to learn alongside the kids!  Whereas when they are at school outside of the home, we are kind of thrown into the deep end helping with homework without getting the lesson, in homeschooling we are starting with the very basics along with our young children and working out way up.  Now, I do doubt that I will be able to "teach" them calculus or physics or something, but there are certainly other options out there when we get to that point (virtual school, tutors).  But who knows, maybe this time around I will actually learn it too :)

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#8 of 15 Old 05-13-2012, 08:59 AM
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IMO, the best and greatest concept that a parent can teach their child (home schooling or not) is the art of discovering something new.  The best way to do that is to say "I don't know; let's find out together" when faced with something you don't know.  There is always something new to be learned whether you are an expert about a subject or faced with unknown territory.  The more you find out, the less scary that unknown territory becomes.


Don't think ahead to middle school and high school if you are in the early elementary grades.  Take it one step at a time.  Get a curriculum that makes sense to both you and your child.  Know your learning styles and that of your child.  As you both progress, you will find that you both are learning that the new or difficult isn't so scary at all, just challenging.  After all, without challenges, we don't grow.  Think of learning like physical exercise.  The more you do, the easier it becomes.  Look at how persistent our children are in learning to walk.  At first, they fall down while trying to stand up.  Then fall down while taking that first step.  But they keep at it, until before you know it, they are up and running toward the next goal.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#9 of 15 Old 05-13-2012, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much everyone!! I have total confidence that math will no longer be a stumbling block!! I will also do my best to stay positive so that my children do not hate math. That was a great point to have made me think anout. Again thank you smile.gif
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#10 of 15 Old 05-15-2012, 09:21 AM
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We are in our third year of homeschooling, and my oldest is about to finish 8th grade.  I have gotten this same question from many people because we will continue to homeschool for high school.  Everyone wonders how we will teach subjects like Chemistry and Physics. 

I agree with many of the other posts, don't be afraid, just learn along with them!  However, there may be times when this is not with my son who is WAY smarter than I am at math (even though I was a math/science geek in high school).  His mind just works differently than mine, and he is already doing Algebra 2 in 8th he will surpass me soon!  There are a TON of options for the things you can't teach classes, classes at the local community college, a tutor, books with teaching DVDs.  In short, where there is a will, there is a way!  If you enroll them in a curriculum, there is teaching help via computer or phone included with your enrollment fee.  Don't be can do it!

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#11 of 15 Old 05-15-2012, 10:10 AM
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We've been homeschooling for two years now & I've found that I'm much better at "teaching" the subjects where I have no expertise!  Intstead of trying to show DS1 how to do things, I just jump in there with him & we learn together.  The areas that are/were easy for me are much more difficult to teach -- I try to teach the way I understand things & don't have enough patience.  I had to have my DH takeover reading last year because I was just too impatient (I never 'learned' to read, but just 'picked' it up very, very young).  My husband's struggles with reading gave him a level of understanding for my son's early challenges that I just did not have.  But geography?  We're taking turns testing each other on State Capitals & having a ton of fun!

Loving mama to magical boys Skyler (11/21/03) and Gryffin Emrys (9/30/08). 


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#12 of 15 Old 05-15-2012, 10:45 AM
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I'm doing things with my DS I never learned in school, formal grammar for instance. Also we'll be learning a little Latin soon, all I know are Latin root meanings in English words. I figure if 6-8 year old kids can do what he's doing, I can learn too.


What I'm good at, on the other hand, I don't bother to do as formally, like science and history this early we do more conversations and less workbooks and texts.

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#13 of 15 Old 05-15-2012, 02:18 PM
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I am not knowledgeable about literature or history.   In the past I have had difficulty with things that are abstract and to me, these are very abstract.  So I am learning alongside our oldest.  I find materials that are not overwhelming to use and I read just a little ahead of him.  I have also started doing some higher level reading in these areas for my own enjoyment.  And I borrow a lot of kids' books from the library in these areas and read through them myself, and then choose the ones I like the best to get for the kids.  I am learning quite a bit about literature and history by reading books meant for kids ;)

I see a lot of people here who think they are bad at math.   I would suggest conquering your own fear so you don't pass it on to your children.  Get a curriculum for your oldest student and work through it a month or two ahead of your child.  Or decide at what level you are first uncomfortable, and order the materials for that level, and go through it yourself.  If you need outside help, maybe you have a homeschooling friend who is good at math who could tutor you while the kids play. Or you can try different types of programs, maybe some of the DVD ones, until you can get it yourself.  Don't give up on math.  I was told I had a learning disability in math.  I overcame it in college and went on to earn an engineering degree, and all the credits necessary for a minor in math.  I went from being very bad at math to being pretty good at math.  You can do it too.  

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#14 of 15 Old 05-15-2012, 08:22 PM
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Regarding math specifically, there's a great book called Homeschooling the Early Years -- in there she addresses all the subjects and gives lists of resources, books, on-line games, curriculum, etc. There's a book she cites that addresses "fear of math." Parents reported loving reading it years after their bad experiences -- so it helped them and helped them help their children.


I also have found out that my oldest is right-brained, I'm more whole brained and my youngest is his own version of who knows what yet. I love to read and yet phonics (how I was taught) did NOT work with my oldest. So, if something doesn't seem to be working, it may not have anything to do with your knowledge of the subject per se, but how it's being presented to your child. So, in this way, too, I find I learn along with my children.


Meanwhile, you use math every day, even if you don't feel good at it. Just show your kids how you do it. They can teach themselves an amazing amount of stuff! I realize this sounds strange, but it's so true. If they're in an enriching environment with loving, attentive parents who love to/are willing to learn, then the kids can find their own way with a lot. They will request certain books from the library, videos, etc. My oldest loves to build. His mind works like a physicist's. Mine, not so much. But, there are books galore at the library that all I have to do is read to him, and **he** "gets" them. Project books that all I have to do is provide the supplies. For my youngest who may be more like me, then we'll start at the beginning and read the books together. He doesn't have to be a physicist or a mathematician, he just needs the basics....and to be exposed to the world and to find what he's great at or what he has a passion for.


I've found that homeschooling is an odyssey no matter what.

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#15 of 15 Old 05-16-2012, 03:21 PM
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Im pretty bad at history and geography. I can't even point out on a map the countries Ive been to. Im not 100% what ill be doing for those subjects but Im leaning towards a lot of reading and a curriculum like Mystery of History or Story of the World.


For math, Im using Math-U-See. It comes with a DVD to basically teach your child how to do the math work. I can't vouch for the DVD but the reviews for it is good. Math is one of my strong subjects so I don't need it.. Another thing you could do is if you know any other homeschoolers see if you can swap subjects for something you are good at. Like they teach math and you teach an art class, something like that. A third option, if you have a supportive partner you could ask him/her to help by teaching that subject.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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