I’ve been thinking about how I can improve our homeschool and my teaching methods for the new year. And I realized something. I always thought I would dread teaching math and science but would love teaching reading, grammar, and writing. Well, I was completely wrong. It’s actually the opposite for me.
I want my kids to have a different experience.
I never enjoyed math in school and I definitely never enjoyed science. Math was a struggle of mine and I was slow to catch on to the concepts. Even then, I usually just memorized formulas and facts without ever understanding why anything worked. With science, I often had teachers who were boring, confusing, or taught with limited knowledge themselves. Science never inspired me.
I refuse to let my bias influence my kids. I want them to have the polar opposite experience than I did. I want them to understand the how and why behind math. I want their natural curiosity to be nurtured in science time. So, because I had such a dismal experience in these subjects, it is my passion to give my children a changed experience. Therefore, I dive deeply into these subjects after carefully researching and choosing curriculum. I approach them with enthusiasm because I want them to enjoy these subjects without undue struggling and frustration.
I get to learn that subject in the way I would have wanted to when I was in school.
I never felt that I had an adequate understanding of math concepts or many scientific theories and concepts. However, I get to choose the curriculum now so I choose things that have ample teacher training and that inspire me. I get to choose books that I would love to read and topics that I want to learn about myself.
Because I am in control of what we learn and how we learn it, I find myself learning as much as my children. This is exciting. I get to redo my science and math education and learn in a way that speaks to me. This makes me a better teacher and my kids benefit from my learning experiences.
I have found that when I teach subjects that I enjoy or that I grasp thoroughly I often become frustrated.
It is difficult for me to relate to my children when they struggle in these areas. Because these subjects come so easily to me, I can’t understand why it may take weeks to grasp a concept. I’m always ready to move ahead into less familiar territory and learn new things, forgetting that it will take them quite some time to master a concept before we can move forward. The slow progress in subjects that I love can be discouraging. For this reason, I’ve learned that I greatly dislike teaching reading, grammar, or spelling to my kids. I find it so boring to review and review concepts that I know very well.
I never thought I would enjoy my least favorite subjects as I get a second chance to learn them with my children. I am somewhat relieved to realize that I can teach these subjects and that we can all enjoy them together. And when I’m teaching my favorite subjects I have to take a deep breath and remember that my kids are learning these concepts for the very first time while it is just a review for me.
How about you? Do you find that you love teaching your favorite subjects or have you been surprised to enjoy a subject that was previously your least favorite?