Why I’m the Best Teacher of My Worst Subjects

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 am the best teacher at my personal worst subjects. I am the most inspiring teacher of the subjects that I dislike the most. How is this possible?

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?



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4 thoughts on “Why I’m the Best Teacher of My Worst Subjects

  1. Wow! What a great perspective!

    You are so right about teaching the subjects we actually understand. I learned that when teaching my oldest and it would take him a while to get something. I found that I didn't explain it well because I knew how to do it so well, that I was taking short cuts he didn't understand.

    However, to learn something new with your child is a great joy.

    Great post Lexi!

  2. Thanks! This was something that shocked me. I always thought I would be the most amazing writing and reading teacher. I'm NOT! I have zero patience when they don't understand an adverb vs an adjective and I don't understand why it's so hard to write a complete sentence.

    But I completely understand how confusing fractions can be. I'm so much more sympathetic.

    Just another thing I've learned in the homeschool journey. It was not what I expected!!!

  3. I agree wholeheartedly! I love math and english in school. (Haha, of course I loved writing, right?) But when we started homeschooling 3 years ago, for the first time ever, I was in love with History and Science! And for much of the same reasons as you. It was my chance to dive in and help instill that love in my kids that I didn't have myself when I was younger. "Oh the places we will go!"

  4. I never thought this would be true but I have learned so much through homeschooling that I love teaching my least favorite subjects. It's been such a fun experience to learn alongside my kids and just enjoy new topics. I do have to work on my patience during grammar, spelling, reading, and writing though….

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