Teaching Stuff You Don’t Know

People often come up to me and say, I don’t know how you teach your kids at home, I could never do algebra, or art, or history, or foreign language because I don’t know those things well enough myself to teach them.  Yeah, pretty much I’m an expert on every possible subject K through 12.  No big, that’s me, the expert . . . Right.  Truth is, teaching stuff you don’t know is just part of the territory when you’re a homeschool mom.

Actually, I don’t know that stuff either.  At the begining I didn’t even know basic stuff like how to teach a child to read or how to guide a child in writing a simple research paper.  And as for art and music, let’s just say I’m challenged.  But I am a fairly decent reader and I can follow directions.  Therefore I can teach my child nearly anything, with a little help from my friends: books.  And along the way I’m becoming very well educated along with my kids.

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For example my son wanted to learn basic guitar.  I have a guitar, but as I mentioned earlier, no talent.  So I got a book and CD, Learn and Play Guitar from First Act Discovery.  He spent 12 weeks going through the basic course by the end of which we realized he has no talent either.  I’m only out a few dollars and he’s had a new experience.

The same son now is taking a unit course on technology.  I have a very fuzzy idea of how things like telephones, copiers, turbines, combustion engines, and computers work, but I could certainly not teach it, or even coherently explain it.  So I got a book called, How Things Work from Reader’s Digest.  It’s full of explanations and projects for a middle school age child and he’s doing most of the course working through things on his own.

My other son is learning about art history and WWII by the same method, good books.  The same is true of every other course my kids take from religion to foreign language to writing skills to math.  It’s all a matter of finding the right books.  Anyone can teach their kids if they are dedicated to it.  It just takes time, love, patience, and BOOKS.

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