The Homeschool Concern that Not Everything Will Be Taught
All homeschoolers are concerned they will miss teaching their children something important. This fear is especially prevalent, though, in those who are new to homeschooling. They feel that there may be something missed and their children will lack some important skills.
Do not try to live up to unrealistic expectations. You cannot teach your child everything there is to know. But, you can give them a solid foundation and a love for learning that will hold them in good stead for their entire life.
Of course you will miss teaching your child something. There is a vast world out there and there is no one person who knows everything. So, how could you expect to teach everything? No teacher, public, private or homeschool, is capable of teaching all children everything so do not set unrealistic goals for yourself. Just by the very nature of teaching, even those teaching the same subject will emphasize different areas due to their own experiences and passions.
However, because you are paying closer attention to your child, you may discover individual talents, skills and passions that you can further explore that might not be covered in public school. Nurturing these interests can be extremely useful in setting your child up for future schooling or a career. As a homeschooler, you have the ability to modify your curriculum and lessons to suit the child. You could emphasize the aspects of education that will better serve the individual child and give him or her an advantage in later life.
Certainly you will need to teach certain subjects but if you instill in your children a positive work ethic, a love of learning and the tools needed to learn independently, they will use those throughout life. If there is a topic they need to research or something they find interesting, they will have the ability to seek out information themselves. Learning never ceases.
On a practical level, there are numerous resources to use as a guideline for where your child should be, developmentally, at a certain age. Keep in mind, though, that every child is different and learns at a different pace. Some children will excel in some areas and lag in others.
This is perfectly normal. So, use age to development guides as a basis with room for flexibility. You can fill in the gaps or address concepts you may have missed. Just don’t be so tied to them that you miss the beauty of homeschooling.
You can often find scope and sequence documents online for various subjects. For example, check math curricula scope and sequence by grade to see which concepts you should teach in which order.
You can use it as a guide or a checklist but with the freedom to skip around as you choose. All subjects have these and can be found using an internet search.
State requirements are another practical tool that can be used as a checklist. You can review them periodically to see if there is anything glaring you have missed.
You can then address them in a lesson or review to ensure your child is meeting the state minimum requirements. If you are not opposed to testing you can do annual tests or give one every few years just to check in.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting to teach your child everything. It is not possible. Teach your children what they need to know and give them a solid foundation to continue their education. Teach them how to learn, help them develop their individual interests and strengths, and you will have a child ready to take on the world.