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Does it feel like your homeschool isn’t working?
After all, it seemed like your kids were progressing just fine. They were happy. They were learning. And they were singing in the rain.
Then you discover your child isn’t where they need to be. You need to know why your homeschool isn’t working.
1. You’re Comparing Kids
Have you ever compared your child to one of your friends’ children?
Let’s face it, you never compare your kids to a child at a similar level. You always compare to a child gifted in math or science. Or a kid who simply loves to write novels in their spare time.
Then you realize your child is behind. You’re failing your kid.
You are a disgrace to the homeschool community.
You must push your child hard when homeschooling isn’t working. If one hour of math is good, three hours must be better. Push, push, push!
2. At the Wrong Level
Other times the reason your homeschool isn’t working is that your child isn’t at the right level.
After all, you placed your first grader in Saxon 1. Your child is happy at this level. They’re learning, progressing, and adore math.
But apparently, you’re supposed to do Saxon 2 in the first grade, not Saxon 1.
You’ve failed your kid.
So you decide to skip the last 60 lessons of Saxon 1 and jump straight into Saxon 2.
What could go wrong?
3. You Tried to Rush
Despite the fact that your child is learning, happy, and making progress, you realize your child is behind.
After all, shouldn’t your child be mastering multiplication and division rather than cheerfully studying addition and subtraction?
Clearly, you’re moving too slowly through math.
So you decide to speed up the pace when you realize that your homeschool isn’t working.
After all, two lessons a day won’t hurt anyone!
And then your child burns out. Sits down and cries every single day when you pull out the books. Progress has come to a halt.
Or your child keeps working but retains nothing.
You tried to rush through the material and now have to go back review everything.
4. Stuck on Grade Levels
You have grade levels stuck in your head.
Your child is in the second grade. They should be doing second-grade work no matter what their skill level is. Well above grade level is acceptable, but to be working a grade lower in spelling? That’s unacceptable!
So you speed up. You push. It backfires.
And you’re right back where you started.
Word to the wise, don’t worry about grade levels.
5. Ultimately, You Panicked
You went off external criteria, not the criteria that truly matters.
Is your child learning? Do they love their schoolwork? Are you making progress?
Instead, you looked at where your child is compared to other kids. Always a mistake.
Looking back you know that kids walk and talk in their own time, but think back to those fretful early years of parenting.
Surely you’ve reassured the mother of an 11-month old that their child will one day walk, and calmed the mom of a 2-year-old who’s convinced her kid will never be potty trained.
Education is just like that.
Kids learn at different times.
Not all 7-year-olds will be reading chapter books, but some will.
Others will be just beginning to read.
Both are completely normal.
But when your child is struggling it feels like your homeschool isn’t working.
So you panic, you rush. You push. And you scream.
The result is your child begins to lose their love of learning. They’re miserable. You’re miserable.
Everyone is in tears.
In the end, you’ve lost ground, you’re running even farther behind, and now you have a kid who hates learning. And your homeschool isn’t working.
Kids Don’t Learn in a Linear Fashion
Keep in mind children don’t learn in a linear fashion. Nor do they learn at the same pace. Some kids pick up reading quickly and easily.
Other children spend years learning to read.
If gently guided and allowed to work at their own pace, both children end up in the same spot.
They’re able to read any piece of written material in English, well maybe not a piece of legalese or a document full of medical jargon.
But they can read the Great Books, college textbooks, newspapers, and enjoy classic literature.
But sometimes your homeschool isn’t working because you act like the rabbit instead of the Tortoise. You rush as far as you can run, and then you stop.
Or in this case, you rush forward as fast as you can before your child brings you to a screeching halt.
They can go no further. And you lose ground.
So rather than racing forwards, concentrate on building diligence into your homeschool.
This means you sit down every day to work on the weak subject. Don’t try to rush ahead. Don’t skip ahead. And don’t make a salami sandwich.
Sit down with your child and walk them through the lesson.
The best answer is to work on the weak subject, the one that has you panicking, every single day. Even if it’s only 15 minutes.
Every little bit adds up.
In the end, don’t worry if your homeschool isn’t working. Take a deep breath, look at the progress your child has made over the last year, and remember to be the Tortoise and not the Hare.
Your child will be just fine.
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