Teachers have to know everything!
“What’s wrong?” I asked Baylee this morning. His face looked forlorn and frustrated.
“I don’t like getting bad grades,” he said. With that, he lowered his head and broke down.
“You’re not getting graded to compete with anyone. Those tests and quizzes are only to be sure you’re understanding the material, to be sure you’re learning,” I said to him.
We both made the decision that homeschooling is the best option to finish his high school education. There are many factors that were involved in the decision making, but that’s for another post. I can’t imagine doing this with 20 or 30 children, having to be faced with that many individual sets of emotions and concerns, and also their home life issues and relationships between the students.
Although we’re pretty green at this, we do love this way of learning and are grateful to have the opportunity to do it. We understand many don’t have the choice. It’s quite unfair if you think about it. There was an increase in homeschooling after COVID hit the US. People created inclusive pods and others had to send their kids to school, even if that wasn’t their first choice.
Forbes dives pretty deeply into the topic of educational equality. When remote schooling was the only option because of the pandemic, it was difficult for some due to low or no internet connections, and parents had to physically go to work sometimes. It’s not a debate about what type of schooling is better in general, but how some parents and caregivers simply didn’t and still don’t have the freedom to make that choice. Some had to leave for work, they didn’t have the capacity to teach for many reasons, and some didn’t have the money to pay for the programs. Ours costs $30 a month.
We are using a program called Time for Learning, plus supplementing with novel reading (Catcher in the Rye currently), drum lessons, and life-learning. Baylee is taking biology, language arts, geometry, and US history. We’re discovering how to use the program as the main artery, but we steer the blood in the veins to work with his learning. We use his tests as study guides where we both understand and don’t simply memorize the material. He’s learning to research each subject and has a better grasp on reading. He’s learning how to use Word and Google Docs interchangeably and he is more confident in his writing. I see his progress, and I’m learning, too!
I have to read everything he reads, learn concepts that I obviously didn’t learn in my own education, and explain this all to him in a way he will understand it. We’re having success so far, but it’s still a little scary, very frustrating, and it can be confusing at times. We’ve learned to walk away from something, clear our minds, and revisit which isn’t easy for this impatient gal.
Baylee is putting all of his effort into his new way of schooling with a semi-capable teacher, and a strong base set by his previous educators. I’m proud of him for working so hard. We’re in this, now, and have learned to embrace our emotional breakdowns and moments when we just need to stand up and walk away.
Teachers, though, my gosh. I forever tip my hat to you. Thank you for all you do.
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