Have you ever worried that you are not going to be able to teach your child math?
Or, thought about what might happen if you need to help your child with higher level math, when they get to that stage?
Is it possible to home-school successfully if you never passed higher level algebra and calculus?
I’m here to give you hope, not only that it is possible, but that you can even enjoy it!
Yes, you read that right, ENJOY math!
Let me tell you my story. I hated English at school, but even more than English, I hated History! Imagine my dismay when years later, as I started on the home-school journey with my two oldest children, I realized that those topics were THE two home-school subjects that all the home-schooling mothers I met talked about. Books, English curriculum, History curriculum, phonics programs…
I recall one gathering where I was asked what we were doing for school and I started to describe the science experiments we were enjoying, the art we were exploring, and the math curriculum that I was using. There was an awkward silence and then one mum hesitantly offered, “Well I’m not really much of a math person, my husband takes care of that side of homeschooling.” There was relieved laughter and all the other mothers said yep, they weren’t really the ‘math’ type, and science and art just made too much mess. It wasn’t long before I realized that among the group I was a little bit of an oddball. Give me a science lab, and a string of algebra problems any day, just don’t make me sit with a list of spelling words!!!
It seems fine to admit, as a home-school mum, that you can’t do the math, but I wonder what they would have thought of a mum who admitted she wasn’t much of a reader or writer?
So, back to when I started homeschooling my children. I didn’t have much success in teaching my oldest daughter math. I only managed to instill in her the fear of math that I see in so many mums. I assumed that math would come easily to her as it did to me. I was wrong! She developed the same fear for math that I had for spelling.
Spelling was my big, scary weakness. I knew this. At school, we had a teacher who would love to line the whole class up at the blackboard to conduct a spelling bee. If you got the word wrong, you had to go back to your seat and the best speller would be left in front of the class.
I was terrified of being up there, in the front of the room, with everyone staring at me. So, I learned early on how to misspell words so I could sit down early. I believe my fear of spelling came from this spelling bee ritual. The first time I had to help my kids with their spelling, my natural instinct kicked in and all I could say was, I don’t know how it is spelled!
But this is where things started to change for me. ‘I don’t know how to spell that word,’ became, ‘I don’t know, but let’s find out together.’
By learning along-side my kids, I learned to not just do an English lesson or History lesson, but to actually love learning. To love writing and to love history. I learned new ways to ‘see’ math problems and to teach math. I didn’t want to have more of my children hate math, I wanted them to embrace learning. To delight in knowing that we have been created with incredible minds and that we can grow and learn in so many different areas.
I think this could be the key to you teaching your child math!
It is O.K. to say, “I don’t know how to do that problem” but then make sure you say “Let’s find out together!”
Could it be that fear is holding you back from learning a skill that will bring you joy?
If I wanted my children to love learning, then I believed that I needed to show them that learning was not just for them, but for everyone. I needed to display to them that I also loved to learn.
I believe you can teach your child math, but you need to be willing to learn yourself first. If you show your children that math is hard, they will believe it is hard. But if you show your child that even though they might find it hard, it is worth the effort, they will be more inclined to learn.
Learning to read is hard, but we encourage our children to learn to read. Learning to swim is hard, but we encourage them to swim. Learning an instrument is hard, but the joy of playing an instrument is worth the effort. Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it is not worth the effort.
I would like to encourage you to put aside your fear of math and to take the time to learn alongside your children. Just as wonderful home-school friends shared with me the joy of reading aloud, doing narrations, and learning incredible stories from history, I would like to walk along side you as you endeavor to open your heart to the amazing complexity and order in the world of math.
Please, if you are overwhelmed with the math side of your homeschooling journey, reach out. Message me on Instagram or email me. I would love to encourage you!
You might also like to join our MeWe group. A space to discuss ideas and strategies for teaching your children math.
Watch for Part 2 of this post: