Playing Homeschool Catch UpSuzanne Broadhurst
Home education offers the advantage of focusing on the need of the one while not having to cater to the whims of the many.
If your child is considered educationally behind for one reason or another and you want to help them, here are a few tips for playing catch up.
Find Out Why
Having a cloudy sense of pressure somewhere in the parental psyche will put stress on you and your child. And you’ll both probably leak your stress onto each other. Knowing why you want your child to catch up will help you and your child dig in with purpose and peace.
- Are the skills necessary for basic living?
- Are they trying to get into a particular school in the future?
- Do they have career goals to meet?
- Do they need to learn character skills, such as diligence, patience, perseverance?
- [Fill in the blank with your child’s circumstances and needs.]
Sometimes, in evaluating our motives we find them shaded by the expectations of others. When our motives are our motives, then our plans become our plans. And when we own the plans, we enjoy the building process.
Make a Plan
A clear, detailed plan on paper will guide your efforts to a defined goal. Here is an example.
I want my child to learn the multiplication tables by November 3rd.
Determine which facts they have mastered using flash cards, quiz sheet, or a math website.
Review the facts they sort of know but need to master.
Introduce facts they need to learn in groups of three.
Practice with a multiplication song.
Play to their strengths to memorize difficult facts.
Play Catch Up
Don’t make catching up too serious or stressful, for you or for your child. Make it enjoyable. Play catch up.
Play to Their Strengths
For example, if your child enjoys rhyme, come up with – or look for – multiplication rhymes such as
“He ate and he ate and he stuck in the door, 8 times 8 is 64.”
My children, now in college, still remember that one.
If your child likes art, have them make a sketch representing the multiplication fact. The process of creating will help them memorize the information. If they are science minded, have them relate the math fact to a scientific concept.
If you have 8 molecules of water, how many atoms of hydrogen would you have?
If my science is right that would be: 8 x 2 = 16. I checked with my son and he assured me it’s correct. Of course, he went on to discuss particles and quarks. And I went back to typing.
Each Subject Will Have Its Unique Plan
Not every subject is as clear cut in catching up as the multiplication tables. History and science, for example, need their own methods. In many cases, history and science will be more like playing discovery than playing catch up.
Share the Plan
Sharing the plan with your child is just as important as making the plan. They will see that:
- You do know what you’re doing.
- You are here to help them.
- You have plans rather than whims.
- And you have good reasons for doing what you’re doing.
Activating a Plan Eases Anxieties
Their anxieties will be eased because yours are. And then you can both enjoy playing catch up together!