How Do I Know If My Child Is Learning Enough?
There is one burning question that plagues even the most experienced and confident homeschooling parents – is my child learning enough? We all want our children to have the best education possible, so it’s only natural that you would be concerned about how much your child is learning. The answer to this question may surprise you. Not only is your child learning enough, but they are also learning more than they would be in a classroom.
We tend to want to measure our student’s progress against that of their same-aged peers in public or private schools. The problem with that is that every child learns and masters skills at a different rate, but in the classroom, students may be pushed on before a skill is mastered in order to keep up with the rest of the class. On the surface, it looks as if they are doing well, but when students are rushed to move on before they are ready it sets them up for a struggle. Allowing your child to progress at their own pace may give the illusion of “falling behind”, but the reality is that they are mastering the skills on a much deeper level.
The most important thing to consider when trying to gauge how much your child is learning is are making progress consistent with their abilities. Their work should be challenging but not frustrating, and they should be able to make progress from where they started. It’s perfectly normal for progress to stall once in a while when you encounter a topic or skill that is particularly challenging. Just keep working at it and moving forward at a pace that is comfortable for your child.
When determining if you’re covering enough subjects and material, it’s important to remember that true education is not cramming a student’s head full of knowledge. True education means teaching a child how to learn. It is not possible for any teacher, homeschool or otherwise, to arm a student with all of the knowledge that they will ever need in life. It is possible, however, to equip them with the study skills they will need to acquire knowledge as they find a need for it.
A good foundation in reading, writing, and math and a working knowledge of how to locate and extract knowledge from books, websites, and other sources will set your child up for a lifetime of learning. So, if you forget to cover a certain time period of history, your child will know how to look it up and study for themselves if they find themselves in need of that knowledge later in life.
One more thing to take into account when determining if your child is learning enough is your local homeschool laws. Homeschooling requirements vary from state to state. Some require certain subjects to be taught, some require a certain number of days or hours of instruction, and a few have no requirements at all. It’s important that you understand your state’s homeschool law and remain compliant. In addition, using an Umbrella School can save you a lot of frustration!
Remember, there is more to a child’s education than reading, writing, and arithmetic. A child also needs to learn about maintaining relationships; life skills like grocery shopping, cooking, budgeting, and gardening; cleaning and laundry; household and lawn maintenance; and many other basic skills that aren’t often taught in textbooks in a classroom. Your child will learn much more from you than from a brick and mortar!
You may never completely stop questioning if you’re doing enough in your homeschool. But if your child is making progress in line with their abilities; you’re covering the basics of reading, language arts, math, science, and history; and you’re meeting your state’s requirements for homeschooling you can rest assured that your child is not learning enough. They’re learning more than enough.
It’s normal to worry if you’re kids are learning enough! This is where Mentor Moms come in. Each of our Mentor Moms has a wealth of knowledge and is eager to help you navigate the challenges homeschooling brings in order to make your experience less stressful, and less confusing, and to reduce your learning curve.