One of the first 5 questions new homeschoolers ask me is: How do I know my child won’t get behind if I try to homeschool? They go on to ask which curriculum will insure they stay in lock step with their school district.
I offer them a chair and a paper bag to breathe into. I ask why they are interested in homeschooling. Many times the child is floundering to keep up with the demands of that public or private school. Additionally, the child often has an inadequately administered IEP.
A True Story About Falling Behind Academically
I once worked at a teacher supply store with a capable young manager. She had a 4-yr degree from a well-respected college. The store ran efficiently and profitably. As I left one day, I wrote a cursive note for her to see the next morning.
When I arrived for my shift, she said she was unable to read my note. “Is my handwriting that bad,” I chuckled. She smiled, hesitantly admitting she could not read anyone’s cursive notes.
Turns out, when she was in 2nd grade, her school taught cursive during 3rd grade. The summer after 2nd grade, she moved to a different state. Expecting cursive instruction during 3rd grade, her family discovered the new district taught it during 2nd grade.
So what happened? Yep. She fell completely through the cracks never learning to read or write in cursive.
The Truth About Scope and Sequences
Here’s another fun fact for you – this situation repeats itself over and over in every subject in every grade in every district.
Ask any public school teacher. She will tell you they never finish covering a textbook over the course of a school year. She may skip some chapters a teacher 2 schools over covers in the same textbook. That teacher may skip 2 different chapters.
One district may teach Algebra I out of one text and use an alternate text for additional honors material. Skip over a few districts and find this district reversing the use of the same two textbooks.
There will always be a difference in the scope and sequence of what is taught or what is covered in any formal schooling situations. Trying to ‘keep up with’ your local school district is a burden you need not bear.
Apart from general reading and math milestones, lay aside those fears. Your child will learn things your district is not covering and vice versa.
Your child will learn how to learn which will serve them better than staying in lock step with ‘the district’.
One last thought before you go! A nervous mom came to see me and called me multiple times fretting over ‘not falling behind’. I kept encouraging her with stories like the ones I’ve shared with you today.
Before the school year was out, she called me one last time. The stress was gone. Through laughter she said, “Why was I so worried about keeping up? We are having so much fun learning. Why would I return her to traditional school when what we are doing is working so well.”
Four years later, mom and daughter are enjoying their own educational timelines. If anything, Grace is ahead of her traditionally schooled peers.
I’ve lost count of stories of children falling behind who came home to school.
By the end of the year, they were working above grade level. It takes work and patience and depends on the severity of any learning challenges. But, it happens more than it doesn’t.
You can do this. And, your kid can too! I am for you. I believe in you. Now let’s get busy doing it!
Has this content encouraged you? If we depend on social media to keep us connected, we might lose each other in the internet universe.
It happens all the time when Facebook or Pinterest has a mood swing. So, don’t lose me! Sign up for my email today and never miss a thing.
I’ll be keeping the light on for you, so don’t keep me up late waiting.
Love you long and strong,
the Homeschool Answer Mom