I can’t help it, but my heart sinks each time I read or hear about a family sending their kids back to public school.
t’s true that we don’t really know another family’s problems or struggles and that may be their only choice, but a lot of times it’s because we all struggle with how to simplify our homeschool day.
Sharing about skill subjects vs. content subjects: what’s the difference, I don’t want to weigh you down with one more must do in your day, but I want to show you how to lighten up without compromising on your standard.
I don’t say this thoughtlessly either, but homeschooling does not have to be stressful, time sensitive, and always overwhelming.
Uncovering the secret to a simple and relaxing day with your younger kids and teens is to understand the difference between skill subjects and content subjects.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty of teaching is what lightens your load because then you will be able to prioritize subjects.
For example, when a struggling homeschooler shared with me her list of school subjects for the year, it looked like this: (a real case example)
Composition, singing class, gymnastics, penmanship, science, Bible study, math, violin practice, learning Spanish, phonics, history, co-op class and Spelling Power.
She asked me if she had missed anything.
I wanted to reply, “Uhmm, you may be missing out on a good night’s sleep from now on with that list.”
I don’t say things like that though because I can sympathize with the tug on us as home educators to fall into the trap that more means more meaningful. It does not.
Too, children are just like us in a lot of ways when it comes to mounting pressure. They long for a simplified day or list.
Homeschool Zen – Skill-Based Subjects Versus Content Subjects
The secret to covering more in the day is to organize or separate the skills-based subjects from content subjects.
They simply do not have the same importance or can be covered differently.
Just what exactly is the difference between skill-based subjects and content-based subjects?
Skill-based subjects are those subjects that without them they could possibly handicap your child from learning anything at all or impair your child from learning about other subjects.
They are the very essentials, backbone and framework of any education.
For example, it’s hard to learn about history or the Bible when you can’t read.
Too, our children will have very little appreciation for the wonder of science if they can’t write anything in a science journal.
How will a child learn to budget or secure a well paying job if he doesn’t understand the basic 4 operations of arithmetic?
Can you take a guess at which subjects should rule your day?
Reading, writing, and arithmetic are considered your skills-based subjects.
Too, another identifying mark of the skills-based subjects is that they need to be presented in a sequential order. Introducing a letter of the alphabet, with the sound it makes to stringing the letters together to form a word are the foundational skills to learning to read.
Math is similar. We teach from basic operations to meaningful formulas.
Can you see that every other subject, other than the three Rs, is a content subject?
That slices your schedule to just about half the subjects that you may think your child needs to cover.
Now that I explained the difference, I don’t want you to think that the other subjects are not important or that you shouldn’t cover them at all.
However, I am here to tell you from experience now that Mr. Senior 2013 is pursuing courses on his own that covering less history, less science, and less art with him have not been hindrances at all.
Because of his love for reading and learning, he has continued to learn about subjects that he is interested in or that we may not have had as much time to cover.
It’s his job now to continue to self-educate, I just gave him the foundational tools and did not get sidetracked.
Understanding the difference between the two types of subjects does not mean that I would encourage you to spend the whole day on just those subjects.
The point of explaining this though is for you to try this before you give up or feel like a failure because you may not be the bomb mom.
Looking back at my example of the struggling homeschooler, look at how I sliced and diced her day:
|Cover Each Day||Cover When Your Routine Returns Back to Normal from Insane|
Sure, kids may be a bit disappointed if we have to cut back some of their activities. However, helping them to learn the value of priorities and modesty, which means understanding limits, will be a valuable life skilled learned better earlier than as an adult.
When Homeschooling is Challenging
Too, help your kids to appreciate that circumstances are mostly temporarily and that you will try to return to the normal schedule soon.
After all, missing a dance class or piano lesson or two is a small price to pay when our homeschool foundation is threatened.
If you are thinking about returning your children to public school, please shoot me an email or post your concerns here if the reasons are not private. I am here to help you stay the course because homeschooling is a superior education in every way if you have the circumstances to do it.
In an upcoming blog post I want to expand more about when and how to fold in content subjects because the knowledge gained from those subjects make up the very necessary skills that our children need as adults.
Can you see where you may need to lighten your load for a while at least?
Grab some more tips here:
- What Homeschool Subjects to Teach and When to Teach Them? Part 1 of 3
- Biggest Challenges to Homeschooling
- Controlling the Time Spent on Homeschool Subjects or Running a Homeschooling Boot Camp
Hugs and love ya,