Homeschooling may be more of a challenge on some days than others. With the difference in learning styles among other factors, finding a teaching method that works for both student and teacher can be difficult at times. Despite any difficulties and challenges that may arise from the task before us, we can be sure that we can certainly succeed with the help of perseverance and dedication. Naturally every child can have different strengths and weaknesses which will need to be identified. There may be a child that is especially quick at learning new things and with a gifted memory, while another may seem to struggle and present an uncooperative attitude.
I believe that with the several homeschooled children I've worked with, I've had my share of challenges. As a matter of fact, I once found myself in a situation where all hope seemed to be lost. My child was uncooperative and miserable on a daily basis. I'm not sure how I got through those days, all I remember is they seemed to go on forever. At the same time I was also teaching the opposite type of student, which only made things appear to be worse than they really were with my struggling learner. Time did pass by though, and struggle as we were, we continued on our homeschooling endeavor. The days were long and difficult, as at the time I was also raising toddlers and pregnant for the most. My child was in tears each and every day, and basically any time we were working on any kind of formal reading, writing, or arithmetic exercises. While I can't give much details on how we overcame our challenges, I would like to give a word of hope to any struggling parent trying to homeschool with similar challenges. One thing that I will tell you is DON'T DESPAIR! There is always hope and without a doubt, light at the end of the tunnel! Success is all the sweeter when it's something you've worked hard and longed for all along. This time of struggles were a learning time for both my child and me. It definitely was a lesson in patience for me; I can tell you that much.
We continued studying and though it may seem illogical, I never tried to water down our lessons or making them any simpler; if anything, we constantly reached for higher goals. Naturally, there had to be much encouragement along the way. I had to not only convince my child of the certainty of success, but I had to believe it myself first. We read and eventually the tears stopped. We mastered the basic math concepts with even greater ease. Little by little we moved forward making progress as the days and months went by. Today this once struggling student is unrecognizable. Not only did reading become bearable but it's become somewhat of a hobby as reading is done voluntarily and even for pleasure. I can honestly say this is my ideal kind of student. My child did not only learn what we aimed for, but embraced learning as a goal and a way of life. This days, when I need help on proofreading any kind of writing guess whom I turn to. Even when I need to refresh my memory concerning any math concept I'm covering with my other children, my once struggling learner is there to the rescue.
I've got to admit, that I'm far from being the best teacher. I don't have all the answers and I'm still learning and trying to improve my teaching skills. Every chance I get, I want to learn from good teachers and their methods. At the moment I'm happy to say, I'm in the middle of reading Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire after having just finished There are No Shortcuts which are both a great inspiration to me. There is no special method that I follow, just a desire to be there for my children and watch them succeed. I may do a lousy job at times, while have great days on others, but my focus is not on the immediate results. My goal is to do the job I've been called to as helpmeet, mother, and teacher; hopefully to the best of my ability. If you find yourself struggling or desiring to give up, remember there is hope, and sometimes the first kids to be labeled are the very ones to prove to excel among the rest. I would encourage you to read about Einstein's childhood. Even when every child is not necessarily a genius, we can know that they are teachable and that we can reach our goals. So don't give up and most of all don't lose sight of why you began homeschooling in the first place. Remember that success is waiting right around the corner.