Wrapping up the Homeschool Year and Thoughts on Tutoring

Every year when we finish our homeschooling session, I archive my children’s work, write out a transcript if they are in high school, and take off my teacher’s hat for a couple of months. Normally my scope and sequence chart for the following school year is planned and the curriculum and resources needed are ordered by mid-May. Then I can just enjoy the summer and not have to think about school.

I guess this year is going to be different. Due to various circumstances, I still have some planning and purchasing to do before we are ready for the next school year (which starts the 3rd week of August for us). In addition to that, I took on a tutoring job for part of the summer. I wasn’t really keen on it, but the Lord opened the door and I kind of got pushed into it! But I see that the Lord has a plan in it all…

Anyway, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts on homeschooling. One thing I did differently this year was to ask my child to evaluate all the courses/activities we were involved with this year. What did she enjoy the most/least and why? It was a profitable exercise, and I received some insights, surprising at times, that will help me in planning future educational endeavours. I think it would be a worthwhile exercise for any homeschooling mother to do with their children.

My tutoring experience has been an eye-opener so far. Let me tell you, tutoring is *much* more challenging than homeschooling your own child! When you homeschool, you choose the curriculum; you set the objectives; you know your child; and any learning difficulties can be corrected on the spot. Tutoring is a whole different ball of wax! You are given a child to tutor that is not your own, has followed a different curriculum, has been taught by a different teacher, and probably has numerous gaps in his learning that you must somehow discover and fill. In addition, the preparation time for tutoring has been much more extensive in my experience than what I take to prepare for homeschooling my child.

I must say that it has given me a new appreciation for the methodical, thorough way my children have been educated compared to the seemingly piecemeal approach used in our public schools. If I may use an analogy, homeschooling has been like building a house a little at a time on a solid foundation; whereas tutoring has been like trying to repair a house that has been built on a shaky foundation, with crooked walls that could contain mold or other unseen defects in them. It’s so much easier to plan and build a house from the ground up vs. repairing someone else’s poorly-built house!

Take heart, homeschool mothers. Your one-on-one investment in your children in those early years, teaching them to master those foundational math and language skills, will pay off in the long run. They will have a firm foundation on which to build more advanced knowledge and skills. Your diligence when your children are young will make an enormous difference in their future.

1 Corinthians 3:10 “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.”

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