In today’s meeting of the Imaginary Homeschooler Anonymous Group, I share my next deep, dark secret. The last time I attended a meeting, it was my turn to expose my previous non-stereotypical homeschool mom dilemma. You can read about my confession about reluctant readers here. Thankfully, I have found my footing when it comes to reading. However, those readers now have a different set of classroom problems.

The bad coffee is hot, the canvas tote bags are here, denim is now nowhere to be seen (thankfully), and the cold chairs are still in a circle. Join me.

“Hi, I’m Lindsay. Most of you know me. I’ve been here before.”

“Hi, Lindsay. Happy to see you again.”

“I am a homeschool mom and I am scared of the upcoming math curriculum I have to teach my kids. I hated algebra the first time. Mix that loathing with my moody teens and I am scared for what lies before me. Thank you for listening.”

Gasp, whisper, gasp. Affirming head nods and uh-huh’s can be heard from around the circle.

Immediately, I feel lighter having unloaded that heavy weight off my chest. But I wonder whether I am the only one hesitant to teach math that requires a calculator with more buttons than my laptop?

Scared of Math?

It seems silly to be scared of math. Perhaps it’s just baby-sized trauma from the rotten math teacher I had in high school. I still remember what that math classroom looked like, with computers lining the backwall and blue chair/desk combos lined up in the center of the room. The teacher left such a lacking impression on me that I can’t even picture her face, I just remember wishing it was all over faster. Or maybe I dislike the idea of teaching something that requires my full and complete attention, a subject that means I have to read slowly and digest the material before I teach it to my kids. Topics that require me to relearn hard vocabulary or combine symbols that don’t obviously represent the word they represent bug me. Let’s keep it simple, people! Or maybe I am mad that I have to buy another expensive calculator. In a world covered in devices and battery life, it bugs me to have to buy one more thing! If I am honest, it’s probably all three.

Yes, I am.

In all honestly, tough topics like math can be very intimidating for homeschool parents. Sometimes the intimidation is so large that they abandon homeschooling altogether. I’ve had many kind parents raise their eyebrows at my willingness to tackle the hard stuff, but I always remember to say the famous “we’re taking it a year at a time” line. When my kids were little and were either bored and just hesitant with early math, I found myself avoiding that fat math textbook because I didn’t like engaging the fight. However, I eventually took the bull by the horns and made math our top priority. We did it immediately after our morning meeting. Now, four and five years later, my kids immediately go to math without me even asking them to do so. We can do this. I can do this. Together (and with excellent online help), we can tackle this huge challenge.

It’s Your Turn

So, tell me. If you went to my meeting with me tonight, what would you share? What scares you about your upcoming homeschool plans? What non-stereotypical homeschooling issue are you facing these days?

Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.

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