According to the state of Oklahoma, I am officially qualified to teach kids up to fifth grade as well as middle school social studies. I took my classes and my tests and paid my money to keep my certificate up to date. My son is only in third grade, so really, I have no qualms about teaching him anything at this point. Confession time: I don’t really enjoy science. Yes, the hands-on stuff is fun with younger kids. Yes, it’s important. No, I don’t find it very interesting. Thankfully, while I was busy doing field experiences and hanging out in Collings Hall, my husband was working on his microbiology degree.
This year my husband, Jay, has taken over science with our son, and we’re all happy about it. I can read up on topics and usually (but perhaps not quickly) give a fairly good answer to Jack’s scientific questions (though I often call and double-check my answer first), but sadly, the subject most based on logic and scientific evidence does not come naturally to me. Jay, on the other hand, can answer pretty much any question without batting an eye. Even better? He can ask good questions and make finding the answer lots of fun.
So far this year they’ve gotten a new microscope and looked at all kinds of things. They’ve drawn pictures and had great discussions and learned about the scientific method in really fun ways. Could I have done these things? Maybe, but it would have taken me much, much longer to come up with the ideas and implement them and make sure I was telling him factual information. It’s a much better use of our homeschooling resources for each of us to teach in our best areas.
This year I’ve also relinquished most of the day-to-day math instruction. (I know it’s starting to sound like I’m not doing anything all day, but I really am still teaching!) Since we’ve switched to the Horizons math, the boys go over it each evening and then Jay gives Jack his assignment for the next day. I help with the workbook pages when it’s needed and supplement with games and living math activities. My son is really good at math, but like lots of kids, sometimes he doesn’t enjoy it, so it’s nice to have someone to share the mean teacher duty with me!
Social studies this year is also something we’ve split. I’m covering Oklahoma geography, history, etc. with the kids as well as various topics that come up with our Five in a Row books. Jay has started Greek history with Jack and they read and discuss some every few days. Jack has liked this because he really enjoys Greek myths and is reading the first Percy Jackson book right now.
With the first couple of months of third grade done, I think splitting teaching duties has been great for everyone. My son has the best teacher for each subject and is learning about different teaching styles. My husband has more structured time with our son and gets to participate in his education. I get more time to plan other subject areas and to work with our daughter. If you’re struggling to get it all done, see if there is a subject you can hand over to someone else—your spouse, a grandparent, a friend. It can bring some new fun into your homeschooling adventure!