I wish I had already known some things several years ago when I began to teach my oldest child. Being the first child, he was the one with whom I compared the "normal" home-schooler. If "most" kids were understanding something at a certain age, then he should be as well. If it wasn't a difficult concept for me to understand in my childhood, then why was he struggling? If he didn't get the day's concept, we worked on it until he got it - some nights we worked until 9:00 p.m. It was my immaturity as a homeschool mom that many of our "bad" days were formed.
Now that I've been homeschooling for 7 years, I'm either wiser or just plain tired.
My six year old son is a first-grader this year. He has been doing quite well, though he would much rather be outside running around than writing spelling words. At the beginning of the year, he really struggled with expanded form in Math (i.e - 50 + 2 = 52). This concept was so easy to me as a youngster. My previous 4 children never struggled with this and I had no idea why he just didn't "get" it. Just recently, I realized it had been quite a while since we had done expanded form - months, in fact. I wondered if he would get it now that so much time had elapsed and he was doing quite well in other areas of Math.
Wouldn't you know it? Just the other day, his review section on his math page was....expanded form. And, again, wouldn't you know it? He got EVERY SINGLE ONE.....RIGHT!!!!!!!!! No problem. Piece of cake.
All it took was time. Not time in beating the lesson into his head over and over. Not time in making him write different numbers in expanded form for hours on end. Not time in me worrying and pulling out my hair. Just time off without even thinking about it. Through time, stress was removed. Through time, precept was built upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little. And, he GOT it.
What I wouldn't give to have known that seven years ago.