8 Secrets to Knowing When to Teach What



I often get asked the question,

“How do I know what to teach and when to teach it to my child?”


It’s more than just checking out your state educational standards, national standards, and even checking out curricula for your child’s grade.

It’s an art.

It’s something that few teachers really understand, but most moms do without even realizing it.


What your child needs to know is really up to YOU and your child. Sure, it’s nice to have someone hand you lessons, give you guidance, and even collect reviews of curricula deemed


but knowing your child and typical skills & knowledge is all you need.


Having taught for many years I can honestly say I rarely used a textbook throughout the last 15 years at school. As a homeschool mom, I NEVER open a textbook. How will I know what to teach or how to guide my child to learn if I don’t know what’s in the book/workbook?

Read on.


Join the 21st Century!

Knowledge is on the internet, it’s in your backyard, it’s at the grocery store, and it’s everywhere. Yes, literally everywhere.

Isn’t that fulfilling? And maybe overwhelming?

Yes, I guess it can be really overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be.

My guess is you really want to know,

“What is every other child doing at my child’s age?”

Okay, let’s see……8 year old…..third grade……
Cursive, beginning fractions, single/double digit multiplication , 3 branches of government, reading on the 3rd grade level, identifying the main idea, characters, setting, and plot for a story, comparing and contrasting ideas, identifying different types of energy, learning about habitats, mixtures and solutions, planets and the solar system, nouns, verbs, & adjectives.

Whew…that’s it in a nutshell. Yes, really. I taught 3rd grade for 8 years.
Sure there’s more…there’s always more……


Third grade homeschoolers, your problem is solved.

Except it’s not.

What about the government?
Which types of energy?
How do I teach what an adjective is?


The easy answer is…. whatever way works for you and your child is good.



Teachers in a classroom (unless they’re handed a script which I despise), improvise.


It’s your time to get ONSTAGE.


Here goes!

When your child is bored, it’s too easy.
When your child is stressed, it’s too hard.
When drawing pictures of rocks and how lightning, water, and fire affects them (yes, literally at this very moment ALL on his own), he’s happy and learning.
When he’s asking questions, he’s curious.

Moms know this part.

When your child wants to watch EVERY Magic School Bus, they’re interested in Science.
When your child wants to take pictures, they’re interested in photography.
When your child wants to play Minecraft, they’re interested in playing games where you shoot things, build things, attack things, and have fun with friends.

Moms know this part too.


So, here are

The secrets to knowing when to teach what to your child:

1. Know your child.

2. REALLY know your child.

3. Know how he acts when he’s upset.
          BACK OFF.
Little learning takes place unless we’re talking “life lessons” when people are upset.

4. Know how he acts when he’s bored.
Try something. Try more. Try less. Try different.

5. Know how he works best.
This one is a little trickier, but comes with time and experience.

6. Know your child’s interests.
Yes, Minecraft, Science, Math, horses, & video games all count.

7. Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
No, not in things like calculation; but in things like perfectionism, good sportsmanship, peer relations, and how he gets cranky when he’s hungry.

8. You will never know exactly what to do.


Break a leg.

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