In a traditional school setting if a student does not complete or pass their grade’s coursework they are told they have to repeat the coursework and if possible attend something like summer school. The same can happen in homeschool. You don’t want a student moving on to another level of coursework if they haven’t been able to complete or meet the standards of the coursework they just worked on. Having a student move on when not fully ready can only cause problems. In any given subject you have to have the building blocks in place before new concepts are introduced. Imagine going into algebra if you never did master your multiplication tables. You would never be able to pass algebra!
So what can homeshool parents do? Some homeschool families don’t go by grade level. It is common for a homeschool student to be doing age/grade level work in one subject and be two grades ahead in another subject. So, when discussing your coursework selections with your student you may want to point out that it is not like they are being held back. You may want to take the stand that because you homeschool you can focus on areas that really need special attention and work at your own pace so that you are sure to get things right and move on when appropriate. If you do need to go over the same information again you may want to get a different homeschool curriculum for that subject and level so that you don’t have a repeat experience.
As with most things, homeschooling is an attitude. You need to stay positive. It is important for parents to understand that just because a student isn’t ready to move on doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is at fault. All students are different and if you have done your part as a parent there is nothing more you could have done. Just be patient with the student and help them realize that even the smartest people struggle with certain areas and that they can overcome them and even make their weaknesses their strengths in time.
If needed get your student some extra help or tutoring. While homeschooling is a great alternative to other education models, it can also benefit your student to learn from someone else. It isn’t that you don’t do a great job but someone else may have a way of saying something or explaining a concept that will just click with the student. Part of being a good teacher is realizing that you have strengths and weaknesses and then put the best interest of the student first and get them the best help possible – even if that help does not come from you.
There are many online tutoring programs that may help you. Be sure that you use all the resources available for you. You are sure to find what clicks with your student and in no time they will be progressing as usual!