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When a Child Works Better with One Parent

Homeschooling Expert Advice from Isabel Shaw

Q: Why does our daughter work better with Mom than with Dad? Also, I just want to say that my daughter's turn around is amazing. When she was going to school, we couldn't get her to open the first Harry Potter book for six months. Now that she's home, she finished it in four days. Is this kind of turn around normal after being removed from a troublesome school? It's like she's not the same little girl we had two weeks ago. She loves to learn things now.

A: Your question is a little hard to answer, not knowing your family. My daughters both work better with me because my teaching style is a little more relaxed. My husband tends to be a bit less patient, and not as willing to accommodate their sometimes odd learning requests ("Let's write some numbers on the windows today with our washable crayons!"). I don't know if this may be the case in your home. But as you become more experienced, you'll both find interesting ways to make learning fun, and your daughter will continue to benefit from the loving interaction of two caring parents. Each child reacts very differently when they leave the school system. I've heard of children who need to take some time off from formal academic learning, but this doesn't seem to be the case with your daughter. Obviously, she is a child who learns better when she is able to work at her own pace. This is why homeschooling is generally so successful. When there are 30 kids in a classroom and a teacher is following a curriculum, each child must learn the same thing at the same time, whether they are ready or interested in the subject matter. Individual learning styles and interests are not taken into account. When a child is removed from this highly structured environment, they flourish, as your daughter has.

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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.


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